Biologist and former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked when her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone no one has ever returned from. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.
2018, 2160p with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, Rated R, 1 hour and 55 minutes,
2.39:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gina Rodriquez
Directed by: Alex Garland
Sex: Brief Nudity
From the director of Ex Machina, this film ponders the fate of mankind if an alien life form lands along the marshy coastline and starts transforming (genetically) all living carbon-based life on Earth. It has a growing protective bubble called The Shimmer that is getting bigger every day. Soldiers and scientist go into the Shimmer, but none come back out.
Now, enter our 4 scientist/soldier gals to see what they can find and then the story gets a bit more interesting. This film has elements of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Angry Red Planet, so nothing too unique in the exploration of themes. I had hoped that the CGI effect of The Shimmer would have been more…colorful? It reminded me of a giant soap bubble. The finale had some wonderfully weird stuff going on, but I was able to guess at how things would end up. The creepy bear monster had the hair on my arms stand straight up, which doesn’t often happen to me. Not the most thrilling sci-fi movie I have seen as of late, but it’s worth a viewing for the more cerebral minded as there are long periods of no action going on. This is not a splatter movie, but a few scenes are intense. Be forewarned.
Considering it is called a “visually stunning” thriller, I was disappointed that the Shimmer wasn’t cooler looking. The CGI was pretty convincing for the most part. HDR made itself known in the lighthouse scene at the end when a phosphorus grenade goes off. Some stunning vegetation and sunsets looked very impressive as well. Lots of details are made sharply focused when compared to the Blu-ray version, but the uptick in the dynamic range it what sets this about from the 1080p version. I can not confirm that a 4K DI was used, but this version is the easily preferred way of viewing this film in my house. The sound has plenty of outdoor ambience and the scream of the afore mentioned bear monster will make your spine tingle.
Besides the Blu-ray, you get an Ultra Violet copy and the actual extras are a few featurettes.