Another great 007 James Bond movie. Quick loading but not to the menu which is a minus. The video quality was at times simply stunning and reference quality. The audio for the most part was excellent. The one minus on audio was when the train crashed through the big hole the extra high volume turned of my receiver putting it into protection mode. This is a fault in the sound editing of the film since out of the 100's of movies I have played at this volume level this is only the second movie part this has happened to me on. You get 2 commentary choices and 83 minutes of extra content. A DVD copy is included and two digital copy versions. You get the normal Itunes version that I love and the online UltraViolet version that I hate. I had trouble adding the latter version to my account but I like the fact you get both. Wish there was a bonus disc with more extras because I'm a huge 007 fan. This movie does not disappoint and carries on the tradition well.
Lionsgate Films | 1996 | 90 min | Rated R | Region free
| Sep 02, 2008
Director Daniel Lee makes his feature film debut with this Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4) vehicle. Li,
who made his American debut in Weapon, is an internationally renowned martial arts master
who has starred in dozens of Chinese...
I found this release to be a bit of a mixed bag. I hated the opening scene and wasn't blown away by the plot but there are some really cool martial arts sequences as well as some good humor. It is dubbed and although the language was clearly Americanized, I didn't find it distracting or problematic.
The audio was very clear but there were some noticeable problems with the PQ. The worst was during the chess scene near the beginning in which the picture quality kept changing from clear to very grainy. At other times, there were defects here and there. Nothing disastrous but there are issues.
The extras are very limited. A trailer, some written facts on a martial arts technique, and then a reshowing of scenes from the movie that make use of the technique. I think most viewers will end up skipping it all.
Overall, the martial acts sequences really make this movie. If you're a fan of Jet Li and these types of films, definitely check it out. If you don't like foreign films or films centered around martial arts, this one is probably not for you.
Just to clear this up, this release has both discs from the single releases in one case.
Movie: 3.5/5 Ferngully is an above average film but it wasn't great either. Tim Cury as the Villain and Robin Williams as a bat were probably the best parts. The Animation is pretty good, especially on the close up shots of the tree cutter.
Video: 3.5/5 The video quality looks okay. The pictures don't do it justice though. The movie in motion looks better than the screenshots, although there still is some specks.
Audio: 4/5 The Audio is just clear and fine. Note: I only listened to the English track for both films.
Extras: N/A I haven't checked out the extras as of this review
The Secret of NIMH:
Movie: 4.5/5 No movie is perfect, so I'll probably never use the 5/5 rating, but this one came close. This has to be one of my favorite animated movies, no, one of my favorite movies, period. I love this movie. The animation is Fantastic. It should be no surprise since it was made by the legendary Don Bluth who does some of the best animation I've ever seen. It's really smooth and fluent. The song at the end is really good to.
Video: 3.5/5 The Video Quality is pretty good for a film this old, but there is still some specks. The pictures also don't do this movie any favors. I've watched it and I'm pretty sure it looked better than the screenshots posted on this website. The blacks looked more inky than in the screenshot of the crow.
Audio: 3.5/5 The audio is just above average. With a film this old the audio can maybe be a little underwhelming, but this is pretty good.
Extras: 3/5 The audio commentary is pretty insightful about the behind the scenes. They even talk about how the lamp in one shot was actually just a lamp they found and is now in a museum somewhere becuase it was in this film I think.
Overall: 4/5 Ferngully was an okay movie with a good villain and some okay to pretty good songs. The Secret of NIMH on the other hand is great. It doesn't talk down to it's audience and has a good story, great animation and a really good song at the end. I recommend this double feature if you want either one of these films or both if you find it for a good deal.
Just to clear this up, this release has both discs from the single releases in one case.
Movie: 3.5/5 Ferngully is an above average film but it wasn't great either. Tim Cury as the Villain and Robin
Williams as a bat were probably the best parts. The Animation is pretty good, especially on the close up shots
of the tree cutter.
Video: 3.5/5 The video quality looks okay. The pictures don't do it justice though. The movie in motion looks
better than the screenshots, although there still is some specks.
Audio: 4/5 The Audio is just clear and fine. Note: I only listened to the English track for both films.
Extras: N/A I haven't checked out the extras as of this review
The Secret of NIMH:
Movie: 4.5/5 No movie is perfect, so I'll probably never use the 5/5 rating, but this one came close. This has to
be one of my favorite animated movies, no, one of my favorite movies, period. I love this movie. The animation
is Fantastic. It should be no surprise since it was made by the legendary Don Bluth who does some of the best
animation I've ever seen. It's really smooth and fluent. The song at the end is really good to.
Video: 3.5/5 The Video Quality is pretty good for a film this old, but there is still some specks. The pictures also
don't do this movie any favors. I've watched it and I'm pretty sure it looked better than the screenshots posted
on this website. The blacks looked more inky than in the screenshot of the crow.
Audio: 3.5/5 The audio is just above average. With a film this old the audio can maybe be a little
underwhelming, but this is pretty good.
Extras: 3/5 The audio commentary is pretty insightful about the behind the scenes. They even talk about how
the lamp in one shot was actually just a lamp they found and is now in a museum somewhere becuase it was in
this film I think.
Overall: 4/5 Ferngully was an okay movie with a good villain and some okay to pretty good songs. The Secret of
NIMH on the other hand is great. It doesn't talk down to it's audience and has a good story, great animation
and a really good song at the end. I recommend this double feature if you want either one of these films or
both if you find it for a good deal.
I'll normally blind buy a Jason Statham film as he tends to deliver the goods. Fans of Statham should enjoy, probably worth a rent more than owning. Running almost 2 hours, the last few minutes seemed rushed and tacked on. Picture and sound were good. Extras seemed thin. Not as good as his last outing Safe. I'll be selling my copy.
Ernest Goes to Camp is a really good kinda cheesy 80's movie that star that lovable goofball Ernest. I think this might be the best Ernest movie out of them all. This was the first real Ernest movie to be released and you might notice some differences between this movie and the other Disney/Touchstone Ernest movies. First of all Ernest doesn't switch into any costumes to become different characters, which in my opinion makes this movie better. Second, this movie has really good songs in it; not to say the other films don't, but this one has some really good songs like "Brave Hearts" and a sad song sung by Ernest called "Gee I'm Glad It's Raining". This movie is a solid family film that I definitely recommend watching.
