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Luke Scott
Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Writing Credits:
Seth Owen

A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

Box Office:
$8 million.
Opening Weekend
$2,012,709 on 2,020 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Czech Dolby 5.1
Hindi Dolby 5.1
Hungarian Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Turkish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/13/2016
• Audio Commentary with Director Luke Scott
• Deleted Scenes
• “Modified Organism” Featurette
Loom Short Film with Optional Commentary
• Gallery
• Trailers and Previews
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; 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.


Morgan [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 11, 2016)

On the cover of its Blu-ray release, Morgan boasts that it comes “from producer Ridley Scott”. That doesn’t apply solely to the film – it also suits Morgan’s director, as Ridley’s son Luke Scott takes the reins.

Curious to see if Ridley’s filmmaking talent got handed down a generation, I gave Morgan a look. Set in a nonspecific future period, a corporation called SynSect works to develop artificially created people. One of these experiments goes wrong, as a human hybrid named Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) violently lashes out at scientist Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

Because of this event, corporate risk management specialist Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) comes in to assess the situation. She needs to decide whether or not to terminate Morgan, so we follow her endeavors and Morgan’s future.

Despite many famous films under his belt, I think Ridley Scott remains best-known for his science-fiction efforts. Scott first gained fame through 1979’s Alien, and 1982’s Blade Runner offers another classic.

The latter flick offers the most obvious comparison to Morgan - which makes Luke Scott’s decision to take on the flick daring, reckless, stupid, clever or all of the above. It’s dangerous enough for offspring to go into the family business, but when the child’s first effort can so easily be compared to one of the parent’s best-regarded works, the risks escalate.

Rather than avoid these comparisons, Luke Scott almost seems to beg viewers to see Morgan as a spiritual successor to Blade Runner. Many parallels occur, and some feel awfully self-conscious.

Take the scene in which Dr. Shapiro (Paul Giamatti) interviews Morgan. This comes across as a clear echo of the Blade Runner sequence where Holden interviews Leon. It’s longer and more developed, but the similarities exist, and additional sequences – like a confrontation between Morgan and her “maker” – add to the impression that Morgan gives us Blade Runner Lite.

Connections to other movies become readily apparent through a viewing of Morgan. Even before I watched the movie, I figured it’d owe a debt to Species, and that opinion never changed. Granted, I still see heavier allusions to Blade Runner than I do Species, but it doesn’t take much to discern these links.

In terms of execution, Morgan hews much closer to the forgettable Species than to the memorable Blade Runner, unfortunately. Slow and dull, Morgan never gets off the ground.

Part of the problem comes from the movie’s lack of obvious substance. Sure, it nods in the general direction of philosophical questions related to humanity, but it fails to pursue these. It doesn’t present much in terms of depth or intelligence, as it instead plods along toward inevitable conclusions.

Morgan can’t even pull off its “big twist” well. Given my disdain for spoilers, I won’t discuss this reveal, but suffice it to say that even a dunderhead like myself saw it coming from a mile away. The movie sets up the “surprise” in such an obvious manner that the actual revelation lacks any punch.

I do think that Morgan provides a good cast. In addition to Mara, Leigh and Giamatti, we get other talents like Michelle Yeoh, Brian Cox, and Toby Jones. I can’t claim any of them provide great performances, but they seem acceptable.

I just wish Morgan offered a more compelling ride. Too derivative, it lacks the substance it needs to become a thoughtful sci-fi exploration of humanity, and its action scenes don’t bring us much zest. The movie drags and never becomes especially interesting.

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

Morgan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the image seemed satisfactory.

For the most part, sharpness worked well. A few shots displayed slight instances of softness, but these remained minor, so the majority of the flick appeared accurate and concise. I saw no moiré effects or jaggies, and the presentation lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

Chilly teal dominated the palette. Splashes of orange pranced into view as well, but blue-green stayed the focus. As predictable as these choices may be, the Blu-ray reproduced the hues as expected. Blacks seemed dark and deep, and low-light shots offered nice clarity. The transfer worked fine.

Heavy on atmospherics, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack seemed fine for the material. During the movie’s first two acts, it tended to focus on music and general ambience, both of which worked well and fleshed out the soundscape in a low-key but positive manner.

Matters opened up somewhat during the third act. This portion of the film tended to be more action-oriented, so it used the various channels in a more dynamic way. This still didn’t threaten to become a great surround mix, but it broadened in a moderate way.

Audio quality satisfied. Music showed nice range and warmth, while speech appeared natural and distinctive. Effects appeared accurate and vivid, with good clarity and range. This added up to a more than adequate track.

Morgan comes with a mix of extras, and we open with an audio commentary from director Luke Scott. He provides a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, camerawork, visual design and editing, music, effects and related domains.

As that "topic summary" connotes, Scott touches on a good array of subjects, and he gives us a reasonable examination of the film. However, he doesn't make this a better than decent track, mainly because he tends to narrate/praise the movie too much of the time - especially during the movie's second half. We still get a mix of useful comments, but the whole package seems less substantial than I'd like.

For a look at Scott’s prior work, we get a short film called Loom. It runs 20 minutes, 28 seconds and shows us a tale about a future society in which meat is created from plants and a technician decides to grow something else. Loom offers a clear precursor to Morgan and seems fairly interesting, if not great.

We can view Loom with or without commentary from Scott. He tells us about the project’s origins/development and a few production details. Like his discussion of Morgan, Scott’s look at Loom seems erratic.

Five Deleted Scenes take up a total of six minutes, 14 seconds. We find “It Is Not a Child” (2:08), “This Is a Beech” (0:43), “A Friend” (0:46), “Face on a Fork” (0:49) and “Extended Study Fight” (1:23). None of these add anything substantial, though I do like the cruel description of Kathy’s injury during “Face”.

We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Scott. He gives us a few basics but doesn’t really tell us a ton, so don’t expect revelations.

A featurette called Modified Organism: The Science Behind Morgan lasts 19 minutes, 40 seconds. It includes notes from Scott, producer Ridley Scott, bioethics professor John Harris, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Paula Cannon, assistant professor of biology Mitch Guttman, professor of cellular and molecular biology Gene Yeo, professor of genetics, health sciences and technology George Church,

As implied by the title, “Organism” looks at genetic engineering and discusses the scientific notions involved in Morgan. It becomes a pretty good little overview of these areas.

A Gallery provides 41 photos from the film. It presents a fairly bland collection of images.

The disc opens with ads for Assassin’s Creed, X-Men: Apocalypse and The Martian. Sneak Peek adds a promo for Deadpool. We also get two trailers for Morgan.

a second disc provides a DVD copy of Morgan. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Perhaps director Luke Scott will someday produce a movie so good that he’ll no longer be reflexively referred to as “Ridley’s son”. Morgan isn’t that movie, as the film shows too many other influences and never turns into a creative, involving experience. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as a decent set of bonus materials. Despite the bones of a good sci-fi tale, Morgan fails to deliver.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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