In most cases, story is paramount, but here the story is threadbare at best as the film merely feels the need to justify Mowgli's adventures in the Jungle. Indeed, Mowgli is the least interesting character with the opening scenes and resolution to his journey barely registering and the film relies solely on a series of vignettes detailing his encounters with a variety of animals. But what brilliant vignettes they are!!! Disney films have always had a strong array of supporting characters that often outshine the central heroes, but The Jungle Book is one of those rare films that every single supporting character is note perfect resulting in one of Disney's funniest films. It helps that the voices are so well cast, with Phil Harris' Baloo and Louis Prima's King Louie slightly edging it in a lineup that it is difficult to choose a favourite. You would also be hard pressed to find a stronger lineup of songs in a Disney film. Had a stronger story been developed to tie the film together there would have been little to complain about, but as it stands, the film is still one of the best from Disney.
Brooklyn-born Mickey drives a cab, while his brother Francis makes a fortune on Wall Street. Three years ago, Mickey disappeared after a bad break-up with his fiancée, Heather. Meanwhile, Francis seems to have settled down with a...
She's the one is the 2nd Movie in Ed Burns' New York trilogy (Brothers Mcmullen, She's the one, Sidewalks of New York) and also I think the best. It has a lot in common with Brothers Mcmullen but comes across as a more mature and funnier film. All 3 are pretty good and enjoyable, and Ed Burns hasnt really matched the work he did on these 3 since. All of them have some very funny moments and are well casted. Ed Burns takes the same more real/humanistic dialog, pace and mood that Woody Allen uses in many of his films, which has now come to be called "Mumblecore".
Ed Burns as a film maker is kind of like a modern day Woody Allen. He uses relationships, humor, and a strong emphasis on character to tell his stories- and like Woody Allen, New York is where it happens and New York itself has a strong influence on the tone of the movie. Basically "She's the one" is a "Rom Com" or a "Dramedy" that has some substance and depth, it's more than total fluff, and because of that, it might invite repeat viewings. "She's the one" features John Mahoney, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Ed Burns, Mike Mcglone, and Maxine Bahns in the main roles, and Amanda Peet and others have smaller parts as blood relatives or in laws of the brothers. The movie also features soundtrack work by Tom Petty, who contributed the theme song.
She's the one is part of the director signature series of films Fox has been releasing lately, touting high grade quality and director approval. But the writing on the box tell me nothing about how it looks on the screen. The transfer is decent not exceptional. For a Fox transfer it is above average, but on the whole it is a little below average. Ed burns is known to make his movies with a spontaneous on the fly approach and often uses natural lighting. It seems like the transfer tries to "fix" some of that and winds up with a bluray that has evidence of DNR/processing in its appearence, which robs it of some natural depth and detail. There are a few times when the color is slightly washed- but most of the time the disc is more than servicable and manages to present at least a clear and balanced picture- make no mistake it is still a good step over the DVD, and fans of this movie will definitely want to get "She's the one" on bluray. Recommended.
The movie is an excellent blend of action and sci-fi, more of the former as it has echos from Die Hard and Dirty Harry. Karl Urban is a much better Dredd than Stallone and the movie takes itself a lot more serious. The look of the picture and the industrial score fit like a glove. This was my first 3D blu-ray, the movie was shot in native 3D and it looks pleasing in that regard, sharp and the colors are very vibrant. DTS track gives the surround channels a decent workout.
I would have liked a director's commentary, the only extras are mostly making of and interviews which run over 40 minutes. The lenticular cover is a nice touch though. To conclude, a nice start to the 3D collection!
I went into this movie not expecting a whole lot and to my surprise this movie was really entertaining. Image Entertainment does a great job to bring us this film and keeping us on the edge of our seat. This film stars the famous James Caan and some what new comer Craig Fairbrass.
Recalled from the battlefields of Afghanistan to identify the remains of his daughter, British mercenary Lex Walker (Craig Fairbrass) arrives in Los Angeles to find that the body in the morgue belongs to a stranger. With his daughter now missing, Walker convinces a street-wise detective (Jason Patric) that his daughter is still alive and in danger. The two follow a trail of high-tech intrigue that leads them to his daughter's former boss (James Caan), a crooked cyber-millionaire who will do whatever it takes to protect his empire -- including taking down anyone who gets in his way. Driven by desperation and rage, Walker must fight his way through an army of thugs and hired killers to save the one person that means more to him than life itself.
