During 65’s finale, a T-Rex-like dinosaur stares into the cabin of an escape pod. Then it chews a piece of the pod off, runs after star Adam Driver, during which the T-Rex runs through a log that fell over in its path. If this sounds familiar, imagine this isn’t set 65 million years ago, but in 1993, and it’s a dinosaur theme park.
So no, 65 doesn’t do much of anything new other than a space angle, and that’s more or less to justify the dinosaurs alone. Driver finds ways to survive on an alien (to him) planet, shoots the occasional monster, and gets chased by lots of them. That’s it – for 80 minutes.
Whether willing to admit it or not, that’s what audiences came to 65 to see. And that core, “dinosaurs chase people” ideal is absolutely adhered to, with a story pushing a slight emotional heart into the core of this easy, pure Hollywood script. Forced to leave his homeworld because he can’t afford healthcare for his daughter – a social problem that apparently originated in space long before Earth became inhabited by people – Driver carries that worry, that hurt, and desperation with him on this journey. It’s convincing, considering the simplicity.
In terms of computer generated dinosaurs running around a (sometimes) computer generated world, 65 succeeds, certainly on par with the billion dollar-grossing Jurassic World series in terms of entertainment. Depending on which Jurassic World, 65 even does it better in some ways. Rather than being forced to limp along, pushing ever deeper into genetic testing sci-fi lunacy, 65 returns to simplicity – hungry dinosaurs, scared people, and raw instinct.
As either a tribute or idea-less copy, the Jurassic Park elements bring a certain cinematic comfort to 65. What it lacks in Spielberg’s ingenuity and technical groundbreaking, 65 can still produce grand images. And like Jurassic Park, it’s reasonably grounded too, noted asides for the space-trekking gadgets and weapons allowed. Driver’s capable acting prowess always elicits a definite panic and danger even when offensively equipped.
In its slimmest, tiniest ways, 65 also suggests that as societies, no matter which planet we’re born on, it’s inevitable we’ll turn to weapons of war, suffocating financial systems, and universal empathy for those we love. Then monsters eat stuff and none of that matters.
Beautiful, clear digital video gives 65 immense purity in its visuals. Noise does happen, but minimally so, and Sony’s compression handles the issue without fault. From a full 4K source, sharpness and texture thrive in these conditions. Lower resolution CG scene extensions reveal roughness; the lower resolution is obvious for those brief moments.
Conditions on the alien planet provide opportunity for color saturation. Whether it’s warning lights onboard the ship after its crash or the jungle greens, density and boldness thrive. Digital grading maintains variety while sticking with specific palettes to suit the mood. The balance between tone/style and eye-fetching hues is excellent.
Fire and sparks push HDR to intense peaks. Dolby Vision doesn’t spare much in achieving blinding brightness, and black levels hit an incredible depth. Gone are the days when digital was unable to achieve pure black. 65 is brilliantly rendered.
A monster Atmos track blares from the outset as an asteroid blasts a ship and the engines flare. 65’s range is absolutely reference, whether it’s stomping or roaring dinosaurs. Guns add their own kick. Grenades pump out a blast that’s room shaking in power.
Sublime imaging moves debris about, adding life to the jungles, whether that’s rain, insects, or thunder. Dinosaurs brush aside debris as they stalk prey, channel separation at the peak for major studio design. It’s intricate and involving, the type of work that betters a movie, or at least makes it worth staying on a shelf.
On the Blu-ray, bonuses begin with five deleted scenes. Directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods speak on their work over four minutes. A look at production design, a paltry five-minutes, precedes an equally puny look at the galaxy/space for all of two-minutes. Cue up concept art and the final comparison for the deepest bonus at 10-minutes total.
A simple on-the-run survival movie with a slight dramatic heart, 65, as expected, ultimately comes down to the dinosaur action.
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 30 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: