The 2012 alien invasion flick "Battleship" debuts in home video format via a combo pack consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. This disc set houses the film's HD, SD, and UV digital copies, along with a couple of supplements. This board-game-to-film adaptation of a Hasbro material directed by Peter Berg centers on a fleet made up of an international naval coalition as it battles an armada of unknown origin. This battle for survival becomes humanity's last hope against a hostile alien invasion force of unimaginable strength. The movie stars Alexander Skarsgaard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Tadanobu Asano, Hamish Linklater, and Rihanna.
This aliens vs. military epic turns out too dopey to make a promising story out of its preposterous concept. Yet, its flawless and eye-popping Blu-ray transfer makes this cliché-ridden actioner serviceable as a form of mindless entertainment. It showcases a demo-worthy piece that clearly attempts to ride on the technical thrills of epic-scale movies like "Transformers" and similarly themed movies such as "Battle: Los Angeles" and "Skyline."
On a technical standpoint, this big-budget sci-fi and action extravaganza features many gorgeous shots with excellent dynamic range, punchy colors, and spot-on contrast. There are loads of details for both the CG and live-action parts. Images boast plenty of high-level details, deep and clearly delineated blacks, and impeccable gradational highlights. Complexions always appear natural. There is a nice three-dimensional feel to the scenes and there is hardly a hint of visual distractions to report anywhere in the picture.
The incredibly loud five-channel lossless track, along with five-channel dubbed tracks in Spanish and French, sound garishly earsplitting and thunderous. There is typically a ground-shaking and wall-pounding intensity to the mix. With many scenes of boisterous mayhem, the speakers are always full of expansive on-screen and off-screen effects. These aggressive elements fill the soundscape with almost a non-stop array of objects flying everywhere, guns and missiles whizzing by the side speakers, and naval battleships facing strong surges of winds and waves.
There may be a startling ferocity to this very active mix, yet conversations remain punchy for most of the film's running time. However, it is worth noting that even with the might and fury of such a dynamic soundstage, generally, the low-ends don't quite capture the depth and magnitude of what is seen on screen. The bass doesn't always dig deep, and at times, the track lacks power in the subwoofer.
The disc offers a boatload of extras, which are all presented in HD format. These include an extensive picture-in-picture video commentary, production specials, location, cast, and crew featurettes, and highlights on the project's visual effects and the board game that inspired the making of the movie. The package also provides subtitle options in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
This Blu-ray release shines with a mind-blowing audio-visual presentation and a generous amount of bonus materials. As expected, "Battleship" is merely a popcorn offering made better by its brilliant visual effects and high production values. However, it still suffers from too much overwhelming spectacle with very little room for fine acting and storytelling.
With an underdeveloped story, paper-thin plot, cardboard characters, and lack of genuine pathos, this massive cinematic floater ends up as an underwhelming treat. It can work as a pastime movie to check out for its technical grandeur, but there is nothing beyond this that makes this ironically outlandish but dull fare more interesting. This poorly conceived movie simply delivers big dumb fun that doesn't quite work beyond the palatable bits of escapism found on its surface.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Brooklyn Decker