: What are you watching on Blu-ray? (and discussion of said titles)
2009-07-27, 12:06 AM
The pacing is a little slow in parts i.e. I felt some of the scenes were only included for the purpose of showcasing the animation, and as eye-candy to entertain kids, but I still enjoyed it on the whole. Even from a grown-up perspective, I was genuinely creeped out by the 'other world'.
PQ was very good (I'm always happy when directors decide to film in 1.85 aspect-ratio). The clay-mation looked very clean and polished, to the point of having a slight CG feel to it.
AQ sounded ok, but for the most part, this isn't the type of movie that's carried by the surround mix.
2009-07-31, 08:16 AM
Ex hubbie/wife team go treasure hunting in the Caribbean. Twenty years ago Kurt and Goldie would have starred instead of Matthew and Kate. Cliched and formulaic, but with enough spunk and twists to make it fairly enjoyable.
Despite the splendid scenery (courtesy of Queensland), the PQ lacks vibrancy. AQ was muddy in spots. Two short extras.
2009-08-02, 08:39 PM
Not familiar with the source material at all, so flying blind. Short. 76 minutes plus credits. But long enough. Chuckled every time a character said dragon balls, which was a lot. The acting in these types of movies is always the same, like they are doing voice overs for a cartoon, which I suppose is understandable. PQ is your basic expected Blu-ray PQ. Good extras including a lengthy interview with the Canadian star. That was the best part. Not a lot of new releases on Blu at the Block. Maybe 1 of 4 each week. Hope the ratio goes up so I can be more selective.
2009-08-03, 12:39 AM
300 - Three hundred Spartans (and 6,700 other uncredited soldiers) fight to defend Greece from a simpering, effeminate Persian ruler and his fabulous army.
I expected slick, stylized imagery, some very cool CGI, a certain amount of jingoism and relatively little substance - and that's essentially what the movie delivered. I bet Dick and Dubya got woodies watching it, though.
The PQ was good, with expected grain but unexpected "sparklies" during close-up shots toward the end of the movie (during the final confrontation with Xerxes). The AQ was nicely-balanced throughout.
2009-08-03, 06:45 PM
i only watched the miniseries a long time ago. but apparently it got much much better. so i bought the series and have been watching this weekend. i finished the 1st season, which was good but not great (the cliffhanger is very very cool). my friend who is a huge BSG fan says it just takes off half way through the second season. looking forward to it. PQ is okay for broadcast (not as good as Lost), early on in the series there are numerous shots with excessive grain similar to Michael Mann's Miami Vice.
2009-08-03, 09:18 PM
Watchmen (Director's Cut) - In an alternate-reality 1985, once-revered superheroes have been forced underground and the American-Soviet Cold War has pushed the hands of the Doomsday Clock dangerously close to Midnight. While investigating the suspicious death of a team-mate, Rorschach - a member of the Watchmen - uncovers disturbing information about a planned nuclear holocaust that he and his colleagues, including the god-like Dr. Manhattan, may be unable to prevent.
The term "graphic novel" sounds impressive but, ultimately, a comic book is still just a comic book. So, although this movie was reasonably interesting (with Rorschach by far the most compelling character) and visually enjoyable, the plot - even with its weak secondary story-lines - was comic book thin and the run time was at least an hour too long. It was worth one viewing, but that's about it.
The PQ and AQ were perfect.
2009-08-03, 10:15 PM
Coraline - Ignored by her parents and bored in their new home - a large apartment in a mysterious, remote old house populated with very eccentric people - brash and inquisitive Coraline soon discovers a mysterious door to an alternate world, one in which her bizarre, button-eyed Other Parents shower her with attention and affection. Unfortunately, all is not as it seems and, before long, the dream of Coraline's alternate life turns into a nightmare she must destroy in order to survive.
This was a most curious film: It was enjoyable, disturbing, amusing, violent, silly, creepy and just plain weird. It's worth a look.
The PQ was excellent. The AQ was very well-balanced.
2009-08-05, 03:21 AM
The Soloist - Robert Downey Jr. is Steve Lopez, a prominent columnist at the LA Times, who's just on the prowl for a good story when he stumbles upon Nathaniel Ayers, played by Jamie Foxx, a seemingly disturbed street person who happens to mention something about attending Julliard. So begins an unlikely and tumultuous friendship as Lopez tries to "fix" his friend, who just wants to live his life his way, with his music to muffle the voices in his head.
A touching story with enriching moments but the movie falls short of greatness because of some obvious "Hollywood" touches. Good performances from Downey and Foxx.
The PQ on the blu-ray is fabulous, as is the soundtrack.
2009-08-08, 02:59 AM
JCVD - Jean Claude Van Damme has built his action-movie career on being able to pound the bad guys into submission while dodging bullets and bombs, but when the bad guys come to his small Belgian town while he's out running errands, his movie persona leaves him lacking.
