Unbreakable (2000) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Fantasy / Mystery / Thriller
Buena Vista || PG13 - 106 minutes - $29.99 || April 1, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-03-30


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer(s): M. Night Shyamalan (written by)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn, Spencer Treat Clark


Theatrical Release Date: November 22, 2000


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Comic Books and Superheroes
  • The Train Sequence: A Multi-Angle Feature
  • Night's First Fight Sequence


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (PCM 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Wow, what a twist! That’s M. Night Shyamalan’s trademark for nearly all the films he has done since The Sixth Sense. Unfortunately for him, this one was hardly the mind blowing twist that most of his movies usually has. Often spoken as one of his worst movies due to the nature of the film and its slow moving pace, the movie really shines on Blu-ray disc and offers incredible performances by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is just an ordinary man traveling from a job interview in New York back to his home and broken life when he is involved in horrific train crash killing everyone on board…except him. He survives without a bruise or a scratch on him and his hailed as some sort of miracle. Soon after a note appears on David’s windshield one day from mysterious man whom he soon comes to know as Elijah Price or “Mr. Glass” (Samuel L. Jackson) a childhood nickname his tormentors would often use to call him, who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which means his body does not create enough protein and causes his bones to become brittle and break at the slightest fall. Elijah, a comic book collector and art gallery owner, is convinced that David is a super hero, just like ones you would read about in comic books. David soon starts to believe this when he can’t seem to remember ever being sick, or even breaking any bones as a child. After going back and fourth with the notion that Elijah just might be right, David starts to touch and “feel” people, getting a vision of their past and seeing any evil things they may have done.

The movie suffers from a few minor things which is why I can understand some people calling it one of his worst movies. The whole film felt like part one of a three part story, and when you take into consideration that it is a essentially a comic book movie, that’s exactly how it is suppose to feel. Comic books typically take several issues, if not more, to flesh out a story or a particular character. This movie is essentially a comic book with a “to be continued…” that is not tacked on to the end. Just as the film gets good, and a potential sequel is lined up... we already know the resolution, which is unfortunate because M. Night could have easily had a great sequel on his hands, had he chosen to go that route. Either way we are left with a somewhat satisfying ending that really gives us that comic book feel.

Reviewing this film on Blu-ray was the first time I had ever seen Unbreakable. I own all of M. Nights films on various formats (DVD, HD DVD and now Blu-ray), but just never got around to watching this one. After my first time through the movie, I watched the extras and then went right back to the movie for another go around. Why? Because it’s amazing how many things you pick up if you know right off the bat to watch it like you would read a comic book and not as if it was a movie based on a comic book. I started noticing small things like David is always wearing green, much like a super hero would always wear the same colors, even in his normal clothes. David Dunn’s name is also an alliterative, much like Peter Parker (Spider-Man) or Bruce Banner (Hulk). A few times in the film certain shots of the movie are filmed as if they are comic book frames. It was simply amazing, even now knowing the “twist” ending so I could look out for clues pertaining to it.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The Blu-ray disc contains all former special features from the Vista Series 2 Disc DVD set with the exception of the 2 collectible Alex Ross Illustrations as well as the multi-page booklet. Both are a huge loss as the booklet, while small, is fairly informative and the illustrations are nice. Both the illustrations and the booklet would not fit into the Blu-ray case so that may be why they are missing. The Blu-ray version also includes a mail-in rebate for those that already own Unbreakable on DVD and wish to get a $10 check back by mail. All features are presented in 480i SD.

Deleted Scenes (28:29) – We are presented with seven different deleted scenes all introduced by M. Night and given reasons for why they were cut. All of these could have very well been included the film.

Behind the Scenes (14:15) – A very interesting look at the various scenes throughout the film as well as wardrobe and technical aspects. It seems as if we are given a few small features that were spliced into one big feature. Very informative and by far the best special feature the disc has to offer. This feature alone made me re-watch the film again to catch all the things they discussed.

Comic Books and Superheroes (19:20) – Another fairly interesting feature with Samuel L. Jackson. This one is a bit longer and delves more into Superheroes then the behind the scenes type of stuff. A small little history lesson on comic book heroes.

The Train Sequence: Multi-Angle Feature (4:08) – A very short feature that lets us go between the scene and the storyboard when David Dunn is in the train station. A fairly boring feature that can be skipped.

Night’s First Fight Sequence (2:25) – Ugh. Another very short feature that shows Night directing a fight sequence as a child. Horrific would be too nice of a thing to say about this. Avoid. Due to the lack of Illustrations and booklet, as well as all the features being presented in 480i SD while other studios are putting most if not all the extras in HD, lowers the overall score.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Unbreakable is presented in its OAR of 2.35:1 on a 25GB disc. The transfer itself is pretty good with only a few instances of some soft spots and a bit of grain. The movie uses a lot of green and purple and they shine through on this transfer. When we see Elijah as a kid as he opens up his Comic book that is wrapped in purple gift-wrap, the color looks very vivid and alive. Much of the movie has Elijah wearing purple, and every scene with him has a distinct pop to it. Since the film is shot somewhat like a comic book, they tried to show as much bright color as possible in various scenes to give it that comic book art feel. Rugs at Audrey’s physical therapy office are brightly colored and when David and Audrey go out to get drinks we see a brightly colored painting behind them on the wall which pops with the scene. There are a number of dark scenes in the film, but blacks look very good and the character(s) in the scenes are still very visible. Overall a fantastic transfer for an 8 year old film.

The film gives us several audio options. English 5.1 Uncompressed PCM 5.1 (48 kHz / 24-bit), English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English 2.0 Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, the PCM track (not the DD5.1 track) suffers from a few random pops in the film which have been confirmed by several individuals using various Blu-ray players and speakers. It’s not a horrible noise, but it does happen at least two times that I noticed in the film (one being at the start of the movie and once towards the end). It appears to be an issue with the disc and not any certain player. Aside from that, the PCM track sounds excellent. Rain falling produces a wonderful sound and there are several instances where I really felt as if I was in the train station with Bruce Willis.



.::OVERALL::.

The film can be tough to sit through if you are really expecting something along the lines of The Sixth Sense or Signs. It does have the typical M. Night “twist” at the end, but I had seen that coming from the first twenty minutes of the film. The transfer is wonderful on this title, but the audio issues may turn some people off. Bonus features are once again lacking as they are presented in 480i while other studios are at least doing some of the features in HD.