Edge of Tomorrow, not to be confused title-wise with the Blu-ray’s cover art tagline “Live, Die, Repeat,” is the movie we’re here to discuss in length today and I’m not sure who it was, either Aaron or Gerard here, but I remember it like it was only yesterday (no pun to the subject matter of this film), when one of them recommended to the Why So Blu clan members that they needed to check out the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow. Come to think of it, Aaron probably had a leg up on us all last year with his coverage of three Warner Bros. titles here and of course his WonderCon writeup this past April here. And like usual, when I first watched the trailer I refuted that I would ever love it. I mean I loved Tom Cruise in Oblivion last year and I even loved a loophole time jumping flick like 2012’s Looper, but I sometimes get agitated and very antsy when I’m forced to watch the same thing transpire over and over only to get a little bit more info each time (no offense to Groundhog Day). However, like usual, popular consensus seems to always get under my skin and I seemingly can’t help being swayed by it. So it really all began months ago when Craig Kandiko of Fat Movie Guy had the audacity to say that Oblivion has nothing on Edge of Tomorrow. Those were fighting words. LOL. I guess you can say I owed it to myself to check this bad boy out theatrically, and I’m so glad I did, not once but twice!
First thing first, make no mistake, this is Groundhog Day set in a sci-fi world. Like Oblivion to so many hardcore sci-fi movie lovers, there’s not much of an original twist to this one other than the promise of you having an absolute blast with it that is. Tom Cruise is back again, doing what he does best as of late, dropping a dope performance on us all. And I have to admit, I think I love Tom the most in these sci-fi action roles like this one, Oblivion and Minority Report as opposed to his others such as Jack Reacher, the Mission Impossible franchise, etc. The guy really knows how to have a good time in these campy tales and one has to look no farther than the giant movie screen in front of them to realize that. If you can suspend your disbelief for a mere two hours, then I guarantee you’ll have fun with this one. That’s how confident I am. However, I digress. I’m kind of getting ahead of myself and blowing my wad prematurely by letting you know how much I love this film. Let’s be a little more unbiased for a bit and talk more in-depth about Edge of Tomorrow. As Gerard Iribe would say, what say you?
So it comes as no surprise that this is yet another action vehicle for Tom Cruise who honestly shows no signs of aging or slowing down in his 50’s. Do you think he is a vampire? Dang! That would be so cool. Maybe he’s onto something with that church of scientology stuff. I should check into it, but I digress for the time being because I have a review to finish here. In the co-starring role we find the very eye pleasing Emily Blunt. There’s this one scene in particular they repeat over and over where she’s holding up her body weight by balancing with only her palms on the floor and slithers up in a sexy fashion once Tom’s character enters. It was funny because you could hear all the testosterone in the room during my two theatrical engagements because nearly every time they showed that event I heard “oh my God” mumbles from the male populous. Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson sport supporting roles too.
Edge of Tomorrow is actually based on a Japanese light novel by the name of All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. It is directed by Doug Liman, who has already helmed several films I really enjoy, based off a screenplay penned by Christopher McQuarrie and a few others. And let’s cut straight to the chase. Edge of Tomorrow is about aliens! And they’re called Mimics! Supposedly it’s for their ability to “mimic” and counter military strategies making them nearly unbeatable. So sign up! The military needs a few good women and men ready to take them on and save all of humanity! I knew absolutely nothing going into this movie the first time, other than it being a Groundhog Day story, and I managed to have a blast. The same, I believe, can happen for you too!
The story takes place in the not so distant future in mostly Western Europe I guess you can say. Aliens invaded us and for the most part mankind has been losing the war until now when a new way to combat them was invented, the so called use of these exoskeleton suits I guess you could say, almost mech like, but not quite. There’s also a star soldier in our movie, almost a national hero like Captain America is to the Marvel universe, named Rita Vrataski (Blunt). However, there’s more to her than meets the eye that Cruise’s character, William Cage, will eventually expose in her. And that’s all I will say on that subject.
So the crux of our story centers around Major William Cage who’s really nothing more than a glorified journalist/PR person for the military and has zero combat experience. Well unlucky for him the military has plans to send him out onto the front lines for an invasion they are planning much akin to a D-Day like storming of the beach (think Saving Private Ryan if you will). It’s the preparation for this battle where Tom Cruise proves what a star vehicle he is, not so much in the action department, but in the comedic one because he wants nothing to do with fighting, nothing whatsoever. He’ll have you in stitches as the comedy is really amped during these fun and game scenes here and the good times really never let you go because after all we’ve all seen the trailers, you know he dies an awful lot, and what better way to combat living the same day over and over again than by making light of it. Remember, laughter is truly the best medicine in life. Don’t ever forget that! And of course there’s the obligatory teaming up to save the world from extinction in this movie, yada yada yada, but you already knew all that!