Craig Fairbrass does a great job as the lead role here and holds his own. You'd think with James Cann along in this the attention would kinda be focused on him, but not at all. Graig Fairbrass is such an incredible talent that i look forward to his future roles.
The film PQ is some what grainy or maybe the film was meant to be shot this way either way it takes a little away from the film. One huge thing that was lacking for me was the lack of special features, besides from a trailer or two this has none. I would of loved to see some behind the scenes footage of James and Graig but there was none.
Overall this movie was really enjoyable! I definitely recommend picking it up when it is release on March 11th
FUNimation Entertainment | 1989-1990 | 835 min | Rated TV-PG | Region A, B (C untested) | Mar 04, 2014
Having suffered heavy losses in the battle with the Saiyans, and with Goku still recovering from his injuries, the remaining Z-Fighters must embark on a perilous journey to Planet Namek in search of the Namekian Dragon Balls....
Strange that when Disney removes all grain from a cartoon, they get a 5 star rating for it.
The issue here is that the original was shot on 16mm, not 35. The original is VERY grainy (see bonus features in Season 1) and had a lot of blemesis in it. The grain removal is VERY GOOD, but not perfect. Because of how noisy the original was, the DNR HAS caused some visual anomilies. This is largely in the "wobble" the original reviewer noted. What seems to have happened is that either in the 16mm original or in the DNR process, the grain was so heavy it affected fine lines, which leads to the "wobble" around object edges. This probably won't be noticable on smaller screens, but is a bit irritating on larger screens. On the plus side, if you are viewing these discs in marathon mode, after you get into the series, you really don't notice.
The cropping is fine. Funimation released season 1 with its original grain in tack and in its original 4x3 aspect ratio, and sales were so bad, they dropped season 2. The cropping here is very well done - and for most of the show, people unfamilar with the show may think it originally was intended for 16x9 viewing. This is not a simple crop or zoom and crop - a lot of time and trouble was taken, and it shows.
The video would have recieved a 5, but the wobble and the cropping both were enough to make me knock the video score down to a 4.
As for the audio, it sounds really good, but I don't understand the English mixes. The original Japanese is mono, right? So why is it that the English with Japanese music gets a 5.1 track but the English with US music only gets a 2.0 track? Sounds like someone got lazy and decided not to remix the US version. I am sure many people will prefer either the original Japanese or the English with Japanese music, but I originally saw DBZ on the US broadcasts, and the rock music is one of the things I really liked about the show.
That said, the 2.0 US track still sounds really good. The major annoyance is having to turn the volume up louder as I don't have as many speakers firing at me.
If all the tracks had of recieved the 5.1 treatment, I would give the audio 5 stars. However, best I can do with what was presented is 4 stars (at least all three tracks are lossless, the early DBZ movie releases would have the US broadcast version and the Japanese as Dolby Digital).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1967 | 101 min | Rated M | Region B, A (C untested) | Oct 05, 2011
Guns don't stay in their holsters long when vigilantes Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday meet outlaws in the Wild West. With the dust settled at the OK Corral the notorious Clanton brothers unleash their revenge. One by one they gun...
Olive Films | 1950 | 100 min | Not rated | Region A (B, C untested) | May 28, 2013
THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON is a 1950 film noir directed by noir veteran Robert Siodmak (THE DARK MIRROR, THE KILLERS). No one is as good as Barbara Stanwyck (NO MAN OF HER OWN) when she's bad - the legendary actress plays Thelma...
Kauffman's review is spot-on accurate in terms of what to expect from the audio and picture quality of this Olive Films release. I will just second that the high definition transfer is serviceable.
I will briefly write in the interest of those who are considering a "blind buy":
There is no question that this is a quality, near first-rate film noir. German director, Robert Siodmak, is one of the finest film-noir filmmakers to ever exist; his talents are on display in "The File on Thelma Jordan".
Olive Films catalog offers so many quality film-noir titles; a serious collector will want to own this title, eventually. I would recommend first picking-up "Hell's Half Acre" from Olive, this should give you a much better appreciation for Wendell Corey. I also found it to be the better of the two films (this is coming from a diehard Stanwyck fan).
