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eXistenZ Blu-ray

United States
Echo Bridge Entertainment | 1999 | 97 min | Rated R | Dec 04, 2012

eXistenZ (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (15.84 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080i
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles
None

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $14.99, Price history

Best Buy: $12.99 (Save 13%)  

New from: $89.95
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6.8
99
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 2.5 of 52.5
Audio 3.0 of 53.0
Extras 1.5 of 51.5
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Movie appeal

 
Horror100%
Surreal25%
Imaginary8%
Thriller-
Sci-Fi-
44%
popularity
327
collections
6
fans




eXistenZ

 (1999)

eXistenZ Blu-ray features mediocre video and decent audio in this mediocre Blu-ray release

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

For more about eXistenZ and the eXistenZ Blu-ray release, see eXistenZ Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.

Starring: Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe, Don McKellar, Callum Keith Rennie
Director: David Cronenberg

» See full cast & crew


eXistenZ Blu-ray, Video Quality

  2.5 of 5

Here's where things get a little shaky. eXistenZ was previously released on Blu-ray twice in the United States, both times by Echo Bridge and both times as part of a multi-film budget "set" that paired it with either two or five additional films. Both the "Fast Action" six-film collection and the "Miramax Triple Feature" three-film set crammed the movie onto the same disc with Malevolent and B. Monkey. In fact, the discs across both the six- and three-packs are completely identical, right down to the same UPC code appearing on the disc artwork. Now, eXistenZ is available separately as a standalone release. Those who don't want the other films or who rightly believe the quality would improve when it's not sharing a disc with two other films will be in for a surprise. While this standalone release does add a pair of lossless soundtracks over the Dolby Digital two-channel presentation of the multi-packs (more on that in audio) as well as a few supplements (again, see below), it features manipulated brightness levels that considerably alter the look and feel of the film. Both multi-disc releases present the film in a much darker, more faithful look while this standalone release, for whatever reason, appears abnormally bright. Included are twenty screenshots from the film's standalone release (1-20) and twenty corresponding shots from the six- and three-packs (21-40), the latter sourced from both of the multi-disc releases.

As for the remainder of the transfer, it's typically passable in Echo Bridge fashion but not particularly striking. The image begins with flickering contrast, wobbly titles, and speckles of dirt, all in the first few seconds. Later, and throughout, viewers will find a bit of banding, some compression problems, poor color transitions across shadowy skin, some trace edge enhancement, and black levels that go a bit pale. The image often takes on a fairly smooth, dreary appearance. Faces often look a bit pasty and ghastly, but the image does salvage some critical facial and clothing details throughout. Still, many background elements often look rather flat and uninspired; a fine example comes at the fueling station in which Willem Dafoe's character fits Jude Law's character with the gaming interface port. All in all, it's a rather disappointing transfer that might have been satisfactory on the whole were it not for the altered brightness levels which do change the entire film's tenor. It looks quite a bit better, though still imperfect, on the multi-disc releases. It's too bad that that transfer cannot be paired with this release's multichannel lossless soundtrack.


eXistenZ Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

This particular Blu-ray release of eXistenZ contains both DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 lossless soundtracks (note that the film as released in the "Fast Action" pack and the three-film pack receives only a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack). Echo Bridge's multichannel lossless track serves the movie in this budget-friendly home video well enough, though listeners will more than likely be just as often underwhelmed as they are satisfied. The opening title music proves rather underpowered and not particularly aggressive. Nevertheless, it enjoys a smooth, natural presence, nice clarity, and gentle surround support. Light applause heard near the beginning sounds a hair muddled and not particularly loud, but like the music it does offer fair spacing about the stage. Later, general ambience is handled satisfactorily, both of the manmade interior variety and light natural exterior sort. The end action scene yields a nice sensation of distant popping gunfire and a good burst of energy in nearby explosions. The film is largely centered around dialogue, however, and the spoken word plays clearly and accurately throughout. This isn't a reference-grade track by any stretch of the imagination, but it serves the movies well enough. Now if only it could be paired with the preferred video presentation...


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