I don’t want to spoil the hows and whys as to “why” Cage gets to be the lucky one to relive every day, but rest assured I just wanted to let you know it’s explained. It’s not the most original idea just like Oblivion isn’t the most original sci-fi adventure of all time, but as I said before and I’ll say it again…if you can sustain your suspension of disbelief for just two measly hours here, I think you’ll have a great time with this one. There’s plenty of action, plenty of comedy and of course plenty of letting the good times roll over and over, but just when you think you had enough of a particular event happening the writers were smart enough to shake things up and keep you in the game. And if nothing else, there’s always exceptional special effects throughout on the lines of how spectacular things looked in Elysium at least. I liked them better than the ones employed in Godzilla. What’s your take on them? Call me curious.
So I guess my only beef is the one I need to take up with Craig. While I enjoyed the hell out of Edge of Tomorrow and will enjoy it even further on the Blu-ray format here for years to come, it’s still sadly no Oblivion for me. It failed to hit me on that emotional high coupled with the gorgeous cinematography and scenery that Oblivion smacked me across the face with last year. Now that’s not to say it was a bad effort, quite the contrary. I loved Edge of Tomorrow, but I enthusiastically like Oblivion better for many more reasons than I have time to go into in here. However, if I have to pick one reason, perhaps the love story or love interest wasn’t all that fleshed out here like it was in Oblivion and maybe that’s my sticking point. I don’t know, but I do know this. I’m sure looking forward to many more visits with Edge of Tomorrow now that it’s on the Blu-ray format. The film literally had me on the “edge of my seat” as I anxiously and excitedly lived out every repeat day of Major Cage’s life with zeal, zest and the utmost of gusto. Edge of Tomorrow, despite not having a huge climatic ending, is both ambitious and bold and most importantly, thankfully not tiresome like so many loophole adventures can be. Beam me up Scotty! I want to see it again and again even after this Blu-ray viewing! Repeat please!
Edge of Tomorrow hits the Blu-ray format full speed ahead with a rather impeccable and impressive A/V presentation. Come on! Did you really think Warner Bros. was going to let us down in these next two departments? I don’t even need to live, die and repeat with this title to dish on some outstanding aspects of this High-Def presentation.
- Encoding: AVC MPEP-4
- Resolution: 1080p
- Aspect Ratio: 2.4:1
- Clarity/Detail: It’s hard to find anything in this presentation that wasn’t chiseled with detail. Let’s take Tom Cruise’s face for example. Every fine line, crinkle, wrinkle, pore, stubble and bead of sweat is brilliantly on display for all naked eyes to take in. Let us also not forget every bit of fine detail in the construction of the mech suits the UFD soldiers arm and adorn themselves with.
- Depth: Because of the clarity and fine detail the characters have a 3-D pop to them giving them ultimate dimensionality from the deep and immersive backgrounds in the environment. Once such scene that comes to mind is the office scene in the beginning of the film where Cruise’s character learns he will be fighting in the beach invasion in France. Every time he looked around that office I swear it just felt so deep.
- Black Levels: I have zero complaint here either in this category as all the blacks are deep and inky like a live action comic book living and breathing on the big screen.
- Color Reproduction: Things get a little tricky here in this category, but it’s by artistic intent that the picture is a little bleak here because after all the Earth has been invaded and practically dominated by an alien race so it stands to reason the environment should not pop with rich color like a McDonald’s commercial would. However, the reds, oranges and yellows (mostly caused by gunfire, missiles and explosions) literally pop onscreen and boldly stand out from the rest of the environment. I should note that the many shades of army green all lend themselves well to the authenticity of this crisp presentation.
- Flesh Tones: I have no problems here either as the flesh tones all look natural and authentic throughout.
- Noise/Artifacts: This category gets the big goose egg for me. If it wasn’t intentionally stylized like the intro television footage, then there’s absolutely nothing to nitpick here whatsoever. The presentation is clear of any nasty artifacts or distracting blemishes.
Edge of Tomorrow blasts onto the Blu-ray format with a sonic boom in the audio department that matches the ferocity of the all-star video presentation we just finished discussing up above. So let me show you around so at least you can read about how you should expect things to sound and ultimately blow you away here.
- Audio Format(s): English DTS- HD Master Audio 7.1, French (Dubbed in Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: EnglishSDH, French, Spanish
- Dynamics: This one can be billed as a war movie so you better be sure the dynamics of this one have to be spot on to yield a coveted 5-star doggy rating in this category. The playing fields are well balanced here from the dialogue driven moments to the ones where you are literally air dropped into the mouth of war and chaos. Destruction never sounded so good without Godzilla being involved. The sounds of war all sound authentic here throughout.
- Low Frequency Extension: Let the bass go BOOM! One moment that stands out above the others and repeats several times too is when the cargo copter carrying the soldiers is struck in the air forcing Cruise and the rest of the soldiers to deploy prematurely. Every time that moment played out my puppy woke up from her coma sleep on the couch next to me. Good stuff here! Of course the spoils of war usually do make for really good heavy and intense moments so arming yourself with the knowledge that LFE reproduction here is top notch should really come as no surprise, I would hope.