Video: 3.5/5 The video to me looks really good and just fine. I didn't notice any scratches or dust and the movie is really clear and clean to look at while still retaining a bit of film grain.
Audio: 4/5 If you've read the review for the Ernest double feature blu-ray you've heard that the sound isn't that great. I'm a bit more forgiving with sound because if it's clear enough to hear clearly the company must be doing something right. That being said I think they might have fixed the sound issues from that blu-ray release because I had the triple feature DVD and whenever there was a sound effect it almost sounded like there was this extra crunching Noise that wasn't supposed to be there. Well, that's not present here. The audio is pretty good and clear. The music sounds really good on this release. There are also English subtitles.
Extras: 1.5/5 The only extra is the trailer for the movie in standard definition which is pretty good and funny and for some odd reason actually had the Disney Pictures logo instead of Touchstone. Maybe they were going to release it and changed there minds.
Camp Nowhere is a kinda not so good movie. The movie is kinda meh but has it's kinda good moments. Also, it has Christopher Llyod who is kinda good in this movie.
Video: 3.5/5 It looks fine and clear. No specks I could notice and only a bit of film grain.
Audio: 4/5 The audio is fine and even comes with a extra Spanish audio track that, even though it's Dolby Digital 2.0 and not DTS-HD MA 2.0, sounds pretty good. Everything is clear. There are also English-only subtitles.
Extras: 0.5/5 Besides the extra Spanish audio track there is nothing
Overall: 3.5/5 I think it's worth owning if you like movies about camp or like Ernest movies. I think of Camp Nowhere almost like a bonus because I was just curious to see it.
Ernest Goes to Camp is a really good kinda cheesy 80's movie that star that lovable goofball Ernest. I think this
might be the best Ernest movie out of them all. This was the first real Ernest movie to be released and you
might notice some differences between this movie and the other Disney/Touchstone Ernest movies. First of all
Ernest doesn't switch into any costumes to become different characters, which in my opinion makes this movie
better. Second, this movie has really good songs in it; not to say the other films don't, but this one has some
really good songs like "Brave Hearts" and a sad song sung by Ernest called "Gee I'm Glad It's Raining". This
movie is a solid family film that I definitely recommend watching.
Video: 3.5/5 The video to me looks really good and just fine. I didn't notice any scratches or dust and the movie
is really clear and clean to look at while still retaining a bit of film grain.
Audio: 4/5 If you've read the review for the Ernest double feature blu-ray you've heard that the sound isn't that
great. I'm a bit more forgiving with sound because if it's clear enough to hear clearly the company must be
doing something right. That being said I think they might have fixed the sound issues from that blu-ray release
because I had the triple feature DVD and whenever there was a sound effect it almost sounded like there was
this extra crunching Noise that wasn't supposed to be there. Well, that's not present here. The audio is pretty
good and clear. The music sounds really good on this release. There are also English subtitles.
Extras: 1.5/5 The only extra is the trailer for the movie in standard definition which is pretty good and funny
and for some odd reason actually had the Disney Pictures logo instead of Touchstone. Maybe they were going
to release it and changed there minds.
Camp Nowhere is a kinda not so good movie. The movie is kinda meh but has it's kinda good moments. Also, it
has Christopher Llyod who is kinda good in this movie.
Video: 3.5/5 It looks fine and clear. No specks I could notice and only a bit of film grain.
Audio: 4/5 The audio is fine and even comes with a extra Spanish audio track that, even though it's Dolby
Digital 2.0 and not DTS-HD MA 2.0, sounds pretty good. Everything is clear. There are also English-only
Extras: 0.5/5 Besides the extra Spanish audio track there is nothing
Overall: 3.5/5 I think it's worth owning if you like movies about camp or like Ernest movies. I think of Camp
Nowhere almost like a bonus because I was just curious to see it.
It's a shame that Sony, creator of the Blu-ray format, has given up on releasing their movies on Blu-ray! Well, it's a good thing that Mill Creek decided to step in and release titles for them. I managed to order this Blu-ray from one of my favorite webstores and scored it for under $6. This Blu-ray would be perfect, if it wasn't for one small, but large flaw.
Paula Henning (Franka Potente, Princess and the Warrior) is accepted into one of Germany's best medical schools. As she arrives to Heidelberg, we learn that there is a secret underground society that is conducting illegal dissections on people. As Paula discovers the mystery, her friends are dying off one by one.
I thought this was a great German horror film. Franka Potente does a great job as does Benno Furman. Which is a great duo as they are foes in this film and lovers in Princess and the Warrior. And it's really nice that we have a different kind of horror movie; it's a slasher, but the methods are unique as the killers are obsessed with the human body. 5/5.
Anatomy 2: 3.5/5
Jo is a young med student who is trying to find a cure for his brother's muscular disease. While at the same time, the same group of medical madmen are operating at his university. This time, this branch of the Anti-Hippocratics are focusing on improving the human condition. Jo is soon accepted into the group and realizes he is in over his head.
For a sequel, it was good. Franka Potente has a cameo in the film and is in it for about five minutes and that's it. The cast is ok. Just the plot of this film does not compare to the first film. Considering that these people are not preserving, but, essentially destroying the human body as they want to replace everyting with synthetic muscles and everything else under the sun. I give the film a 3.5/5
Mill Creek's transfer of the film Anatomy is pretty good as it is in 2.35:1, 1080p, and MPEG4/AVC. This is a different source which was not used on the Sony DVD. The credits on the DVD were in English whereas all of the credits on Mill Creek's Blu-ray are in German. Grain is pretty strong in most spots. There was only three instances of print damage that I could spot while viewing the film; 56 minutes, 67 minutes, and in the final scene during the end credits. There might be some dirt here and there, but it's not as bad as the transfer was on the DVD. Sony and Mill Creek give Anatomy a quality debut on Blu-ray. 4/5.
Anatomy 2: 4/5
NOTE: I would give this a zero out of five stars, but, I don't feel it's entirely fair.
