Contact—Warner Bros. (Blu-ray)

Video: 4/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5

At the Forest Ridge Mall, head of security Ronnie Barnhardt patrols his jurisdiction with an iron fist. The master of his domain, he combats skateboarders, shoplifters and the occasional unruly customer while dreaming of the day when he can swap his flashlight for a badge and a gun. Ronnie's delusions of grandeur are put to the test when the mall is struck by a flasher. Driven by his personal duty to protect and serve the mall and its patrons, Ronnie seizes the opportunity to showcase his underappreciated law enforcement talents on a grand scale, hoping his solution of this crime will earn him a coveted spot at the police academy and the heart of his elusive dream girl Brandi, the hot makeup counter clerk who won't give him the time of day. But his single-minded pursuit of glory launches a turf war with the equally competitive Detective Harrison of the Conway Police, and Ronnie is confronted with the challenge of not only catching the flasher, but getting him before the real cops do.

One of my favorite sci-fi thinking films of the last decade, Contact makes a respectable debut on Blu-ray. Based on the book of the same name by Carl Sagan, the film tones down a bit of the science vs. God debate, but still manages to keep with the tone and themes of the novel. Foster does an outstanding job as a SETI scientist who stumbles upon an alien signal with the designs for a space transport. McConaughey is also solid and delivers one of his better roles in my opinion and balances the themes of the film with his theological musings. Overall as a whole the film delivers great performances with a solid cast, plenty of excitement and lots of things to ponder.

It seems this release has been met with mixed results by the Blu-ray fan base but I found the transfer to be quite good and definitely one of the better Warner catalog releases. Detail is readily apparent throughout with only some of the special effects showing some softening due to the age of the film. Contrast levels are excellent and the color balance of the film is quite natural. Fine detail is evident throughout, with no obvious signs of noise reduction or film grain removal. A very natural film presentation.

The TrueHD soundtrack boasts excellent dynamic range and at times delivers an intensely captivating soundstage. Surrounds are used extensively and really add to the natural ambiance of the mix and the more intense moments of the film. Deep bass extension is impressive and this film certainly has plenty of spots that you’ll feel. Dialogue is balanced nicely within the mix and imaging is spot on.

Extras include no less than three feature commentaries. You also get some special effects features, a music only track and the trailers.

It is great to see this one on Blu-ray and Warner has done a great job with the presentation. Fans of great science fiction shouldn’t pass this up.