Universal Studios | 2003 | 102 min | Rated R | Region free
| Dec 07, 2010
Bob Harris and Charlotte are two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is a movie star in town to shoot a whiskey commercial, while Charlotte is a young woman tagging along with her workaholic photographer husband. Unable to sleep, Bob and...
"Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun."
Lost in Translation is finally available on blu-ray after being issued on HD-DVD several years ago. LIT is not for everyone, many complain about the film being "slow", "boring" and my favorite "what was the point?" Hearing those criticisms makes me sad that so many can't feel the human conditions these characters evoke thru the great performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
If you have owned or seen the film in cinemas you will recall that the image contained grain and many times the image can seem a bit on the unclean side. Therefore the Blu retains the look I recall from my DVD. To me the image seems untouched but I'm no expert. There are many shots that look as though the image is noise filled, but this is true of the filmed presentation not the encode. From time to time you can spot a few film flecks here and there but to me it enhances an at home "theatrical" presentation.
The disc is a BD-50 and this is not a film that should look like candy, I am so far pleased with the image. Lost in Translation is a film that if not handles well can be given a poor transfer ESP if those presenting the film to the HD format veer from the films negative presentation. The average bit rate usually stays above the 30mbps range so the encode shouldn't be weak.
Audio seems pleasing, dialogue seems clear enough and the songs woven into the film are sonically good. The DTS Master Audio track really works together with the image to create an atmosphere and mood that takes the viewer to Japan.
Extras are a bit light, if you have owned the DVD version, than you have seen them. We get a few deleted scenes a Q and A with Sophia and Bill, trailer and a sneak peak at Coppola's SOMEWHERE. It would have been nice to get a commentary track on the film, but I don't believe Sophia wants to wax too much on her films, and I respect that.
Will this Halloween be the one when the Great Pumpkin comes? Longtime believer Linus thinks so - and keeps watch all night in the pumpkin patch to welcome him. Charlie Brown gets into the spooky spirit too, dressing up as a ghost...
Owning any of the Charlie Brown Specials in HD on blu is a welcome product. First off the image is NOT interlaced like many animated offerings from Warner Bros. You get a true HD transfer, very faint grain if any are part of the trasnfer. Some debris or specks will show up but are not distracting. The colors and animation lines are tight and I didn't notice any bad issues of color banding and the like. The same for the bonus "It's Magic Charlie Brown" short that is included looks really good also. Produced in 1981, the animation to some may seem cleaner to most, but I prefer the classic 60's Brown shorts. The always seem more charming to me... but they more recent offerings aren't bad either.
Audio is as good as I think is possible. The audio is a DTS 5.1 uncompressed audio track. Dialog is centered and the music sounds nicely presented from the side speakers.
I hope WB's keeps releasing more of the Charlie Brown shorts in HD transfers. Just to be able to see these in a non-interlaced form is worth the price to me.
Something for Everybody... Just not Enough to Go Around
Watching SCORE for the first time ever on this CULT EPICS Blu-Ray release I can't say I was let down or even let up for that matter. It comes across as 70's kitsch but generally entertaining. It is better than TROLL 2. I can't really say how explicit this film is, I was heard it was more hardcore than I believe I have seen in this CENSORED VERSION. I can't imagine viewing the censored version it much have all the nudity cut right out.
The image quality is fairly decent, there are times of banding compression issues like around the 42min mark of the night time balcony scene. Lots of dirt/ debris can be seen through out the film. It doesn't seem at all distracting however, in all honesty it seems very much in place with the viewing of the film. Colors seem well saturated to the carpets clothing and flesh tones seem to shine in that classic 70's porn style. There are soft softly lit shots with the film and overall the transfer is handled decently.
Sound is only Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. and contains some hiss and pops here and there. It isn't clean, but again it doesn't seem distracting at all.
Extras include a very informative and entertaining commentary track, trailers. 20 minute behind the scenes titles On the Set of Score, and a new 20 minute interview with Lynn Lowry. SCORE is the first Blu-Ray release from CULT EPICS, overall a well done release down to the encoding, design and the cool SLIPCOVER that is part of the CENSORED version release.
MAGIC was released in 1978, and I've seen it on the previous DVD edition and I always forget how the movie ends, at any rate I enjoy the film, many find it dull and boring. I will say that I believe Dark Sky Films / MPI have released a really good HD transfer of the film. There is grain, darker scenes can vary on the levels to be sure, but detail is better than I expected. There are the usual white specks through out the film. (I actually don't mind the film debris etc, lends charm to what looks like a film presentation)
The uncompressed 2.0 Mono PCM track while decent felt kind of harsh to me at times. The score by Jerry Goldsmith (which is one of my favorites of his) creates a fullness, but sometimes when people may be yelling or laughing loudly the sound seems to shrill and I go after the volume on my remote.
Extras seem to be all carried over from the DVD release, and hey they are better than NO extras. We get what the back cover of the artwork states as Blu-Ray Exclusive: Screenwriting for Dummies... I could have sworn this was on the DVD release may may not have been. It is a really nice 20min interview with William Goldman who tells production stories and more on the making of the feature. It is well worth watching. I also enjoyed very much the interview with the films Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper. An classic interview with Anthony Hopkins is also incuded, as well as the usual Trailers and TV spots for MAGIC.
I recommend this film to those who are aware of the film or have seen it previously. Many may not like the pace, and MAGIC to me has always felt more so a drama than a thriller or horror film.
In a quaint French village during the late 18th century, Belle, a bright and beautiful young woman, finds escape from her ordinary life, and the advances of a boorish suitor, Gaston, by reading books. Meanwhile, off in a castle...
Theatrical Presentation to HD format or was this Animated again?
Beauty and the Beast doesn't need to be explained much as it has become a classic Disney animated film. However I think that Disney should explain more about the way this version looks on blu-ray. Many have noted this isn't the same animation and or coloring etc that we have seen so many time before. It may be time to break out your old Laserdiscs, and VHS copies and lets check out the differences and I don't mean resolution. Is it just me or does it seem demeaning to the original artists of the film that these changes have been made? Makes it seem like all their hard work just doesn't count any longer.
For what Disney gives as for the images we see, yes they look grand for the most part. The backgrounds at times look incredible. The major of issue for concern is the color banding that I kept spotting through out the feature. It really rears its' ugly head during the "Be Our Guest" number and I am shocked that it couldn't be harnessed more so into invisibility.
Audio for the release seems really good with some good split surround channels being worked. I would like to have had the option of a uncompressed original theatrical audio presentation.
Extras while abundant are at times just kind of boring. The WORK IN PROGRESS print has been downgraded to a small window on the screen as the film plays. (Hang onto that DVD copy included or your previous DVD edition) The new making of is a bit too... should we say blatantly cue card happy. It also borders on just being to nice. I love Disney but they do sugar coat everything to the point of it feeling scripted and just a bit dull. You still get the so called "classic DVD bonus features" which is nice, the fact they usually aren't converted to HD isn't so nice. This seems to be the norm for many studios however.
Overall I would say yes, enjoy the Blu-Ray release but I would love to see a release next go around with the actual original film print converted to HD. The film while it looks really good, rings different than what I've seen a million times before.
I always felt that THE LION KING was highly overrated, I did however see it 5 times in theaters and the print did show grain and a decent amount of it. I realize in animation if you scan the original materials you don't get grain, but something tells me THE LION KING will be another sweetened cleaned up Blu-Ray release that won't resemble the original theatrical presentation.(Pocahontas and Hunchback also had their share of good film grain.)
Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed two full length feature horror movies put together as a two film feature including fake trailers in between movies.
'Planet Terror' - Robert Rodriguez's tale...