It is not very suspenseful and it relies heavily on overly dramatic scenes. The biggest thing this picture has going for it is that Wendell Corey and Stanwyck created a fair amount of magic in many of the heavier moments. Another attribute is the fantastic score by Victor Young, as Kauffman stated it is indeed "haunting" and quite memorable.
The official Blu-ray.com review puts a lot of heat on "Hollywood" for this film. While I wouldn't exactly recommend this film unless you are looking to kill some time, or maybe if these types of cheesy/silly/fun horror films are your thing, but you can't put all the blame on Hollywood for this one. First, the film was a joint venture between US and German studios, and secondly, the director and writer is Norwegian, with this film being a personal project that he had been developing for years. Jeremy Renner is probably the only really significant "Hollywood" cast member of the film, which consisted mostly European actors and actresses. I understand that you were not really interested in this film, but you could at least put some effort if you are going to officially review a film.
As far as the film itself goes, I think the filmmaker might have been going for the Evil Dead (which I love) type silly/cheesy horror film, and the core concept wasn't that bad, but the film fell short for me.
This movie is very funny, and this is so far the only Jackass movie I have seen, still unsure if I'll watch the others. The PQ is a bit of a mixed bag, looking from very sharp and nice to pretty noisy, probably due to some scenes zooming in. The AQ is fine, it doesn't need to be perfect. The extras were a nice addition. Overall, I'm pretty glad I have this movie in my collection now.
New Line Cinema | 1984 | 91 min | Rated R | Region free
| Apr 13, 2010
A group of teenagers are terrorized by "Freddy Krueger", an evil being from another world who
gets to his victims by entering their dreams and killing them with gloves that have knife
blades attached to each finger.
One of my personal favorite movies period, this film was so successful that it spawned 6 sequels, a tv show, a recent remake, and countless merchandise. Everyone knows the general premise of the NOES movies; a horribly disfigured man with knives for fingers stalks and kills teens in their dreams (and subsequently, real life). The original A Nightmare on Elm Street stands head and shoulders above every other movie in the series for a variety of reasons. Obviously it has the originality factor going for it, introducing audiences to Freddy and his evil work, but it is also much darker than the other films. Freddy isn't the comedian cracking cheesy one-liners every time he slaughters a teenager, but he still has a subtly dark sense of humor that draws viewers in. The film has great pacing and special effects, with far and away the best final act of the series.
When it comes to video and audio, I'm not the kind of guy that can point out specific, technical aspects but the movie looks and sounds fantastic. The grain is subtly present, but it really pops out in the nighttime sequences, which I personally love.
A Nightmare on Elm Street comes with a respectable collection of extras, including 2 commentary tracks, some optional pop-up info, and several featurettes regarding New Line Cinemas and the franchises' impact on pop culture and the horror genre. The feature that makes this Blu-ray, in my opinion, is a lengthy behind the scenes documentary. This segment includes interviews with many members of the cast and crew as they discuss the making of the film and exactly how many of the movies amazing special effects were created on a shoestring budget. This one feature alone is informative and entertaining enough to make this a must-buy. The last set of extras includes several alternate endings. I was a bit let down by these seeing as they're all fairly similar and obviously unfinished in terms of editing, however there are very subtle differences between them that make them worth checking out once.
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a must-own movie for all horror aficionados and movie lovers in general. I highly recommend it, but if you find yourself a fan of several other entries in the series I advise picking up the NOES Blu-ray collection.
Batman has not been seen for ten years. A new breed of criminal ravages Gotham City, forcing fifty-five-year-old Bruce Wayne back into the cape and cowl, but does he still have what it takes to fight crime in a new era?
with so many stories to choose from, writer Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is perhaps the most successful graphic novel about an older batman who comes out of retirement to fight crime in his beloved Gotham one final time. The live action movies have never tried to adapt this story verbatim (although Christopher Nolen took a few pages from it in his Batman Trilogy). But Warner Premier took on this story and presented it first as two separate releases simply titled Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and Part 2. Now its gets a double dip but in a exclusive seamless cut. Warner did a fantastic job on the first 2 sets and this one is even better. PQ & AQ is impressive and a whole second bluray with a few new bonus features thus making you to keep the other 2 releases along with this. Bottom line this one is well worth the double dip or the initial purchase for those who did not get the individual releases. Either way you can't go wrong.
