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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 74:33)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Arabic
  Extras
  • 2 Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - by Jodie Foster, Robert Zemeckis, Ken Ralston.
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette - The Special Effects
  • Isolated music score
  • Production notes

Contact

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 144 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The release of contact in region 1 was a huge success. It stood as the first complete package and exactly what the dvd format was meant for, dual layered high quality transfer and a swag of extras that would only be found on laserdisc special editions.

And now, region 4, has finally received the treatment that the US has had for a while now - Contact WILL be the disc to own on region 4.

Jodie Foster plays Ellie Arroway, an astronomer at heart who was left an orphan when her father, and early mentor, died of a heart attack when she was young. Now a grown woman, Ellies work as an astronomer receives the one thing that all astronomers wait for, a signal from space and not just any signal, but one containing a schematic for designing a vehicle for space travel.

From there, its a case of "what do we all believe in?"

  Video
Contract

The region 4 disc is pretty much pixel for pixel perfect with its region1 cousin. Thats not to say its a perfect disc though as it still suffers from varying degrees of grain in the picture.

This is not the dvd transfer though, its the way the movie was filmed as many of the effects scenes are crystal clear.

The color scheme in this movie are beautiful, from the opening planet scene right through to the colorful end. And the black levels still retain the high quality of the region 1 disc. It truly is a great port to the PAL format.

Does this transfer benefit from the PAL resolution and color format? That's hard to tell I'm afraid. On my screen it is hard to compare the two versions unless I had 2 players to do an AB comparison. Even with the time between disc changes for doing the comparison there was no noticeable difference.

  Audio
Contract

Once again, the audio is an exact copy of the region 1 disc. It's good to see how easy the duplication for different zoning is and should be.

As for the audio itself, its a fruitful soundtrack at least. From the outset, flying through the planets, eavery speaker is involved in the journey and plays its part perfectly. The opening scene is truly one of the greatest opening shots of any movie of late.

Other scenes use the audio well but from chapter 32 onwards is a great way to demo your system for both audio and video.

Theres nothing more I could say about the soundtrack. If you've only bought region 4 titles then this will really demonstrate how 5.1 sound should be done.

  Extras
Contract

Alas, I have gone through the reviews this morning and there is good and bads news. In a nutshell, the good news is that its the first region 4 dvd with a swag of extras, the bad news is, it still doesn't compare to the amount available on the region 1 disc.

Basically, you get 3 commentary tracks, 3 subtitled commentary tracks, special effects featurette and cast/crew and production photographs.

What don't you get? Alot of the good extras on the region 1 disc were the special effects concepts, designs and final product. You are shown how the machine was built and destroyed, how the air craft carrier scene was done (was filmed during the day, 3d modified and made to look like a night scene) and finally, the opening shot. BUT, the opening shot simply takes you to the special effects commentary of the opening shot and is not actually an extra extra.

Then there are the 3 computer animated concepts. These are nothing much apart from a 3d modelled concept of different locations in the movie, nothing too special but is still missing.

The one 'different' feature that was added was 3 commentary tracks in the subtitle section. If you want to watch the movie in all its glory without 'listening' to the commentary, then you simply put the subtitled version on and read it instead.

In comparison to the region 1 disc, I'd rate the extras as a 5, but for a region 4 disc, this is a great bunch of extras so I give it an 8.

  Overall  
Contract

This is a great disc and one that should be promoted in video stores about what DVD can really do. Not many australians know about dvd and what better way to sell them the product than a disc that has it all.

The movie itself is pure Sci-Fi. Don't expect anything like Independence Day or Star Trek, just enjoy the movie for the way it makes you think which is what, IMHO, good Sci-Fi should do.


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      And I quote...
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    - Steve Koukoulas
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