The 6th Day—Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)
You would think the "govenator" had a new film coming out this summer with all the Schwarzenegger films hitting Blu-ray shelves this past month. Sony throws their bid in with The 6th Day, an action thriller that takes a rather disturbing look at a possible near future where cloning has become common practice. We've seen these before and it seems like Hollywood always tries to cash in on the latest science buzz. The script is pretty horrendous when it comes to dialogue and delivery, but the action sequences and production make up for it a bit. One of Arnold's weaker films, but still a decent popcorn piece.
Sony doesn't seem to lack great looking catalog titles. This one is a very good HD release with the only complaint stemming from the aging special effects. Most CG effects hold up pretty well on DVD but it is getting harder and harder with the higher resolution of HD. The obvious softening of the digital inserts becomes far more obvious and thereby a bit of a distraction. The rest of the presentation is pretty good though. Fine object detail is excellent and close ups reveal a lot of detail on the actors. Colors are generally bold with little to no noise, but the CG effects look a bit washed out in comparison. Contrast is good, but shadow detail is a bit lacking at times. Overall I doubt you've seen this film look any better.
Sony continues to favor the new Dolby TrueHD lossless sound format. Like most of Arnold's action films there is a lot going on in the explosion and gunplay category here. The lossless mix does a good job with the sound design but most of the sound effects do sound a bit dated. Dynamics are solid for the most part, but a couple notches down from the more recent soundtracks being delivered lately. Tonal balance is excellent though and the aggressive use of the surround soundstage does add a lot to the presentation.
Lots and lots of extras on this release. Most of them are standard press buzz features but at least Sony isn't releasing bare bones releases at high prices. Lots of production features on this one including storyboard comparisons, effects features, production design and a look at the animatics. This is also the first release from Sony that I’m aware of with full D-Box support. D-Box is a tactile motion control system that can be installed in theaters to add a new dimension to the experience. It can either rumble or literally move furniture using pistons and transducers.
Not nearly one of my favorite Arnold films but a passable popcorn fun ride. The 6th Day gets a solid Blu-ray presentation and decent extras package. While I don't think I would recommend a purchase, it is worth checking out for fans of the genre and star.