I think when GRINDHOUSE was first released me and a few other friends saw the film on opening night. We knew what type of films we were in for. I think we were the few who got the whole experience Tarantino and Rodriguez were trying to give to the public. Most of the public stayed at home. Those who had a good time seeing the double feature seemed to really enjoy it. Planet Terror and Death Proof are both technically well made films in every aspect. (even with intentional errors whether they were good or bad)
Overall image quality seems to be very strong since the full GRINDHOUSE experience is on one 50GB disc. (This isn't a HAMLET catastrophe) The film averages out around a strong 30mbps bit rate. Tarantino shot Death Proof in the Super 35mm scope format, Rodriguez obliged by formatting his feature Planet Terror to conform to the same style 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Technically Planet Terror would have been presented in a more FLAT aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 ratio. Those who know about film projection in theaters are aware that projectors have two lenses a FLAT lens or an anamorphic lens. (Whenever the wrong lens is chosen for those who have witness this in a theatre the image can look either squished or more stretched. It is just easier not to show the film and ask the management to make sure they flip the lens before the other film starts.) The film was released as a whole using the anamorphic scope format so there wouldn't be any UNINTENTIONAL poor presentation quality caused by accidental errors in the projection booth.
Many have been confused over the fact that GRINDHOUSE has been released as it was theatrically on this Blu release. It preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio that Robert Rodriguez himself approved. You can always watch the extended cut that was first released on Blu-ray for the flat spherical aspect ratio.
All technical film talk aside, GRINDHOUSE looks great. Colors are bold striking and well saturated. No serious signs of poor compression or color banding really noticed. Grain looks awesome! (Even if some was added post production) Overall this HD release demonstrates the theatrical look of GRINDHOUSE experience.
Audio...hmmmm... what has to be said here that already hasn't been complained about, myself included. There is NO uncompressed lossless audio track! Just a standard 5.1 DD mix and at the rate of 448 kbps. Many have stated... well the films are supposed to look and sound bad , etc. Yeah that may be so, but the sound being poor, doesn't mean it must be audible in poor quality. The pops crackles etc of the soundtrack are intentional and doesn't mean we shouldn't hear them uncompressed.
Most people complain when a classic of the silver screen era isn't beefed up to a DD5.1 mix. If the film was never mixed for a stereo surround experience, then I'd rather hear it in its native Mono, and or stereo track mixes. Distributors such as Criterion Collection and Warner Bros. will issue classic films like Charade, Fritz Lang's M and King Kong with uncompressed PCM audio streams. So for the naysayers that think it is fine that the Weinstein's and Vivendi have finally released GRINDHOUSE as a Special Collector's Edition and released it with a more standard DVD audio track and not a more HD audio track is really a BAD error.
The audio track given is decent and the films are still enjoyable but the sound field just seems to muffled even at high audible levels. It just sounds too constrained. (Planet Terror has the audience participation track included like the previous Blu-ray release for those who like to feel the crowd with them during the presentation)
We Finally get all the fake TRAILERS! And Yes Machete previews before Planet Terror. I even LOVE the over color saturated goodness of the Acuna Boys Tex Mex delights. Those who have old 1970s cookbooks in your house open one up you get what I mean. DISC 2 contains an extended fake trailer for Werewolf Women of the SS and there are making of docs for the trailers and most contain commentary tracks! The extras are plentiful on this release just dive in you may be surprised at what you find.
Overall this is a great set, and if the release contained a great uncompressed audio track this would have been awesome! Vivendi, and all other distributors of blu-rays should realize that BLU-RAY should mean HD IMAGE and AUDIO! There should be an industry standard. If you can't release it correctly than delay it until it is a true HD product. Hardcore fans and the like may fold and purchase the release because we do truly love this film and we get the film. Fans should not have to settle for less, and if the sales are good I think the suits should take note, GRINDHOUSE wasn't released with the care and attention that I believe Rodriguez and Tarantino, and consumers would have liked.
A trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American woman through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is a suave, mysterious stranger.
Charade to me isn't the most enchanting film; however it does have its moments. It always seemed to be the type of film to watch during a lazy winter Sunday afternoon. Needless to say I've owned both previous Criterion DVD releases of the film, always finding myself revisting the film. If you are an Audrey Hepburn fan than this film will be a welcomed Blu-Ray in your collection.
Image quality can differ throughout the film. Charade isn't a pristine by any means, however it looks far better than the previous 16:9 Criterion DVD. I was shocked at how great many shots looked. Grain is prominent and looks marvelous. Some shots can appear faded, definitely an issue of the film print. Some white specks and debris can be seen during the film, which doesn't annoy me since Charade finally looks like a film in the full sense of the word.
The Linear PCM track sounds fine. (To be honest on these tracks as long as the overall mix is free of hiss etc you can't go wrong)
Extras are light on this release, the 1999 Audio Commentary with Director Stanley Donen and writer Peter Stone is included along with the theatrical trailer.
Blu-ray + DVD
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1978 | 115 min | Rated PG | Region A (locked) | Sep 14, 2010
When filmy sprees fall from space and take root in San Francisco, the city is beautifully transformed by spectacular and exotic flowers. But these lovely extra-terrestrial blossoms have gruesome plans for their Earthly admirers:...
The 1978 version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is one of the best remakes ever made. From the casting to the film score, directing, writing, and photography. If you've never seen the film being able to see it in this new blu-ray edition is the way to go.
Fans of the film should breath a sigh of relief, the film grain is intact and no signs of DNR manipulation etc on this HD transfer. In fact the film has an average bit rate of 37mbps on this 50GB disc. Michael Chapman's dark cinematography at times contains heavy grain to light grain, but at all times looks glorious. Make no mistake this isn't a pristine looking film, it does however look like true film.
Viewers have the choice of listening to the film in a dts 5.1 Master Audio track or a Dolby Surround track. The 5.1 mix has nice low end sub pulses combined with the films eerie Denny Zeitlin score which works wonderfully with creating tension.
Extras are the nice featurettes (standard definition) that were created for the 2 disc DVD set released several years back. The only drawback is that Brooke Adams didn't participate in the interviews. The films original theatrical trailer in 480P is also included. Oddly enough the films audio commentary track from Philip Kaufman is only a bonus feature on the bonus DVD disc. (which contains the film in non-anamorphic)
DigiBook / Seven
New Line Cinema | 1995 | 127 min | Rated R | Region free
| Sep 14, 2010
Lt. William Somerset, a burnt-out veteran cop, is on the brink of retirement. Forced to train his ambitious and eager replacement, Somerset is teamed with Detective David Mills on an investigation that draws these disparate cops...
Don't worry no spoilers here, just a review of the image and audio quality. From VHS, Laserdisc, even a Criterion LD release to an early DVD release onto a two disc special edition DVD release we finally have a stellar HD release for SE7EN in the U.S.
The image quality is really a revelation, finally deep blacks. Which If you don't have your television properly calibrated this can really figure into the overall look of the film. The amount of detail is really in keeping with the film quality the viewer gets in this presentation. There are times of grain and it looks great when seen. I didn't notice obvious noise, or banding as much as I would have thought. It seems non- existent. Color saturation is very pleasing and the color palette used is conveyed as best I've ever seen it. This is a true HD transfer that exceeded my expectations.
The dts 7.1 HD track for this film has always been really well done, rain never sounded better than it has in this film. Lots of split surround effects on this track. Howard Shore's (still unreleased on CD) score sounds full and works with the film helping to create the atmosphere and tone of SE7EN. (I currently am only set up for dts 5.1 HD audio I can only imagine how great this would sound in full 7.1!)
The extras have always been good for SE7EN but I think this is where the release falls short. Why did NEW LINE/WB's decide to not up convert any of them to HD? SE7EN is a huge selling catalog title for the companies, so maybe I answered my own question. A re-release will happen. Give it a few years.
