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Rupert Wyatt
John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors
Writing Credits:
Erica Beeney, Rupert Wyatt

Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extraterrestrial force.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$3,131,525 on 2548 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/18/2019

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Rupert Wyatt and Producer David Crockett
• “Igniting a War” Featurette
• “Building the World” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Captive State [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 16, 2019)

With Captive State, we get another entry in the “alien invasion” genre. Circa 2019, aliens come to Earth and pose such a threat that all governments cede control to maintain humanity.

Known as “Legislators”, the aliens rule Earth with the cooperation of the humans, though pockets of resistance appear. 10 years after the initial invasion, most of these freedom fighters no longer battle against the extraterrestrials, but one group attempts to eliminate the alien presence in Chicago.

Siskel and Ebert used their thumbs to rate movies – I think I should start a “Sigh Scale”. I could evaluate films based on how often I sigh out of boredom, irritation of frustration.

State would earn more signs than a supercomputer could count.

Boy, did I want to like State, as I always find myself enticed by a (potentially) good sci-fi/action affair. Through the prologue, the film boasted a story that looked like it could go somewhere, as the theme of human/alien collaboration seemed intriguing.

Unfortunately, once the opening montage ended, so did the movie’s entertainment value. Astute viewers will note that I didn’t mention any characters as part of my synopsis.

That’s because they don’t matter. Sure, I could’ve specified that State focuses on human administrator William Mulligan (John Goodman) as well as Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders), the younger brother of deceased resistance leader Rafe (Jonathan Majors). I could also mention that Gabriel and Rafe’s father was Mulligan’s police force partner until the elder Drummond died during the initial alien onslaught.

Yeah, I could mention those plot/character elements, but why bother? In this mess of a movie, these notions don’t really matter – and neither does anything else.

State plays like a rough edit of a film, not a finished product. It introduces characters and then lets them languish off-screen for extended periods of time.

It also often brings us these roles in vague ways, all of which exist solely for a “big reveal” at the end. If you hang around through the movie’s entire running time, you’ll finally figure out who these various folks are and how they connect.

I’m betting you’ll have sighed yourself into a coma by then, though. Movies like The Usual Suspects can get away with “Bob the Explainer” endings because they’re so entertaining up until that point. Conclude Suspects with a more conventional finale and it’s still a delightful experience.

No such pleasures accompany the erratic, tedious State, and that “big reveal” doesn’t fix all its flaws. If anything, the conclusion complicates the problems because it seems like such a feeble payoff.

At its core, State comes with an inherently simple story. Space creatures take over the Earth and humans fight back. The basis of many an alien invasion flick, this seems like “don’t fix what isn’t broken” territory.

State fashions itself as less of a “war movie” and more of a tale about the underground resistance – which might be fine if the story didn’t meander so much. As noted, we lose characters - major characters – for extended amounts of time and never get a good handle for most of the participants we see.

Ostensibly the heart of State<, Gabriel vanishes often, and the movie fails to introduce others in a satisfying way. This means we go into “who’s that guy?” and “what’s she doing?” mode far too often.

As mentioned, the film ties these parts together at the end, but patience evaporated long before the finale. The clumsy, awkward attempt to tell this confusing story guarantees that no climax can fix its problems.

And in truth, we don’t get an actual “big finish” of the sort one might expect. I’ll avoid spoilers other than to say that the ending revolves almost entirely around explanations for the character connections, so don’t anticipate an Independence Day-style action extravaganza.

Which would be fine if the movie didn’t frustrate and bore so much of the time. As it stands, State becomes a tedious, confusing sci-fi effort that really disappoints.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Captive State appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a positive presentation.

Sharpness worked fine. The occasional slightly soft wider shot emerged, but I felt the majority of the movie offered nice clarity.

No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws failed to become a factor here.

In terms of palette, State went with a stylized look. In an unsurprising move, the film emphasized teal to a substantial degree, with some amber involved as well. Those tones seemed acceptable given their limitations.

Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed decent to good delineation. Overall, the image looked fine, as it accurately reproduced the source.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of State, I thought it was moderately active and involving, as the mix used music and atmosphere to nice advantage. These elements created a good sense of place and movement that brought us an engaging soundscape, with the best material found in the smattering of action sequences.

Audio quality was fine. Speech was reasonably crisp and natural, and effects showed good punch.

Music was also clear and full. The soundtrack didn’t excel but it connected with the story in an appropriate manner.

In terms of extras, the set launches with an audio commentary from co-writer/director Rupert Wyatt and producer David Crockett. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, design choices and effects, music and related domains.

Though the commentary presents a decent array of notes, it disappoints as a whole. Wyatt and Crockett go MIA a little too often, and their notes lack a ton of insight. While this never becomes a bad track, it also fails to provide much substance.

Two featurettes follow, and Igniting a War runs five minutes, 20 seconds. It involves Wyatt, Crockett, and actors John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, and Colson Baker.

“War” examines influences and inspirations, story/character, cast and performances. A few decent notes emerge, but most of the reel feels promotional.

Building the World of Captive State spans five minutes, 10 seconds and provides remarks from Wyatt, Majors, Crockett, Sanders, production designer Keith P. Cunningham, costume designer Abby O’Sullivan, location manager Stefan Nikolov and visual effects supervisor Eric Pascarelli.

“World” covers the depiction of the film’s slightly future society. Like its predecessor, it boasts a few insights but it can be puffy.

The disc opens with an ad for Fighting With My Family. No trailer for State appears here.

At its core, Captive State offers the bones of a good twist on the old alien invasion genre. Unfortunately, the film provides a mushy mess that never connects. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. State squanders a lot of potential.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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