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TOUCHSTONE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
D.J. Caruso
Cast:
Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand, Jake Abel
Writing Credits:
Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon, Jobie Hughes (novel, as Pittacus Lore), James Frey (novel, as Pittacus Lore)

Synopsis:
Three are dead. Who is Number Four? From Director D.J. Caruso, producer Michael Bay and the Emmy-winning writers of TV's Smallville, comes this gripping, action-packed thriller. John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is an extraordinary teen masking his true identity to elude a deadly enemy sent to destroy him. Living with his guardian (Timothy Olyphant) in the small town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected life-changing events - his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities and a secret connection to the others who share his incredible destiny. Complete with deleted scenes and more,I Am Number Four is an explosive suspense-filled ride that will take you to the edge of your seat and beyond.

Box Office:
Budget
$60 million.
Opening Weekend
$22.755 million on -unknown- screens.
Domestic Gross
$54.720 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplemens Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/24/2011

Bonus:
Disc One
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Director Introductions
• “Becoming Number Six” Featurette
• Bloopers
• Sneak Peeks
Disc Two
• DVD Copy
Disc Three
• Digital Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


I Am Number Four [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 99, 2011)

For an action-thriller with a bit of science-fiction tossed in, we head to 2011’s I Am Number Four. Teen Daniel Jones (Alex Pettyfer) enjoys a fun day at the beach with his friends – and scares them off when a weird light starts to emit from a scar on his leg.

That’s when we learn Daniel’s an alien from the planet Lorien. He and his protector Henri (Timothy Olyphant) immediately flee, as they fret about the pursuit of an enemy race called the Mogadorians. Nine kids from Lorien escaped to Earth; those youngsters have special powers, so the Mogadorians hunt them down one at a time. Daniel’s three scars represent the three kids before him who got killed; he’s number four in this line, so his survival becomes more of a pressing issue.

Rechristened “John Smith”, he and Henri hightail it to Ohio. Henri wants John to stay out of school, but John feels he’ll go stir-crazy without social interaction, so he enrolls at the local high school. There he gets to know some of the other kids and attempts to stay alive.

I’m a sucker for action flicks, but only if they deliver the goods. Give me some effective set pieces and I’ll put up with a plot that’s no better than serviceable. Skimp on the action – or make those scenes lackluster – and nothing will redeem the film.

Going in to Four, I had decent hopes for it, but alas, the movie fails on virtually all accounts. The primary sin comes from the action scenes, as they don’t add much to the flick. Part of the problem comes from their infrequency, as much of Four passes without any excitement. I suppose the filmmakers feel they’re giving us narrative and tension during the first two-thirds or so, but they’re wrong; while the movie builds its tale and characters, it doesn’t do so in a manner that’s interesting enough to compensate for the absence of action/

When the big guns finally become unleashed in the last act, it’s essentially too little, too late. A semi-new character delivers a bit of additional life – she’s got real bad-ass potential – and the climactic battle does have its moments, but these simply aren’t enough. They bring on a bit of fun but it’s not great action or sufficient to make up for the general boredom of the prior 80ish minutes.

So Four depends on its narrative and character development to entertain. Unfortunately, these segments don’t work. The story itself is so threadbare that it’s not much to keep us engaged. We get the rudiments of the aliens’ background and little more, and then John’s interactions with the other students dominate. These become your basic teen angst material; John’s powers/background don’t add much of a twist.

It probably doesn’t help that Four feels awfully derivative. John’s powers seem like they’re straight out of the Jedi handbook, and you’ll see nods to a bunch of other movies. We get a little Terminator here, a bit of Starman there, and so on. The film melds these together in an unsatisfying way that never allows it to form its own personality.

Add to that a serious “sequel-bait” ending and “unsatisfying” remains a good word for I Am Number Four. It’s not a genuinely bad movie, but it’s never anything memorable or distinctive.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

I Am Number Four appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The picture looked fine overall but wasn’t consistently great.

Sharpness was almost always strong. A few wide shots showed a smidgen of softness, but those were minor instances. The majority of the movie looked accurate and concise. I noticed no jaggies or moiré effects, and edge enhancement never manifested itself. In addition, the film failed to display any print defects.

Like most modern action flicks, this one opted for stylized hues; teal and amber dominated. Within those constraints, the colors seemed fine; they showed appropriate range. Blacks were dark and full, but shadows were occasionally a bit heavy; they weren’t terribly opaque, but they could’ve been clearer. All this added up to a good but not great image.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Four worked well. Various action elements offered the most active use of the spectrum. This was especially true during pieces with weapons fire and fights, and a few other sequences used the various channels in a satisfying way. The action scenes didn’t emerge on a frequent basis, but when they appeared, they utilized the soundscape in an engrossing manner, and music made active use of the different channels.

Audio quality pleased. Speech was concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range and vivacity, while effects worked nicely. Those elements came across as accurate and full, with solid low-end response and positive definition. All of this added up to a “B+”.

Only a handful of extras accompany the movie. Becoming Number Six runs 11 minutes, 44 seconds and provides notes from director DJ Caruso, and actors Teresa Palmer, Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron. The show looks at Palmer’s Number Six character as well as her preparation and performance. The program delivers some nice details and shots from the set as it contributes a good take on the supporting actor’s side of the film.

Six Deleted Scenes last a total of 18 minutes, 58 seconds. These include “Extended Strangers in Paradise” (2:25), “Sam’s Mom” (3:06), “Worth Mentioning” (0:31), “Power Prank” (1:21), “Trying to Connect” (1:20), and “Extended Warsaw Basement” (3:58). Most of these add some character moments, with the most significant being a cameo from Karen Allen; she got cut out of the final film. None of the scenes are bad, but I don’t think any of them would add to the movie, either; it’s already slow and without enough action, so more character/narrative wouldn’t help.

The “Play All” running time of 18:58 includes optional introductions from director DJ Caruso. Well, semi-optional; the scenes will feature them whether you want them or not, but you can easily skip them with your remote. Caruso delivers nice notes about the sequences and lets us know why he gave them the boot.

A collection of Bloopers fills three minutes, 15 seconds. Should you expect anything other than the usual goofs and giggles? Nope, but if those entertain you, go for it.

The Blu-ray opens with promos for Real Steel, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and ABC TV on DVD. No trailer for Four shows up here.

A second disc offers a Digital Copy of the movie. This allows you to transfer the film to a computer or portable gadget. Zip-zorp!

Finally, a third platter provides a DVD Copy of Four. If you want to own Four but aren’t yet Blu-ray capable – or if you just want one to tote in the car - it’s a good bonus. As usual with Disney-distributed packages, this is the same retail DVD you’d buy at stores.

As a fan of action/sci-fi flicks, I hoped to get something exciting from I Am Number Four. Unfortunately, it favored teen melodrama more than anything else, and its infrequent action couldn’t make up for the dull narrative. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture and audio as well as a modest collection of supplements. Though not a bad film, Four is too dull to maintain the viewer’s interest.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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