The digi-book release is nice, as long as you don't get a dented banged up one from an online retailer. I looked over about 5 copies at my local Best Buy deciding on which one looked more mint. Yeah I know it is just a case, but it should look brand new right?
Paramount Pictures | 2001 | 124 min | Rated R | Region A (B, C untested) | Sep 11, 2012
Nick Wells is ready to retire from crime. He'll settle down with his girlfriend Diane and focus on
running his legitimate business: a Montreal jazz club. But Max, his fence, friend and financial
partner, has other plans for...
The Score isn't the greatest heist film by a long shot, but it isn't a bad way to spend an evening. We get some of the usual theft cliches, but never the less it is an entertaining film.
The image quality seems to be on the same level as the what one would have seen in theaters. The AVC image encode usually throws out from 30-35 mbps on the average. Some light film grain is seen but for a film from 2001, I wouldn't imagine it would contain much at all on the image. The disc contains the trailer in HD and to me it seems to contain a little more grain than the feature. This could be due to the way the trailer was presented. I can't sense any heavy DNR usage, flesh tones seem natural. Viewing the film on a 50" Panasonic Plasma I don't detect waxy faces or a loss in detail. Black levels seem on par, as well as the nightclub lighting seen in De Niro's jazz club.
This isn't an overly loud film, yet it does have it moments presented in a Dolby True HD audio track that sounds full and dynamic at times. Dialog of course being clear and centered. Howard Shores score as well as the airy jazz sounds from the night club fill the surround channels naturally.
Extras include as mentioned the trailer in HD (mpeg 2 format), audio commentary from Frank Oz, and the D.O.P. Rob Hahn. Additional footage is also on the release.
Warner Bros. | 1972 | 94 min | Rated G | Region free
| Aug 10, 2010
What's Up, Doc? joyously recaptures the bubbly style of 1930's screwball comedies - and firmly establishes Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal as a romantic duo uniquely endearing in screen history. Included are a daffy luggage...
What can I say this film surprised the hell out of me. Classy witty entertainment at its most madcap. For those who think that Streisand is just a possible gay icon or even "chick flick" superstar, please give What's Up Doc? a spin. Total throwback to the classic comedies of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant etc this film nails the tone and goes for it.
I was always surprised by where the film was leading, even if hey sometimes predictable. You have to give Peter Bogdanovich credit he has crafted a well oiled comedy,dare I say masterpiece? All actors are wonderful in the film, you must mention Madeline Kahn in her first screen role. Austin Pendleton unlike any character actor steals scenes and can deliver dialogue in ways that make him one of a kind. Ryan O'Neal who seemed in top physical form in a role that in some ways I couldn't imagine him in but pulls it off underplaying and has great ease in scenes as Streisand easily gives great life to Henry, Newman and Benton's screenplay. They just don't have banter like this anymore.
What's Up Doc? has been released with a stable high def video transfer that is fitting for the films stock and contains some minor grain, and while most scenes aren't the most detailed this is no fault of the transfer which delivers what seems to be a true honest rendering of a theatrical presentation for the home theatre. (For Studio Logo fans like myself advocating original logo usage on reissues, the logo was built into the film as a storybook opening, so we are saved from an updated logo that can ruin enjoyment of the nostalgia of reliving an original film experience.
Audio is adequate and I know many complain that when films are released with lossless dts mono tracks and the like, why didn't we get an upgrade to 5.1 etc. I would almost guess even if the film was pumped up I would imagine only film score would just be spit for the left and right surrounds and dialogue comes thru clear and the audio never seems lacking. (Side note: We all own many DD dts 5.1 tracks etc of films and the next time you pop a mainly dialogue driven film in your player pay attention to the surrounds. I can almost bet that speech will be centered with some light activity on left and right front speakers, while back speakers and sub will not be so much noticeable.) Proving my point that as long as the lossless mono DTS track can replicate the films original soundtrack than consumers should be happy. Bigger selling films like Wizard of Oz, etc get upgraded audio mixes for sure, but they are usually very front end driven.
Extras include an informative commentary by director Peter Bogdanovich, as well as a short screen specific track with Barbara Streisand. Theatrical Trailer and vintage featurette all also included. The release would have been nice to have some new interviews with cast and crew regarding the making of stories and remembrances.
Overall I highly recommend this now classic comedy, I am thrilled some great catalog titles like this get released from time to time.
Blue Underground | 1981 | 88 min | Not rated | Region free
| Jul 27, 2010
Avalon Bay, 1945: On the night of her graduation dance, young Rosemary and her date are brutally murdered by a prowler thought to be a jilted soldier home from the war. The killer was never found. 30 years later, the dance is...
A Slow Law Officer, and a Patient Lady in Waiting.
The Prowler exceeded my expectations as I watched it as a double feature horror film along with Puppet Master. (Original) Tom Savini should get some royalties for this release, without his contribution the film would have been a romantic comedy about a slow as a snail deputy sherriff and his gal in waiting... and waiting.... and well I guess it would take a lot of patience to love a man like that. Don't get me wrong the film was still a lot of fun, but what happened to the wheelchair guy?
Blue-Underground has never really let me down in their image quality control department. Good grain strructure, and image that reflects film print consistency. The film is on a 25GB disc but that is space enough for the running time of this film. I can safely say this film in it's HD incarnation is probably the best it will ever look. Fans enjoy. I didn't see any major issues with compression or banding etc. If it was present it didn't call out to me.
The audio was on par with B-U's releases and teh 7.1 dts master Audio mix is as striking as it can get. Also included for purists is the original english mono track, which is greatly appreciated.
Extras include a Tom Savini gore featurette, trailer and a commentary track with the films Director as well as Savini.
I remember watching the Puppet Master film series on VHS back when I was prone to grabbing any horror title off the rental shelves. I can't say I remember the series fondly, however I found it interesting. This time around I didn't recall any scene from the film at all! The movie plays out to me like a longer version of a Tales from the Darkside episode, not really scary just kind of odd.
At first glance I was surprised to see banding issues over the opening credits and other spots of the film usually during out of focus shots. Most of the film contains debris etc that doesn't bother me much since it was part of the film print used for the transfer. Grain is seen but not distracting. Puppet Master could look better, that is the compression of the film causing artifacting etc could have been better and could have helped on the banding and technical issues that hurt this release. Many scenes look adequate and detail can be seen
The sound seems decent enough. It does not contain a DD 5.1 track as noted. At this time still not sure if this was just printed on the cases and press releases, yet the menu never specifies or lets you choose your audio option. Full Moon may be correcting the lack of 5.1 audio option.
Extras include a making of, and an introduction for the film as well as trailers for other Full Moon Films.
If you are a fan of the Puppet Master series I would say you'll be thrilled by this blu-ray release. It could be better, but then again I can't imagine what that old VHS rental copy looks like today.
The masters of modern horror – George Romero and Dario Argento – bring you an
unprecedented pair of shockers inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe. In Romero’s 'The
Facts In The Case Of Mr. Valdemar', a conniving wife...
Two Evil Eyes is generally a decently made collection of two stories. As another reviewer pointed out there is some "fake" animal cruelty, and to be honest I didn't like those shots very much at all. The film holds up as a average anthology film would. One half Directed by George Romero the other by Dario Argento, each film has its good moments and bad ones but if you are a fan of Romero of Argento you'll love this release.
The image quality is very true to the film source, that being said there seemed to be a lot of soft lighting and filters used. This tends to show off less than normal detail, still I can't fault the transfer at all since Blue-Underground has down a grand job as usual with their HD Blu releases. This film is never going to look any sharper or cleaner than we have here.
Audio is strong at times showcasing Pino Donaggio's score in 7.1 dts-HD audio. Only drawback is the original audio track is not included.
Extras include interviews with Argento (Dario and Asia). Romero and Savini. We also get a look behind the scenes of Savini's F/X. Rounding out the release is an interview with Adrienne Barbeau and the films theatrical trailer.
