In spite of finding “The Rock” more amiable an actor than expected, acting is not even a standard needing to be weighed in the video game to film adaptation of “DOOM”. With any sci-fi/action film, it’s helpful to have a decent, if not great plot. The plot to “DOOM” follows Marines, led by “The Rock”, as they investigate a breach of security that has happened at a Research Station on Mars. Ok, nothing new about this premise, but nothing awful so far, either. We meet a woman anthropologist whom explains that the original natives of Mars have a 24th chromosome, making them monsters with supernatural abilities. Again, nothing innovative here, but not completely awful, either. But, .Wait!!! From this point on, every single step that happens is completely predictable, and completely boring! One must assume Director Andrzej Bartkowiak thought the more actors yell and bullets fly, the less one will care about where the story goes. The bulk of the film has actors yelling over other actors, and a jockeying of scenes for position of the one with most bullets. No one cares who lives or dies, except for the fact that the less actors on screen gives hope the end is coming soon, but not soon enough!
UNIVERSAL had so many superior films to select for “HD-DVD” release that it’s annoying they settled on “DOOM” as an early entry. Still, as bad as the actual film is, the presentation quality is outstanding! The 2.35:1 aspect ratio is captured perfectly and the overall image quality is superior to the standard dvd release. Colors are noticeably more vibrant and there’s improved detail in darker scenes, which constitute the majority of the film. It really demonstrates what a difference this superior format makes in addressing darker scenes. The contrast really stands out here, making what was previously a sharp standard dvd presentation, appear “flawless” on HD-DVD!
UNIVERSAL has included a DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 Plus mix. It’s arguably the best soundmix we’ve heard on any dvd/hd-dvd thus far! This is a surround effects-laden mix, and it’s non-stop from beginning to end! Anyone wishing to showcase their audio equipment needs to BUY THIS DISC!!! Bullets aren’t the only sounds to boost the various channels of the mix. There is also an array of subtle effects continually hitting the audience alongside louder, bombastic effects, making the onscreen events less annoying, and that’s no small feat!
UNIVERSAL has carried over the extras from the standard dvd to this HD-DVD as well.