Featured In Issue 198, July/August 2015

WSR Score5
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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Neill Blomkamp
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In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he is the first robot to develop the ability to think and feel for himself. When powerful authorities begin to see him as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo to ensure he is the last of his kind. (Gary Reber)

Special features include an alternate ending (HD 05:16); A Very Bad Man extended scene (HD 01:30); nine featurettes: Chappie: The Streetwise Professor (HD 09:31), Arms Race: The Weapons And Robots (HD 06:25), Bringing Chappie To Life: The Visual Effects (HD 08:01), From Tetra Vaal To Chappie (HD 07:30), Keep It Gangster (HD 07:07), The Reality Of Robotics (HD 05:34), Jozi: Real City And A Sci-Fi Setting (HD 15:03), Rogue Robot: Deconstructing The Stunts & Special Effects (HD 14:21), and We Are Tetravaal (HD 05:53); a photo gallery; upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits an exceptional level of digital effects that effectively elicit realism remarkably, with respect to the textural composition of Chappie’s mechanical composition. Every nuance of construction and texture is rendered perfectly. Of course, this realism extends to the “real world” surrounding him, with natural aplomb. Facial features, body markings, hair, clothing, and object texture is exceptionally rendered and exhibits fine detail throughout. Fleshtones are perfectly hued and natural. The color palette is vivid with nicely saturated hues that often pop. Chappie’s bluish, metallic hues are incredibly realistic in their reflections against various lighting schemes. Other colors are rich and vibrant, yet consistently natural. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. This is a stellar reference-quality picture that is visually engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic and holosonic®, with an immersively aggressive dimensional presence that extends to the surround hemisphere. Hans Zimmer’s orchestral and choral music score is prominent throughout, with an expansive soundstage that aggressively extends to the surrounds. The music is supported with a solid low-frequency foundation from the .1 LFE channel, as well as the sound effects, which are often fully energized. Atmospherics, from office surrounds to city scenes, are well integrated and realistic sounding. The surrounds are effectively directionalized with panning and sound-effect placement, such as explosions and gunfire. Dialogue is well-integrated spatially but at times challenging to understand due to the dialect. This is a highly dynamic and powerful soundtrack that is spatially dimensional and engaging. (Gary Reber)