Warner Bros. | 1971 | 137 min | Rated R | Region free
| Oct 23, 2007
Stanley Kubrick's dystopian masterpiece is set in the near future where urban thugs run wild and new methods of crime deterrence are being explored. Career gang member Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is nabbed by the police and offered...
Watching A Clockwork Orange after owning previous laserdisc and DVD releases is like being able to see the film again with a fresh perspective. While this isn't a razor sharp looking presentation, focus was always a bit soft with lighting etc, this is by far the best Clockwork has ever looked on the home video format.
The opening credits almost seem blinding; fonts are clean looking and most impressive. The almost natural looking use of light is handled well throughout many scenes of this film. Many instances you do see a lot more detail in clothing patterns and fabric as well as set design. Flesh tones appear natural looking, and no hints of poor compression or artifacting.
The new lossless PCM track really impressed me; finally Wendy Carlos' synth score fills the room with a full sound field. (Note Carlos did not do all classical tracks for the film) I can't fault the audio on this release at all.
Extras include and audio commentary track with Malcolm McDowell moderated by film and film score historian Nick Redman. We also get an interesting documentary on the impact of the film from a British point of view. Since it was banned after the films opened in the U.K. bootlegs were the only way some of the up and coming filmmakers were able to see the film. A Making of the Film is also included with interviews featuring Christiane Kubrick and cast and crew. Trailer and a few other extras are also included.
Warner Bros. | 1980 | 98 min | Rated R | Region free
| Jun 08, 2010
Greenskeeper Carl Spackler is about to start World War III - against a gopher. Pompous Judge Smails plays to win but nubile niece Lacey Underall wants to score her own way. Playboy Ty Webb shoots perfect golf by becoming the...
The last time I watched Caddyshack I think I was about 9 years old. The only thing I honestly could remember was the gopher. The film is decent fun, and I must say the times when the seasoned middle aged actor did these R rated comedies seems to be left to the younger generations today for the most part. Rodney Dangerfield steals every scene he enters, chewing up the scenery and leaving nothing and no one safe.
Caddyshack is never going to look pristine is it? I doubt it... the film was very low budget, and the film stock was evidently not the best choice. The film does benefit from an HD transfer. Grain is visible, and video noise seems to be not as vivid or even present. Colors are tighter than a DVD version I borrowed from a friend, which might as well be trashed. As far as Caddyshack is released this could be the best it gets without a massive restoration that may not benefit the film that much.
Dialog on the dts master audio track is clear and centered, the Kenny Loggins music benefits most from this track, and shouldn't disappoint any Caddy fan.
Extras contain a newly introduced documentary that aired on cable television; while it is informative it gets really annoyingly repetitive. The Trailer and previously included Making of is also on the release.
If you are a Caddyshack fan you will love the BD, but I didn't find it nearly as funny as Chase was in Fletch. Never the less it has its moments and has grown in popularity over the years.
Universal Studios | 1980 | 112 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Jun 15, 2010
When energy waves pull the moon out of orbit, New York Jets quarterback Flash Gordon unwittingly finds himself heading for the planet Mongo, where - with assistance from beautiful Dale Arden - he'll take on Ming the Merciless and...
Flash Gordon arrives on Blu-ray, and this has to be a guilty pleasure film for many. Flash must have been instant cult classic, colorful costumes, oddball dialog, and a score and soundtrack by Queen just add to the absurdity of this extravaganza.
The transfer of this release is controversial; many have noted this may be another casualty of DNR tampering. I dislike the fact Universal has been the culprit lately of delivering these DNR releases of late. My wish is to have no DNR heavy releases on Blu ever, but the powers that be seem to be in misinformed control.
This is one of the most saturated looking films I have ever seen, and to be honest I love it. The film is interesting eye candy. The sets are very well done, classically looking sets that remind of of films from the 1930's. I would think most fans of the film will be pleased with the overall transfer, the presentation is almost flawless given the print used, blacks are inky dark and I can't see any issue of macro blocking or color banding. Several times I saw instances of certain shots where a small portion of the image in the frame seemed out of focus, this is definitely a filmed issue, inherent in the print.
The sound is loud, but clear so if you love the opening and closing Queen’s theme song then you will be in heaven the dts master audio track is thunderous, with deep low end bass levels.
The extras could have been better, there are some included, but it would have been cool to have a retrospective making of for the film, and a commentary track.
DNR issues aside, if any, I still think fans will still like the image quality of the blu release, my TV is only a 50" so many DNR issues may not be as visible.
Vince Lombardi High School has quite a reputation: it's the wildest, most rockin' high school around! That is,
until a thug of a principal, Miss Togar, comes along and tries to make the school a totalitarian state. With the...
We don't let anymore mice in here. They've been exploding all over the
Rock 'n' Roll High School is a madcap romp of fun, all about sex, dating, and well P.J. soles obsessed with the Ramones, in particular Joey Ramone. She is out to score the best seats at their upcoming concert, and get this she has enough cash to get them for all her friends also... I guess there was no ticket limit on her sale. Rock 'n' Roll High School is a zany romp as and still holds a lot of fun and nostalgia.
The look of the film seems to hold true on this HD master used for the Blu-ray release. This is not a clean looking film, and will never look clean and clear. Knowing that, this transfer is probably going to be the best way to ever view the film. I am giving it a solid 4 because the transfer seems true to film used. Shout Factory did a great job on releasing this cult classic to blu, and they did it without any detection of pesky DNR.
I look forward to more Roger Corman Cult Classic titles in the future, especially blu-ray. Let's face it; been there done that with former DVD releases. We have all dealt with DVD issues of video noise on budget classics like this... and just to rid yourself of dealing with video noise from poor compression is the greatest thing ever. These low budget films benefit the most on HD, true they are not Avatar, just seeing them as tightly transferred as possible minus annoying video noise issues is worth every single penny.
It would have been nice to have offered a lossless audio track even if 2 channel mono. The back cover states it contains a Dolby True HD track. It is missing however, the track included is sufficient, yet lossless would have been preferred.
Rock 'n' Roll High School contains no less than four audio commentary tracks! These include cast and crew of the film. Disc also contains interviews with P.J. Soles and the director as well as the films trailers and TV spots, and radio promos.
Even without the lossless Dolby True HD track, this is still a really good release from Shout Factory buy it without hesitation.
Aloof teenage Japanese tourists, a frazzled Italian widow, and a disgruntled British immigrant all converge in Memphis, the city of dreams. Mystery Train is a triptych of stories that pay playful tribute to the home of Stax...
Watching the new Criterion Blu-Ray of Mystery Train was the first time I laid eyes on this film. The previous MGM DVD release can't even compare from other online reviews I have seen. That old DVD looked like it bleed to death to say the least.
Image Quality on this new HD release is very solid. Colors seem very tight, and I am not sure what it is but Jarmusch can capture that magic hour in his films so realistically. Deep blacks are found though out the film and the neon lighting in the film is handled well. The transfer looks as good as if not better than what I would imagine it would look projected from a film print theatrically.
Audio is decent stable and dialogue clear on the lossless PCM Mono track. Most would want a bumped up 5.1 mix but this mix included on the Criterion release is true to the film as it was originally produced. No complaints here.
Extras aren't as abundant as many other Criterion releases yet I am sure Criterion went as far as they could go. We get another Q&A with Director Jim Jarmusch similar to the one found on the DVD release of Night on Earth. The edition is rounded out by two documentaries, and more.
Viewers get from Mystery Train what they bring to it, I found the film as viewed today as a time capsule and to me it shows off a torn yet innocent Memphis, which is captured unflinchingly on film.
Nomi’s dreams and desires to make it big in Vegas are as sharp as a stiletto heel. When she catches the eye of Cristal, the Stardust’s sexy headliner, Nomi is on the brink of living her dream. But she soon realizes that there is...
