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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BD REVIEW: Babylon A.D. - Raw and Uncut

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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw


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Posted January 20 2009 - 03:21 PM

Blu-ray Disc Review


Studio: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 2008
Film Length: 101 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller/Science Fiction

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Colour/B&W: Colour

BD Specifications:
Resolution: 1080/24p
Video Codec: AVC @ 31MBPS
Disc Size: BD-50

  • English DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

    Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean
    Film Rating: Unrated

  • Release Date: January 06, 2009.


    Starring: Vin Diesel (Toorop), Michelle Yeoh (Sister Rebeka), Mélanie Thierry

    Writing/Screenplay by: Eric Besnard & Mathieu Kassovitz
    Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz

    Vin Diesel stars as Toorop in this futuristic tale and the fight to save humanity. Toorop is a veteran-turned-mercenary who was hired to protect a young, mysterious girl. Aurora, who so innocent hasn’t seen the world beyond her hideaway monastery (why that place exists is not fully explained), and is smuggled by Toorop and her guardian to New York for reasons unknown to them. It isn’t an easy trip as they fight to stay alive all the way there proving that not even good friends can be trusted. The girl’s importance is much more than what it seems and people will kill to have her in their possession.

    This is the 101-minute Studio Canal version released overseas, compared to the domestic 90-minute run time.

    Michael Osadciw

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator

    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine

    #2 of 9 OFFLINE   Ron-P



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    Posted January 20 2009 - 03:47 PM

    This was a blind buy when it streeted, I've watched it three times since. Fun, entertaining popcorn film. Great A/V as well.
    You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!

    #3 of 9 OFFLINE   Will_B



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    Posted January 20 2009 - 03:59 PM

    So, when the director disowned it, did he disown it to the extent that someone else made it 'raw and uncut', or did he return to try to fix it, or what?
    "Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now

    #4 of 9 OFFLINE   Edwin-S



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    Posted January 20 2009 - 06:08 PM

    I'm thinking that this might have been the initial cut before Fox pared it down to 90 minutes. I'm pretty sure the director was probably not any happier with this cut. The whole film has a "phoned in" feel in almost every way. I noticed that there was no director's commentary. Normally, I wouldn't read much into such an absence, but considering the troubled history of this film I think the lack of a commentary indicates something. I read, on this forum, that this film cost 100 million to make. After watching it, I was hard pressed figuring out what all of that money was spent on.
    "You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

    #5 of 9 OFFLINE   Southpaw


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    Posted January 21 2009 - 01:25 AM

    I blind bought this one too. It ended up being a total guilty pleasure for me. I really enjoyed it and as noted above, PQ/AQ are outstanding. I think my sub was working the entire time. Posted Image

    #6 of 9 OFFLINE   Martin Henry

    Martin Henry

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    Posted January 25 2009 - 11:41 AM

    Same here. Never saw the theatrical cut, but I'm glad they removed that horrible chase sequence from the ending. You can watch it as a deleted scene and my word does it look awful!

    #7 of 9 OFFLINE   George_W_K



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    Posted January 25 2009 - 01:08 PM

    I rented this a week or two ago and have to agree with the PQ and AQ ratings, pretty good BD. As for the movie itself, I'm very happy that I only rented it, the scene with the submarine coming out of the ice was the only thing that made it worth renting. I can't imagine what a crappy experience the 90 minute version must have been.

    #8 of 9 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw


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    Posted January 26 2009 - 04:04 PM

    I didn't really comment much on this film because I really didn't know what to say about it. I felt that there were way too many holes in the story, things happened much too quickly without explanation, and with little reason. For example (which someone else commented on elsewhere) -> from the club fight -> submarine -> talk of a virus -> to suddenly racing on snowmobiles in Canada... it left me puzzled, confused, and questioning what the hell just happened and what exactly am I supposed to believe in this story? There is rumour of a 161-minute cut and that Fox wanted a short PG-13 film from this thing...well, Fox got their typical no-brainer shoot-em up...because that's all this film ended up being. If this 161-minute version does exist, and is tightened up to the director's vision and does make the film better...other than running time, why would Fox destroy it? On the other hand, if it's just a 161-minute no-brainer shoot-em-up with lots of boring talk that doesn't progress the story...then that's different. But I have a feeling that wouldn't be the case. I think it's time for the director to speak out on this and clear the air.

    Michael Osadciw

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator

    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine

    #9 of 9 OFFLINE   Ryan-G


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    Posted January 26 2009 - 07:21 PM

    My thoughts, I felt that overall the sequences you mentioned worked reasonably well, though it could've used some better in between stuff from the sub to the snowmobiles. IMO, the story really broke down in America. Everything from that point onwards completely changed the entire tone and direction of the movie IMO, with little reason given as to why. More background earlier could've helped, or a longer sequence in America, but the way it stands even uncut just lost the entire feel. I would be *very* interested in a longer cut than even this, because I feel that this movie is still salvagable as a very decent story if there's still footage out there to reconnect it's "Two parts" into a cohesive storyline. I also feel, for any forum members who are on the fence, that it's worth at least rental time, and possibly more depending on your interests. The better part of the movie is very decent, it just shifts gears abruptly, and even when it shifts gears it isn't bad. It just doesn't stay cohesive.

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