The biggest problem with the transfer on Anatomy 2 is that English subtitles are hardcoded into the video transfer of the film. So, if you decide to watch the film with French or Spanish subtitles, you have to watch it with English subtitles on top of that. This is something that you expect with a DVD. I cannot recall any Blu-rays that I have seen where the subtitles are actually hardcoded into the video itself.
While setting this aside, the video quality is pretty good for a film that is now ten years old. Presented in 1080p, in 2.35:1, and in MPEG4/AVC. I never saw Anatomy 2 on DVD, so, I cannot comment on the quality differences between both formats. Grain is present throughout. I give the video presentation, despite the hardcoded subtitles, a 4/5.
This is another oddity, the original German audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and the English dub is presented in Dolby Digital DTS-HD MA 5.1. Why Sony handed off the original audio in an inferior soundtrack is questionable. English is the default audio track on the film. But, are most people going to listen to the film in it's English dub? We also have the film with a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track. I give the audio presentations a 4/5.
Anatomy 2: 4/5
Unlike Anatomy, we do not have an English dub track for the second film and we now have the German audio in DTS-HD MA 5.1. Then we have a Spanish dub in Dolby Digital 5.1 for the film, which the first film didn't have. And on top of that, French Dolby Digital 2.0. I'd say the sound levels all sound even in comparison to the first film. But, I think the English subtitles are more of a distraction compared to listening to the audio. I give the audio presentation a 4/5.
Can't say if there was any extras on the second film, but all of the bonus material from the first film is non-existant on this Blu-ray. I can't think of any Mill Creek Blu-rays, with the exception of the Gamera trilogy, that had extra features. 0/5.
I got this for under $6; if the problem of hardcoded English subtitles on the second film doesn't bother you, then go for it. I think I'll wait until Sony Germany releases Anatomy 2 on Blu-ray over there and see if it has English subs. I just think it's such a doozy that this happened; was there any quality control done on this Blu-ray? Setting that problem aside, 3/5.
WWE Home Video | 2011 | 180 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | May 31, 2011
WWE goes EXTREME in this high octane pay-per-view event. Each of the matches have special stipulations as WWE Superstars battle for high profile championships and pride. The 2010 edition featured Street Fights, Steel Cage...
Extreme Rules 2011 was an event that is a representative of the time in which it was made. When I review the matches, you'll see where I'm coming from. LAST MAN STANDING: CM PUNK VS. RANDY ORTON opens this card. It's a blow-off match between two men who had been feuding since after Elimination Chamber. Orton and Punk are in that mid-card purgatory mode, but both would have sunnier days not too far from now. It's a decent match, with some nice spots. ***1/2 KOFI KINGSTON VS. SHEAMUS IN A TABLES MATCH FOR THE UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP is next. It was virtually made up on the fly with barely any background heading in. Another solid outing between the two, as Kofi really shows his flexibility becoming the NEW US Champ. **1/2 The less said about MICHAEL COLE AND JACK SWAGGER VS. JERRY 'THE KING' LAWLER AND JIM ROSS IN A COUNTRY WHIPPING MATCH, the better. The feud between Lawler and Cole SHOULD have ended, but noooooooo, it's going to continue on to a DUD. REY MYSTERIO VS. CODY RHODES IN A FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH follows. A highly energetic/entertaining match ensues. Both men go all over the place. Mysterio does his best Tajiri imitation (mist to the face), and it adds yet more 'trauma' to Rhodes' already 'disfigured' face. Notice how I used the quotes, because for Rhodes that was his gimmick at the time.*** LAYLA VS. MICHELLE MCCOOL IN A LOSER LEAVES WWE MATCH ensues. At one point this was the diva duo to watch in the WWE before it all came to a head. With a voiceover to laugh at. Seriously, go to YouTube, and watch the SMACKDOWN before this where Michelle challenges Layla. Anyways, it's short and not very sweet. Pretty typical diva match. *1/2 CHRISTIAN VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO IN A LADDER MATCH FOR THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP is pretty anticipated. Edge, who was WHC after WrestleMania, dropped the bombshell that he had to retire. It was going to be ADR vs. Edge in the match, but Christian won a battle royal to secure his spot. Both men use the ladders pretty well, with Brodus Clay getting the red badge of honor (i.e: Blood) for knocking his noggin head first on a sharp edge of a ladder! Christian gets the win after Edge distracts Del Rio, and the two friends celebrate. A damn slobberknocker as Jim Ross would say **** BIG SHOW/KANE VS. THE CORRE (WADE BARRETT AND EZEKIEL JACKSON) IN A TAG TEAM LUMBERJACK MATCH FOR THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP followed. Another symptom of a 2011 PPV was adding a match, such as this one, at the very last minute in-between big matches. It was short and sloppy with the giants picking up the W.* JOHN CENA VS. JOHN MORRISON VS. THE MIZ IN A STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP capped off this event. I'm happy they put Morrison in this match because his parkour style was a nice contrast to the vanilla style of two-like opponents in Miz/Cena. R-Truth beat the crap out of Morrison, thus negating Morrison's outcome of the finish. Cena beat Miz out, and became the WWE Champion again!*** As for the extras, I'm miffed how John Cena's announcement of Osama Bin Laden's killing wasn't on here. That was historically important, yet completely ignored. Oh well, at least we had a nice and lengthy Edge retirement piece. As well as Rock's birthday celebration, which was middling at best. CONCLUSION: As far as WWE events go, this isn't bad at all. Sure there are stumbles in the road, but not every event can be like Money in the Bank come July of that year. For the price, it's definitely worth owning with some nice supplements.
WWE Home Video | 2011 | 540 min | Rated PG | Region A (B, C untested) | Oct 11, 2011
It s the veritable definition of high risk, high reward in sports entertainment a rich reward hangs high above the ring and a superstar must climb a ladder to win the match and retrieve the prize. But the falls from the ladders...
A great sequel to the original release!