...I'm getting a little too old for that "whorey" look...
Forgive me for rating the film score so high, I have to admit I wanted to rank it higher but feared anyone reading other reviews posted here would question my reasoning. Everyone should just flat out admit that SHOWGIRLS is what it really is, trashy no holds barred fun for you and your late saturday night group of friends. Every actor plays their character to the hilt, and seems to chew up the scenery with ease.
I will start off with some interesting comments on the DVD/ BD versions that are part of this release. First off most copies do come with glittery looking slipcover, discs housed in the ever annoying non-collector eco-case. The BD version of the film starts off with what to me seems like a brand spanking new MGM opening logo which looks rather nice and seems to work a lot better than the one they have been using on most MGM re-issue catalog DVDs. The United Artist logo has also been changed. You can view the original logos on the DVD edition included. The DVD edition is also a nice plus to the set since it contains all the VIP Edition EXTRAS! You can listen to the fun commentary track on your computer etc, without being tied down to your HD TV screen.
Showgirls looks better than I ever imagined the release would be. I always read that Showgirls was one of MGM's top home video sellers. I just knew sooner than later we'd have the HD Blu release. I figured it would end up stripped of its film like look, and released cheaply. I was wrong! This release gives film grain as well as it gives laughs. Colors are precise tight, blacks solid. Showgirls carries a high bit rate that rivals a Criterion release, we are talking around 35.5mbps! (Some sites have noted some minor cropping of the framing of this release.)
Showgirls' dts master audio track is thumping and can't get any better, esp with the songs featuring deep bass beats.
If you ever owned the previous VIP Showgirls release then you have seen the extras. It is too bad the filmmakers and the stars won't really discuss the film at all. They should just embrace the film and have a blast do a hilarious cast commentary track. However we d get a commentary track from a devoted fan of the film, it is an entertaining track as it stands. You and your friends while watching should garner many funny observations endlessly. This film needed "create your own commentary track". The one extra that without a doubt I would repurchase the release for would be that great VH1 / Cable version with the nudity covered up and the dialog changed to hilarious proportions of confusion.
MGM / FOX did this SHOWGIRLS release right. Excellent transfer, bumpin' audio, and all the previous extras carried over. As Cristal Connors might say, go on Darlin' Buy It...
Life is very pleasant for the close-knit Freeling family until a host of otherworldly forces
invades their peaceful suburban home. It starts with just an odd occurrence or two, but soon
their house is transformed into a...
Y'all Mind Hangin' Back Your Jammin' the Frequencies...
This Blu-Ray release is getting a bad reputation from word of mouth from buyers and a few different
DVD review sites. Some are saying it the transfer leaves a lot to be desired. I say they are wrong.
This is probably the thousandth time I have seen the film. Growing up from watching it on pay
cable, to video to Laserdisc, to the first DVD release.
When Universal re-released E.T. for it's 20th Anniversary, WB's decided to strike a few prints of
POLTERGEIST for a theatrical reissue also. I got to see a BRAND NEW 35MM print of Poltergeist at
the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis at a one time only midnite showing. After seeing the DVD so
many times and the old laserdisc the new film print was a revelation...so many of the digital effects
shots had been cleaned to remove debris and dirt. The sound was remixed in Dolby Digital.
The biggest letdown of this screening was a bunch of guys in the back balcony of the theatre who
paid ten dollars to yell idiotic comments during the film and ruin the one showing this film got in
MN. What it proved however was that a new DVD transfer would be on the horizon. Well I was
waaaaaayyyy off on that prediction.
We never got a new DVD transfer until just last year. Many fans were dying for a special edition and
when the details were announced that the only extra was going to be a throw away documentary
on ghost hunters, well no one cared. WB even nixed the trailer! So we didn't get the teaser trailer
either, or the short but interesting making of that was on the laserdisc set. It was a huge letdown.
If and when the BD would be released I knew we wouldn't get any extras. I just had my mind set
on good audio and a good HD transfer.
I compared it to my laserdisc... it was a new film... I compared it to a friends original DVD release ...
still the BD showed more detail, yet seemed to soft at times. I really can't say if DNR was used on this release or not. I honestly think it could look better. Some scenes have some specs here and there and some shots have some out of focus instances in the frame. These are instances which can't be helped.
The Dolby TRUE HD audio isn't as great as I had hoped, I recently re-watched this release and was surprised how high I had to turn my volume up to really get some loud sound from the track presented. Jerry Goldsmith's score should benefit more than it does. I really believe the frequency seems to low on this blu-ray release.
If you are a fan of POLTERGEIST don't hesitate to purchase this BD release, I still hope for a much better release years from now.
An extraordinary, fantasy filled masterpiece, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen highlights the amazing journeys of Baron Munchausen, who sets sail in a hot air balloon in search of his old comrades-at-arms. In his travels, the...
One of the Last Imaginative Gilliam OverBudget Spectacles
Terry Gilliam can never win for losing, almost every single film he has made has had production issues a plenty. The Adventures of Baron Manchausen while can lag a bit for many, contains some great imagery and a really solid cast.
The film transfer used does contain its share of debris specs, flecks, and such, but to me never distracts from enjoying the film at all. Sony was able to do a simple film to HD transfer with no manipulation that I could notice and should be praised. Colors at times can be vibrant, and blacks are deep. Film grain is present and depending on a shot per shot basis can fluctuate, I would bet that different stocks and film processing was used.
Sound quality is on par with most releases, nice separation of film score composed by Michael Kamen.
Extras include a new 3 Part Documentary on the trials, tribulations and he said he said behind the scenes burdens that plague a Gilliam film. The interviews are bitingly funny to downright tension filled. It is refreshing that each person can be candid about the making of the film etc, instead of the usual sugar coating that gets old and when people just won't talk. (Poltergeist - Will we ever get some decent interviews?) Commentary track is included as well as deleted scenes.
Adventures of Baron Manchausen isn't exactly crowd pleasing, but I am still surprised at what made it on to film, and honestly the techniques used for special effects to me are more interesting than the norm CGI of today
Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic...
Male Middle Age Life Crisis Never has Looked Better in B/W
Having seen 8 1/2 only twice before on Criterion's previous DVD release, seeing it again in HD is worth every cent.
Image quality is very strong however some have noted that there may have been some lightly used DNR on some shots. This doesn't seem to be too bothersome, and many will never notice. We get a nice film grain mostly, with good blacks and grays throughout the feature. Anouk Aimée (who plays Guido's wife) looks great in this film, when watching her in 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita and even Lola she has a wonderful classic look that can't be put into words.
Sound is as good as it gets on this lossless mono output. This feature doe not require a lossless 7.1 track by any means. (Rota's score would benefit and may be all)
Criterion has always been known for their extra bonus features give way to an exclusive BD bonus feature, The Last Sequence, a new 52-minute documentary on Fellini’s lost alternate ending for 8½.
Other Extras are the Terry Gilliam introduction which I would recommend to watch after the film if you have never seen it before. (Usually these intros give away a lot of plot etc that is better to be discovered upon viewing the film) US Theatrical Trailer and other documentaries carried over from the DVD release.
Warner Bros. | 1968 | 149 min | Rated G | Region free
| Oct 23, 2007
In this surreal sci-fi classic by Stanley Kubrick, a
mysterious black monolith appears on Earth in prehistoric times, changing the course of human
evolution. When it reappears on the Moon in 2001, astronauts embark on an...
My Favorite Film of All Time... so I could be biased... or not!
2001 is my favorite film of all time, and it was the first ever Blu-ray I purchased EVER! In fact I didn't even have a player when I bought it, but my roommate did. I was blown away by the image from the HD transfer at that time.
I have to say looking back on the Blu release the last week or so I couldn't help but wonder... could it have been better?
