PQ - There is a very small amount of digital noise (ala Ghostbusters) on the transfer here, but unlike Ghostbusters (or
worse: Apollo 13), it doesn't stand out without close consideration so it doesn't ruin the experience for me. Just like the
moderate and inconsistent DNR work on They Live, the tiny amount digital noise on this disk is disappointing but never
detracts from the picture enough to draw me out of the movie.
AQ - I didn't scrutinize the sound as much, mainly because it sounds and feels exactly like it did when I saw it in the
theater. There's nothing really exciting or new in this mix as far as I can tell, so those that wanted a brand-new RR 7.1
total emersion experience might be disappointed.
Extras - I've played with them a little but have not fully dug in yet. What's here seems satisfying enough.
Bottom Line - Must buy for fans and a safe bet for blind buyers. A slightly better picture would have been nice, but what
is here still looks pretty dang good. I'm satisfied.
Sony Pictures | 1984 | 115 min | Rated PG | Region free
| Aug 11, 2009
An alien's ship crashes on Earth, and, to avoid detection, he transforms himself into a physical
replica of the deceased husband of a young woman, whose house is the first he comes upon in
the woods. He then must assuage her...
Another Carpenter classic. While Starman isn't my favorite of his movies, it is possibly the best
crafted and easily the most accessable.
PQ - This is a suprisingly good transfer. I didn't expect this film to be treated as well as they ended
AQ - Again, better treatment than I expected. Richer and fuller sounding than ever before.
Extras - What extras? A Carpenter commentary would have been nice.
Bottom Line - It's a barbones release that got a pretty darn good master. Seeing as how 80% of
any release is about the movie and how well it was mastered for blu, I can live without the extras.
Fans should be happy with this, and blind-buying for newcomers is not out of the question.
I'm a fan of this film. I'm a fan of Carpenter. This was a must-have purchase for me.
PQ - The picture is not ideal. Half the time the image is very good with good detail and a nice film-
like feel, and the other half of the time it leans more towards a waxy, moderately smeared DNR
appearance. Disappointing, but it's not bad enough to call this release a total failure.
AQ - No complaints here. Dialogue is front and center, and the sound balance is good. Don't worry
about your surrounds, they don't really get utilized all that much.
Features - The new interviews are great, but unfortunately too short.
Bottom Line - It could have been better, it could have been much, much worse. Either way, I am
happy to finally have it on blu-ray, but will almost certainly double-dip on it if somewhere down the
road it gets a little more TLC.Delete
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1984 | 114 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| Oct 09, 2012
In the heartland of the United States of America, Russian and Cuban paratroopers begin to drop outside while classes go on in the high school. When the soldiers begin killing everyone in sight, local teens take to the hills to...
I agree with the BR.com reviewer: Red Dawn is more than just an 80's action flick. It shows the
hardships that war can put on people (especially families). The action actually serves the story
rather than vice versa, and the best scenes are the character moments rather than the shoot 'em
ups. Powers Booth grounds the film, and the rest of the ensemble does a good job playing scared
teens fighting for their survival.
Audio and video are serviceable. It's a fair HD upgrade that could have used some more TLC, but
for what it is I am satisfied.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1981 | 99 min | Rated R | Region A (locked) | Aug 03, 2010
In a world ravaged by crime, the entire island of Manhattan has been converted into a prison which houses the world's most brutal inmates. And when the President of the United States crash lands inside, only one man can bring him...
Demolition Man is part of a group of films that sort of mark the end of a chain of post 1980's shoot-em-ups that were all trying to mimic Die Hard--you know, movies where sixty-thousand rounds are fired yet the hero and the villain can't seem to kill each other?
Despite the predictable action, this movie outshines other Die Hard clones through the use of humor and a interesting take on the 'utopia teetering on disaster' idea. Things like the police's inability to handle real criminals, the machine that deals out fines for profanity, and the general culture of San Angeles make this an entertaining watch. Stallone is his usual self, Snipes is over the top, but Sandra Bullock is the real heart of this picture (this was her "breakout" movie, but it was 'Speed' that turned her into a star) and it seems like she manages to hold the whole thing together all on her own.
PQ - Nicely done. There are a lot of soft shots in this film, but it is because of the source material, not a flaw of the transfer. When the camera man does his job correctly (about 80% of the movie) the blu shows off a very nice level of detail and texture. Blacks are nicely resolved and contrast is spot on for what I remember when seeing this film in the theater.
AQ - Action scenes are a tad too loud compared to dialogue, but not so horribly out of balance that it wrecks the film for me. Most everything comes out of the front channels and the surrounds don't add much to the experience. Gunfire reports are canned and lack oompf--part of the original sound design so I can't fault the blu. Despite my few gripes, this is a competent mix.
Extras - A commentary track and a trailer.
Come for the milieu, jokes, and Bullock's character, but prepare to yawn a little at most of the action scenes. This movie is comparable to Schwarzenegger's The Running Man, so if you liked that one you can think of Demo Man as its little brother. I do not recommend a blind buy--rent it first.
Sony Pictures | 1997 | 129 min | Rated R | Region free
| Aug 05, 2008
From the bridge of the Fleet Battlestation Ticonderoga, with its sweeping galactic views, to the desolate terrain of planet Klendathu, teeming with shrieking, fire-spitting, brain-sucking special effects creatures, acclaimed...
Entertaining military sci-fi that, while not true to Robert A. Heinlein's excellent book, manages to find its own pulse and dish up a lot of action, gore, and satire. In essence, it's typical Verhoevian fun.
The PQ is mostly good, with a few poorly mastered shots here and there, and a touch of digital noise that seems to carry throughout. The best images are of the newsnet logos, and the worst scene by far has to be the pep talk the no-name lieutenant gives is platoon just as they are about to drop into combat for the first time.
AQ gets the job done. Dialogue is front and center, action scenes aren't overly loud by comparison, and the surrounds put in some decent (if uninspired) work. I would have liked to hear a little more pop and directionality to the whole thing, but I was never distracted by SQ the way I was by the occasionally botched PQ.
If you enjoy movies like Aliens and Robocop then you'll like this. If that's the case, then you can blind-buy Starship Troopers with confidence (ignore the straight-to-video sequels; they're rubbish).