The story of The Giver centers on Jonas (Thwaites), a young man who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with The Giver (Bridges), who is the sole keeper of all the community’s memories, Jones quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community’s secret past. With this newfound power of knowledge, he realizes that the stakes are higher than imagined—a matter of life and death for himself and those he loves most. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all—a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before. Based on Lois Lowry’s young adult novel of the same name. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the featurettes Highlights From The Original Script Reading Featuring Lloyd Bridges (HD 39:47), Making The Giver: From Page To Screen (HD 21:39), and Ordinary Human (HD 02:43); Jonas’ Harrowing Journey extended scene (HD 09:23); Author Lois Lowry on The Giver (HD 03:35); a press conference with filmmakers and cast (HD 35:31); a study guide; upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture is unusually stylized to visually convey the re-awaking of human memories with black-and-white, with varying muted color to full color. This evolving visual awaking varies in image quality, but perhaps this variance is intentional, as the memory flashback is grainy and softly focused. The black-and-white sequences, as well as the full color segments, exhibit effective resolution with fine detail evident in facial features, hair, clothing, and object textures. The color palette at first is extremely muted, but as the story progress the palette is well balanced with natural flesh tones and other nicely saturated hues that are rich and warm. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The black-and-white sequences exhibit good gray scale balance as well. Also of note is the imagery gradually progresses from bland, dimension-free to more depth and dimension as the story unfolds. This is a most unique visual experience that certainly challenged Cinematographer Ross Emery and Colorist Jack Lewars. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is primarily focused on dialogue, but as with the imagery progression, the sonics progress from a generally subdued presentation to a far more vibrant presentation. This progression is communicated through the music and dynamics, built on deep bass extension in the .1 LFE channel. This progression also creates a strong, directionalized soundfield with impressive surround envelopment, dramatically enhancing the holosonic® experience. Panning effects are quite effective as well, with regard to overhead drone pans. Atmospherics and sound effects are both nuanced and aggressively positioned throughout the soundfield, such as during the drone raging water scene. Meanwhile, dialogue is consistently intelligible but often wanting in spatial integration. Jonas’ narration is well balanced forward. This is a soundtrack that really builds in dynamic intensity and dimensional immersion. (Gary Reber)