Android (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 8-Mar-2017

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Trailer-x 5 for other Eagle Entertainment releases
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 85:09
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Matthew Leutwyler
Studio
Distributor

Eagle Entertainment
Starring Mark Webber
David Clayton Rogers
Lucy Griffiths
Rainn Wilson

Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Craig Richey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     David Kressen (Mark Webber) is a robotics prodigy. Ten years previously he had been hired straight after graduation by wealthy software designer Simon Castle (Rainn Wilson), given unlimited funds and a workshop and tasked with creating a robot that is indistinguishable from a human. Now Joy Adams (Lucy Griffiths), a reporter for a science magazine, has been given unlimited access to David and the workshop for a week. She doubts she will need a week to write the story until she meets Adam (David Clayton Rogers), the very human robot David has created.

     During the week Joy witnesses the interaction between David and Adam and is able to talk to Adam and test his cognitive responses. It becomes clear that Adam can learn and he exhibits emerging behaviours, although as David and Adam have been isolated from other human interactions Adam’s emotional responses are childlike. As the week progresses Joy starts to fall in love with David, which disturbs Adam who becomes jealous and angry. The audience is aware that Castle has been watching the trio on monitors the whole time; clearly this set up is more than just an interview for a magazine but who is testing who, and just what is being tested?

     Android (called Uncanny in the US and on the IMDb) has been compared to another recent film about A.I. Ex Machina (2014), a far more lavish and costly production. In reality they are very different films and indeed principal photography for Android was completed in 2012, prior to Ex Machina, and the film lingered in post-production due to a lack of funds. Both films do deal with whether A.I. can develop emotions independent of their coding and creators, and both throw in the possibility of love between humans and robots as well as red herrings and a twist at the end, but their resolutions are very different.

     Given its budget and its scope, in its own right Android is a fascinating film. It is talky in places, using robotics jargon which may or may not be realistic (not being a robotics person I cannot tell). The film also consists entirely of interiors but it remains visually interesting due to its use of light and shadows to give a feeling of unreality plus it features a very good and unsettling performance by David Clayton Rogers that is borderline creepy. Lucy Griffiths is also good but one problem is that Mark Webber is such a nerd and a bit of a pain it is hard to see how a sensible girl like Joy would fall in love with him in a few days! There is also a twist at the end, or perhaps two, that are pre-shadowed during the film but it certainly does not do to think about them too much or the flaws in the plot logic and behaviours will become apparent. Overall, however, Android is a complex, entertaining and interesting film that is worth checking out if the subject appeals.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Android is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The film takes place entirely inside either David’s “workshop”, Joy’s apartment or Castle's monitoring booth. Many times light sources are placed beyond the actor to create glare or, alternatively, to place the characters in shadow. Some scenes are overbright, others dull, with more silhouettes and shadows. Indeed, there is very little colour, glass and chrome dominating the sets, although in one sequence Joy’s red dress stands out. Detail throughout is firm, especially the whiskers on Adam’s chin, blacks and shadow detail are very good, skin tones natural.

     Artefacts and marks were absent.

     No subtitles are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.

     The dialogue is clear. The film has only interiors and there is little use of the surrounds and rears for ambient sound. Instead they feature Craig Richey’s predominately electronic score which is very suitable for a film about robots as it adds to the artificiality of the sterile looking sets. Likewise, the subwoofer was used to add depth to the music, so the audio did what was expected of it.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     Trailers for Mythica: The Iron Crown (1:39), Arthur & Merlin (1:45), Made in France (1:43), Bravetown (2:34) and Stonewall (2:17), play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Amazon.com lists only a Region 1 DVD release of Uncanny (as it is called in the US). A win for Australia.

Summary

     At only 85 minutes Android speeds along and held my interest, raising some complex questions about technology and artificial intelligence so it is well worth a look despite some dubious plotting. Indeed, if Android and Ex Machina are to be believed, the human race will become redundant pretty soon.

     The video and audio are fine. The extras are only trailers for other films.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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