WWE released the first compilation of ladder match DVDs simply called "The Ladder Match" on DVD in June of 2007. That original release was AWESOME! So awesome in fact that WWE listened to the fans on this and made a sequel. A lot of times sequels don't measure up, but on this set it does! There are MANY great matches on here. For example, the original Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon battle from WrestleMania X is here. The 3 Count/Jung Dragons tag match from WCW New Blood Rising is here. There is the epic Rob Van Dam/Christian match from WWE RAW, plus a few WrestleMania Money in the Banks as well. Ending the main content with Christian/Alberto Del Rio from Extreme Rules is a great touch, further ensuring a potential third volume when it comes to pass. There are some additional BD extras, with Edge/Jeff Hardy from Extreme Rules being the best of the few matches. Keep in mind this presentation isn't perfect. Some older footage isn't in as great condition as the newer stuff. There are blurs on WWF matches between 1998-2002. There even is a cut-away on a chokehold during the Rock/Mankind match, which is a trend that started in later 2010. Even then, these imperfections can't drag this set to hell. This is a must buy, and if you have the original set, then it's a perfect companion.
I have been waiting for this to come to Blu-ray. My favorite movie of 2013 so far. I just love it. I never read the book, but the story is intriguing and suspenseful and made me smile and laugh both. Great acting and the story flows well.
I was disappointed with the PQ however. I have several new releases that have been solid 5/5 PQ, but this one falls short. A lot of soft shots and not very detailed. I expected more from a 2013 release. Audio is fantastic.
Disney / Buena Vista | 2007 | 96 min | Rated PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Jun 19, 2007
Jesse Aaron's biggest dream is to be the fastest runner in 5th grade. But on the first day of school, a new girl in Jesse's class called Leslie Burke overruns every boy, including Jesse. Then, surprisingly, Jesse and Leslie...
Warner Bros. | 2005 | 136 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A (C untested) | Jan 01, 2013
Lincoln Six-Echo is a resident of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" —...
Fantastic movie really. Well paced, characters well defined. Strong performances from everyone. No small parts, all added to the overall product. I'm saying this, and it's a Michael Bay movie! He usually makes brain dead, blow up movies with no feeling, just boom-boom and hot chicks. This particular movie came out at the end of the summer of 05, in a year where there were so many big movie releases that it got lost or we ran out of money. Maybe, just maybe the fact that it got lost and didn't do that well, Mr. Bay had to revert to the sugary, formulaic, plagiaristic (arg!) ways to insure his movies are not ignored. Hats off to him on this one he can direct. But it is a business and I can see now why he chooses the superfluous techniques over finely crafting a movie...you can't any chances or your history in Hollywood.
Picture is stupendous. Color saturation, grain, detail, all of it is there and just beautiful. More than demo worthy.
Sound is reference. We used to use the dvd to demo speakers when I worked in store. Highway scene was always a hit. The Blu Ray is just so much better that's it hard to put into words. Rest assured, this one's a beast.
Overall if you own the DVD and have seen it many times as I have, treat yourself as the look, feel and sound of the Blu Ray is vastly superior to the point it all feels new (there are some added scenes I picked up on that really add to the movie development quite nicely).
At 7.99, there's really nothing out there aside from maybe King Kong that can compete with this one bang for buck. Having said that, this one is a better overall movie than Kong. Highly recommended.
Universal Studios | 2005 | 201 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| Jan 20, 2009
Flamboyant, foolhardy documentary filmmaker, Carl Denham, sails off to remote
to film his latest epic with leading lady, Ann Darrow. Native warriors kidnap Ann to
use as a
sacrifice as they summon "Kong" with...
King Kong is an epic adventure if there ever was one. It's a story told in true classic form. Being a remake of the Original 1933 release, it's interesting to see some of the throwback to that time both in the story as well as in the cinematic style. Of course Peter Jackson throws his larger than life and heavy CG style on it but it comes out beautiful and as believable as a 25ft Gorilla and dinosaurs can be. Well worth the watch.
The clarity and picture quality of the bluray is phenomenal, although it does make the special effects look a bit aged. It was easy to spot which scenes were shot on green screens and where the CG elements met the set. For it's time, the special effects and CG characters are nothing short of stunning. The details used on Kong are unbelievable, down to the individual hairs on his body. The sound is excellent as well on the bluray. That first time we hear Kong roar in the jungle is spine tingling.
Over all a great film and one I'm proud to have in my bluray collection. The special effects feel a bit dated at times but not enough to take away from an overall brilliant film.
In a way, this feels like an evolution of Charles M. Jones as a director for the insufferable Termite Terrace crew. Chuck was still dabbling with Disney-style pacing with a good amount of the Sniffles shorts, which permeate all of Disc 1. The shorts rely on backgrounds and good-natured fun instead of the zany gags found on other works, like Tex Avery's. When 'The Unbearable Bear" came about, Sniffles transformed from a cute lil' creature to a blabbermouse for lack of a better term. Sniffles would eventually become retired with "Hush My Mouse" in 1946, one of the last Looney Tunes' to carry that signature Porky Pig ending of "That's All Folks". Disc Two is the Hubie and Bertie series in their entirety. If Sniffles was the "Disney" disc, then this dastardly duo is definitely the WB we know and love. The two discs have a stark contrast of character traits, which taken as a whole, makes this set better than if you individually rate all the cartoons. H+B even have a Oscar-nominee with House Wreckers in the bunch. However, the cartoons with Claude Cat really bring a great study to that table, the hypochondriac has to fend off the hilariously evil H+B. All told, the two series' combined bring in only 19 cartoons, barely enough to warrant a second disc. At least for the BD, there is a selection of un-restored cartoons added. Some of them are good, and some of them are indifferent, and then there's Merlin...ugh. Maurice LaMarche hosts a cool feature of "Of Mice and Pens". Lastly, there's a storyboard for the Hypo-chondri-Cat, which is arguably the best short in this collection. The price point is high, and some people will understandably back away because of the lack of "recognizable" characters. For people who jump in, they will be rewarded with a portfolio of cartoons that really define Chuck Jones as a director. (Last note: Some of the cartoons have original titles restored to the shorts. These credits weren't fully restored, but they don't reflect the quality of the overall animation.)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1963 | 172 min | Not rated | Region A, B (C untested) | May 07, 2013
In 1943, the Germans opened Stalag Luft North, a maximum-security prisoner-of-war camp, designed to hold even the craftiest escape artists. In doing so, however, the Nazis unwittingly assembled the finest escape team in military...
Starz / Anchor Bay | 2009 | 90 min | Rated R | Region A (B, C untested) | Oct 27, 2009
When he makes a late-night movie delivery to a strange town on Halloween, video store counter jockey Stan Helsing (Steve Howey) finds himself hunted by a who's who of slasher-film killers, including Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers...
Two young girls, Mei and Satsuki, move into a new home that is close to the hospital that their mother is in. In their yard is an extremely large tree which is home to three Totoros, gods of the forest. Soon after, news from the...
If a pure child had God's wisdom for painting, then I would think it would look something like a Miyazaki film. As if
recalling precious moments from childhood and bringing them to life via a palette of plastic sheets rendered now digitally
to fixated media applications (a process which is not long-lasting in cimena but which will likely not change), Miyazaki is
something of a painter for the imagination.
His pallete ranges heavily, from the beautiful to the absurd; to the whimsical and frightening. To the thought-provoking
and timeless. There and back again (as old Bilbo might say). But the legacy of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have retained
something which is indeed not inherant to commercial cinema, but rather, thriving recollections of a dream. His films
speak wonders to the eyes and ears, more than they do to the mind or even the word of mouth. However, this is not to
say that either one takes the back seat ride.
It is most certainly this 1988 masterwork My Neighbor Totoro that put Miyazaki on the global map. A seemingly simple
tale involving peculiar "forest spirits" and a quirky but heavily curious pair of young siblings; (who embark on an
emotional journey so complex yet inherantly simple), that we are often unprepared and astonished at what we see on
The characters in Miyazaki's films are never "real" to us as a viewing audience, and they probably never will be; since we
as human so wrought and encased into our basic 'superficial' modern movie going subconscience; that such perceptions
of the inane and brilliant imagination of the child's third eye seems to inhibit us from accepting it as anything else (a
quality which sadly progresses with old age). This is something which of course makes Miyazaki an even more dignified
cultural treasure, whom even artists of Disney fame distend their most humble praise.
The images in his films resemble glorious watercolor paintings, perhaps more than they do inklings of animé fandom. His
work had foremost transcended the bounds of what fans have come to know and love as: "animé-style". Thus creating
his own unique techniques and cinematic look. Miyazaki is fearless in the way his distends artistry to conceptualization in
the art itself (if this makes no sense to you whatsoever, just see his films).
The film is the clever coming-of-age story of two young girls: "Satsuki" and "May Kusakabi" (beloved characters for the
anime ages and beyond). Together, they journey with their father to a comely little house on the hills, resting in a
prefecture of Japan which states itself to little grace inside our own familiar world--The vistas presented are that of the
imagination, not of its historical context (something which the man doesn't deny himself of in his movies, but
nonetheless, utilizes as a means to an end rather than an end in itself).
To comprehend Miyazaki's vision is to enter a realm enlightened by the spirit of a young child. "My Neighbor Totoro"
speaks poetry and volumes, and also none of the same. It is also not a movie that can be divulged, dissected and
analyzed with the meager words and cheap phrases that accompany all modern criticism. Yes, the film's beauty lies
much deeper, something which the mind of an intellectual or one in touch with his soul might seek to grasp or those of
an innocent child unburdened by the world's materialistic and sadistic purview.
The film presents itself as a kind of emotional "joy ride" of sorts between two slight-beyond infant souls. Satsuki is about
8 or 10 years old and her younger sister in the story is about 4 or 5 years of age; but Miyazaki displays no prejudice to
his artistic renderings of fixation of emotion; which is perhaps why the movie remains relatively timeless in every
respect. Together, Satsuki and May encounter the lovable forest spirits known as the "Totoros"; whom are explicitly
presented as deities but instead carry a charm unbeknownst to anything reasonable or logical outside the bounds of
context. They are quite simply, single facets of the man's imagination.
There are a plethora of themes resonating in the film. It may be an impressive display of visual talent, but the film is
also a roller-coaster (if not a slow-paced one) of ideas and morals, which carry a weight of themselves to humble extents
beneath the breadth weight of it all. There is of course a definite theme of courage and friendship, loyalty and love
(eminent in all his movies, but which carry a kind of dignified grace here). It's as if several humble and delightful
elements of fable fancy all gathered themselves into one light of a film, bursting with lovable pureness and simply inane
fun. Here is a film which shows no bounds to its plethora of onlookers, children and grown-ups alike, who cannot easily
forget what it simply means to behold and wonder; Miyazaki brilliantly reminds us all with simple brushstrokes and slow-
paced, ethological storytelling of an induced greeting-card like apprearence.
The narrative of the movie is a simple one. Satsuki and May carry off into their tiny misadventures within the confines of
their own new home and neighborhood (Hence the show's title). This neighborhood however is one which you might not
come to expect outside the bounds of American movie fame. My Neighbor Totoro, like most anime titles, does not easily
forget its Japanese roots; and also like most anime, it's a quality that is seeped in Japanese differentia. Evident
everywhere from architecture to beautiful and simple landscapes (such as the elaboratly drawn rice paddy fields which
May and Satsuki marvel at in child-like wonder).
Furthermore, the beautiful drawn tale is a cascade of short and simple events, which merit themselves wonderfully in
the story, one which eventually leads Satsuki and May to the Totoro's themselves. Quietly and majestically sound, they
aid May and Satsuki in a series of conflicts and issues (which are only conflicts in the "movie" sense of things--but which
present themselves as simply real life situations). In one emotional instant, the two girls' mother whom they periodically
visit at the local hospital is thought to have some medical complications. (This not surprisingly plays out through the
climax of the film, in which young May and Satsuki proceed to help their mother with the aid of the Totoros).
Miyazaki handles the craft to fantastic effect, which often imposes elapsed silence and backdrops in order to convey both
a sense of realism and surrealism. Such images are sublime and profound in tone, such is the scene when young May
first encounters the gigantic Totoro (Which seemingly cannot be seen by the grown ups). Young May is neither afraid nor
astonished by the great creature, but there is indeed some other quality which thrives in Miyazaki's conveyance of such
scenes from a directorial standpoint. It's something which goes deeper into the heart and soul. Peering down upon the
audience as do the Totoros to young May and Satsuki; like mystical guardians or even facets of the young girls. Such
mastery in film making and timing is quite simply: unsurpassed (the scenes involving the "cat bus" are quite simply
My Neighbor Totoro has been praised in past years as one of the greatest family films of all time, and there's good reason
for it. The movie in all its shapes and guises never forgets its most basic and inherant quality. As a family movie which
shows no age bounds to it's audience, and also one that cleverly, magically employs a sense of basic fundamental
realism and feel. This is never more evident than in key scenes involving detail, the most simple of images like a water
stream or simply the facial expressions of characters. A technique which the master animator has immortalized, more
and more with the progessing years.
After the critical success of his films into the early 90s, and the overwhelming success of "Princess Mononoke" back in
1997 through 99 and beyond to present; such a project was said by the man himself to be his final film journey; which
was quite a worthy testament indeed, which instead housed a welcome into the realm of his next big project: 2002's
"Spirited Away"; which has racked up multiple awards outside those of the lifetime achievment benefits of the man
himself, and on that note, deserving of a great deal more.
However, the ultimate mystery remains, as to why in fact his movies are so great to begin with? And while it is highly
unlikely that they may not be great to most people (something which history has thankfully proven quite wrong), they
are always and most certainly basically entertaining; in it's most purest form of imagination. I have "My Neighbor
Totoro" countless, countless times. Again and again. And perhaps of all the basic fundamentalism and implied
psychological colloquy I can muster; one thing remains quite clear and simple to me.
His movies simply cannot be described any other way, other than the fact that they must be seen to be believed.
I'm not afraid to say that "My Neighbor Totoro" is the single most moving animated film I have ever witnessed. And
while animation fans bear in mind that I do not easily throw aside the man's colleague's own "Grave of the Fireflies";
filling the same release year as this film; it's an entirely different kind of emotional experience. One which foremost
easily merits one's own childhood, and transports us to places unbeknownst even to ourselves.
20th Century Fox | 2007 | 107 min | Rated R | Region A (locked) | Jan 08, 2008
It is the year 2057, the sun is dying and mankind faces extinction. Earth's last hope rests with a courageous crew of eight men and women on a mission to ignite the fading star with a massive nuclear weapon. Deep into their...
I really enjoyed the first 3/4ths of this movie. Interesting story, nice pace, cool shots... Then, the movie took a strange turn and went too far out there for me. I won't spoil it for others but I think the twist was completely unnecessary and really ruined the ending of this film.
I thought the PQ and AQ were great.
There are a number of extras included but they're all pretty brief and I didn't find them particular interesting. Compared to the extras included on similar movies like Event Horizon, the ones on this release are disappointing.
Overall, it's definitely worth seeing if you like sci-fi.
The final installment of the "Three Mothers" trilogy. A young American art student, Sarah, unwittingly opens an ancient urn that unleashes the demonic power of the world's most powerful witch. As a scourge of suicides plague the...
Fortunately, about 2/3 of the French subtitles on the Enlish track appear below the black bar (this is a cinemascope ratio movie). **UPDATE: If your player has a feature to move the subtitle position, you should be able to at least lower the subs until they remain entirely within the black bar.**
Also, the dialogue scenes with subs are not usually the more visually striking, so it's less of a nuisance. There is also the French track without subtitles you can enjoy for re-watching. The Japanese BD seems to have boosted contrast or maybe even edge enhancement, the Japan BD is still watchable if you turn down the contrast or backlight, but the French one looks way more natural, and more colorful. A few of the darkly lit scenes in the Japan BD reveal more detail, it seemed. I've read that the the film had some sort of digital tinkering or edge enhancement done, maybe even before it's theatrical release, so the problem could be in the "source", but the French BD at least seems to minimize this, as I thought it looked perfectly fine. I saw some screencaps on another website that looked pretty bad, but on my set it looked relatively warm and natural...may have to do with the way their set was calibrated. From memory, at least it is a big step up from the DVD.
The French BD also has a behind the scenes documentary with some English, and you can fast-forward though the non-English talking heads for some very nice making-of shots. There are also some stills and trailers. If you can speak French there is also an "analysis" of the film...I wonder what they make of it. The Japan BD only has a trailer.
If you go in knowing this is not the classic Argento, the film is very enjoyable. I liked it much more on this second viewing, after first seeing it on DVD when it came out. I think it is far better and more stylish than most of his post-Opera films.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 2002 | 97 min | Rated R | Region A (B, C untested) | Jan 04, 2011
Jonathan Cross is an all-American hotshot, the most popular player in the fastest and most
extreme sport of all time: Rollerball. Along with teammates Marcus Ridley and Aurora,
Jonathan is living the high life -- fame, money,...
Rollerball is not one of the worst movies I've seen but it's pretty bad. This movie is the definition of unnecessary scenes. There is scene after scene that seems completely unnecessary to the story. Overall, the plot is weak, the game the movie centers around is meh, and the action scenes are not exciting. The limited number of special effects are very poor (explosions that look like firecrackers and fake zoom outs of action sequences that are sped up way too fast).
It actually took me 2 nights to get through this one. During the first viewing, I nodded off around the 60 minute mark.
The VQ was okay (nothing spectacular) but the audio is set too loud. I had to keep playing with the volume to juggle between dialogue one minute and blasting music the next.
The only extra included is the trailer which nearly equates to no extras in my eyes. It's not surprising though because I don't know what anyone could speak about for any length of time regarding this movie.
The only decent thing in this movie is Rebecca Romijn's brief topless scene. But it's not worth buying this movie just to see that. Skip it.
Wild Side Video | 1976 | 101 min | Region B (A, C untested) | Jul 04, 2012
New Orleans businessman Michael Courtland's life is shattered when his wife and daughter are tragically killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Many years later whilst visiting Italy he meets and falls in in love with Sandra...
