Sith lord, the funniest part of Girls, a favorite of Martin Scorsese’s, and now a dinosaur hunter? Is there anything Adam Driver can’t do? 65 crash lands onto 4K Blu-ray with a Dolby Vision HDR-supported transfer that brings the absolute most out of the 4K digital intermediate used as a source. Although the film itself is rather silly, predictable, and lacking creativity, the Dolby Atmos track will give your home theater setup a really good workout. Extras are thin as well, unfortunately. Unless you’re a fan of the movie and want this release, Worth A Look.
I wasn’t able to catch 65 in the theater when it was briefly playing, thus the home video release would have to do. Written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the duo who wrote A Quiet Place and its sequel as well as writing and directing the independent horror film Haunt, 65 is certainly interested in the kind of fun that can be wrought out of a survival thriller and sci-fi backdrop, but it doesn’t have the creativity or gumption to really pull it all off. As someone who doesn’t like A Quiet Place, a film I found to be rather slack and overwrought to the point of insulting the horror genre it’s in, I’ll admit that maybe I’m not the target audience for this one. However, the premise of Adam Driver being stranded on a planet fighting dinosaurs with futuristic weapons certainly sounds a lot better than it ends up being in reality.
Mills (Driver) is a top-grade space pilot taking off on a two-year exploration mission to help fund the care needed for his dying daughter. During the journey on the ship Zoic, the ship is hit by a mass of asteroids and crash lands on an unknown planet that turns out to be Earth 65 million years ago. Mills briefly contemplates suicide, but then discovers a small child named Koa (Ariana Greenblatt) and is inspired to get off the planet for good. But as Earth was so long ago, there’s a bunch of nasty dinosaurs inhabiting it and trying to kill them. Oh, and they have 12 hours until the giant meteor renders most life on Earth extinct.
There’s absolutely space for the kind of pared-down survival thrillers that 65 purports to be, like Crawl and The Shallows (to reference recent releases). The key difference between those efforts is the lack of self-realization here. The movie opens with this big proclamation that the story is tied directly to the extinction of life on Earth, although there aren’t any self-effacing or humorous notes to be found after that absolutely silly title card. It’s all played straight, and while Driver is giving a terrific performance trying to pull as much as possible from the conflicting strands of redemption and escape, it all falls flat and is miserably slow.
As for the dinosaur action, paleontological grievances aside, the direction is the opposite of thrilling. While you’d think some fun could be mined from random dinosaurs hunting a dude with survivalist skills and a gun, it’s all in low light and lacking the kind of awe and excitement you’d get from any other movies that contain dino action. In short, the thin premise is just the start of the film’s problems. If you’re a fan of films like The Shallows or Crawl, you might find a good jump scare or two here, but not much else.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-rays
Adam Driver takes up arms against dinosaurs in 65, presented here as a two-disc (4K & Blu-ray release that comes in a standard black case. The 4K disc is a BD66 and the Blu-ray is a BD50. The feature is housed on the 4K disc, while the feature and extras are on the Blu-ray. Both discs boot up to standard menu screens with options to play the film, set up audio or select scenes.
65 was finished at 4K after being shot in 6k using Sony Venice cameras, thus it’s a pretty damn good candidate for the 4K Ultra HD treatment. Aided by Dolby Vision HDR, detail in general is really good despite the cinematography lacking the kind of visual punch with all the visual effects aiding the plot. Skin textures look terrific, as well as sweat, blood, dirt, and grime, plus the Dolby Vision HDR layer pulls the absolute most of the various environments that Mills discovers, like the modestly lush forest. Black levels are terrific as well, as much of the film takes place at night and with a lot of shadow play. When bright whites show up, like gun flashes, they look great and are never clipped. The source is in perfect condition as well, with no damages or errors to show for. Even just comparing the Blu-ray to its 4K counterpart, you can clearly see the boost in clarity and color depth that the 2160p resolution and HDR can provide.
As for the provided 7.1 Dolby Atmos mix, get ready for hard-hitting, deep bass and a lush soundscape with enveloping sound effects and a powerful score from composer Chris Bacon. Danny Elfman did some work on the film, which you can tell from the triumphant suite created to open the film, and Bacon’s contributions certainly work overtime to pick up where the plot falters. This a spacious and robust track, with environmental effects like rushing wind and roaring oceans gaining height in the overhead channels.
The attached supplements package is very bare, unfortunately. The deleted scenes don’t encourage you to think there was anything valuable left on the cutting room floor, and the additional EPK-style featurettes just gloss over the production like a press junket.
While 65 severely lacks the kind of survival thriller/horror action that people were so eager for, the new 4K Blu-ray release at least honors the 4K source and provides a nice boost in detail and black levels overall. The Dolby Atmos score is a nice surprise as well, though the supplements package is also severely. As for the release overall, it's Worth A Look if you’re interested.