Colossal Blu-ray review

When the boyfriend of unemployed writer Gloria (Anne Hathaway) finally gets tired of her feckless lifestyle and kicks her out of his Manhattan pad, she finds herself with nowhere left to go apart from back to her small hometown. There she reconnects with childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) and starts working in the bar that he owns, which only serves to exacerbate her drinking problem.

Things start to get really weird when a giant reptilian monster appears in South Korea, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. Before long Gloria comes to the startling realisation that the monster is somehow tied to her own behaviour and that she can control it. But that still doesn't explain the massive robot that has also popped up on the other side of the world…

Throughout the history of cinema, filmmakers have used giant monsters as a way of personifying a nebulous largescale threat – radiation, pollution and the like – in order to make it more tangible and allow the characters to battle them. The genius of Nacho 'Timecrimes' Vigalondo's Colossal is that it twists this idea around so that its giant creatures represent the characters' own inner demons.

The result is an utterly unique genre mash-up, a quirky comedy-drama that manages to dig deep into the emotional turmoil its characters are going through, while also giving us scenes of a monster and robot coming to blows. Really, what more could you possibly ask for?

Picture: Colossal strides onto BD with an appealing, if far from glossy, 2.40:1-framed Full HD encode. Like so many indie films before it, the bulk of the film opts for a fairly autumnal palette full of subdued colours, deep blacks and rather pasty skin tones. However, the bright neon signs that illuminate the dark streets of Seoul show that the encode can deliver something much richer when required. And while it rarely dazzles, this remains a solid 1080p picture.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: As you might expect, the majority of the film's DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is concerned with low-key atmospherics and dialogue – none of which will even remotely test your setup. Yet the monster sequences open things up considerably, with effective localised effects around the speaker array and a suitably hefty amount of low-end grunt whenever the beasts are on the move.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Nothing, not even the solitary deleted scene that graced the US Blu-ray, is housed here. A shame, as this is exactly the sort of film that leaves you keen to hear from those involved in its creation.
Extras rating: 0/5

We say: A smart premise executed brilliantly. Only the complete lack of extras brings any disappointment.

Colossal, Entertainment in Video, Region B BD, £25