The transfer used is the best it has ever looked, I even was able to see the film back when WB's sent ouot 70MM prints to several theatres for a special anniversary edition. The detail was insane on that print.
Comparing the BD with my DVD copy, one great improvement was the color banding... yet it is still there but very subtle. I just can't help but wish the film was delievered with a much higher output bitrate. Most of the time it was in the area of 15mbps to 25ish. I just felt like it was not as good as it should've been for such a revered classic film. I realize bitrate isn't everything, but it should have been transferred at Criterion standard bit rates in my opinion.
Reading many other reviews on this site for 2001, several people weren't happy with debris or hair type issues that may have not been cleared up with this release, however those instanced don't bug me as much since it is due to the film print used and not the mastering itself. I'd take debris issues any day over digital manipulation that can usually decrease detail value.
Sound seems full and dialog clear and concise. I can't argue much on this point.
Extras are really good, esp the audio interview with Stanley Kubrick from around the time of the films release.
I would say buy this Blu, but maybe in a few years we may get a BD release for 2001 that utilizes more of a 50GB disc space for the film itself.
This English-made horror thriller is the story of two female vampires who hitchhike along a deserted highway in
the English countryside, luring unsuspecting drivers to their gothic mansion for a night of passion - followed by...
Watching any film released by Blue-Underground is a joy. The films may not be your most mainstream Hollywood epic, but B-U always releases a quality product one after another. Vampyres is no exception.
Vampyres is not your usual vampire film at all. These two gals are up to no good for sure, no one should ever go home with them, it can't possibly end on a good note. Hated by many who call it trash, but this is some interesting trash. Slow pace of not, I don't require fast cuts or fast paced storylines. The film creates its mood and stays true till the end.
The transfer while not yesterday's pristine film print, is released with film grain intact and looks like an honest representation of film. Moody atmospheric conditions are always part of the surroundings in this film, and give the film that classic chilled European horror presentation. The castle that these ladies reside in is awesome, although some house cleaning should be looked into.
Audio is presented in dts HD master audio, but don't worry the original English MONO audio is included also.
Extras include an audio commentary from the films director and producer, some interviews, and the international and US trailers.
The curious and unaware may want to do a rental on this film, but those who crave these cult films should jump right in for a purchase.
Tom believes, even in this cynical modern world, in the notion of a transforming, cosmically destined, lightning-strikes-once kind of love. Summer doesn't. Not at all. But that doesn't stop Tom from going after her, again and...
500 Days of Summer was a lot more enjoyable than I would've guessed. There are some who hate this film so much, but I liked how it really looked at how fast relationships may/can end. It wasn't your normal romantic comedy that seems to be churned out these days that comes off just old and well been there seen that... but I never really say much about the films themselves, it is on this HD format so let's get to the image quality!
This is a great looking transfer! I honestly couldn't notice any faults if their were any at all. Very strong saturation and great detail. It was a joy to look at. With a presentation like this film allows it is hard to say anything bad about this transfer.
The sound I couldn't say was bad in the least dialog clear and centered, with surrounds working at the normal range during songs, score.
The extras were nice also, I loved the Sid & Nancy bit, very cute.
Mr. and Mrs. Fox live an idyllic home life with their son Ash and visiting young nephew Kristopherson. But after
12 years, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr Fox's wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his...
Having seen this film thru digital projection in a theatre, and now on BLU I am very pleased with the trasnfer. I wish I could rate it 4.9 instead of 4.5 but there were just a couple instances of color banding on certain scenes. Some may not even notice. Overall the release is great. Audio is just as good.
More extras would have been better. I think this may be the only release without a commentary from Wes Anderson. I can only hope that FOX will also license this title to Criterion for a more in depth special edition. You never know. Unless FOX does another issue later on. I know it didn't perform well at the box office but this could have legs on home video. The film is really funny and just a delight to look at.
What was Mark Whitacre thinking? A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Whitacre
suddenly turns whistleblower. Even as he exposes his company's multi-national price-fixing conspiracy to the
I actually liked this film a lot. That being said, it isnt for everyone. Steven Soderbergh films like The Informant! are generally an acquired taste for some. I thought it was very brave to take this true story and make it as black comedy, kind of just like life sometimes. It is expertly made and edited. Matt Damon's performance is one of his best, subtle yet complicating.
The video was shot with the Red Ant HD Camera,(Peter Andrews seems to only work with Soderbergh? :-) and some say the image is soft and not very defined, yet I guess I went in thinking it wouldn't look so good. It looks really good. (Compare it the the DVD in the combo pack haha yeah the HD transfer is good)
The audio is nothing dynamic and shouldn't be. The score by Marvin Hamlisch is really fun even if the cues are short, it still sounds good. The score really makes the film. Dialogue is very clear, especially with a dialogue filled feature the audio is good.
If you go in thinking this film is slapstick, hilarious comedy it isn't that type of film. The original trailer for the film made it seem more along the lines of laugh out loud, it is funny, but this is a Soderbergh film.
I can't give the Extras rating a really bad score, the Blu-Ray does have the exclusive audio commentary track, and deleted scenes. It would have been cool to have a few interviews with Damon and other cast members, and costume designers. That would have been cool.
In Alan Parker's 'Fame', teenagers selected for New York City's High School for the Performing
Arts push their talents to the limit to make it big in show business. This episodic tale follows
savvy Coco (Irene Cara), timid...
Owning this BD as a blind buy was the first time I have ever seen the film. I always wanted to see it since Alan Parker directed the film, and I have seen most of his films and even own the UK BD release of Bugsy Malone (Region Free except you can't access the bonus fetures, just the audio commentary)
The film was very entertaining and I had to think at the same time not as predictable as I imagined. The only thing I found lacking for the film is that even with the length that it is, it never gets boring and I was left wanting to spend more time with the characters.
The image quality is I think top notch no it isn't pristine looking and never should be, there is fine grain, but it does have deep blacks when needed, and overall no video noice etc. It would never look any better. This is the release of FAME that if you are a fan of the film, this is a no brainer.
I am never great at discerning great sound, I have lossless audio setup etc and the film sounds great, Generally dialog is very good, and the music sounds full.
The extras are decent, would have been great to have possible deleted scenes? I would have guessed maybe there were some? I have NOT been able to listen to the commentary track yet, but Alan Parker seldom dissapoints on his commentaries.
Currently the release comes with a CD sampler CD that contains 4 tracks. The insert is on nice sparkly shimmering paper. It looks very cool. (my copy was NOT in an eco case)
SPO | 1996 | 109 min | Unrated | Region free
| Jan 28, 2009
Violet is the sexy mistress of Ceasar, a money launderer for the Mob. The comfortable Family
lifestyle has become drudgery--until Violet meets Corky. Corky, a convicted thief out on
parole, is hired as the maintenance person...
This review is for the Japanese release of BOUND. As of 1/13/10 there is no US release for this film on Blu, and France has released a region free BD, but some have mentioned in threads on this site that because of a PS3 update, and a PAL formatted issue with a possible warning screen a lot of people can't play the French release.
I have read some reports that the Japan release as noted here uses a lot more disc space than the French release, and possible contains better image quality.
There is room for improvement on the image side though, a few scenes seemed like they could have shown more detail, but this is more than likely due to film stock issue than anything else. It may not ever get much better. There are instances of speckles and film debris, but this isn't bothersome on my part, it just makes the transfer look like film.
The DTS Master Audio track sound full and dynamic at times,
The PLUS to this release and most people are not aware is that the 3rd audio track on this release CONTAINS the now classic audio commentary with the Wachowski Brothers, Joe Pants, consultant Susie Bright, and flustered and hilarious Jennifer Tilly, and later in the game Gina Gershon makes an audio apperance. I love the part on the commentary when Tilly talks about the reasoning for walking to the kitchen near the end of the film. Good fun.