The forced subtitles on this release make further comments almost irrelevant. But if it weren't for those, I would say this has slightly better picture quality than the Arrow release. Also, on my STEREO system, the 5.1 audio track sounds better than the 5.1 track on Arrow, better integration between channels, which is important for enjoying the awesome Herrmann score. But the French release doesn't include the Mono track, instead including a stereo mix as the second English option.
But frustratingly, I can't enjoy watching this with forced subtitles, so it will probably just sit in a box in a closet.
Fortunately, the Arrow is almost as good as this one (or equal, depending on taste & equipment) in the PQ department, so I can be content with that.
Update: if your player has an option to move the subtitle position, you should be able to at least move the subtitles down to where they remain in the black bar at the bottom of the screen (this is a "cinemascope" ratio movie). I only just discovered this in the setup menu of my Oppo BDP93.
This has most of the same special features as the Arrrow, including the short films, but the screenplay is on a file rather than a printed book.
Three university parapsychologists lose a research grant when their experiment methodology is proven
to be bogus. The team decides to go into business for themselves as "Ghostbusters", a ghost removal service. After struggling...
Recommended to those who do not already own the 2009 Blu-ray (and don't care about supplemental materials), as well as die-hard fans who were bothered with the minor contrast issues of that previous release.
Note: In comparing this new 1080p (mastered in 4K) disc to the original 1080p Sony Blu-ray (mastered in 2K), I found the variation between the two rather subtle for the most part, and less than what I had anticipated. The English Dolby True-HD 5.1 audio track is identical on both, and while there is certainly improvement in this new transfer (mainly "contrast" correction), there is also some sporadic black crush to be had, thus leading me to conclude that the overall differences between the two releases are so minimal, that I cannot recommend a purchase for any casual viewer who already owns the 2009 disc.
A commendable job by Sony nonetheless, and here's to hoping that in the future, the studios will focus more on using the 4K mastering process for films that have not yet been made available on Blu-ray, instead of re-releasing titles that have already received prior (and satisfactory) HD treatment.
Blu ray transfer not as good as original theatre release prints!
I saw Hello Dolly in the movie theatre when it was released. I remember how the film looked in the theatre, and how
nice the projected film looked on the movie screen. I work in the theatre industry and have seen hundreds of motion
pictures. This film was originally shot with the Todd A O system, which used a 65mm camera and 70mm release prints
in select theatres. The Todd A O system used 70mm prints with 6 channel magnetic sound. There were a few theatres
that ran this movie in 70mm, but most of them used the standard 35mm release prints with Deluxe color. Deluxe color
was the Eastman Kodak color system. Technicolor was available during that time period, but was alot higher cost. Most
of the theatres in the usa were given Deluxe color prints on Eastman Kodak release print film. I do know there were a
few prints produced in Technicolor for Europe. I saw Hello Dollly in the theatre the first week it was released. The color
balance, saturation, and latitude of the contrast range was far superior to the Blu Ray copy. This blu ray copy did not
come from an original negative or internegative. It appears to have been copied from a good
quality 35mm release print several generations down the chart. Whoever did the adjustments on the color and contrast
for this transfer did a fair job. Serveral of the scenes are way too high in contrast, and the colors are pushed too high in
the satureation range. The last 10 minutes of the transfer the film goes to the magenta side, the vibrant greens are pale
with lack luster
saturation and a magenta cast. I could do a much better job balancing the grey scales in this transfer. I am not sure
who the people are that are doing these transfers, but they don't produce the same quality that was originally seen in
the theatre release prints when originally released. Computer restoration software is only as good as the eye of the user
that understands what proper grey scale and color balance is. Its too bad that most of these restorations are not
being done by professional color balancers and color timers. Theatre release prints used to be balanced for each scene
with color timing. It was a costly and timely process, but produced perfect grey scales. Its unfortunate that this transfer
was not taken from the original negative. It is a fair transfer in my opinion. I wish everyone that reads this could have
seen this movie in the theaters when it was presented in
the Todd A O process which was 70mm projection with 6 channel magnetic sound. That presentation would blow away
this simple blu ray!!
Excellent film but I suspect the Oscar award was in part political!
The Blu-ray disc is excellent and despite knowing the outcome tension is maintained right to the end. The DVD is faulty as the subtitles did not work on two different brand players. If you want subtitles on your DVD better get the USA release. I did not find the extra length added to the story.
Universal Studios | 2005 | 129 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Jan 26, 2010
In class-conscious England near the close of the 18th century, the five Bennet sisters--Elizabeth, or Lizzie,
Mary, and Kitty--have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and...
I won't comment too much on the story. Most Jane Austen novels have a similar theme. Let's just say that this one reads a bit like a fairy tale.
This is a grand production. Expertly directed. The attention to details is astounding. Perfect acting. And the cinematography...Wow, just wow! If the scenic displays presented in this movie don't make you want to leave our modern cities and times and make you desire to live in young Lizzy Bennet's world, I don't know what will. This movie is grade A in all technical aspects but the cinematography takes the cake. A mesmerizing display.
PQ: Excellent. Colorful, detailed, bright. Only some thick grain in one of the ballroom scenes, but it is non-intrusive.
AQ: This movie is packed with dialogue, and somehow it is always clear despite the often noisy background. The score has just the right volume. Ambient sounds are present but I wish they would have been more distinct.
Extras: I never look at those.
No big action, no big drama, but a feel-good story expertly presented. Highest recommendation.
A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
Twilight Time has released some wonderful golden age films on Blu-Ray. I had only seen this on TCM, and youtube clips a few times before, and never owned this movie on DVD. It's the quintessential Gene Tierney movie, and for Cornel Wilde, too. He's a great actor, and shines in this role. It's definitely a film worth having, just for the scene in the train, where they meet. Very good scene, interesting film. Unfortunately, "The geniuses at Fox literally discarded all of their original Technicolor elements in the 1970s" .. That is bad news for fans of classic cinema. Without having the luxury of original film elements to be able to remaster, we're bound to end up with a vastly inferior product than what would hopefully be available. The colors in the film appear muted, sadly everything looks tinted brown. It's aged to the point that I don't see it deserving a 4 star review, as muted as the colors are, the fact is 3.5 is nice, because there isn't super fine detail, for a film of that era, either. I've seen a lot better. It is what it is.
