Fifth Element, The

Featured In Issue 112, September 2006

WSR Score
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For intense sci-fi violence, some sexuality, and brief nudity.
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Luc Besson
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Dolby Digital 5.1
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Bruce Willis stars as Korben Dallas, a 23rd century airborne cabbie who finds himself in a fight to save the world. It has been prophesied that, at this time, only the alignment of the four elements—earth, fire, air, water—plus a mysterious fifth element, will have the ability to stop the forces of evil. When a mysterious woman (Jovovich) literally falls into Dallas' cab, he learns of the prophecy, that she is The Fifth Element—and he must help her save the world.

The only special features are an optional fact track and high-definition previews.

In what seems to be a common theme among these initial Blu-ray Disc releases, the 2.35:1 Blu-ray Disc picture can look very soft at times, while at other times it can look well detailed. Source element artifacts litter the image, even more so than the original DVD releases. Fleshtones look just as natural as they did in the DVD releases, and some of the colors, like the orange of Leeloo's hair, pop right out of the screen. Blacks are endlessly deep, and the impressive contrast gives the image some dimensionality, but the overall picture quality is just not that great. (Danny Richelieu)

The uncompressed 5.1-channel PCM soundtrack takes a very good mix and exciting action and throws on an added layer of improved fidelity. The lack of compression can be heard in both the naturalness of the sound and the improved dynamic range. It does seem as if the proper care was not taken in the encoding process, as there is noticeable clipping distortion that can be heard throughout the presentation. Bass is deep and tight, and effects are localized well around the room. It isn't bad, but it isn't as good as the best. (Danny Richelieu)