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Review added January 13, 2005.                       Unbreakable :: DVD Review  

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Studio: Touchstone Home Video >> Review Equipment
Video: 2.35:1 (Enhanced for 16:9) Length: 102 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kbps) En/It Subtitles: En/It
Video Format: PAL Disc Format: RSDL DVD-9
Layer Change: 63:17 Disc Capacity Utilised: X.XXGB
Average Bit-Rate (A+V): X.XXMbps Region Coding: 2/4
     
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:: The Film ::

 
 

>> Skip to Audio/Video Details

Unbreakable, M. Night Shyamalan's follow-up to the staggeringly successful The Sixth Sense, could easily be mistaken for the latter at first glance. Both films share the same director, lead, visual style and 'eerie' atmosphere. Like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable is a low-key film that slowly builds to its climax, requiring the audience's full attention, and providing subtle clues along the way to the nature of this conclusion.

Unfortunately, Unbreakable's ending falls flat, lacking the sheer impact of The Sixth Sense, undermining the effort put into its extended buildup. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a major train accident. Not only does he survive the crash, he walks away without so much as a scratch. Dunn's miraculous survival attracts the attention of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), the owner of a high-end comic book store who suffers from a rare condition called osteogenesis imperfecta.




This condition has left Price with extremely low bone density, making him unusually susceptible to injury. Price suggests to Dunn that, just as he is unusually fragile, Dunn may be unusually resistant to injury (hence the film's title). Dunn is sceptical at first, but as he looks closer into his own past he becomes less sure what to believe, while Price's motivation and ultimate goal remain shrouded in mystery. Thanks to Shyamalan's meticulous directorial style, an intriguing premise and excellent performances from the entire cast, Unbreakable is an entertaining and puzzling journey, but its lack of a truly satisfying ending leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste.
 
  :: Video ::
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Unbreakable has been given a great 2.35:1 anamorphically-enhanced transfer. The source print used is very clean, with only the occasional speck or nick visible. Grain is never a problem and colours and skin-tones are very natural and accurate to the film's theatrical presentation. Contrast levels are also faithful to the film's theatrical presentation, being somewhat high with a fairly dark overall picture. The transfer is nicely detailed, with only a few mildly soft scenes, which appear to be a directorial choice and not a transfer flaw.

Shadow detail is good, as is the transfer's black level, although this did waver on the gray side of black during several scenes. Edge enhancement can be seen on and off throughout, and mild pixellation is visible in a few scenes, but there are no obvious compression artefacts. Aliasing isn't a major problem here, being mild when present, which isn't often; fine detail did suffer from occasional shimmer, however.
 

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  :: Audio ::
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This disc has been endowed with an absolutely fantastic Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The film was released theatrically in Dolby Digital Surround EX, and this centre-surround information is quite dramatic, especially during the film's opening scenes, and a dramatic underwater sequence. The surround channels are very active, reproducing a wide range of directional, ambient and musical effects, ranging from the dramatic to the subdued.

The rear soundstage is wide and detailed, with effects placed with pinpoint accuracy behind the listener, and used to create some stunningly authentic acoustic environments. Much of the film is very quiet, and the front soundstage contains some impressively subtle effects, from birds chirping and ticking clocks to the barely perceptible sound of Dunn breathing. This is some seriously impressive stuff. The front channels are equally impressive during more dramatic sequences such as Dunn's premonitions, train station visit and subsequent encounter with a home-invader. During these scenes the soundtrack's dynamic range can be quite startling.

Both audio effects and the film's score are very cleanly recorded, with little in the way of distortion, and clean easily intelligible dialogue throughout. Bass in the main channels is deep and controlled, and the LFE channel is used most effectively, containing deep, very loud, but never overbearing bass. 
 

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