Ultraviolet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film boasted an oddly indistinct visual presentation, but I found it tough to decide whether the problems came from the source or from the transfer.
All of the concerns related to sharpness. Sometimes the movie featured good accuracy and definition, but many shots came across as moderately fuzzy and blurry.
I did feel that some of this stemmed from filmmaking choices, but I’ll be damned if I could discern any logic behind these decisions. That left the softness as a distraction and one that harmed the movie.
At least we found no jagged edges or shimmering, and source flaws appeared absent. The image did seem to be a bit “processed” and digital, though, which didn’t surprise me since this was literally one of the first Blu-rays to hit the market in 2006.
Ultraviolet went with a mix of hues. It often depicted its society as cold and sterile, but it also threw out bold splashes of color on occasion. Most of these looked fairly dynamic, though the generally mushiness of the image impacted huts as well.
Blacks were acceptably dense and dark, but shadows were also a bit too heavy. I found this to be an erratic transfer that varied from reasonably accurate to fuzzy in the blink of an eye.
The PCM 5.1 soundtrack of Ultraviolet worked well. With a slew of action scenes, the movie boasted plenty of room for vivid material, and it largely brought out those elements well.
Much of the flick offered a lively, involving setting, but some scenes felt more constricted. These didn’t turn into a notable concern, though, and the majority of the movie offered active information.
Audio quality was solid. Speech seemed natural and crisp, while effects sounded clear and concise.
Bass response felt strong, while music showed nice range and delineation as well. This turned into a satisfying mix.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The audio seemed broader and more dynamic, while the visuals showed improved accuracy and colors. Even with the image’s drawbacks, this still became a superior presentation since the DVD had its own issues.
Note that the DVD included an unrated cut, but the Blu-ray only includes the “PG-13” theatrical version. The latter runs about seven minutes shorter than the former, so it adds some violence as well as a few story beats. While these make the unrated edition more comprehensible, it remains a bad movie.
The Blu-ray repeats the DVD’s extras, and we get an audio commentary with actor Milla Jovovich. She provides a running, screen-specific discussion - and an intensely boring one at that, as 90 minutes of conversation yields absolutely nothing of value.
Most of the time Jovovich remains silent. Acres of dead air spread throughout the movie. When she does speak, she usually tells us how cool the elements are. She tosses out the occasional banal story or her impressions of shooting in China, but expect no insight. I learned nothing useful from this dull, dreadful commentary.
Next comes UV Protection: The Making of Ultraviolet. This 30-minute, 54-second program brings notes from Jovovich, executive producer Tony Mark, producer John Baldecchi, VFX supervisors Ken Jones and Victor Wong, costume designer Joseph A. Porro, cinematographer Arthur Wong, stunt coordinator Mike Smith, and actors Nick Chinlund and William Fichtner.
The program looks at the story and the director’s approach to it, cast and characters, and shooting in Shanghai. From there we learn about the creation of a big motorcycle sequence and some other visual effects elements, set and color design, costumes, and fight choreography.
Though superior to Jovovich’s commentary, the documentary still fails to prosper. The problem? Too much banal happy talk, too many film clips, and too little detail. We get dribs and drabs of material without great introspection.
Much of the show devotes itself to the alleged genius of director Kurt Wimmer and how terrific everything about the film is. This means lots of fluff and not nearly enough information.
Under Previews, we get ads for Stealth and xXx. No trailer for Ultraviolet appears here.
Cheesy sci-fi/action flicks are a dime a dozen, but I’ll not even throw 10 cents at Ultraviolet. The kind of flick we’ve already seen – and seen done better – this muddled movie never manages to become anything entertaining or exciting. The Blu-ray presents erratic picture and solid audio along with a mediocre documentary and one of the worst audio commentaries I’ve ever heard. Only those who completely adore Ultraviolet - if any such folks exist – should bother with this iffy Blu-ray.
To rate this film visit the original review of ULTRAVIOLET