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4-Disc Collector's Edition Analysis,
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This review is from: Prometheus (Blu-ray 3D/ Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
I'm reviewing the 4-Disc Collector's Edition. I'll go through each disc individually to give you an idea of what you'll be getting, and which version you should purchase. But first, let's briefly discuss the movie itself.
If you haven't seen the film yet, you're still probably aware of the polarized reception it received. Some love it, some hate it. Instead of giving you another opinion on why it's the best/worst film ever, let me tell you what to expect. PROMETHEUS is not a horror film. Certainly it has structural similarities to ALIEN, and there is one scene that I would consider very "stressful." But overall, the film is what I would classify as a "concept drama." That is, a drama that doesn't focus on characters, but rather on concept. Don't let any of the tense trailers fool you, this movie was meant as a discussion piece, not an adrenaline rush. You can decide whether it succeeds or fails when you watch it yourself.
Onto the discs ...
DISC 1 - 3D Blu-Ray (ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE 4-DISC VERSION)
A lot of critics commented that PROMETHEUS had some of the best use of 3D they have ever seen, comparing it to AVATAR or animated films. With expectations set so high, I was expecting a lot out of the 3D. I don't know that it fully delivered on what I was expecting, but here is my take on the 3D presentation seen on this disc:
1) 3D isn't used as a gimmick where things jut out of the screen at you, which is a plus in my book.
2) There are a few sequences that look absolutely gorgeous in 3D, usually involving holograms or "projected" images. I also think that the medpod scene benefits particularly by the use of 3D.
3) I feel like the depth of the 3D was under-utilized. Almost everyone seems to disagree with me, but I felt that throughout most of the film, the 3D was a bit flat. That being said, if you prefer 3D, you should get this disc in order to fully appreciate the aforementioned scenes.
The image quality was near perfect, and there were no noticeable signs of ghosting on my TV setup. Audio quality was fantastic, the mix sounded nearly identical to the 2D disc, so I'll comment more on it in my review of that disc. Subtitles are also included.
DISC 2 - 2D Blu-Ray (AVAILABLE IN ALL BLU-RAY VERSIONS)
The image quality here is near perfect. Most important for me are the blacks, which are quite striking on this transfer. Definite reference quality material here. As far as audio clarity goes, it's spot on. The dynamics are up to a bit of interpretation, but it is worth noting that the speakers are seperated with precision. And there aren't any silly choices made like dialogue coming only from the front speakers, or the back speakers being dedicated exclusively to music. Subtitles are again included.
The primary draw of this disc, apart from the film itself, is the surprisingly large wealth of bonus features. We have two audio commentaries: one by director Ridley Scott, and one by the writers. In addition, there are more than 30 minutes of alternate and deleted scenes (although many scenes have incredibly minimal changes) with optional audio commentary, and The Peter Weyland files. The Peter Weyland files are comprised of four videos (created for the express purpose of promoting the movie) that play very much like deleted scenes or webisodes. None of the content is necessary to understand the film, but they certainly help give further context and depth.
For any casual fan, this disc includes all of the elements comprising of PROMETHEUS's "canon." So unless you want a 3D copy of the movie, or are into bonus features, the standard Blu-Ray release should be more than satisfactory.
DISC 3 - Blu-Ray Bonus Disc (ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE 4-DISC VERSION)
As far as completionists go, this disc is solid, if not perfect. I was hoping that FOX would come out with an extended cut of the film to be released six months down the road, but this seems to be the definitive home video release for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that it's the most COMPLETE wealth of bonus features I have seen since the transition of home video to the Blu-Ray format. From the "Behind the Scenes" documentary, which performed beyond my wildest dreams, to an incredibly massive collection of pre-vis sequences, artwork, stills, storyboards, promotional content, and more. (Side-note: I love when they're willing to include marketing material like trailers, tv spots, and posters, because those so often shape our opinions of the final product.)
So why do I think that the disc is imperfect? Because there is more content that we were told that we would get that we're not getting. In an interview, Ridley mentioned at least one deleted scene that would appear on the "special edition" that we're not getting here. We were also promised an early version of the script, while the film was still a hardcore ALIEN prequel. That was supposed to be on the "second screen" app. Due to ambiguous legal reasons, that's not happening.
(On that note, the second screen app is a nice supplement, but isn't necessary to have a complete viewing experience.)
DISC 4 - DVD + DIGITAL COPY DISC (AVAILABLE IN THE 2 & 4-DISC BLU-RAY VERSIONS)
This is a bare bones version of the DVD and includes a digital copy. It doesn't include any of the special features that are on the standard DVD release, but those are all included on the 2D Blu-Ray disc anyway. The advantage I see with these combo packs isn't that I need to watch the same movie on a billion different devices, but if I currently have only a DVD player, and plan on upgrading to Blu-Ray eventually, I can buy the special edition now for only a few dollars more than buying the DVD on its own.
