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September 23, 2010
Pandorum Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
4/2/20106/9/2010Icon FilmsChristian Alvart
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MA15+Dennis Quaid
Ben Foster

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Dennis Quaid stars in Pandorum.

Pandorum starts off with astronaut Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) waking up from suspended animation and finding himself alone, with no memory of who he is, what he is doing, or what has happened to the crew of a 60,000 passenger sleeper ship. He wakes up Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) who is also suffering from memory loss. The two of them cannot access the ship’s bridge and they are unable to communicate with any other members of the crew.

So what is Pandorum? Pandorum is a psychological condition brought on by extended periods of deep-space travel and hyper-sleep. If you have Pandorum then there are many effects, such as powerful hallucinations and homicidal tendencies. From there it is a battle of survival, both Bower and Payton find a few survivors along the way and some of the humans from the ship have mutated.

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Some strange things are afoot.
Pandorum is not a bad film. At times it can be really entertaining, but it really has an overwhelming feeling of ‘been there, done that’. The stories of people waking up and having amnesia then discovering they aren’t who they thought they were have been retold dozens of times before, so much so that while in the past the movie may have been looked at as an entertaining story, now it just feels lazy, rehashed and redone.

The video quality in Pandorum is a little more impressive though with the film being transferred in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. The movie is typically dark, but the few times that colour pops up really looks quite vibrant. The close-ups look good with plenty of fine detail evident and the scenes where you see the outside of the ship look great.

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Dennis Quaid as Lieutenant Payton in Pandorum.
My PlayStation 3's video bitrate hovered around 29–32Mbps throughout the entire film. Overall the transfer is very solid and this means Pandorum looks very good on Blu-Ray, and is certainly preferred over the DVD version if you have the option.

Pandorum features a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) audio transfer that sounds fantastic. The audio rate hovers between 3.8–4.5Mbps throughout the movie, but there are no other subtitles or sound tracks/languages, aside from English on the film. The rumbling of the ship through space sounds excellent on a 5.1 speaker set and even though the dialogue can be quite quiet the movie still sounds very impressive overall.

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Pandorum is out now on Blu-Ray.
Pandorum includes only a few special features

Audio commentary with Director Christian Alvart and Producer Jeremy Bolt: This audio commentary gives a good insight into some parts of the film, it’s not exactly memorable but if you’re a fan of the movie it’s certainly worth a listen.

The World of Elysium: Behind the Scenes Featurette (13:59/HD): This featurette features behind the scenes clips, as well as cast and crew interviews. It’s a short featurette but a good insight into some of the work that went into the film.

Theatrical Trailer (27:41/HD): There are a lot of deleted scenes included in this featurette, none of them would have added too much to the storyline anyway so their omission was the correct decision.

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This isn't quite, ermm, normal...
Still Galleries (HD): There are a few still gallery shots from the film.

That is all of the special features. This is significantly disappointing as there are several other special features included on the US version of the disk, so why they were omitted from this release is really unknown. (It must be said though that the ones missing are quite short, only a couple of minutes each - Dave). There is also no digital copy included with the film.

Pandorum isn’t the type of film you’ll watch more than once, however the video and the audio transfer are very solid so if you do like the movie it is worth purchasing.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.