Cowboys and Aliens

This Blu-ray boasts a solid video transfer with rich colors, natural skin tones, and reference-quality contrast, but it's the audio track that steals the show. The enveloping DTS-HD 5.1 mix features chest-pounding LFE when aliens attack, horses gallop, and a mysterious wrist-mounted energy weapon is unleashed. Unfortunately, the movie itself is a real stinker.

Close encounter

  • Chapter 5, 0:29:27
  • Dynamic range, frequency response, surround envelopment
  • When the alien ships invade the town, you can feel every explosion as they try to abduct its citizens. Listen to the discrete effect as they fly through the room and the powerful gallops of the frightened horses.

What is that?

  • Chapter 5, 00:31:51
  • Frequency response, surround envelopment
  • Lonergan's wrist-mounted weapon suddenly springs to life and the gunslinger realizes it's time to get out of Dodge. When he finally figures out how to fire the weapon, listen to the flying debris as it moves through the soundfield and feel the impact of the weapon's blast. Then at the 00:33:18 mark, listen as the alien aircraft is shot from the sky and comes to a screeching halt on the dusty road.

I think we destroyed it

  • Chapter 15, 01:28:48
  • Frequency response, surround envelopment
  • They say to never take a knife to a gun fight, and in this scene, the humans give it their best shot with the most dangerous weapon they have—dynamite. While the explosion certainly fills the soundstage, it's the alien's counterattack that really shows the prowess of the DTS-HD MA track.

Release Date: December 5, 2011
Studio: Universal