SleeperRelease Date: January 15, 2013
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
Packaging/Materials: Blu-ray keepcase
Running Time: 1:27:24
|THE FEATURE||SPECIAL FEATURES|
|Video||AVC: 1080p high definition 1.85:1||High definition|
|Audio||DTS-HD Master Audio: English 1.0 / Dolby Digital: Spanish 1.0, French 1.0||Dolby Digital: English 2.0|
|Subtitles||English SDH, Spanish||None|
The Feature: 3/5One-time health food store owner Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) gets the surprise of his life when he’s awoken from 200 years of cryogenic stasis in the year 2173. Rebel fighters want to use his undocumented status to infiltrate the totalitarian government running the American Federation (formerly the United States) and find out what’s behind the mysterious Aries Project. The hapless Miles feels – and frankly is – ill-equipped for the task, and soon he’s on the run from security forces who have identified him as an alien in need of a mind wipe. He manages to find refuge in the home of poet socialite Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton) by posing as her robotic servant, but when he can’t maintain the facade any longer he’s forced to kidnap her and take her on the run with him. Though the two of them will eventually reach an understanding, with Luna turning from kidnap victim to fellow fugitive, it won’t be long until security forces catch up and brainwash Miles into a subservient Federation citizen. Though it appears he’s now lost to the rebel cause, Luna’s influence could still turn him around and make him into the government-overthrowing figure everyone wants him to be.
Most viewers will find “Sleeper,” Woody Allen’s farcical sci-fi parody, just plain dumb. Mind you, they wouldn’t be wrong, but that’s also kind of the point. The movie is purely for entertainment, with nothing to be taken seriously, not even Allen’s sometimes incisive zingers about 20th Century history and culture. While there’s certainly some political subtext in there with the American Federation and its stranglehold on independent thought and identity, it’s there only because it’s poking fun at dystopian storytelling, not making such a statement of its own. Someone could certainly make the case otherwise, but why bother when the films that “Sleeper” draws from (e.g. “Metropolis” and “Fahrenheit 451”) are themselves so ripe (and eager) for analysis? Indeed, the best way to approach Allen’s nod to those films is to check the brain at the door and get ready to alternately laugh and groan at almost 90 minutes of some downright nonsensical schtick.
Video Quality: 4/5Framed at 1.85:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the transfer features inky black levels and a full and uncompromised range of contrast. Color is richly saturated, with pleasing and realistic flesh tones. Detail holds up from establishing shots to close ups, though heavier grain in more dimly lit environments can affect fine rendering of things like hair and skin texture. The dirt and dust-free image also exhibits no digital artifacts, creating a remarkably well preserved looking picture.
Audio Quality: 2.5/5Dialogue in 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently intelligible, but the track has a persistent hiss or rasp about it that is a little distracting. The mix is also rather utilitarian, with highly centered placement of all speech, sound effects and music. Dynamic range is decent, however, the lower registers exhibiting good fullness and depth.
Special Features: 1/5
Theatrical Trailer (2:19, HD)
Recap and RecommendationThe Film: 3/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 2.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5
MGM Home Entertainment delivers a solid video presentation for Woody Allen’s nonsensical sci-fi parody “Sleeper,” though its audio track could have stood some clean up of some of its more distracting flaws. The bonus material is limited to a lone theatrical trailer, but those who find this particular, more lowbrow style of Allen film appealing should be pleased with the release. Everyone else is advised to rent the film first.