Plot: What’s it about?
In the year 2055, time travel has been made possible. Such an invention could be used for so much good, but instead, one man harnesses it to make millions. Charles Hatton (Ben Kingsley) owns and operates Time Safari, a business that offers wealthy clients a chance to venture to the time of prehistoric beasts. Not just to watch or take photos, but to hunt a living dinosaur and bring it down. The entire hunt is captured on video, so even after the client returns, they can relive the adventure. Time Safari is careful not to bring back any elements nor leave any behind, in order to prevent ripples in the future. The dinosaur hunted is the same one each trek and is due to die within minutes, so no harm is done. But when a system error throws a hunt off course, it becomes obvious that something has been changed. Now waves of time crash down and with each one, evolution takes a backwards step, until perhaps mankind is erased. The only chance is to find out what was altered and travel back to make things right, but is there enough time to save the world?
I’ve read a lot of bad reviews on this one. I have an interest in dinosaurs and time travel, so I gave it a shot and I had a good time with A Sound of Thunder. This is not sci/fi like we’re used to in recent years, not wall to wall action and cutting edge special effects. No, this is a throwback of sorts and as a fan of old school sci/fi, I thought this was a fun movie. I guess I was in the old school spirit, because while I noticed the plot holes, I wasn’t put off, it all just seemed kind of campish. Plus when dealing with time travel, all rules can be thrown out and each vision can stand as potential truth, I suppose. Now I want to talk about the special effects. Wow. This is pure camp, not terrible visual effects, but not that great. I liked the visuals, as once again, it had a throwback feel and a lot CGI these days is rather unremarkable. A Sound of Thunder is flawed, no doubt about it, but it is a fun movie and for sci/fi fans, well worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
A Sound of Thunder is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This movie was filmed in 2002 to be released in 2003, but was shelved until 2005, for a brief theatrical run. I didn’t expect much from the transfer, as a movie that was dormant for two years probably isn’t going to get much attention. All in all though, this is a good looking treatment that covers all the basics. The print has some minor flaws, but small instances of debris and a touch of grain at times isn’t enough to lessen the visuals. I found colors to be well handled, though a lot of the film has dark visuals, so contrast is more the focus. This might not be as refined or slick as it could be, but this transfer is still up to snuff.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option is good, but could have been better. The action driven scenes have a good amount of surround use, which is good news. There is some power, but my complaint is that the mix sounds a little by the numbers. Not much attention to subtle touches and while the surrounds add to the experience, this just seems kind of like a basic surround track. If more care were taken to tweak the little things, this track could have been a lot more effective. On the plus side, dialogue is clean and never poses a problem. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes two of the film’s theatrical trailers.