Contact: Special Edition
Warner Bros. / 1997 / 144 Mins / Rated M15+


MOVIE
Contact is the movie based on the best selling novel by Carl Sagan. It revolves around the story of contact with alien beings and the consequences that are involved for us personally and as one race. Human. The story begins in the early seventies, where we meet the main character a young Ellie Arroway (Jenna Malone), would-be scientist. We begin to learn of her love for searching and exploring while she is growing up with her father. 

The story then flashes foreword several years where we meet the adult Elle (Jodie Foster) where she is now working at Puerto Rico, where we are also introduced to her main love interest in the movie Palmer Joss (Matthew McConaughey) who plays a very religious man. What a match huh! After she and her team have their funding taken away, Ellie manages to get funding for ongoing research, it is here where the movie really begins to take shape as the message arrives. 

The message is a signal from an alien civilization containing blueprints for a vessel to send an explorer to another planet. But what would the consequences be? Will science prevail over religion? You'll have to see, I won't spoil the movie for you but it does include quite a few surprising scenes and some of the most ingenious cinematography and SFX you will ever see. I would put contact in my list of one of the top 10 movies of the 90's. Engrossing and compelling stuff.

VIDEO
The video transfer of Contact seemed to be very high in quality for 90% of the movie. Although I did notice a very slight bit of noise on the edge of the dishes during the message arrival scene when she is rushing back to the main VLA building. It certainly makes the Laserdisc version of the same movie look quite lacking. Excellent stuff.

Contact is framed at 2:35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is a Single Sided, Dual Layer disc. The layer change occurs at 74:32.

AUDIO
The sound mix in the movie is very impressive, especially in the spectacular opening credits with a mix of music and audio snippets as the planets are spinning by. Also spectacular are the sequences which include the actual machine itself. The rear channels are used quite often in the movie, but mainly by the music soundtrack. Where there are scenes including the machine or any other type plane etc the surrounds and the .1 channel are used quite aggressively and very effectively. Not much unlike the Laserdisc version really.
EXTRAS
WOW chock full where do I start. The first thing that makes this movie great is the audio commentaries, you get 3 of them as well. The first is commentary by Jodie Foster, now while some of the stuff she babbles on about is quite interesting. (e.g.: why she had a bump on her head in a certain scene) Most of what she is on about is very stolid, like she didn't want to be there. The second track is commentary by Bob Zemeckis & Steve Starkey, this is the same as the one on the Laserdisc version and is the best of the commentaries on the disc, they explain the difficulties of filming the movie in a fun and light-hearted way. The third commentary track is by Ken Ralston & Stephen Rosenbaum who created the special effects for the movie and it is very informative as it fills in a lot of the holes about the SFX that Bob & Steve didn't talk about. On top of that you also get 2 trailers, 1 teaser trailer and 1 theatrical trailer, a little Featurette about making the SFX. A heap of production notes, cast credits the list never ends and it is spectacular. Plus it's dual layered. Anyone who says that region 4 isn't getting good releases can eat a huge piece of humble pie.

Subtitles are in English, Arabic, Closed Captioned.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Move over Right Stuff, Contact is now the best DVD I've seen from you guys. I would even go as far as saying it is the best R4 DVD yet! Great movie, great picture, great sound, 3 audio commentary tracks, 2 trailers, SFX Featurette, music only soundtrack excellent production & cast notes. WOW what a package for the price. Certainly makes my LD version look sad.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:
PLOT:
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 25 May 2000 00:12:14 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 4
No of Discs: 1
OFLC Rating M15+
Running Time: 144 minutes
Case Type: Snapper Case
Release Date: 30/11/1998
Catalog Number: 15041
List Price: $29.95
Distributor: Warner Bros.
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: PAL
Disc Type: Label Only
Disc Format: SS-RSDL
Chapters: 43
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: WAMO
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: 5.1 Music Score
Languages: English
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes (3)
Theatrical Trailer: Yes (1)
Teaser Trailer: Yes (1)
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: Yes
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: None
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: None
Production Notes: Yes
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