Paramount Pictures | 2007 | 143 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| Jun 07, 2011
For centuries, two races of robotic aliens–the Autobots and the Decepticons–have waged a war,
with the fate of the universe at stake. When the battle comes to Earth, all that stands between
the evil Decepticons and ultimate...
Great movie and a very nice picture. The audio (Dolby TrueHD 5.1) on the other hand is average. I was expecting a lot more from the audio then what was presented. The dynamic range is minimal in most parts of the movie and so is the bass. Not even close to what is presented on "War Horse" or even Disney's "Tangled". The movie itself still deserves an overall 4.5 rating though.
An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out...
I was very much looking forward to seeing Cloud Atlas and as soon as I could I blind purchased it. Do I regret it?
Cloud Atlas is a commitment. It is not a movie you just pop in to be entertained, it is a film in which you dedicate almost three hours of your life to unraveling the complicated interwoven stories which may or may not be connected or may or may not spike your interest. I must admit, some of the stories did not interest me at all, however there was one or two which I really found interesting. Movies are meant to entertain and be popcorn flicks. Films are meant to tell a story and convey a message which the director and writer are trying to drill into your head.
You really need to pay attention to Cloud Atlas. Not many films are like it, however movies like The Tempest come to mind where the film is very difficult to view and seemingly complicated when in actuality it is not. These movies are rare, original and beautifully complicated to a magnificent degree.
The acting is great. The Blu-ray PQ & AQ is great and the over-all direction and presentation is spectacular. So what is lacking? The movie simply is so choppy it is difficult to watch, understand and comprehend. Part of me cannot wait to watch it again, however another part of me has no desire to view it again.
Do I recommend blind buying it? No.
Do I recommend renting it? Yes, very much so.
Do I regret blind buying it? A little as I find it may be a very long time until I have the strength to watch it again.
Wang is a miserable yet cunning noodle shop owner in a desert town in China. Feeling neglected, Wang's wife secretly goes out with Li, one of his employees. A timid man, Li reluctantly keeps the gun the landlady bought for...
Having perhaps read too many reviews of "Blood Simple," which I've watched a half-dozen times,I'm not certain whether it is a "dark" comedy, a serious drama, or some incomprehensible mix of the two. Whether it is actually tense in its dramatic-appearing aspects, or the tension is result of tediously slow development is equally uncertain.
There is no such problem with Zhang Yimou's "A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop": it is laugh-out-loud hilarious (and I'm not a fan of everything by him; "Hero" has a hole in the middle where "Jet Li" is a lifeless walking dead distraction from virtually all else in the film; "Raise the Red Lantern" is mostly substanceless glitz; but "The Road Home" is sublime in all respects). The "hero" -- the cuckold -- is a mess of neurotic insecurities, the adulterous wife confident, even imperious, her cuckolded husband properly ugly.
And especially good are the two supporting characters -- as the police are prosecuting adultery, she denies they have a relationship, even though neither is married to anyone -- he a gentleman who takes the lead until there is danger, in which situations he graciously holds the door open for her and urges her on.
And Chang Chen is the manipulative cop in the middle.
Detail is fine, down to the police "siren".
Video, sound, and English subtitles are excellent. A must see.
"GENTLEMAN, YOU HAD MY ATTENTION, NOW YOU HAVE MY CURIOSITY."
Another great film from QT. His scripts are always original and insightful. The entire cast are really good too especially Leo as Calvin Candie. He plays him with such flare and a menacing undertone. The dinner scene with the skull is just fantastic and so well written. The blu-ray transfers looks pristine and the audio is great too. The FS steelbook has unique artwork compared to the rest of the world so it's another nice addition for the collector.
Warner Bros. | 2004 | 142 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Dec 11, 2007
Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione return for their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the teenagers are forced to face their darkest fears as they confront a dangerous escaped prisoner and the...
Short and sweet...Season 7 is a marvelous comeback from a mediocre Season 6. Right from the first episode, you can tell that the sheer intensity and power of Dexter has returned. Terrific writing. John and Jenn's on screen chemistry was terrific. Though once again, Laguerta and Quinn prove useless as characters in my opinion. I never understood how they've lasted so long on the show. Every season I want to like a tleast one of them, but both of them are so...I don't know...boring?
VQ - Another great visual presentation. A few darker scenes looked a bit crushed and there's the occasional minor grain spike. The outside shots look beautiful as usual.
AQ - Great audio. Had the surround pumped for every episode
The seventh outing in the classic slasher horror franchise sees the return of chainsaw-wielding killer Leatherface. Alexandra Daddario stars as Heather, a young woman who travels to Texas with her boyfriend Ryan (Trey Songz) and...
Yea..This has been done a hundred times over...Nothing near the original..I'm not in to the whole 3-d thing..Like previous posters, I think its a gimmick...The movie wasn't extremely bad, but it was predictable..I'm guessing there is going to be a Texas Chainsaw 500..Or whatever the next sequel number is....Just like the Saw franchise, they are running it in to the ground...
I rented out the Blu-ray for viewing and the video quality was rubbish.
This has to be the worst film I've seen for video quality on Blu-ray.
Probably no better than the DVD. (Even "Zulu" 1960 is light years better than this)
Out of interest I will probably rent the DVD for a comparison. (That will turn out to be probably no better than a worn out VHS tape.)
Codec to my knowledge was MPEG2 which is the codec used for bog std DVD's. No AVC.
What is it thats bragged? " Beyond High Definition" LOL
Just another MPEG2 DVD sold as a Blu-ray tag with a higher price, sadly with no major improvement on the video quality. I found that if I used my 2.5 prescription glasses to view the film, there was a slight improvemrnt to the video quality.
Vivendi Visual Entertainment | 2009 | 88 min | Rated R | Region A (C untested) | Apr 06, 2010
Handyman and ex-con Arkin aims to repay a debt to his ex-wife by robbing his new employer's country
Unfortunately for Arkin, a far worse enemy has already laid claim to the property - and the family. As the
The Collector is a sleeper hit for me. It has it all, creepy bad guy with a cool mask and great traps. All around good
horror flix.The music is cool and the film grain adds to the creepy tone of the movie.Check out part 2 The