: What are you watching on Blu-ray? (and discussion of said titles)
2009-07-03, 12:04 AM
Kung Fu Panda - Po, the pudgy Panda, sells noodles with his father, but harbours a secret desire to become a Kung Fu master. One day, he is inadvertently chosen to be the Dragon Warrior, an exalted martial arts master who will defend the villagers from the evil Tai Lung. Will Po be able to live up to the expectations surrounding his accidental appointment, or will he, his Master and his cohorts - the Furious Five - fall before the vengeful wrath of Tai Lung?
This was a fun animated adventure that exceeded my expectations. Well done, DreamWorks!
The PQ was excellent...but I'd be surprised to see an animated movie that didn't have excellent PQ. The AQ was very good, although nowhere near as bass-heavy as some people seem to find it. (I found it to be bass-"just right". :))
2009-07-03, 11:27 AM
Notorious - Biopic about the rise of 90s gangsta rapper, the Notorious B.I.G., and his eventual demise in the East Coast vs West Coast rap war that also killed his rival, Tupac Shakur. The first hour and a half of this movie could have been called Tedious, but the story finally comes alive in the last 45 minutes when B.I.G. and Tupac have their falling out and the war begins in earnest.
It should be noted, the movie is executive produced by B.I.G.'s former manager, Sean Puff Daddy Combs, so it paints a pretty sympathetic picture of his version of events.
Not suitable for family viewing, as the language will turn your ears blue in a hurry. PQ is very good and the soundtrack, with its heavy rap rhythms is very dynamic.
2009-07-03, 03:36 PM
Taken - starring Liam Neeson as an ex-spook who retired to be closer to his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace from Lost). Daughter gets kidnapped while on a trip to Paris and the movie is about Liam tracking down her kidnappers to get her back.
I found the movie to be a really enjoyable popcorn action flick. The plot is fairly predictable but it was fun to watch Liam leave a trail of corpses in his dogged pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers. His acting chops really shone in the few opportunities he was given. Maggie Grace looked a bit awkward trying to play a na´ve teen, particularly after her turn in Lost as a spoiled rich girl.
PQ and AQ were excellent. Too bad, most of Paris was a blur in particularly in the fast-paced second half of the movie.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
2009-07-04, 09:37 PM
Classic QT! Great movie.
PQ 4/5... looked pretty good!
AQ 2.5/5 as in nothing special nor terrible
2009-07-08, 09:19 PM
Part Close Encounters, part Buffy, part Escape to Witch Mountain, part Dark City, part Revelation, Knowing throws every thriller/sci-fi trick at the screen - but it works, and is filled with plenty of wow moments. First half is better. Cage keeps it grounded.
PQ and AQ are superb. Extras are thin.
2009-07-11, 09:29 AM
Simply okay. The family dynamics were intriguing, but the English professor's relationship with the doctor was too by-the-book (no pun intended). First time I've seen Ellen Page. Very natural and effortless.
PQ was excellent, even set in drab Pittsburgh! Standard extras.
2009-07-11, 10:45 AM
Revolutionary Road - With the courtship bloom long off the rose, Frank and April Wheeler - to others' eyes, the perfect 1950s suburban couple - struggle to cope with their stifling and unfulfilling lives. Desperate to re-ignite the passion of their relationship and to allow them both to re-discover themselves, April proposes to Frank that they move to Paris, France - the city about which Frank had once waxed poetic and adventurous to April - and begin their lives anew. Enthusiastic at first, Frank becomes increasingly hesitant about forsaking the familiarity and security of his middle-class existence. Will April be able to change Frank's mind, or will his reluctance condemn her to a life of disillusionment and servility?
A little slow and a little spare at times, this was, overall, a pretty good drama with excellent performances by Winslet (a most wonderful and talented actress) and DiCaprio (who has become quite a solid actor). A nod to Michael Shannon for his role as the "observant schizophrenic".
The PQ and AQ were both very good.
2009-07-13, 12:14 PM
Knowing - 3.5 /5
Knew it was aliens about 10 minutes into the film. Not a Cage fan but the other actors were good, the action (plane crash and subway crash) was some of the most realistic I've seen . Worth a Rental at least...
