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June 11, 2008
The 6th Day Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
18/1/200128/5/2008Sony PicturesRoger Spottiswoode
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MArnold Schwarzenegger

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Michael Rooker shows Arnie what to do!

As most readers of this site would know I'm a massive Arnie fan. Signed photos, dozens of DVD's, posters and much more are all sitting around my house. It's fair to say though that the latter stages of Arnold's movie career before entering politics weren't anywhere near as impressive as his earlier movies, but The 6th Day is still an enjoyable movie for a number of reasons, not least of which is the ties to moral choices which many countries are facing today with cloning advancing at such a rapid pace.

In the world of the very near future, cattle, fish, and even the family pet can be cloned. But cloning humans is illegal - that is until family man Adam Gibson comes home from work one day to find a clone has replaced him. Taken from his family and plunged into a sinister world he doesn't understand, Gibson must not only save himself from the assassins who must now destroy him to protect their secret, but uncover who and what is behind the horrible things happening to him.

Directed by Canadian Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, The Children of Huang Shi) this is a pretty by-the-numbers action thriller which is pretty much non-stop from the opening scenes. As with any Arnie movie there's a few one-liners ("I might be back!"), some over the top thrills and some great special effects.

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Michael Rooker and his bad-assed posse.
Michael Rapaport, and actor who I quite enjoy watching due to his laid back attitude, is great as Arnie's friend Hank in The 6th Day. Michael offers some comic relief (especially about his 'virtual' girlfriend) but never becomes over the top. In terms of villains Tony Goldwyn plays Michael Drucker superbly, with his offsider Michael Rooker playing his usual gruff self while Robert Duvall adds a touch of class to the mix. Rodney Rowland, Sarah Wynter and Terry Crews also offer solid 'bad guy' support.

It's fair to say that The 6th Day isn't the best sci-fi/action movie ever put to celluloid, nor one of Arnie's best movies but it is worth your time. Hell, you may even start a discussion about the merits to cloning in real life. If you haven't checked out this movie yet then you would do well to check out this Blu-Ray release.

With The 6th Day now over seven years old we were hopeful that the movie would, at the very least, put up a solid effort on Blu-Ray. Encoded in the films original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 at 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec this film actually looks every bit as impressive as a new release. Indeed when directly compared to the DVD release there really was cause for celebration with definite improvements across the board - improved sharpness, better colouring and a lack of compression artifacts! Black levels and detail in darker scenes, of which there are many in this movie, are impressive.

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Arnie still commands a presence.
Finding faults with the transfer for this movie is near impossible. Perhaps the biggest complaint is that the increase in resolution allows you to pick the CG effects a bit easier, but that's hardly something you can blame the HD transfer for. There was the odd scene which seemed a little out of focus, or lacking in sharpness, but it was rare, and likely an issue with the source more then the transfer.

Those of you expecting the audio to match up to the quality of the video in this release aren't going to be disappointed. Sony Pictures have encoded the disc with an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track which retains the quality of the theatrical experience. Indeed this disc sounds quite wonderful with aggressive use of surround sound, and plenty of sci-fi based special effects and explosions. Dialogue is clear from all actors in the movie, and the delightful music from composer Trevor Rabin is glorious (it's just a shame we don't have an Isolated Music Score extra on the disc).

There are a couple of other tracks on this disc including Spanish Dolby TrueHD 5.1 as well as Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps. The Polish track actually overlays the Polish voices on top of the English ones which may be annoying for some however overall the quality of each track, from brief samples, is impressive.

This Blu-Ray release includes multiple subtitle tracks including English and English for the Hearing Impaired. Sampling the English track showed that the subtitles have been shortened to make reading them a bit easier, but they remained faithful to the spoken dialogue. Subtitles are provided in 20 other languages besides English so you should be covered.

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Having a good look from the bushes at... something!

If you've already got The 6th Day on DVD then there will be nothing new here to get you exciting. All the extras here have been recycled from the DVD release, and haven't seen any upgrades in video or audio. Sadly, the Isolated Music Score with Commentary and the trailer for The 6th Day have been removed from this disc. Still, there some good material here so let's get to it...

On the 6th Day (48:23): Now this is the meat of the extras to be found on this disc, and it breaks up production of the movie quite nicely. Running for just under 50 minutes, this featurette is split into nine segments (Another Way to Fly, Finding Sim Pal Cindy, The Art of the Chase, Over the Cliff, Virtual Girlfriend, In the Tank, Free Falling, Detonation, Enhancing the Look). There are some great behind the scenes segments covering the production of ths movie, and its well worth a look.

Sadly Sony Pictures haven't seen fit to bump the video up to 1080p High Definition which is a bit disappointing and one annoyance it's that after each of the nine segments credits appear and while they can be skipped, it's annoying. There was also a glitch (I don't think intentionally) in the Enhancing the Look featurette when Arnold starts to talk at the 54 second mark.

Showtime Special: The Future is Coming (15:33): Featurette covering the production of the movie with plenty of cast and crew interviews, scenes from the movie and some brief links to the science happening today. All to brief, and a bit too 'press kit' in style.

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Tony Goldwyn and Robert Duvall..
Animatics (6:13): Two animatics including the Snowy Mountain and Rooftop sequences. The former sequence is an early CG sequence, while the second blends CG and storyboards.

Storyboard Comparisons (7:54): Three sequences showing storyboards and final movie shown simultaneously in split screen. If you like storyboards, then these sequences will impress.

RePet Infomercial and TV Spot (3:22): The uncut Infomercial and TV Spot for Re-pet from the movie. An interesting, but welcome, addition to the extras on this disc.

Previews (3:45/HD): Blu-Ray is High Definition trailer, Spider-man 3 Trailer, Close Encounters of the Third Kind 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition Trailer. Enough said.

While the movie may not be one of Arnold's greatest moments in the cinemas there is still plenty to enjoy with The 6th Day. What really surprised me was the quality of the video and audio of this release - it looks like a movie straight out of the cinemas and for that reason alone it's worth the upgrade from DVD.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Sony Pictures. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.