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The Force Awakens (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD) - Home Video

Title: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD)

Release Date: April 5, 2016

Number of Discs: 3

Format: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital copy

Retail Price: $19.99

Credits: Review & Text: Chuck Paskovics; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Review | Talking Points | Discussion

O Zuvio, Zuvio, wherefore art thou Zuvio?

  

Review

The quality of this Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray release was determined using a Pioneer 7.1 Surround system, and viewed on a Panosonic 58" television in a home-theater environment. Your personal results may vary based on your viewing environment.

By now you have likely seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A worldwide box office take of $2 billion says that most Star Wars fans have probably seen it multiple times. Capitalizing on the hype, Disney is releasing the Blu-ray/DVD barely 4 months after the theatrical debut. This follows the same pattern for some of their other blockbusters such as the Avengers movies, each coming home at around 5 months after their theatrical debuts.

First and foremost, we are not here to review Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We've already done that. You can read our full movie review right here. Instead, we will be taking a look at the Blu-ray/DVD release, and everything you get with it. Inevitably, there will be many retail exclusive versions to choose from. For this review we will be looking at the standard Blu-ray/DVD+Digital Copy release.

Note: This review will focus on the Blu-ray and bonus content, and not the included DVD.

Picture

Presented in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, we are treated to a gorgeous 1080P transfer. As with most Blu-ray transfers you can expect excellent picture quality, but they spared no expense in the disc space department, as they didn't needlessly over-compress the movie at the expense of squeezing in bonus material. We get one disc dedicated to the movie, with the bonus material featured on another disc. Because of that. the movie rings in at a whopping 37GB on the disc. While I viewed this on a 58 inch plasma television, this movie will have no problem displaying on larger HD televisions and projection systems. If you are viewing this on your smartphone, you are doing it wrong!

   

   

Blacks and dark scenes are one area where many Blu-ray transfers can suffer. This is not the case here. Dimly lit interior scenes are easy to follow, and the lightsaber duel in the snow is brilliant. The opening battle sequence, which takes place during night, could have easily been lost in washed out blacks. Instead you are treated to a well-balanced visual experience. Space scenes are featured with the same depth. When the smaller ships are flying near the star destroyer Finalizer, you can see plenty of details from the massive ship, even in the shadowed areas and against the darkness of space.

   

   

Sound

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray is decorated with a fully enveloping DTS-HD Master audio 7.1 mix. While it would have been nice to see the new Dolby Atmos attached to this Blu-ray, it's hard to complain with DTS-HD. With a sound system to support it, you will be treated with an audible experience worthy of Star Wars. From the second the Star Wars logo bursts onto the scene until the end credits, the audio does not disappoint. You can feel the rumble of the ships engines as the First Order stormtroopers storm off their landing craft in the opening battle. When Starkiller base fires up its super-weapon, you will be pretty sure your living room is firing up with it. The dialog is well balanced with the surrounding music and effects so you will not be overpowered by one, while straining to hear another.

Packaging

The packaging itself is pretty standard. One nice difference from your standard Blu-ray packaging is you get a black Blu-ray case instead of the traditional blue case. Otherwise, it will look and feel like most of the other movies in your collection. The theatrical poster art is used for the main cover art, and movie scenes adorn the Blu-ray and DVD discs. The bonus material disc features the picture fans saw of the first meeting of all the actors. A nice touch indeed.

      

Undoubtedly, you will find a variety of other packaging versions of the release to fit your needs, from Steelbook to retail exclusives. In the end, this basic packaging will suit your needs if you just want the movie on your shelf and in your collection.

        

Also included is a special code for a digital version of the movie. Between the Blu-ray, the DVD, and the digital edition, you should be able to watch this movie in just about any venue you need when you need your The Force Awakens fix.

Menus and Presentation

The menus for the Blu-ray feature a nice simple design, without a lot of over-the-top transitions. You get to watch your movie without jumping through hoops, and without having to plow through 'start up' garbage like unwanted trailers and excessive splash screens. Once inserted, the disc jumps right to the main menu. The time it takes from inserting the disc to starting the movie is just about 50 seconds.

   

The menus themselves are beautiful, with angled live movie scenes playing off to the side. During load times you are treated to a great little 'loading' icon of BB-8 rolling (in place) on your screen.

Bonus Content

Featured along with the main movie is a disc dedicated to bonus content. After perusing the bonus disc it is obvious that there are many many hours of content to enjoy here, with a plethora of behind-the-scenes content to watch. Particularly enjoyable is the in-depth featured documentary Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey. This documentary takes you along for the ride, from day 1 until the end, of the making of The Force Awakens.

Some of the other bonus highlights include Building BB-8, Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight, and ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force, just to name a few. Whatever your quest for knowledge is about how The Force Awakens was made, you will find many hours worth of information here to keep you busy!

One of the things I was looking forward to the most from this release was the deleted scenes. These are always fun to see. These provide another micro-glimpse into the Star Wars universe. While I wasn't disappointed at the deleted scenes themselves, I was hoping for more deleted scenes. Constable Zuvio? No, he didn't even make the deleted scenes either. In all, we get six deleted scenes to view:

  1. Finn and the Villager
    In this scene we get another glimpse at Finn struggling with the attack on the village.
  2. Jakku Message
    A report comes back to the Resistance base about the outcome of Poe's mission. We would have gotten our first look at Leia in this scene had they left it in.
  3. X-Wings Prepare for Lightspeed
    This scene hearkens back to the scene from A New Hope when the X-wings are flying formation and checking in. While it didn't add a lot to the flow, it was a cool scene to see them all back in space.
  4. Kylo Searches The Falcon
    We get a cool glimpse of Kylo searching the falcon with a squad of snowtroopers. Probably the coolest thing about this scene was the exterior shot of The Falcon as Kylo exits.
  5. Snow Speeder Chase
    I had high hopes for this scene, but it ultimately fell flat. Perhaps from the unfinished effects or the out-of-context feel it had with what was going on at the time, it just didn't feel right. However, done right this might have added a very cool action sequence to the movie.
  6. Finn Will Be Fine
    Why did they even bother with this deleted scene? Zuvio would have been a better addition than this!

For the most part, I can see why some of these scenes were cut from the movie. Others would have made a pretty good addition to the overall flow. I imagine we will get to see additional deleted scenes in future releases of the movie.

Back To TopPromotional Trailer

Back To TopPoints of Discussion
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes documentary
External Links:
Added: March 26, 2016
Category: Home Video
Reviewer: Chuck Paskovics
Score:
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