I won't say much about the film, but sufffice to say this is a great heist film, and the film never gets old, crackling dialog, and good suspense.
This film does cost a nice penny to import from amazon in Japan and I paid w/ shipping about 67.00 US dollars. Shipping itself was 25.00ish. The upside is that they only ship express from Japan, so it shipped on a Sunday from their WHSE and I had it in the Mid-West of US on Monday!
Called "the greatest rock film ever made," this landmark documentary follows the Rolling
Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When 300,000 members of the Love Generation
collided with a few dozen Hell's Angels at San...
I scored this release very high in terms of image and sound, and I feel that some have slighty bashed the image quality in early reviews. I judge this release like I do any other blu-ray release, does the HD image do justice to the negative ro film used to re-create the best possible home theatre experience.
The image while it does contain some debris and film imperfections I think holds up very well. It was shot on 16MM film and contains a good deal of grain that looks amazing. Some people give lower marks for the debris on the film image, I find it only adds to the asthestic of the look of the film.
The sound is very good. It was noted in the commentary track from 2000 that in order to get the audio tracks from Altamont to sound decent they really had to do a lot of post work since the generators would make the power for the souond decrease and increase based on supply it received.
The extras are very good, the commentary track is very informative and welcomed. The extra scenes are nice also, esp the Ike and Tina Turner scenes with Mick.
Eagle Rock Entertainment | 1991 | 90 min | Not rated | Region free
| Dec 09, 2008
These two complete concerts from Montreux in 1991 and 1992 catch Tori Amos right at the start of her solo career, one shortly before the release of her Little Earthquakes album and the second a few months after. There is a clear...
For the fans who crave classic Tori concerts and her early work this Blu-Ray is for you. You get Tori's first trip to the festival and also the trip one year later.
The image quality is very good for such an early presentation of her shows. It is 1080i and is much better looking than the DVD counterpart.
The audio is what this is all about the lossless tracks sound very clear and dynamic.
This is a very old show and I was suprised we got such a good release especially in HD. It would have been cool to have a new interview with Tori regarding the shows and her thoughts. There are several interviews online out there regarding the release and looking back on these shows, just would've been cool as a bonus feature on the release.
Def Jam | 2009 | 90 min | Unrated | Region free
| Nov 10, 2009
With irrepressible tracks including 'Mr. Brightside' and the epic 'All These Things That I've Done', The Killers are justifiably one of the biggest bands in the world today. Featuring 17 live takes, this stunning release finds...
Since I heard about the Killers Live DVD/CD and Blu Ray release around 2 weeks before hand I was very excited. I saw them live in MPLS on this tour and it was a great non-stop stage show. All I could think about was a Blu Ray HD release. Could there be one in the works? They certainly had enough albums and tracks to back a full length video for a release.
I think the venue is amazing at the Royal Albert Hall, but when I saw the show because of the venue they had huge curtains of buld type video lights behind them and they looked brilliant and blinding at times. I really wanted that experience in HD. The Hall is more circular and I can see why that peice of stage show lighting was missing in action. Those who saw them live in other venues may know what I am speaking of.
I remember posting on thekillersmusic.com official website that they needed to do a home video and Blu ray release badly and the moderator said there were no plans for a release. I just figured ok then. So when I heard the news around the end of October that the BD and CD/DVD release was coming I was dying to see it.
I purchased the DVD/CD set for the CD and the BD for the show. The BD is in 1080i which is normal for concert footage generally. Early reports stated 1080p it is 1080i. The sound choices are Audio LPCM Stereo Dolby Digital 5.1 DTS MA Audio 5.1 and the BD features what they call a "System Sync Set-up" help program.
The video is really good for this show. I won't say it is perfect but I can't say it is bad at all. They may be some moire pattern issues at times but very light, and for this type of filming etc it isn't distracting. This is a live show so I could not be more thrilled. I did pop in my DVD version into the PS3 to see how it looked and ugh right from the start it was really really BAD! I couldn't believe the difference between the standard and the HD on the footage. The DVD looked like it bled to death and was so blotchy and the macro blocking was attrocious. the BD is bar none awesome. The Killers should be proud of the release. ( I think the intro and the outro so to speak of ths show is cool, very nice touch.
The audio choices are plentiful, I prefered the dts master audio 5.1. The sound was full and clear and the louder the better.
The extras contain some live festival tracks in 1080i but I believe they were upconverted, they don't look as good as the main live show but these are bonus performances and they are a nice inclusion. You also get a mini type of documentary the time during the Albert Hall performances. Fans speak out about the Killers and crew members are heard from etc. It was a nice bonus. The only thing really lacking was maybe some interviews or some real behind the scenes with the band members.
For region coding I can not verify that at all on the BD, the back cover only states something along the lines of some special features may not work on all players. I did notice however the DVD has the ALL logo on teh back cover The BD doesn't have that logo at all. I would almost guess it is region free.
Blue Underground | 1983 | 82 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Sep 01, 2009
It began as a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between two of the greatest icons of the fantasy
genre: Controversial animator Ralph Bakshi (director of 'Fritz the Cat', 'Wizards' and the
original 'The Lord of the Rings') and...
I don't like this film much at all. I found it dull and boring. I know it has its fans and I will hold onto my BD but just watched the backgrounds as the film progressed and ignored the dialogue and the tacky rotoscoped animation, which works ok for these types of films.
The image quality was the best it possibly could be. This was a low budget film from the start and by todays standards they can not to an ultra restoration on a film like this. I actually liked seeing the white speckles and flecks on teh acetate etc, it made it seem more nostalgive. I have to rate the transfer a solid 5.
The sound is very good, but still wish Blue Underground would include the original stereo tracks for their releases (or mono depending)
The extras are decent, but this BD is missing the over 90 minute documentary from the 2 Disc Limited Edition release titles Painting with Fire. If you have the old DVD set hold onto the second disc for the doc.
Overall this is a great release from Blue Underground, even though I didn't care for the film much, consumers are given a top quality BD release for the film. I don't even think Gladiator was dealt with as much as as Fire and Ice was.
Sony Pictures | 1983 | 109 min | Rated R | Region free
| Aug 11, 2009
The air above Los Angeles has become a battle ground in this explosive action thriller. Roy
Scheider ('Jaws') stars as Frank Murphy, a courageous and honorable Los Angeles police
officer who is chosen to test run Blue...
Sony has given Blue Thunder probably the best transfer in HD you would be able to get from the film master that was used. I can't complain about any image issues. Any issues with the image quality are derived from the way the film was shot and unless you want them to do reshoots it will never look any better.
The audio is just as good. No complaints on the audio track. The extras are ok you get a commentary track, trailer and a classic featurette on the film and a new doc on the helicopter itself.
I can't the say the movie is great, it held my attention, far fetched as it may have been, it was still enjoyable. I would view it again.
Sony Pictures | 1999 | 102 min | Rated R | Region free
| Aug 18, 2009
Within one 24 hour period, three sets of friends in three dysfuctional situations will collide in
the raucous Los Angeles underground party scene. It's Christmas Eve and Ronna and Claire are
supermarket checkout girls...
I always feel like I'm bailing out a film from critics who don't understand HD transfers or how each film should be judged on its own film stock and processing. With this said I have watched go on DVD for 10 years now. I think I've seen it hundreds of times. On DVD the images felt constrained by digital noise issues etc, now in HD the transfer is so much more smooth and you get a hint of film grain on the image but looks as though the digital noise is gone, or at least not as apparent as it was on the DVD. The opening credit sequence seems to look the worse which always seems to be the case with a lot of films. Most of the film was shot on the fly and doesn't have a firm hold on the images so much which doesn't give the image a lot of detail. So many people believe no detail = poor HD. This is just how the film was shot, and looks as it should.