Great sequel to the first movie, and it's Blu-ray transfer doesn't disappoint. Only problem I would say is the PQ is a little bit soft occasionally, especially in long distance shots, but detail is still excellent. AQ however is top-notch and excellent. I did not get the target exclusive like I did with the first movie, but the extras were good enough. Overall, I bet big fans will pick it up. I myself am not a huge fan of the book series or movie series, but they are good enough for me to enjoy. Recommended
Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray
Disney / Buena Vista | 2013 | 112 min | Rated BBFC: 12 | Region free
| Feb 24, 2014
Exploring Thor's relationship with the Asgardian all-father Odin, as well earthbound companion Jane Foster, “Thor: The Dark World” follows the God of Thunder to The Nine Realms beyond Asgard and earth. And as his evil...
Bigger, funnier and suitably darker than it's predecessor, Thor 2 delivers spectacle, some truly stunning action sequences and boasts the grandeur and scale that the first had missing which is why I dislike the first Thor movie. But it seems a change of director and story keeps things fresh and more exciting. The video is spectacular, presenting a pristine image filled with colour and life, and Asgard looks vivid which was what I was hoping for, plus Thor's cape shines. The 3D is strong, not amazing but not poor, the prologue had me concerned as depth was pretty much missing, but once the action shifts to the forest like planet pop out visuals excel and characters stand amongst backdrops looking damn cool, the layering in this release is what will keep you amazed and pleased you paid extra for 3D. The audio smacks and smashes, I love the immersion and it brings the action scenes to life, especially during the sequence where Malekith's jets attack Asgard, both the video, 3D and audio come together perfectly for the outstanding sequence. This is a brilliant sequel and a must own release.
Seasoned astronaut Matt Kowalsky is on his final mission in space, while medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone is making her first outing on the Space Shuttle. While they are engaged in extra-vehicular activity, debris collides into...
Watch ALL the extras, first of its kind with robotics arms with cameras, first of its kind with "the box", first of its kind with three point wiring harness, 4 yrs to make it right. When Guillermo del Toro of "Cronos", my favorite vampire movie of all time, says it is the best he has ever seen, then maybe you should try to understand how they got it right.
The 3D gave as much space as avatar around its characters. The loose bolt that was retrieved came into the middle of my living room, but I don't watch 3D for pop outs, I look for space around characters and background. The extras are on the 2D blu disc. This movie is meant to be watched in 3D.
This movie is based on the "Kessler" theory of space debris and real threats of things that have happened. The story is about survival against all odds, the rebirth scene is the beginning of Sandra's new pursuit to not give up against all hope.
As modern society is consumed by zombie carnage, four desperate survivors barricade
themselves inside a shopping mall to battle the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. This is the
ferocious horror classic, featuring landmark...
One of my all-time favorite movies. I was excited to finally have the extended and european cuts, however, the PQ on all versions is nothing short of "god awful". About the first 15-20 minutes of each version has this bright glowing blotch on the top right of the frame. It does eventually disapate, and contrast seems to correct itself slightly. Also, theres quite alot of print dirt, and it looks like there may be a little print damage. I'm also quite sure that the color timing is off a bit. All versions seemed to have the exact same issues, save for the european cut, which doesn't seem to have as much of the glowing blotch on the top right of the frame as the other cuts. I wouldnt recommend this release to the casual fan, due to the rather insane pricing of this set of around $110.00USD. I would say this set is aimed towards completeists and the frothing at the mouth "of the Dead" fans.
I'm always excited to experience a John Waters film. It's great that another of his classics is making it's way to blu-ray! The PQ is quite exceptional for a movie from the late 80s. It's not going to wow anyone looking for demo quality material....but what Waters film would be.
It played in all 3 region selections on my blu-ray player so for those from other countries can buy with confidence that it will play in their region.
Going to play it again later today....need to get a little mashed potato time maybe a little gravy too!
Paramount Pictures | 1980 | 547 min | Not rated | Region B (A, C untested) | Feb 06, 2014
John Blackthorne, an English ship pilot, whose vessel wrecked upon the Japanese coast in the early 17th century is forced to deal with the two most powerful men in Japan in these days. He is thrown in the midst of a war between...
