Babylon A.D.: Raw & Uncut [Blu-ray Review]

Studio: Fox Home Entertainment

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Mélanie Thierry
Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz

Running Time: 101 minutes
Ratings: Unrated / 14A Canada

Movie Review

The premise behind Babylon A.D. seemed solid, but according the director certain people stuck their hands in the pot and started making changes and cutting stuff out that would have probably been beneficial to the movie. While we never get the full picture, director Mathieu Kassovitz has been quoted as saying “I’m very unhappy with the film. I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn’t respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience.”

Is Babylon A.D. all bad? Not really, but it feels sloppy. Almost the same way that Alien3 did. Wait a sec? Same studio? Yup! The story seemed far too jumpy. Bouncing around and never being fully connected. Perhaps the 70+ minutes of footage that’s sitting on the cutting room floor would have helped to connect those gaps. Perhaps I should read the novel on which it’s based “Babylon Babies”.

Did I enjoy it? You bet. Worthy of owning? Perhaps? Vin Diesel is as good as he ever is. Michelle Yeoh is her typical awesome self, and Mélanie Thierry is someone who’d like see more of.

Pick it up (rent it that is). Check it out.

Crave Factor – 5

Video

Babylon A.D. starts out dirty and gritty. Intentionally of course. As the movie progresses from the Russian slums to an American metropolis so does the change in palette and the overall cleanliness of the picture.

Barely noticeable is small level of grain that rears its head every now and then. Overall, the picture is solid with very little to complain about.

Crave Factor – 8

Audio

Here comes the BOOM!

Sometimes aggressiveness is a good thing. Especially for a movies audio track. This DTS-HD Master Audio track brings the boom alright. Have you ever been in the middle of a gun fight? Me either, but this track will make it feel like you have been.

The bass track is heavy when needed and is never overly aggressive. The dialog is always clear and easy to understand despite what’s going on around the actors.

Crave Factor – 9

Extras

This Blu-ray release includes the average amount of stuff, but the funny thing here is that the Blu-ray exclusive contact is presented in standard definition while the rest of the stuff which is also available on the 2-disc SD release is presented in high-def. However, it’s because they are PIP features.

The author of Babylon Babies, Maurice G. Dantec, discusses his novel and the big screen adaptation. If you don’t understand French no big. It’s subtitled. The snowmobile escape sequence gets its own extra in Arctic Escape with 2nd unit director/stunt coordinator Bob Brown. Bob-O talks more stunts with Vin Diesel in Fit for the Screen.

The next two bonus features take a closure look at the Hummer change sequence (Deleted Scene: Hummer Sequence and Flight of the Hummers). The scene was cut, requested to be put back in, then cut again and then it gets a closure look at the deleted sequence. Ummm… ya.

One of the featurettes is a prequel to Babylon A.D. entitled Genesis of Aurora. It takes a deeper look into Aurora’s past. I expected better animation. It looks more like an animated comic.

Scene Evolution is a picture-in-picture feature that runs for about 51-minutes of movie and can be viewed separately from the menu. You can also watch some of the Babylon A.D. commercials either directly from movie when prompted or from the menu. There are 7 in total.

There’s also a Still Gallery, some trailers for Stargate: Continuum, X-Files I Want to Believe and The Happening, and an Inside Look at Enemy Lines: Columbia.

Digital Copy also included and D-Box support.

Crave Factor – 6

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

It really is a shame that Babylon A.D. was interfered with it. It had so much potential to be a great sci-fi flick. Still, it’s worth a rental in the very least. The audio and video are both solid which is nice despite the so-so quality of the film and has some decent extras.

Overall Crave Factor –  7

Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 17-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews. Review equipment: Sony Bravia X900H, Pioneer Elite VSX-94TXH, 7.2 Surround with B&W M1 speakers.

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