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Gattaca on Superbit DVD

Gattaca is an institution in a supposedly possible future in which genetically engineered superior humans are the elite (Kind of a "Superbit" class of humanity), and the rest of us poor "love children" make up the trash classes.

Ethan Hawke is one of those lower class "In-Valid" individuals, but through a black market in personalities he manages to change his identity, becoming "Valid" and entering the elite Gattaca academy where he's groomed to become an astronaut.

This means a life of constant subterfuge, wearing contact lenses to correct his deficient vision, carrying dead skin and blood samples that will identify him not as the man he is but as the man whose life he is in effect renting.

Then the head of Gattaca is murdered, sparking an investigation that threatens to unmask the In-Valid Vincent and end his dreams of flight.

Hawke is good as Vincent, the social climber, but Jude Law, as the invalid Valid whose life he takes over, is better. Uma Thurman, who's basically around as Vincent's decorative love interest, is fine but is mostly wasted in what's essentially the story of Vincent, the "Valid" Jerome, and Vincent's Valid brother Anton.

It's an interesting story of a frightening society that could very well come to pass if leftist liberals' visions were to take complete control (the people who talk about equality even as they separate themselves and others who are different from them from the rest of humanity, dividing humanity by race, sex, etc.) that serves as a cautionary tale in this budding age of genetic manipulation.

This DVD reissue is part of Columbia Tristar's fabulous "Superbit" collection, so it doesn't come with any extras. What it does come with, however, is a superb audio and video transfer that looks and sounds glorious in a state-of-the-art home theater.

The anamorphic widescreen picture (16x9 TV compatible) is crystal clear, bright, sharp and colorful (probably more so than this basically cerebral movie actually merits) and the audio, which is in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, is equally impressive.

We obviously like Columbia Tristar's Superbit collection and look forward to more titles. While you really have to check out a Superbit title side by side with its "conventional" counterpart to appreciate the subtle difference, it is definitely there and if we had to choose between supplemental materials and the best possible audio and video quality we'd opt for the Superbit concept every time.

Gattaca, from Columbia Tristar Home Video's Superbit Collection
106 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio
Starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Alan Arkin, Loren Dean
Produced by Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol


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Updated May 13, 2006