Apart from the booklet that came with my DVD set this 3 disc dual layer Blu-ray set contains all the material on the 5 DVDs. The sound quality is considerably clearer and the picture quality is also noticeably better. Considering the age of the recording this looks and sounds very good. The layout on the discs is perfect with no time or space wasted with constant entry and end titles. You can watch it from beginning to end if you wish with not a second wasted. The discs are all-region and once you select your chosen language everything comes in that language. The only German text is on the insert and slip cover and is pretty easy to understand for anyone with a basic knowledge of German. The multi language subtitles are excellent and include all the extensive extras. I wish we could have other older mini-series done in the same way, Shaka Zulu for example. I bought my copy of this German release via amazon in the UK at a much cheaper price than buying it from Germany.
I think I watched this just to prove to myself that I could. But that's a pretty silly reason for watching a movie.... The original grossed me out, and this one did too just not so much. I guess I'm just wondering what is the point in remaking this movie? It didn't do anything substantially better. It was the same story told in a modern setting. I must be getting jaded. Honestly - take the dog out for a walk and get a life. Leave this one alone.
I like dinosaur movies, but was unsure about this one considering it's 'found footage' premise and small budget. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the story, acting and pacing. It kept me interested right to the end.
I would recommend it - just don't expect Jurassic park effects and you might enjoy it too.
When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped... until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.
Was there anyone else in this film? Sharnie Vinson took the role in both hands and ripped/tore/stabbed her way right to the end. Don't get me wrong, she was great, but everyone else was left in her wake.
The film started well but the plot was given away half way through, so it wasn't at all scary after this. However, great fun nonetheless.
It's worth a look but make sure you watch it at night for maximum effect.
When high school student Charlie attends a study abroad program with his horror obsessed friend "Evil" Ed and ex-girlfriend AMY in Romania, he soon discovers their young attractive professor Gerri (Jaime Murray) is a real life...
I was expecting a horror movie but if that was the intention they missed the mark. Why the writer decided to include a comic relief sidekick is beyond me. And how the producer thought that was a good idea......
Every time the suspense started to build the offsider came in and dissipated all the tension. And Charlie and his girlfriend were flat characters. I was hoping that Gerri the vampire would come through in the end but no....
Video was good but most of the film was very dark (fair enough). The volume of the music and effects (screaming etc) overpowered the dialogue so I found I had to turn it up when they were talking, then turn it down in case the neighbours got concerned about all the carry-on from next door.
It could have been a lot worse but it was cheap and passed 100 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire brings us back to the world of district's and capital corruption. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson and the rest of the original cast that didn't get killed off return in the second thrilling chapter. Catching Fire expands upon and establishes itself as a superior sequel while setting up the next part of the tale. Lionsgate's blu shines with an excellent PQ & AQ presentation. This 7.1 audio track truly kicks ass! A few extra's makes this one a must own for fans and a nice addition to newcomers to the Hunger Games series!
Don Bluth's signature animated film makes its high-def debut and the results are mixed. But before we get into that there is the heartwarming story of a mouse named Fievel who gets separated from his Russian family and sets his eyes on America to live. His journey takes him to New York where he meets up with a strange array of other mice along with dodging cats to which he thought where not in America. With a very talented voice cast An American Tale plays out just like West Side Story even down to one of the films songs. Universal's debut of this title features an above average PQ presentation. The animation holds up well with soft colors and little film grain. Audio is also your average 5.1 dts track and just a couple of extra's are here. Bottom line if you are a devoted fan of the film this may be the best we get while all newcomers are surely to like it as much.
Warner Bros. | 1999 | 139 min | Rated R | Region A, B (C untested) | Sep 10, 2013
Tom Ripley is a calculating young man who believes it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody. Opportunity knocks in the form of a wealthy U.S. shipbuilder who hires Tom to travel to Italy to bring back his playboy son,...
Although gifted with a brilliant mind, a young South Boston man can only find work as a janitor. When his lack of anger management lands him in court yet again, a judge orders the man to see a psychologist, who tries to help him...
Sony Pictures | 2000 | 123 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| Apr 08, 2008
"The Sixth Day" is set in a world of the very near future in which cattle, fish and even the family pet can be cloned. But cloning humans is illegal-that is until family man Adam Gibson comes home from work one day to find a...
I'm a big Arnie fan, this movie was ok but do you think an average joe could punch and kick his way into a highly secured building and stop the bad guys? take it for what it is, a no brain action fun ride.
Warner Bros. | 2007 | 117 min | Rated R | Region free
| Jul 31, 2007
In 480 B.C. a state of war exists between Persia, led by King Xerxes, and Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, Leonidas, king of the Greek city state of Sparta, leads his badly outnumbered warriors against the massive Persian...
