Blu-ray Review: I Am Number Four Page 2

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As with other Michael Bay-related movies, this one is indeed a technologically proficient piece of filmmaking. The money shots in an early action scene take place underwater — always a difficult scenario for convincingly realistic CGI effects (unless your name is James Cameron). In the 1.85:1 picture on this Blu-ray, they look great — properly fluid and foreboding, but with enough detail and contrast to let the images tell the story. And when the same scene jumps above the ocean’s surface, the color saturation is striking.

A lot of the later set pieces take place at night or in otherwise difficult lighting conditions. Here, the transfer excels. There’s fine shadow detail as well as deep, rich blacks. And since our hero (Alex Pettyfer) is able to shoot rays of light from his hands (sometimes unwittingly), it helps to have kitchen-clean digital imagery on tap.

The best popcorn-movie soundtracks envelop the listener in a 360º arc but keep the lion’s share of dialogue and the primary action up front, consistent with the onscreen narrative. That’s precisely what happens in this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. Additionally, some nice, punctuating music tracks (think “teen angst”) add to the mood of scenes without overwhelming them.

As you might expect, low-frequency energy makes itself known early and often. And it only distorts when it’s supposed to — that is, When Things Blow Up. Overall, the subwoofer and surrounds are kept plenty busy in the action sequences, but the sonics do pull back enough to give your ears time to adjust and get ready for the next swell in dynamics.

Mercifully, the extras in this BD+DVD+Digital package don’t go overboard. (There’s nothing worse than a bad movie accompanied by a truckload of marketing drivel.) Upside: All the extras are in HD. Downside: Said extras are barely worth your time. You get six deleted scenes (each introduced by director Caruso), a 3-minute blooper reel (with nary a laugh to recommend it), and a short featurette that smartly focuses on the aforementioned Teresa Palmer and some of the film’s special effects.

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