- Surround Sound Presentation: To say this surround track is immersive would not be doing it justice enough. The surround sound is all around you as soon as you hit play on this one before the Village Roadshow logo even prominently displays. With a movie that revolves around war I think you can expect to hear bullets and missiles exploding and zinging past and near you, helicopter blades and aliens swirling all around you and jets and other aircraft of war roaring by you. Your rear and surround speakers never get a rest and I couldn’t be happier about it.
- Dialogue Reproduction: Not a single word of spoken dialogue is missed among the chaos of this track and the events that transpire onscreen. Every spoken word is loud, clear and intelligible, which is important because there are some really funny moments I enjoy watching over and over here.
Edge of Tomorrow sports almost 90-minutes of adrenaline-pumping special features on this Warner Bros. Blu-ray Combo Pack. Bets of all, you also get a redemption code for a UltraViolet Digital HD presentation of the film that you can take on the road anywhere with you on all your favorite devices. You have to love that! There’s even a DVD housed in this Combo Pack which works well in providing entertainment to the kiddies in the back of the minivan on those long road trips. So let’s stop stalling and start dissecting every special feature you’ll find on the Blu-ray disc here.
- Operation Downfall – Adrenaline Cut (HD, 2:34) – This one is sort of a quick paced montage of the best action scenes from the”storming the beach” sequences
- Storming The Beach (HD, 8:59) – This one is awesome because it gives us a closer look at creating the film’s epic sic-fi battle as the UFD forces storm the beach in France for Operation Downfall. The cast and crew all chime in and talk about the referencing of World War II to bring reality to it all.
- Weapons Of The Future (HD, 8:25) – This one is kind of funny as it shows us the challenges Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise and the rest of the soldier cast had strapping into their mech exo-suits of war. The suits look very clunky to wear. Apparently these are loosely based on technology the military s already developing. However, they wanted to keep them practical since the actors would be wearing them throughout the day and all the stunts would be filmed in them too. Tom showed up two months early just for the research and development of the suit. He says the suit is a workout. They also explain the mechanics of the suit and what does what.
- Creatures Not Of This World (HD, 5:38) – Doug Liman chimes in how this was going to be the most visual effects he ever had to work with in a film. The cast and crew talk about the challenge of respecting science fiction aliens, but also keeping it unique too. They treated the aliens as a virus since they are from asteroids. There are three alien designs in total.
- On The Edge With Doug Liman (HD, 42:37) – This is the long one in the Extras section here. Don’t worry. I won’t bore you with all the details. Doug Liman kind of gives us the nitty gritty on the challenges and pressures placed upon him to make a futuristic war film look and and feel real. I thought it was hilarious how they started with Doug playing tennis and they asked him why he was doing it. He said he wanted to work as hard as Tom Cruise. This one is obviously the supplement to watch if you’re only going to tackle one of these extras. It pretty much covers everything you ever wanted to know about how Edge of Tomorrow was made. It was interesting to hear how Doug discussed the compromises he made shooting off location and building sets as opposed to shooting on location, which he’s use to. It was also very weird to hear how there was no finished script before filming, but he says that’s not uncommon and lists Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith as examples of such movies with no finished scripts. Equally interesting is the fact that Doug has no interest in the science fiction genre, only science facts. Therefore, all the tech that was employed had to be practical and realistic. Unbelievably the suits used in this movie weigh over 80 pounds. Wow! Okay! I’m shutting up now. All I’ll say is that this movie could have been a complete disaster. I cannot believe how characters were just made on the spot. Unbelievable!
- Deleted Scenes (HD, 7:38) – There are a small handful of scenes to be found here with some pre-visualization ones too.
- Trailers (HD, 12:46) – Hee we have a nice assortment of 2 movie trailers (Mad Max Fury Road, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies), 3 Blu-ray trailers (Godzilla, Into The Storm, Batman: Assault on Arkham) and one game trailer (LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham).
I have not done any unboxing pictures in a long time so I thought what a perfect opportunity to do so with Edge of Tomorrow. I hope you don’t mind. I’ll spare you my usually dumb captions about each of the images and just let you fill in the blanks for yourself. I think you’re all ready for the task. Don’t you?
Edge of Tomorrow really needs no special marketing, fancy words that I have to look up in Google or any other gimmicks to sell you on the fact that it’s an overall enjoyable sci-fi action flick. Couple that knowledge with the Blu-ray format and know that you are arming yourself with a High-Definition presentation that’s a force not to be reckoned with and you know you’re in for a good time here. The Warner Bros. Combo Pack is also not a lightweight in the Extras department either, so if you’re a fan of last year’s Oblivion, Tom Cruise or the sic-fi genre in general, then Edge of Tomorrow should be a no-brainer purchase on the Blu-ray format, even if it’s a blind buy. I’m ecstatic to be adding this title to my Blu-ray presentation. Yahoo!