300, a movie based a graphic novel written by a right-crackpot that based a 1960s movie that
is based on ancient greek propaganda and through all these layer of Zack Synder/Frank Miller-ish bullsh*t is
somewhat based on actual history. You know what, f*ck this movie, but if you like 300, you should have no trouble finding it in a bargain bin somewhere.
An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is...
Going into this story I had heard of the original but had not seen it. I blind bought this based on my liking of lead Josh Brolin and director Spike Lee. For me the movie starts of a bit sluggish but the momentum picks up once he discovers that the hotel room he's in isn't what it seems. Once released and the revenge plot unfolds the violent rampage is justified for the purpose of figuring out why he was imprisoned in the first place. Once we reach the main reason to the plot and the first reveal is given it reminded me of David Fincher's The Game. Once the twisted reveal is revealed then I found it disturbing. Nonetheless the movie was good, but its the WOW factor that took the cake. Sony's blu features an average blu on all fronts but one that is best served for a rental first or at least for me anyway.....
This performance offers 14 selections plus 3 non-irish bonus selections from same performance. I would have
preferred that whole show shown in sequence not edited for particular marketing where you have to view the rest in
extras. A bit too much audience pans in the first half, but tolerable.
PQ was excellent, except in the darker audience takes. Audio was very dynamic and clean.
Austrian director Francis Lawrence (of "I Am Legend" fame) may not have had to fight for his life while directing the second Hunger Games flick, but his task (metaphorically speaking) was almost like entering the dreaded arena: He had to appease the series' passionate fan base without alienating those that weren't familiar with the story. He also had to depict a wide variety of environments, and avoid the trappings of adapting a middle book. Frankly, the odds sucked, and he prevailed to say the least.
**WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!!!**
The key to the success of "Catching Fire" is its steadfast adherence to the novel's central theme: Surviving the Games and leaving the arena are not mutually exclusive. The film takes us back to the dreary District 12, where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) have literally and figuratively been set apart from the rest of the community. Their newfound wealth and luxurious homes in the "Victor's Village" leave them physically isolated from those who continue to suffer and die under the Capitol's brutal regime; more importantly, their experiences in the Games have left them both with acute post-traumatic stress disorder. The once steely Katniss cries frequently and suffers from nightmares and hallucinations. Peeta on the other hand is solemn and depressed. Their mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) continues to anesthetize himself with hard liquor and such. While the victors continue to fight the wars in their minds, a very real spark of revolution is spreading throughout the impoverished districts.
The film transitions seamlessly to the "Victory Tour", wherein Katniss and Peeta are forced to sing the praises of the Capitol in each district, in front of an audience that includes the families of those killed in the Games. Prior to the tour, Katniss was addressed by President Snow himself (Donald Sutherland), who challenged her to quash all thoughts of revolution lest her district be razed and family murdered. Initially, his intent was to make Katniss a pariah by forcing her to act as a tool of the Capitol; however, the oppressed masses remain emboldened, forcing Snow to introduce what is referred to as a "wrinkle." The tributes for the 75th Hunger Games (also known as "The 3rd Quarter Quell") will be reaped from a pool of existing victors in a power move that he hopes will reinforce the iron fist of the Capitol.
"Catching Fire"'s tone evolves smoothly from barely contained anxiety to foreboding to betrayal and even grim acceptance without the use of exposition -- a difficult feat for a film that is driven by action rather than dialogue. There is really no dead weight among the cast this time. Jennifer Lawrence (no relation to the aforementioned director) keeps shining bright as the reluctant Katniss, while Hutcherson imparts a level of depth to his character that was sorely missing in the first movie. Sassy Johanna Mason (Jena Malone), who uses her TV spot to curse at the Capitol audience, is a welcome foil for serious Katniss, and fan favorite Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin, f***ing charismatic) wields a trident like nobody's business. Francis Lawrence made a wise decision in emphasizing the camaraderie that takes place in the largely tropical arena: It would have been a more difficult feat to distinguish this film from a watery version of the last had Katniss played the game alone.