I don't think GO will ever look better or sound better than it does on this BD release. The sound output is pleasing and I have no issues with it.
The extras I wish could have been upgraded to HD like the music videos esp the NO DOUBT video for NEW, but at least all the bonus features from the DVD were ported over... except the trailer seems to be missing, usually SONY omits these from the films disc and usually usesit on another release. The commentary track is still good, those who love the film will love hearing Doug Liman, and the films editor discuss the making of the film etc.
I won't say much about the film because I have always loved it dearly, I think Sarah Polley is highly underrated and I am still hoping for a BD release of SWEET HEREAFTER. I think the whole cast was brilliantly picked, but I love Polley. "Paper or Plastic?"
Note, Sony used their cool foil like paper for the cover for go, they also did this on THE DEEP, which also made for a cool cover.
Universal Studios | 1995 | 130 min | Rated R | Region free
| Jul 28, 2009
The year is 2035 and humankind subsists in a desolate netherworld following the eradication
of 99% of the Earth's population, a holocaust that makes the planet's surface uninhabitable,
and mankind's destiny uncertain. A...
Film Image Factor, and other 12 Monkey's Transfer Comments.
With all the comments surrounding this BD before it was even released I have to say, the image quality really surprised me. I have seen this on VHS tape, an old laserdisc release, and two seperate DVD releases.
First off the opening title sequence compared to the DVD release pops like never before. There are a few instances where I felt the image was lacking but this was due to the film negative and how it captured the image. One odd example is the shots of Stowe standing in front of her projected slides during her seminar, it looks very soft and oddly enough blue screened to an extent.
Furthermore the BD offers a very nice bit rate for the films transfer, while some have said they have seen specs of debris on certain images I didn't notice any that ruined the enjoyment of the film. I highly reccomend this BD.
The sound quality is as good as it could be and I hear no faults or reall issues. Sound field seems clean. I can't complain.
I wish Universal could have commissioned a few new extras for the new release, like maybe a cast crew reuion roundtable discussion, or a cast commentary.
The Making of is good enough for sure and the commentary track is worthwhile as well.
Nice release with a better than expected film transfer. This looks as good as one can hope, with the types of lighting and filters used to give the film it's overall look.
Roman Polanski followed up his international breakthrough Knife in the Water with this
controversial, chilling tale of psychosis, starring Catherine Deneuve as Carol, a fragile, frigid
young beauty cracking up over the course...
Criterion LaserDisc Search over with this Impressive HD Release!
For many years I was contemplating hunting down the long gone Criterion LaserDisc of Repulsion since in the U.S. was given a really bad public domain release, that is so bad there is no word to describe it.
I did breakdown about 3 years ago and purchase the UK Anchor Bay DVD release. It was in WS and contained a boosted only ok dts audio track. But it did contain the Criterion commentary track. So it was a good second place way of watching the film the best way possible at that time.
I've had my fingers crossed forever that Criterion would someday be able to release Repulsion again on DVD, but was thrilled to see a BD release announced.
First off I love the cover art and layout and I couldn't be happier with the Criterion Plastic style BD cases (Examples: Wages of Fear, For All Mankind)
We have come to expect and are given high quality transfers and exceptional bit rates for the film encodes. Repulsion is yet another great title to add to you BD collection. This transfer is amazing to look at. Some may not like the high amounts of film grain embedded in the transfer but it does not distract me at all from the wonder of the black and white photography. The detail is better than you can expect, I have to rate it a solid 5 on the image because there is no way anyone can say this transfer is lacking. Those who do should be forced to watch that horrific public domain US DVD release.
I can't say anything for or against the sound. I have a receiver etc that handles lossless audio and for classic films like Repulsion, Third Man and the like I can't really say that the audio is lacking in any audible way. The dialogue sounds as it would be or was recorded. Some argue for 5.1 lossless on these types of titles, but this isn't 300, and doesn't require the same type of sound field. The score does seem potent enough and overall re-creates the best sound experience for the film possible.
The extras are decent so I can't complain. We are given the previously recorded commentary track from the OOP LaserDisc release, and the making of that was created in 2003, as well as 2 trailers, what is cool is we get a french documentary that was made at the time of the filming of Repulsion and it is very cool to see rehearsal's and the shooting of the film. All the extras are in HD -usually 1080i which is fine. They never show detail of the film that is shown while watching the actual film but this is an extra step of Criterion going the extra mile on the extras and transferring bonus material in HD. It makes their releases even more enjoyable.
Sony Pictures | 1984 | 105 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Jun 16, 2009
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...
Long Live Film Grain in Transfers. Ghostbusters is right on the Money.
There has been a lot of talk about this Blu ray transfer of Ghostbusters and some say it is too grainy, it doesn't look as good as the old DVD etc.
I am giving the image a solid 5 rating, the reason why is SONY did this transfer justice. They did not disrup the image with pesky DNR manipulation. SONY even says for the BD release the director of photography Lazlo Kovacs ok'd the transfer for this release.
Another reason I;m giving the image a solid 5 is because it retains what the film would look like in a theatre. This film will never be clear like Speed Racer etc, it isn't meant to be clean/clear. The image you see is as good as can be imagined. I loved the amount of grain that you could see, the image give good detail, there are a few soft shots or instances of soft focus on other points of the image. This is fairly common and was how the film was shot.
The sound seems to be a solid 5 also, I can't imagine the sound mix being any better than this release.
The extras are all good, and some that were on the old DVD have not been ported over but the BD release still has plenty of extras to watch and the commentary track is informative and fun.
From all the reviews I have read online and on this web page it is still a very accurate remark to note that many people still don't understand film grain and why it is there. FILM GRAIN is what creates the image! Certain films stocks make it more visable and some stocks make it almost non existant. GHOSTBUSTERS film stock would have had grain.
I highly recommend this BD release. I hope Ghostbusters II looks just as good.
This is the first time I've seen La Piscine, and actually never heard of it until this region free Blu-Ray release. I follow several of Alain Delon's films mainly through releases from Criterion like Le Cercle Rouge, L'eclisse, and Le Samourai. All are exceptional and need Blu Ray releases also.
I was intrigued by this film and it did not dissapoint me at all. I had to rate it a solid 5. The transfer is as good as one can expect with a decent bit rate ranging from 15mbps up to 25mbps. I think the only way a better transfer would ever get released as if Criterion could release, and I wish they would for the sake of U.S. consumers. Since I have nothing to compare the transfer too and it seems as good as it currently gets and Alain Delon looks better than ever in this transfer I have to give it a 5.
There are a few shots that are soft or have some of the image out of focus which was due to the way it was filmed or the films stock. Most of the time the shots have a lot of detail and are very pleasing. I was enjoying the film so much that I can only highly recommend ordering this BD. If you are a film file who enjoys the classic films of Delon then this will be a welcome addition to your library.
I can't so much for the sound but I can't talk badly about it either, the score sounds good and the dialog clear, so I can't bash it so much since this isn't an ear candy film.
The extras are mainly ones that Region A players will NOT be able to access, seems to be some interviews on the disc, but you can watch the trailer in 1080P and you can also watch what is known to the French version of the film as an ALT ending that it you watch the English version it has the ending included in that version. For those who are not fluent in french you will want to watch the English version which you can choose to watch under the special features menu, otherwise the original french language version automatically plays and does NOT contain subtitles. The English version contain french subtittles which can be turned off.
I decided to watch the american version of the film, and will more than likely watch the french version in a few days time since I know the basic dialog and storyline.
I know I will watch this film a lot.
Also there are some production notes included on the disc menu that are in french.
This BD edition contains both and english, and french language version of the film. Seems they made both versions at the same time, so it isn't just a dubbed audio track so this is a very cool release.
I purchased this BD from amazon.fr and it shipped faster than I thought. Ord it on a Thurs and rec'd it the following Thursday in the mail.