The Avalon, a vast spaceship carrying thousands to a new world, and a new life. To cover this vast distance, everyone is put into suspended animation for decades, but a malfunction causes one passenger to wake part way into the long voyage. As the story unfolds, choices are made, and we are taken along on a race to save the entire ship.
Passengers is a science fiction film, set in space, but delves into some really grounded issues about life, love and the value of selflessness. With so many layers to the story, such a talented cast, a cinematic setting, the re-watch value on this film is rather high. Even with most of the plot laid out, subsequent viewings turn up more and more gems, whether a new understanding of a character, or spotting the great detail of the setting or special effects that were perhaps missed before.
Passengers remains a very engrossing film, that is well presented, and will be a valued addition to any home cinema collection.
Read the full SAMDB review of Passengers.
The disc is of a decent quality overall, both technically, and with the inclusion of several bonus features.
Passengers is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. Colours are vibrant, enhancing the futuristic look of the Avalon vessel. There is no visible colour bleed, and detail is maintained adequately in the many darker scenes.
Viewers with relevant hardware or software can scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate. Dialogue is clear via the centre channel, with much of the weight carried by the remaining front channels. The surround channels are used to great effect to help expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the story.
Navigation is simply and easy to follow, with text links for all. The menus present a static background poster each, with music on the main menu. Options are available to play the movie, select languages, scene selection or special features.
The languages sub-menu allows viewers to select both audio language choice, and desired subtitles.
The scene selection sub-menus contain four large, colour thumbnails. These are static, and numbered, but not labelled, so an amount of guesswork would be required when wanting to navigate to a specific part of the main feature.
The special features sub-menu provides access to the bonus materials included on the disc.
Casting The Passengers: The driving force behind the characters of the film, the cast. The main cast give input to the casting of each particular character, and how it was to work with each other, although there does tend to be a slight focus on Christ Pratt, being the main protagonist of the film.
On The Set With Chris Pratt: The clowning and musings of actor Chris Pratt, with input from fellow cast, and crew, on what it’s like to work with him. Pratt himself gives insight into the process he had to endure, being alone for a portion of the story, and working with all the various technical aspects that were needed to portray a story in outer space and on-board a large spaceship.
Creating The Avalon: A very interesting look at the Avalon, the ship at the heart of the story. With input from both cast, crew, and those who created the ship, talking about the look and feel of the huge vessel that was to carry thousands to another world. This look behind the scenes provides an insight that is sure to be of interest to both the casual viewer, science fiction buff, and budding filmmaker alike.
Outtakes From Set: Some fun moments on set, had by the cast and crew, with a few genuine laughs.
Booking Passage: A collection of clips, in the form of promotional material, that might be used to advertise a trip on the Avalon, namely Choose Your Star, Dare To Dream, Elite Suites, and A Flight To Remember. These are of the same high production quality as the main film, and provide some additional, fictional, entertainment for the viewer, in the form of marketing and promotional material.
Previews: Trailers for Inferno, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and Resident Evil: Vendetta are included on the disc. These autoplay at the beginning of the disc, but can be skipped individually, and fast-forwarded. These can be access again from the special features menu as a playlist that plays them all again, in one go.