"Catching Fire" is well paced with very little filler. No line or character is wasted. Even the eccentric, Capitol-born Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) has evolved from the first movie and has become attached to "her" tributes, albeit in a touchingly clueless kind of way. The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman is flawless as the new head game-maker Plutarch (you can all but see the chess pieces moving with his every word), and Sutherland plays Snow as though he were the love child of Hannibal Lecter and Voldemort. The film's greatest achievement, however, is its refusal to whitewash the material, condescend to its audience, or perpetuate the myth that the good guys always win, grow up, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. Despite moments of levity, this is a brutal movie (a success in and of itself given the PG-13 rating) that comes in like a hurricane and provides a much needed ass-kicking to the corny, supernatural love triangles that have plagued young-adult fiction in a post-Harry Potter world.
Presented in 1080p and director-approved, Lions Gate has a fine looking transfer here. Clarity is top-notch and the first-rate special effects are presented with pure detail. This really does feel like a Hunger Games high-def experience. IMAX fans will be happy to hear that the IMAX ratios are kept. So, aspect ratios naturally switch once the girl on fire enters the games.
Being a darker version of the Hunger Games mythos (both narratively and visually), "Catching Fire" seems to have a lot more scenes which are plunged into shadowy darkness. This is where the transfer shines, IMO. The shadows are dark, deep, and refrain from crushing detail. Blacks are as inky as they're supposed to be.
When the lights are up, color and contrast are total perfection. The intensity in the movie's colors is something to behold. With vibrantly bold primaries, the color palette truly radiates off the screen. Close-ups are full of fantastic detail, down to President Snow's errant beard hairs. This is everything you were expecting from a big budget movie which relies on its visuals.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is superb. Lions Gate must have taken plenty of notes from George Lucas and Skywalker Ranch!! They've been doing it for just about everything, from "The Expendables" to "Nurse Jackie" so it's no surprise that a movie like "Catching Fire" is the cream of their 7.1 crop.
Here is a sound mix that makes you realize that those extra side speakers are really worth it. The surround effect provided by them with this mix is invaluable. Here they envelop the listener in cheering crowds, rioting mobs, and warring contestant battles. The rear channels are just as engaged, providing a full-bodied listening experience that covers the entire room.
Up front dialogue is always clean, always clear. Whispers are heard perfectly. LFE booms. The loud, thunderous cannon shot whenever someone falls in the games can actually be felt. This is a great track all around. Certainly demo material.
Bonus features include a decent commentary from Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson, who championed the Hunger Games books and brought them to the Lions Gate studio. There's also a behind-the-scenes featurette that's about as long as the movie!! Definitely for the hardcore fans (or as I like to call them "tributes"). A few deleted scenes and a trailer for the aesthetically similar"Divergent" movie finish the package.
"Catching Fire" surprised me greatly due to its believable, easy-to-follow action. It also produces some pretty decent character building along with some great acting from some of Hollywood's stalwarts. The audio and video are just perfect. The special features are expansive as far as run-time goes (how about that documentary, folks?). Add all that together and you get a brutal, ass-kicking enterprise that clearly surpasses the original in every way, shape and form. Highly recommended!
The Driver and The Mechanic are two car freaks driving a 1955 Chevy throughout the southwestern U.S. looking for other cars to race. They are totally dedicated to The Car and converse with each other only when necessary. At a gas...
Had a lot about this from a friend. Finally found a copy of it on DVD. At the time didn't think to much of it other than it was decent. Over time it has growed on me. Bought the Criterion version and watched it again and loved it. It's a really good interpatation of its time. The picture and sound has been cleaned up nicely. The features are great. Give this a High Recommendation.
And I'm a guy! This is my first viewing and the performances from everybody are excellent. The feel of the movie is genuine and the emotion isn't contrived. The ending is gut wrenching and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried. The PQ is excellent, much better than I thought it would be. Audio gets the job done considering the type of movie this is. I'm very glad I gave this movie a try.
Agree with the above; good movie, lackluster transfer
Considering this was shot on 70mm, yeah, I would have expected a whole lot better than what the screencaps (and Count Orlok) are saying. The DVD absolutely sucked, and I pretty much tossed it after one viewing. This, alas, doesn't look a whole lot better, in fact it looks like it might have not been struck from 70mm at all, but a 35mm copy. Too bad, a missed opportunity, and Universal won't be getting my dime for this one.
1960s British B-movie chiller featuring voodoo, the supernatural and general dark arts. A comely young British teacher takes up a remote posting in darkest Africa where the local juju man lays a hex on her. She has a breakdown...