The Mummy 4/5
The BD really impressed me with the PQ and AQ..and Rachel Weisz..my God is she one of the most beautiful actresses or what! :cool:
Band of Brothers - 4.5/5 : Disc1 - Episodes : Curahee , Day of Days
The PQ didn't seem too much of an improvement over my DVD version but the AQ was steller. The PIP interactive capabilities were very cool too. Episodes of course were awesome, though the first one is a bit slow with introducing the characters, etc.
2009-07-15, 01:20 PM
For All Mankind
Great documentary about the Apollo Missions.
It is not in the traditional documentary format; the filmmakers went through NASA archives and gathered film of all the different missions and put them together to show a trip to the moon, from start to finish. It is narrated by using interviews from the Apollo astronauts.
The picture quality varies widely depending on the original source, and so does the sound quality, but the footage is still amazing to watch.
Highly Recommended and remember the 40th Anniversary of the first moon landing is this month.
2009-07-15, 03:17 PM
RE: For All Mankind
This is one BD I won't be getting. Yes it is indeed the 40th anniversary of the greatest moment in the 20th century. I won't be getting it because it would only serve to remind me painfully of how little NASA/USA/World has really accomplished since then. Sadly we could be on Mars today except that we turned inward and stopped dreaming. An opportunity lost.
2009-07-17, 09:38 PM
A simple plot dressed up in layers of style. Likable cast makes it tolerable - just. Bright, garish Hong Kong gave my TV its best ever colour workout. Lots of speaker-shaking audio - including the studio logo! If this was PTI's Over/Under game, I'd have to push.
2009-07-17, 11:47 PM
Push - A bunch of people with special powers are looking for a briefcase containing something important. A different bunch of people with special powers, who happen to work for a secret government agency called "The Division" and who are very interested in securing that briefcase, are chasing the first bunch of people. The criminal Chinese family with special powers also wants the briefcase, so they're after pretty much everybody. Needless to say, there's lots of running around, lots of stuff gets blown up and the ending is left wide open for a sequel.
This movie was like a really bad episode of "Heroes": Plenty of nonsensical stuff happened and almost all of it was uninteresting. And, while I'm no prude, I was surprised by how much thigh Dakota Fanning was flashing, given that she plays a 13-year-old girl in the film.
PQ and AQ were very good.
2009-07-18, 09:36 AM
What Doesn't Kill You - Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke are lifelong best buddies in South Boston who earn their living doing scores and collecting protection money for the local crime boss. But their "freelancing" on the side catches the wrath of their boss and the attention of a cop, Donnie Wahlberg.
Ruffalo and Hawke sleepwalk their way through this meandering tale that seems to leap ahead by months and years with almost every scene and never really seems to find a story we actually care about.
2009-07-18, 12:55 PM
Not much to say that hasn't already been said. Story delightful. Main characters amazing. I even like the way the humans are portrayed. PQ is excellent. As a good as Baraka which is my usual reference BD. AQ is superb. Extras are terrific. I would draw your attention to the one extra that is worth the price of the BD all by itself namely The Pixar Story. This 90 min. documentary details the development of Pixar. Excellent interviews, good footage from many of Pixar's fine animated films. As the doc. is in HD it gives a good preview of what Toy Story, Incredibles, Nemo, Monsters etc. will look like when they are released on BD. Wow!
A film I could see every night. Always leaves me feeling uplifted. Characters even minor roles are just perfect. The BD has good PQ and AQ but you should only get this BD if you're converting your library over to Blu-Ray. There isn't a great deal of improvement over the DVD. Extras also are the same.
Diary of Anne Frank
A classic. The tragic story told by the young daughter of how her family hid/were hidden from the Nazis for over two years in 1940's Holland. The film really captures the sense of claustrophobia experienced by the Franks. Shooting in BW also adds to the realism. PQ/AQ are very good. Given the age of the film I wouldn't apply today's standards. Extras for this disc also very good. Features look at the movie from a film making and also from a historical context. Nice to see Millie Perkins and Diane Baker talk about this film that was such a significant achievement in their careers.
Enjoyed this at the theatre. Enjoyed it again on BD. Story of a little horse who overcame many obstacles to beat a big champion horse. Also the story of the three men involved and the obstacles they overcame. The three leads are just perfect for their parts. PQ is the best. One shot near the beginning of Chris Cooper riding across the open plains is near demo. quality. Racing sequences are unforgettable particularly for their AQ. Your subwoofer will get a real workout. Extras are very good and like Anne Frank cover both the film making and actual history of the horse.
