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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: 2010: The Year We Make Contact



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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted April 28 2009 - 05:54 AM

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2010: The Year We Make Contact

Release Date: Available now
Studio: Warner Home Video
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case
Year: 1984
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1h55m
MSRP: $28.99

 MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
Video1080p high definition 2.40:1480i or 480p standard definition
AudioDolby TrueHD: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1 (Castillian 5.1 and Latin 2.0), German 5.1, Italian 2.0, Portuguese 1.0Mono
SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian,Portuguese and SwedishEnglish, French, Spanish, German and Italian (on select bonus material)


The Feature: 3.5/5
It's been nine years since the Discovery Mission to Jupiter, which ended in the disappearance of Commander Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea), the deaths of all the crew and disabling of the HAL 9000 supercomputer. Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider), former Chairman of the National Council on Astronautics, shouldered the blame and stepped down from his post. But questions still need answering and almost a decade later Floyd will have his chance. The Soviets have built and are ready to launch its space vessel, the Leonov, but the Americans are the only ones with the knowledge of how to reactivate HAL and the Discovery spacecraft. A joint mission makes sense, but increasing geopolitical tensions make the proposal a hard sell unless there's something to be gained politically.

But that advantage might be acquired on the mission itself, so the United States reluctantly agrees to send Floyd, the creator of HAL - Dr. Chandra (Bob Balaban), and Discovery engineer Dr. Curnow (John Lithgow) along with the Soviets. The three will need to operate under the watchful eye of their host crew, headed by Tanya Kirbuk (Helen Mirren), but it's not long before some amazing discoveries make all the politics and suspicions irrelevant. There's apparently life on the moon of Europa, not to mention "electrostatic" activity from the two kilometer-long black monolith orbiting Jupiter. What it all means for the crew and the rest of the human race will slowly be revealed, though even with all the answers handed to them, humanity will still need to make some critical choices.

Perhaps knowing they could never live up to the enigmatic masterpiece that is "2001", the makers of "2010" settled on making something entertaining, if usually over-explained. Where "2001" left many scratching their heads, there's little to be confused about in its sequel, thanks mostly to Floyd's family communiques that spell out everything that's happening in case anyone wasn't paying attention. Indeed, the movie sometimes plays like it was only made to answer all the questions "2001" left in its wake, which, as a teenager I appreciated, but as an adult I prefer less. Still, for those who need a little help understanding the events behind both films, "2010" is a reasonable vehicle for it, though it's obvious that without the first film "2010" has little depth or merit on its own. In that sense it's not so much a sequel as it is a supplement.


Video Quality: 4/5
The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. Black levels and contrast are very good with only a handful of instances where things look a little flat; space shots in particular stand out for their depth of black level. The color palette is almost monochromatic, but moments inside the Leonov control room with its multicolored switches and buttons and shots of rust-colored Jupiter show good depth and saturation. Sharpness and fine object detail seem better in close-ups than in wide shots, though starfields in special effects shots are consistently clear and sharp. Grain structure is also nicely preserved with no obvious signs of noise reduction.


Audio Quality: 4/5
I was not expecting much LFE or surround activity in the Dolby TrueHD audio track, given the film's vintage, but was surprised by the presence of both. Surround activity tends to be light but effective, providing some nice atmospheric ambience. LFE, present whenever there's an external shot of the Leonov, is clean and robust, but can feel a little heavy handed in both its level and frequency of use. It gives the mix a definite "wow" quality but it ultimately isn't very subtle and can make things feel a little off-balance. Dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible.


Special Features: 1.5/5

"2010: The Odyssey Continues" Vintage Featurette (9m20s): Introduced by author Arthur C. Clarke, the 1984-produced preview of the film includes behind-the-scenes footage from production and special effects and various soundbites from cast and crew.

Trailer (2m26s)


Recap

The Feature: 3.5/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3.5/5

The more explicit sequel to an enigmatic masterpiece gets a very good technical presentation but a meager set of special features.
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#2 of 3 OFFLINE   widescreenforever

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Posted May 02 2009 - 10:51 AM

One of the few titles that were missing an anamorphic treatment on this title, I guess Warner's also released a SD treatment for this successful sequel to 2001, which by itself, has had 3 releases all in anamorphic widescreen .

#3 of 3 ONLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted May 06 2009 - 03:01 PM

Thanks for the review! Seems like the few of us who like this movie already discussed it on the other thread.

I agree that the image is great, I compared to the first DVD.

But what I was surprised by was the light amount of surround activity as you mention in the review. I was a little disappointed by the aero-braking sequence. On the last disc, as the Leonov is flying towards the camera and past, there was surround activity as it flew over your head. I choked it up to my older processor. Can't do the new audio yet.

Finally glad to have this film with a nice transfer!