Follow us on:





RSS Feed to all our Blu-ray Reviews



If one doesn’t try to dissect the plot too carefully, they will find UNKNOWN ($36) to be an enjoyable modern thriller with some definite Hitchcockian influences. For those bound to quibble about the gaping holes in logic, as Hitchcock was fond of saying- "it’s only a movie." UNKNOWN stars Liam Neeson as Dr. Martin Harris, who arrives in Berlin for a biotechnology summit, along with his wife Liz (January Jones). Upon arriving at their hotel, Martin discovers that he has inadvertently forgotten his briefcase at the airport. Grabbing another taxi, Martin heads back to the airport to retrieve his forgotten bag. Unfortunately, the taxi is involved in a major traffic accident… plunging off a bridge into the water. Martin is knocked unconscious, but is fortunately saved from drowning by Gina (Diane Kruger), the taxicab driver, who disappears immediately after the two are plucked from the water.

Martin awakens in a Berlin hospital, after a four-day coma. Returning to his hotel, Martin is reunited with his wife, who claims that she has never seen him before. Liz is also in the company by another man (Aidan Quinn)… one who identifies himself as Dr. Martin Harris. Tracking down the taxicab driver who saved his life, Martin attempts to reconstruct what happened to him since his arrival in Berlin and why another man has assumed his identity. Of course, this leads to further complications, as Martin finds himself a target for a couple of determined assassins. On the run from said assassins, the usual amounts of chaos, mayhem, car chases and collateral damage ensue, along with an ever-rising body count. The cast of UNKNOWN also features Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella, Sebastian Koch, Olivier Schneider, Stipe Erceg, Rainer Bock, Mido Hamada, Clint Dyer, Karl Markovics and Eva Löbau.

Warner Home Video has made UNKNOWN available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. UNKNOWN features an excellent 1080p presentation, which handles the stylized quality of the cinematography exceedingly well. The incredibly crisp, clean image is a wonder to behold. Fine details, such as textures, as well as the lines, pores and imperfections in the actors’ skin are readily apparent. Color reproduction is excellent, even if the cold, subdued, green skewed hues are far from reality. Despite the skewing of the color palette, flesh tones still manage to appear correct. Blacks are delightfully inky, while the whites are crisp. Contrast has been given a stylized push, which adds edginess to the visuals. The elements from which UNKNOWN has been mastered are virtually pristine. Modest grain contributes to the organic quality of the presentation.

UNKNOWN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The sound design is just what one should expected from a modern, action packed thriller. There are plenty of moments where the sound design gets to show off by bringing all of the outlying channels to life. Sound effects are precisely placed, but zip and ping around the sound field effortlessly when the action calls for it. Additionally, the quieter moments are nicely brought to life, with an authentic sounding world to surround the characters. Thanks to the lossless encode, there is a rich the musical component, as well as convincing sound effects. There is plenty of percussive force and rumble coming from the bass channel to augment the gunfire, explosions and crashes. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of short Featurettes: Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero (five minutes) and Unknown: What Is Known? (four minutes). Some Bonus Trailers close the standard extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, along with a Digital Copy of the film.

As I stated above, UNKNOWN is an enjoyable modern thriller. The Blu-ray presentation rocks. Recommended.


Unknown (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links