2009-07-18, 09:18 PM
Yup, I'm a one-word movie-title renting machine.
Another looker, with the transfer rate constantly over 30. Is there a correlation? Seems to be.
Impressive turn by Ellen Page who carries this film and is in every scene. More impressive after viewing the extensive screen-test extra where she effortlessly nails almost the entire film while standing against a black background. Maybe Spielberg was right when he said casting was 80 per cent of a film. I'd give her a Juno except those are music awards. Speaking of music - lots of cool and quirky tunes in the flick.
The rental version from BB comes with a digital copy?! Which is odd since you can't use it without a serial number anyway. Most rentals don't bother.
2009-07-19, 07:27 AM
I have a Samsung BD P-1400 player and never have a problem with playbacks of movies, concerts and nature sceneries which I have.
Friday I rented movie "Knowing". After 3-4 minutes in the loading phase, I had to unplug and reset the player... and the loading was longer than usually is but it finally started. Then, in the middle of the movie, I had a freeze. I could not even open up the tray to inspect the disc... so, I made another reset and was able to remove the disk and wiped out the finger marks.
I was able to complete the viewing of the movie. Saturday morning, I put a movie I own in the P-1400 and it started normally. Removed that movie and put in the movie disk "Knowing' in the player to test the startup once again. Had a freeze once more, upon loading, and had to reset the player to remove the disk.
In the past I know that HD players have been updated from a firmwear standpoint to accommodate new movies incorporating advanced technologies. My player is up to date for firmware (2.0) but it has profile 1.1 and not 2.0. Wonder if that movie incorporates interactivity which attempts to load at the start?
2009-07-20, 11:37 PM
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
imported from the UK. can't believe shipping from there is cheaper than from the US.:confused: whatever.
the PQ is not perfect but is a definite step up from the DVD. when i popped in the disc i had worries because reports were it was soft. some days scenes are a bit soft but the night scenes and indoor scenes are great, especially the fight scenes! ;) i already had Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower so i opted out of the new tri-pack. also the UK version is steelbook so bonus.
2009-07-23, 10:17 PM
Iron Maiden: Flight 666 - In 2008, aboard Flight 666 - a.k.a. "Ed Force One", piloted by singer Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden set out on a whirlwind world tour - 45 days, 70,000 km., 13 countries and 23 sold-out shows - to re-introduce classic songs from their catalogue to their newer and very devoted fans.
The Blu-ray disc contains a documentary movie and a concert comprised of one song from 16 of the 23 shows.
- The concert: Well, whaddaya expect - IT ROCKS!!! :cool: There's lots of energy and a good set-list of classic tunes. The band is in fine form and having fun. (Okay, so Dickinson can't quite hit the highest notes anymore, but his voice is far from shot.) Camera work is good, too, with plenty of close-ups and a restrained amount of quick cuts. My only qualm was the fans: Metal fans always seem to come across as idiots. The camera doesn't linger on them for very long, thankfully, but I could have done with even less of the stupidity.
- The movie: Viewers are given a reasonable, if somewhat modest, amount of insight into Iron Maiden and the logistics behind the tour. The band members seem like a decent bunch of guys who enjoy what they do and who appreciate their fans. The movie also puts some of the fans' behaviour into perspective: Many of them have never had the opportunity to see Maiden live so, for them, it's a long-held dream come true. Fair enough...but most of them still come across as idiots.
Aside from a number of scenes with intentional grain, the PQ is flawless. And, although Dickinson's vocals could have been just a touch more prominent, the AQ is excellent, with good use of surrounds and the right amount of bass.
2009-07-26, 08:32 AM
Amaing in every way... movie wise, PQ wise and AQ wise. The perfect package IMO!
Best movie of the year for me and had no desire to even watch it when it first came out :)
2009-07-26, 07:30 PM
Kung Fu Panda
Cliched story, but fun, with notable characters and wonderful visuals. Beautiful use of the colour palette. Best PQ of the animated Blu-Rays I've seen. Ample extras. Gives me a craving for dumplings.