Both the two and four-disc version comes with an Ultraviolet copy of the movie IN ADDITION to the standard digital copy.
As a final thought, here are the different home video releases available for purchase:
1) Standard DVD Version
2) 2-Disc Blu-Ray (Standard Release)
3) 1-Disc Blu-Ray (Walmart Release)
4) 4-Disc Blu-Ray (Collector's Edition)
There are also various digital copies available from Amazon or iTunes, but those have been available for some time, and like the standard DVD release, do not come with much in terms of bonus features.
[EDIT AS OF OCT. 21st] Some have reported macro-blocking and various other issues with the 2D Blu-Ray disc and the Extras disc. Not all copies are affected, but if yours is, and you don't wish to exchange your discs, you should be able to fix it by turning off your Blu-Ray player's internet connection. It apparently has something to do with new copy protection protocal. In addition, there have been reports of these discs working well after updating the firmware, and/or on different Blu-Ray players.
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Showing 1-10 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2012 7:54:22 AM PDT
AVSForums posts have people complaining about bad discs, either films or extras, or that it takes an unusually odd time to boot, experience any of this?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 8:19:01 AM PDT
No -- I experienced multiple issues with the ALIEN ANTHOLOGY release, but none here.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 10:01:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 12, 2012 10:02:38 AM PDT
That's odd... I had no issues with the Anthology, mine is the Region-free one (or rather, less expensive one) and I still think it rocks! I love how there's a Weyland-Yutani screen saver that stays on even after removing the discs! Firmware update perhaps? Great to know Prometheus is all good!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 12:15:26 PM PDT
First of all...@ robert wallace...what an excellent review! I completely agree with you concerning the notion of prometheus as a concept drama. very thorough review.
secondly, just wanted to let carlos know...i had absolutely no problems with the discs in my 3d blu ray set as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 11:40:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 20, 2012 11:27:20 PM PDT
@Carlos - the problems I had with the Anthology set were resolvable, so it's not a huge thing. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm not oblivious to disc problems.
After doing a thorough search, I seem to be getting conflicting information on the PROMETHEUS disc problems. Many have problems only on specific Blu-Ray players with different firmware, but some do seem to claim that replacing the disc fixes their issues.
[EDIT] Updated my review with relavent information.
@joeyjoe - Thanks! I tried to point out the things *I* would want discussed in a review, but I capped my word count, because I was tempted to review every little bonus feature. ;)
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 9:46:59 AM PDT
Thanks guys! Yes, +1 on calling it a "concept drama". Getting this baby is a no-brainer! :)
Posted on Oct 20, 2012 12:59:57 PM PDT
Steve Douglas says:
This is the type of review that should only be done. I hate when people think that their opinions on acting and plot lines are real reviews. You focused on the quality of the DVD itself and that is the only thing I am concerned with. However, while you say that both the video and audio are excellent, a bit more on the audio and its use of discreet channeling when appropriate would have been helpful. So many films use just the front stage and the rear stage just for music scores without directing foley fx and front to rear/rear to front panning. Would like to know more about this aspect.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 9:00:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 20, 2012 11:30:14 PM PDT
Thanks! As far as the audio mix goes, the clarity is spot on, but I imagine that the dynamics themselves are up to a bit of interpretation. The speakers are separated with precision. And there aren't any silly choices made like dialogue coming only from the front speakers, or the back speakers being dedicated exclusively to music, but much of the film is designed to sound like it's happening in front of you. You don't hear many things "wooshing around" behind you, but you do hear a fair amount of sound effects coming from behind that affect the dimension of what's happening in front of you. (Did I phrase that coherently?) I suppose the dynamics are an art that I'm not entirely comfortable judging.
(I also think that a subwoofer enhanced the experience dramatically, but you may wish to play around with its settings depending on how you feel about such things. I like mine a bit softer.)
As far as image goes, there was no noticeable ghosting on my set in 3D. On the 2D disc, I did notice imperfections in two separate shots, but the important thing for me was the blacks, and they are quite striking - everything you'd want them to be.
I do think it's a reference quality disc. Maybe not the best out there, but I do expect it to be one of the best discs released this year.
[EDIT] To be clear, I'm reffering to the Blu-Ray discs, the DVD copy isn't up to par with FOX's usual quality. It's not bad, it's actually good, but you can tell they put a lot less effort into the DVD transfer than the Blu-Ray. I've also updated my review with some of the information I wrote here.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 10:53:57 AM PDT
Steve Douglas says:
Thanks for this important additional information. Appreciate it.
Posted on Nov 4, 2012 1:34:52 PM PST
The digital copy can be used with a Vudu account, and it is in the HDX format, which I did get a chance to check out, and the quality is pretty close to bluray, but I still prefer the bluray over streaming it, though you are also allowed to download the film on your PS3 and have a better viewing and quality experience.