An odd cracker of a film that turns the renowned B-movie actor inside out. Very sharp PQ and a lively DD soundtrack, but it was kind of annoying that I had to watch the english dubbed version as there were no subtitles for the french version.
2009-08-11, 01:44 PM
Live Free and Die Hard
I didn't even realize they'd made this movie - two years ago. Glad I waited for the Blu-Ray. Looks fantastic, all blue/gray and steely. In one scene a Terminator action figure plays an important role. Hmmm. Could explain the look of the film. Dark and bright scenes both looked stellar on my 720p Samsung LCD.
First rate action flick, moving along at a sizzling clip yet not feeling frantic or out of control. Inventive action sequences, especially one with a semi and a fighter jet! Big sound as well. Has DTS and Dolby English. Tons of extras.
Directed by Mr. Kate Beckinsale. Now I'm really jealous of this guy!
2009-08-11, 01:50 PM
Nearly fell out of my chair when you named the director! For those who don't know the Mr. Kate Beckinsale is actually Mr. Len Wiseman. Kate is his spouse.
2009-08-16, 08:47 AM
...Oh, I'd do things to her that are illegal in all our provinces.........
...like sell her untaxed cigarettes and fireworks after Canada Day. :)
Oh, and I watched Cloverfield on BD.
Neat movie, good audio, somewhat original premise...OK, it's derivative of that Blair Witch thing but, overall, worth a view. Maybe even a second after a bit of a break.
2009-08-18, 03:27 PM
Sons Of Anarchy Season 1: P/Q 9/10 A/Q 9/10. I can't praise this show enough it is one of the best on tv these days. Definitely worth the $39.99 price tag at Best Buy. Thanks Super Channel for airing this show in Canada.:D
2009-08-18, 08:50 PM
XXX The Vin Diesel extravaganza. ;)
Terrible acting, bad accents, predictable story line. But it is what it is, found it in the bargain bin.
However, It has decent audio and some nice LFE, especially in the Columbia drug camp scenes. Picture quality was nice as well, just so as long as you don't take it seriously it's a decent workout for your Sub.
2009-08-21, 11:58 PM
Amazing movies. In my all time top 10 easily.
Look for a younger Seth Rogen in this, I never noticed him until I watched it again years later lol
The PQ is so so... not a great BD but worth getting for the movie itself. The AQ is much better.
2009-08-22, 01:55 AM
Tyson - Mike Tyson is one of the producers in James Toback's documentary about the rise and fall of the enigmatic boxer that is really just an extended interview interspersed with archival footage from his fighting career and notorious exploits outside of the ring. Remarkably, Tyson is fairly frank about his flaws and how they precipitated his downfall in the ring and in his personal life.
The interview footage is sharp and detailed, although I was shocked to see some bleeding and pixelating in one sunset scene, but some of the old tv footage from his fights is pretty rough; the second Evander Holyfield fight looks like the color and contrast dials have been turned up to 11.
2009-08-24, 07:40 PM
Knowing - Among the contents of an elementary school's recently-unearthed, fifty-year-old time capsule is a sheet of paper covered with a seemingly chaotic sequence of numbers. As he deciphers the enigmatic scrawls, astrophysicist John Koestler realizes that they represent a series of detailed prophecies which - save three - have all come true in the decades since they were put to paper. Can John do anything to avert the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies, or will he and the rest of humanity fall victim to their pre-determined inevitability?
Although the concept was interesting and there was some excellent CGI, I found the overall execution of this movie somewhat lacking. The dialogue and acting were spotty, the pacing dragged at points, some situations were ridiculously overly-contrived and the ending was rather flat. It was alright...but it could have been much better.
PQ was perfect. AQ was very well-balanced (including the level of the center channel audio) and immersive (with lots of activity in the surrounds).
2009-08-25, 02:13 AM
Fanboys - A group of Star Wars geeks in Ohio set out on a quest to steal a work print of Episode 1 from George Lucas' ranch. This is a fun, enthusiastic low-budget road trip movie peppered with cameos from the likes of William Shatner, Carrie Fisher, Kevin Smith and more.
I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but the mostly-no-name central cast seem to evoke younger versions of John Cusack, James Spader and Jack Black.
Truth be told, this movie probably didn't benefit much by being on Blu-Ray, but it's nice that such a small film is available in high def.
2009-08-26, 01:43 AM
Adventureland - Don't let the Superbad pedigree fool you (or lure you in, whichever the case may be), this is actually a bittersweet little coming-of-age movie about life, love and misadventure in a downtrodden Pittsburgh amusement park where James (Jesse Eisenberg) is trying to earn enough money for grad school by toiling as a carney. Great 80s soundtrack and vibe. PQ is vibrant and colorful.
2009-08-26, 10:45 AM
My wife and I sat down to watch this movie (Blu-ray). A really interesting story.. glad they stayed away from the "aliens" that were in the graphic novels!
A little long .. but the PQ and AQ of the Blu-ray were fantastic.