One of those rare seemingly "B" movies, that's much better than either its box-office failure or average reviews would suggest, "AWAKE," has been released on blu-ray, months after its dvd release, by the WEINSTEIN COMPANY.
Hayden Christensen stars as a wealthy businessman with a bad heart, about to marry the beautiful girl his mother feels isn't good enough for him. His good friend, "Terrence Howard" is also the doctor about to perform the operation. As soon as surgery begins, Christensen and the audience are immediately aware trouble is at hand. To begin with, he's supposed to be asleep, but he's conscious, unable to let anyone know due to the muscle relaxer he's been given. To say more would ruin the unusual twists about to unfold, but against all odds, what follows works as a psychological and even metaphysical thriller. The filmmaker/writer deserves credit for carefully walking a thin line that could've easily pushed the film into something camp, in less skillful hands.
The cast is great and Jessica Alba as the future wife looks beautiful, as always.
WEINSTEIN COMPANY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray release. The image is close to reference quality, due to rich colors and inky blacks. Detail, even in difficult lighting scenes, is nearly flawless. There are numerous scenes in the earlier part, wherein natural lighting doesn't diminish the depth achieved, even in darkly lit scenes. The image frequently offers "jump-off-the-screen' detail and while colors aren't consistently pushed to extremes, they feel completely natural.
WEINSTEIN COMPANY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. While the early part of the film, leading up to the operation, lead one to suspect a pretty passive mix, things turn around quickly and surround, discrete and ambient effects are utilized in an extremely pleasing and creative manner, providing an elaborate immersive experience for the rest of the film.
The extras from the dvd have been carried over and the commentary from writer/director Joby Harrold is well worth listening to.