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Customer Review

404 of 423 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie finally remastered, July 2, 2007
This review is from: The Fifth Element (Remastered) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is a really fun, fun movie. It's not the beat all of science fiction as it was hyped when it was released, but it certainly is a good combination high adventure, situation comedy, cyberpunk, and Bruce Willis gun fighting action. Doesn't make sense? Don't worry. I'll explain.

High adventure comes from the plot: save the earth from evil by finding some mystic items and a perfect human before the appointed zero hour. That much is obvious. Cyberpunk explains in a way the setting of the futuristic urban scenes, which are fantastically portrayed in this movie. All of the settings and technology were impressive as well as stylish. The special effects were well above average and in many scenes very impressive, but a situation comedy? You got it. I won't get into the details. I will say there are quite a few scenes that involve the kind of subplots you find in sitcoms. This is a good thing by the way. A lesser movie would mess this up. Director Luc Besson made all of these elements (no pun intended) fit seamlessly.

Acting is great. Despite popular opinion of models not being very good actors the models that acted in this film did a good job of being campy in an entertaining way without hamming it up. I can go on an on about each of the reas actors and how they succeeded in pulling off whatever character, but I will digress to two ends of the spectrum. Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod is priceless and worth the price of admission alone. One exception I would have to say is Tommy "Tiny" Lister as the President. Up until the final scenes his acting was pretty dry. I also have to criticize whoever decided to hype up the fact the movie has Luke Perry in it, who played Billy. Billy did nothing to carry the plot and only had a cameo role in the beginning. Ugh... Hollywood.

The movie can get too trendy. The music, though nice, didn't really fit the setting. The very last scene is totally lame and if you ask me unlikely (sorry Korby...). And there is a scene or two that was just trying too hard to be hip. I can forgive all that because the comedy, action and drama do fit in to what ends up being a mirthful romp in high flying action.

Sony dropped the ball on their first blu-ray release of The Fifth Element. The uncompressed PCM and Dolby 5.1 surround tracks blew you away, but the video quality was merely on par with regular DVD resolution. This time Sony listened to their fans and remastered the movie so that you get the full 1080p love you deserved the last time. Bought the first blu-ray? No problem. Sony seems to be offering an exchange program. Just contact Sony and they will set up a way you can pass your old blu-ray for the remastered one. Contact info is below:

Phone: (800) 860-2878
Email: consumer@sphecustomersupport.sony.com

One downside though: no extras. That's right. All the cool stuff in the ultimate edition is gone. Getting this DVD is just like getting the first one they released. You get only the movie and some trivia text. If I were you I would still wait until they make some kind of special edition in blu-ray so you get the higher resolution AND the goodies.

If you want to experience a varied range of pleasant emotions without taking any one of them too seriously then you're going to love The Fifth Element. If you want high definition and special features then you better wait. I am betting this is going to be the case with most (if not all) new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVDs that first come out.
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Showing 1-10 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2007 4:51:34 PM PDT
The first release of this movie didn't have a Dolby TrueHD track on it. Sony has only done this a few times so far (Stomp the Yard, Ghost Rider). The first release only had a PCM track which is brought back here but the TrueHD track has better specs: English PCM 5.1 Surround (48kHz/16-Bit/4.6mbps) & English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround (48kHz/20-bit)

Posted on Jul 5, 2007 7:21:17 AM PDT
HogPilot says:
Just to be clear - both the original Blu-Ray release and the remastered Blu-Ray are the exact same resolution - 1080p24 (1080 lines of resolution, progressive, 24 frames per second). There are multiple reasons the original release looks the same (at times worse) than the DVD release: poor restoration of the film original, poor transfer to digital, and most importantly, the use of MPEG-2 encoding instead of MPEG-4. The new MPEG-4 codec was developed specifically for HD formats and is more efficient and less lossy than MPEG-2 - basically you can fit more, higher "quality" information in less space. Multiple Blu-Ray releases suffered from the use of MPEG-2 encoding early on because Sony refused to pay for the licensing fees to use AVC or VC-1 (MPEG-4 based codecs), especially since VC-1 was developed by Microsoft, a member of the HD DVD camp. For the last year or so it seems that the Blu-Ray camp has finally pulled their heads out and abandoned the use of MPEG-2 due to its obviously inferior picture quality. Bottom line: both the old and the new are the same resolution, but the new will look much, much better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2007 8:17:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2007 8:19:25 AM PDT
Seyak says:
Thank God! I wish more people like you post informed stuff rather than useless fanboy crap.

Posted on Jul 23, 2007 11:04:39 AM PDT
Thank you so much, FRSZ, for the DVD exchange info you so considerately provided. After speaking to the Sony agent at the toll-free number you provided, I found all that's required is return of my first-issued Blu-Ray edition. The remastered DVD will then be sent me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2007 2:45:03 PM PDT
Erik says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2007 1:53:43 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2007 5:44:21 PM PDT
SRFireside says:
It depends on the studio. Some studios are format loyal and will only make their movies in HD DVD or Blu-Ray. The Matrix movies are only on HD-DVD, for example. Sony Picture at this time is a 100% Blu-Ray shop, which is understandable considering they are promoting Blu-Ray technology like crazy.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2007 11:11:56 AM PDT
Jaime H says:
There's no HD-DVD version because Sony Studios owns Columbia Pictures (the studio that has the distribution rights to The Fifth Element). In turn Sony Studios is owned by the Sony Corporation, which is one of the companies that helped develop Blu-ray. Due to the ongoing "format war" it is reasonable to say that Sony will not be inclined to distribute their films in the rival format.

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 11:15:54 AM PDT
Great review. Thanks for the exchange tip. I got my replacement today!

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 11:07:40 AM PDT
Mr. B says:
Thanks for the tech details; that's what I was looking for -- sounds like waiting is a good idea!
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