Gattaca appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie delivered a surprisingly drab image.
Sharpness became one of the up and down areas, as definition felt inconsistent. While the film often offered fairly good delineation, parts of it seemed a little on the soft side.
The presence of mild edge haloes exacerbated those concerns and left the movie with a mushy impression at times. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and source defects appeared to be absent.
Gattaca featured a palette that favored chilly blues as well as yellows and greens. The colors tended to look somewhat drab and didn’t show great vivacity.
Black levels seemed fairly deep, but shadows were a bit dense. This wasn’t a poor transfer but it lacked much punch.
I felt better about the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Gattaca. Since the movie wasn’t exactly an action spectacular, most of the mix worked in fairly subtle ways, but it did so effectively.
Music came from all five speakers so that the score warmly enveloped the environment, and some solid usage of directional dialogue occurred as well. Many of the effects tended toward general ambience, but these added a lot to the experience, and the track came to life more actively when appropriate.
Audio quality also was fine. Some dialogue was a little awkwardly looped, but most of it sounded natural and warm, and I heard no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Effects were accurate and clear. They boasted good bass response when appropriate - such as during rocket blasts - and also were clean and lacked distortion.
Music sounded lush and rich, with nice fidelity and good depth. As a whole, the soundtrack of Gattaca lacked the breadth and impact to reach “A” territory, but it still worked well for the material
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2008 Special Edition DVD? Audio showed a bit more smoothness and impact, while visuals appeared a little tighter and clearer. The Blu-ray was an improvement but not by as much as I’d hoped.
The Blu-ray includes the same extras as the 2008 DVD. Six Deleted Scenes run a total of 10 minutes, 43 seconds and feature “Hard Walls” (1:00), “Farewell to Caesar” (2:09), “Eighth Day Center (Original Version)” (3:20), “Mission Briefing” (1:00), “Investigator Exposed” (1:22) and “Coda” (1:52).
Most of the deleted bits deserved to be cut, especially the very unsubtle “Coda” that seems out of touch with the rest of the film. However, I did like “Exposed”, a scene between Detective Hugo (Alan Arkin) and Vincent’s brother Anton (Loren Dean).
“Exposed” added to the former’s character in a nice way, and it should have remained in the film. In any case, I was happy to get to see these unused snippets.
An Original Featurette lasts six minutes, 52 seconds. It features lots of movie clips, a few behind the scenes shots and some bland and uninformative soundbites from actors Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Jude Law as well as producers Danny De Vito and Stacey Sher. It’s a total waste of time.
The Substance Abuse Outtake runs 36 seconds. It’s just a joke version of an existing scene that was never meant to be in the film, so it’s gag reel material.
Welcome to Gattaca goes for 22 minutes as we hear from Hawke, Law, De Vito, production supervisor Bradley Cramp, first AD John Woodward, editor Lisa Churgin, location manager Bob Craft, assistant location manager Ilt Jones, VFX supervisor Chris Watts, and property master Emily Ferry. “Welcome” looks at the personality and style of director Andrew Niccol, casting and performances, production design, storyboards and other visual elements, locations, sets and props, the film’s pace, its release and marketing, and some final thoughts about the movie’s legacy.
The absence of director Niccol comes as a disappointment, but the others pick up the slack to a reasonable degree. This remains a mostly technical program, though, as it doesn’t look much at the story or that side of things. Nonetheless, we get some interesting notes about various nuts and bolts aspects of the production, and these facts make the show useful.
Do Not Alter? runs 14 minutes, 52 seconds and includes statements from ITN Science Editor Lawrence McGinty, Cambridge University Professor Martin Bobrow, former Caltech president Dr. David Baltimore, Newcastle University Institute of Human Genetics Medical Director Dr. John Burn, Signum Biosciences CEO Dr. Gregory Stock, Princeton University Professor Lee M. Silver, and American Journal of Bioethics editor-in-chief Glenn McGee.
We learn about genetic research and its development over the years as well as aspects of DNA, gene therapy and ethical questions. Despite the piece’s brevity, “Alter” delivers a good recap of various genetic issues. We receive a nice look at the important subjects and this comes out in a concise and interesting manner.
(Catty comment of the day: Bobrow comes with an amusing name, as he sports a pair of the biggest eyebrows in human history. They fill roughly half his head. What’s the genetic sequence for those suckers?)
The disc opens with ads for for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Company. These also appear in the disc’s Previews area along with promos for Damages Season One, The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep and Dragon Wars.
As a film, Gattaca offers a moving and intriguing experience. It delves more into ideas than action, which makes it unusual in this day and age, and it works quite well. The Blu-ray offers solid audio but picture seems bland and supplements remain somewhat lackluster. While I enjoy the movie quite a lot, the Blu-ray disappoints.
To rate this film visit the Superbit Edition review of GATTACA