Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 26th, 2004
For years different TV shows and movies have speculated not as too whether there is life on other planets but, what are they doing on earth. Some shows like the X-files play out that the powers that be have sold us down the river to ensure their survival with a hostile alien race, or like in ID-4 and the Alien series are here to kill everyone and use the planet for their own will.
Director Steven Spielberg has looked at aliens and their involvement with the human race in a number of his films and with the…help of 1 writer and 10 directors brings us Taken. We follow 3 different families through three generations as they search for the existence of alien life on earth or try to understand why they are being abducted. The story is told through 10 different 80-90 minute episodes the best of which is “Acid Tests”. To give away much more of the story line then this would be an injustice, I recommend that you owe it to yourself to see this.
Shot on film with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio the transfer quality is exceptional. The image is very sharp and natural with strong blacks and very good shadow detail. Colors are brilliant without blooming or chroma noise. The quality of the transfer is also consistent from disc to disc and throughout the 10 episodes, far better that what you would expect from a made for TV series.
Being that this is a made for TV series I was not expecting huge things form the audio department. We have a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix that is very clean and lean. Everything that needs to be present for a good foundation is, dialogue is clear and intelligible and the front stereo channels are used to good effect without being overbearing. The surround channels are seldom used but sound very good when they are in use and same for the LFE, when we see the alien ships or there are explosions the LFE rumbles nicely but won’t knock the house down either. The quality of the audio does not vary from episode to episode either which is more then I can say for some series.
Taken features one complete disc of extra features made up of 5 different areas, you have the option to watch these one at a time or all at once.
Part one is entitled Inside Taken and looks at a number of different aspects of the film making. It mostly consists of an interview with Steven Spielberg and his direction for the series, with smaller portions of interviews from the directors and actors from the series.
Part two is a feature with The Cast of Taken where we are treated to an actors look at the film through the eyes of the principle actors from the series. Next we look at A New Reality: The Visual Effects Team and the challenges that the had to overcome. This series takes place over 3 generations so the effects team was very busy ensuring that the look of the different eras all match up and continue.
The last two sections are entitled A Singular Vision: The Directors and Time Warp. This series features 10 different episodes with 10 different directors so it was a huge task to ensure that each story felt similar and fit into the scope of the series but still allowing each director to add his own personal flavor to the film. Time Warp looks at how the crew dealt with the generational gaps from the beginning to the ends of the film and also in how news events from the different eras where incorporated into the main story which was one of the more interesting parts of the film as it is very subtle.
If you are a fan of the X-files or SCI-FI then this has to be a must own for you. Unlike the X-files that really drifted in the last couple of years, this is a very focused and original story. It looks at the possibility of alien visitation from a completely different angle. If you enjoy a good story then you owe it to yourself to give this a look. In my mind this is a must own.
Special Features List
- “Inside Taken”
- “The Cast of Taken”
- “A New Reality: The Visual Effects Team”
- “A Singluar Vision: The Directors”
- “Time Warp”