Predictable sci-fi script provides the premise for this special effects showcase

Skyline represents an obvious step-up in quality for visual effects artists-turned-filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause. But this has more to do with the fact that this surprisingly dull alien invasion drama simply isn’t as offensive as their previous directorial outing Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (although, their commentary makes it clear that this film’s finale was originally heading in a similarly distasteful direction), rather than being a reflection on their growing talents.

This time around they’ve turned their attention on an apartment full of unlikeable 20-somethings who wake up one morning to discover that UFOs are ravaging the planet. What follows is essentially a ‘greatest-hits of sci-fi’ package that’ll leave you wishing you were watching War of the Worlds or Godzilla instead.

Picture: Skyline’s AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode shows all of the usual strengths and weaknesses of movies that have been shot digitally. As you’d expect, night sequences and dimly lit interiors (which make up around half of the film) have a familiar digital feel full of flat, washed-out blacks holding next-to-no shadow detail. Black levels also seem a little off register in a number of shots, giving them a slightly green tinge that isn’t particularly natural or appealing. However, whenever the action moves into brighter locales, the image quality picks up considerably, with improved sharpness, greater detailing and more accurate colour reproduction.
Picture rating: 3/5

Audio: This Blu-ray release serves up an involving and sonically detailed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that makes the film feel much more epic in scope than it actually is. Dialogue, as you’d expect, is cleanly rendered and firmly pinned to the centre-channel – but it’s the aural assault that accompanies the alien invaders that really grabs your attention. From their room-shaking arrival in Chapter 4, to a car being stomped on by a giant extraterrestrial beastie in Chapter 8 and the US Army fighting back in Chapter 13, this reveals itself to be a surround sound mix full of booming bass and expertly judged positional effects.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: This sci-fi flick doesn’t exactly reach for the sky with its decidedly middle-of-the-road batch of supplementary features. Directors Greg and Colin Strause provide a fairly informative audio commentary, which is backed-up by an equally amiable second track featuring co-writer/producer Liam O’Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes. In fact audio commentaries seem to be this disc’s big feature, with all four participants also turning up in optional chat tracks for every other extra on the disc, including seven deleted/extended scenes, two alternate scenes, two pre-viz animatics and even the teaser and theatrical trailers (the latter are actually pretty interesting as they highlight the struggles they had trying – and failing – to keep spoilers out of them).
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: A crushingly unoriginal sci-fi flick on a similarly uninspiring Blu-ray platter

Momentum Pictures, Region B BD, £25 approx, On sale now