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Pathfinder: Unrated – Blu-Ray Disc

January 16, 2008 – 9:26 PM - Posted by: Brendan Surpless



2 out of 5 starsThe Movie Itself has an average rating of 5.2 on IMDb
4 out of 5 starsVideo Quality 1080p in MPEG-2 on a 50gb disc
4 1/2 out of 5 starsAudio Quality
English DTS HD 5.1 @1.5Mbps
2 1/2 out of 5 starsBonus Materials
include ports and a trivia track.
Rated:Unrated
Year: – 2007
Length: – 107 minutes
Studio:FOX

Buy it for $24.95 at Amazon.com
Buy it for $24.95 @ Amazon.com

The Movie Itself is directed by Marcus Nispel (who apparently is remaking the classic “Friday the 13th“). Taking place in the mid 800s, “Pathfinder” analyzes the battle between the Vikings and the Native Americans. Originally The Vikings attacked a Native American tribe pretty much killing everyone, only leaving behind a Viking boy. Adopted by a Native American women, the boy (who is dubbed “Ghost”) grows up to be one of them, but still doesn’t leave behind his instincts and Viking heritage. Now, 15 years later, the Vikings attack again only to realize that this boy “fights like us”. Wanting to defeat the invading Viking tribe, The Native Americans realize their survival and hope may just lie with one dubbed as their enemy. What results is a movie that is so damn cheesy that the film can’t help but ever be taken seriously, which is a shame because on paper the plot sounded interesting.

The big problem with a film like “Pathfinder” is that it tries way too hard to take itself seriously. We know it’s trying to tell a piece of history, which is done via the dummy version in that we’re given a basic historical premise via a 3-4 sentence introduction, but why is it that so many historical retellings focus on the blood, blood, blood aspect of the time period. Don’t you think we understand that tribes like the Vikings were violent? The excessive amount of blood and guts in this genre of movie telling is actually getting kind of annoying. Especially with recent films like “300” catapulting to the forefront, it doesn’t (unfortunately I might add) look like this style is going away any time soon. And that’s a real shame folks. I remember the days of “Last of the Mohicans“, a bloody film in its own right yes, but more a movie that focused on the real scare of the times instead of throwing blood at us. I guess it’s more directors giving in to Hollywood demands instead of focusing on stylistic choices.

But when it comes to the actual story, it’s like one of my friends said about the film. “Great concept, but poorly executed.” You would think that hiring the director of the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” would have spelled certain doom for the film. But I suppose the interesting concept behind the film got the best of me and many. The acting isn’t bad at all, just not that memorable. The issues lies in the writing department as so many of the lines just felt way too forced. We’re obviously expected to feel a certain emotion toward what the characters are going threw. Maybe I just don’t know how to forcefully turn on the eye faucet, but I never felt anything toward these characters..ever.. Just imagine what this film could have been with a more capable director behind the lenses. A true disappointment.

Path #1

Video Quality on this release is 1080p in MPEG-2 on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Dual-Layered Blu-ray Disc). Some may criticize that there is an over abundance of grain in this transfer, but (at least for myself) that helped to capture the dark gritty feel of the continent during this time period. Fleshtones, similar to the gain, are mostly subdued never becoming overly clear. Detail is good enough (the close up of the horse in the first few minutes was great), but lacked a real instance of “pop” or “3-D” quality we’ve come to expect from HDM. The issue with this transfer lies in that so much of the film has a darker tone to it that the colors tended to almost become crushed causing them to smear together. Take a look at the sequence in the cave. Almost any fine detail is lost and colors don’t fair much better either. Perhaps this was directors intent a la the grain, but this just became too much of a nuisance not to mention it.

Path #2

Audio Quality on this release is in DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio @1.5Mbps. Where the image quality may have faltered a bit, this audio track was dynamite throughout. As the movie started and continued I noticed that the mix had a more heavy front tone to it. Luckily as the film progressed everything became far more active. The LFE on this film boasted numerous sequences of “wow”. Take any instance particularly the ending sequence on the mountains and listen how effective the atmosphere was. As the Vikings fall, the screams zip through the rears creating a great aural experience. Bass hits as the snow comes crashing down the mountain and the score by Jonathan Elias adds a nice chanting like feel to the scene. On the other side, dialogue is rendered intelligibly for the most part (some sequences are difficult to understand). In fact this was the only real issue I had with this track. Otherwise from that, this is a perfect demo disc for a crappy film.

Path #3

Bonus Materials

  • Commentary by director Marcus Nispel: It’s always sad to hear how director’s pour their heart and soul into a project thinking it will come out like the second coming. That is exactly how Nispel acted here. Even though most his comments were quick and to the point, I couldn’t get over how he felt he was creating something that damn good.
  • Deleted Scenes with optional Commentary: Here we get 11 minutes (7 total scenes) of deleted scenes, none of which do anything for the film at all.
  • Featurettes: Here we get six different featurettes entitled “The Beginning“, “The Design“, “The Build“, “The Shoot“, “The Stunts” and “Clancy Brown: Cult Hero“. Just as they sound in order, these six featurettes basically analyze different aspects of the film.
  • The Path Revealed: Secrets on Screen: As part of an exclusive to this Blu-Ray release, Fox gives another trivia track. This is pretty much why I gave the extra’s 2.5 out of 5 as this was entertaining and informative. Worth the time for even the most casual fans, but definitely a watch for fans of history.
  • Trailer: Here the film’s trailer is presented in Hi-Definition.


— Review written by Brendan Surpless

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