Gattaca 4K Ultra HD Steelbook

Featured In Issue 260, March/April 2022

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Brief violent images, language, and some sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Andrew Niccol
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Gattaca" is an engrossing sci-fi thriller about an all-too-human man who dares to defy a system obsessed with genetic perfection. Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is an "In-Valid" who assumes the identity of a member of the genetic elite to pursue his goal of traveling into space with the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. However, a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect. With a relentless investigator in pursuit and the colleague he has fallen in love with beginning to suspect his deception, Vincent's dreams steadily unravel. (Gary Reber)

Special features include six deleted scenes (HD 10:43), a blooper reel (HD 0.36), the featurettes "Welcome To Gattaca" (HD 06:52) and "Do Not Alter?" (HD 14;52), upfront previews, the theatrical trailer and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on film in Super 35 using Arriflex and Moviecam camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Film grain is virtually unnoticeable, yet the picture is very cinematic. Color fidelity is excellent with perfectly natural hues. The imagery is compelling throughout from the architectural lines of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center n Northern California, the backdrop for the Gattaca mission training, to the funky electric cars that fail to project a futurist shape. Other compelling images are the setting in a solar farm in Nevada. Of course, none of these settings are identified as such. HDR contrast is excellent with a wide range from deep black levels to revealing shadows to bright white highlights, such as the whites in the individual computer stations or the intense sunrise over the solar farm. Color fidelity is excellent. Hue saturation appears natural. Fleshtones are accurately rendered. The picture throughout is sharp and clear. Resolution is excellent, as well as textural depth. Fine detail in facial and body features, clothing and objects also is nicely rendered. This is a compelling visual experience that is pleasing throughout. (Gary Reber)

The repurposed Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is spatially dimensional. The opening sequence delivers deep bass and aggressive surround envelopment. Throughout there is low-level surround ambience that rises up with the occasional spiked sound effect, such as spacecraft takeoffs from Gattaca into space. Deep bass also is energized in a panning sequence and in the low rumble in a chase scene. The most surround-intense scene is the one in which Vincent and Irene (Thurman) have to race across a busy expressway with cars whizzing around the surround field. A particular sound effect, Vincent's heart beat, also raises the energy in the soundfield. The orchestral score spans the soundstage with width and depth and extends to the surround channel with far more energy than the ambience envelopment. The surround energy is nicely balanced in accordance with the motion picture. Dialogue is effectively integrated spatially. Foley sound effects are perfectly executed with wonderful nuanced realism. Office settings where Vincent works sound realistic. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with generally good spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of an extension of the orchestral score, ambient voices in the complex, ping sounds, din throughout, wind, spacecraft liftoff, some dialogue, announcements, a heartbeat, applause, powerful waves, and atmospherics. This is a terrific height layer presentation that enhances spatial dimensionality and vertical depth.

While Gattaca's soundtrack is not particularly spatially involving, it is compelling nevertheless because of the perfect adaption of ambience and sound effects, as well as Foley that creates realistic integration. It is well crafted as a holosonic® spherical surround experience. (Gary Reber)