: What are you watching on Blu-ray? (and discussion of said titles)
2011-07-09, 10:19 AM
The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the 1959 novel of the same name he and Sidney Carroll adapted for the screen. It tells the story of small-time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson and his desire to prove himself the best player in the country by beating legendary pool player "Minnesota Fats." After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to beat Fats, but only after paying a terrible personal price.
Am growing tired of moderate, ordinary quality of some blu-ray purchases. In many cases, I think am better off saving a few dollars and buying the DVD (compared to some BR quality purchased "mainstream" at department stores ).
Am being more particular now with BR selection. Paying closer attention to the quality of the film (story) but also AQ, and VQ.
I am very happy with The Hustler. A classic black and white. Incredible acting performance from Paul Newman (Fast Eddie), Jackie Gleason (Minnesoda Fats), George C Scott (as Bert) and a beautiful beautiful performance by Piper Laurie (Sarah)
The VQ is outstanding, and as expected (what I want in a quality BR). Very clean and smooth. The AQ is incredibly done, very detailed.
I highly suggest you seek out this film (BR)
2011-07-09, 10:31 AM
Barney's Version - Barney Panofsky is a successful television producer in Montreal with a wandering eye for women that nets him three wives, a politically incorrect father who causes him frequent embarrassment, and a best friend who's a famously failed writer. We learn all this in this overly-long, occasionally tedious film that tells us the story of Barney's life and foibles, and makes it hard for us to like him.
PQ varies from decent to quite fine. AQ is okay, without much to do.
2011-07-09, 10:56 PM
Another Year - A year in the lives of Tom and Gerri - a fairly ordinary, happy and comfortable older urban couple surrounded by people who are primarily self-centered, self-destructive, dysfunctional and/or just astoundingly annoying.
This movie was a tremendous disappointment. The writing was uneven, the pacing was often horrendously slow, the run time was at least half an hour too long and most of the characters were thoroughly unlikable or proved to be irrelevant to the overall story. Terrific job by Broadbent and Sheen as the central couple, however.
PQ and AQ were solid.
2011-07-10, 08:13 AM
The Adjustment Bureau - When aspiring senator David Norris unexpectedly finds himself falling in love, he is accosted by a group of mysterious men who tell him that his love is not meant to be and that they - as part of the covert but powerful Adjustment Bureau - will do everything they can to get his life back "on plan"...whether he likes it or not. Although they say you can't fight fate, Norris intends to do just that.
An interesting, if somewhat hokey, premise and good pacing make for an overall decent movie.
PQ and AQ were very good.
2011-07-11, 02:11 AM
The Company Men - Manufacturing is dead in America. Today industry is all about moving jobs off shore to cheap labor countries so as to maximize returns to shareholders. The cost for that sea change has been lost jobs, destroyed families, shattered morale. The Company Men tells that story through the eyes of three executives of a Boston shipyard, well-compensated men of industry with golf club memberships, crisp shirts, big homes in the 'burbs; but with the economy in crisis and takeover vultures hovering, they suddenly find themselves with pink slips and little opportunity to maintain their standard of living. It's a story that is being told every day in America, tens of thousands of times over, at all levels of a faltering economy. It's bleak, sad and enraging.
The Company Men boasts a powerhouse cast who are all at the top of their game; Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Craig T. Nelson, even Kevin Costner. They remind us that in this age when shareholders are king, and the rich get richer, we are all just a stroke of the pen away from having our livelihoods ripped away in the name of maintaining corporate balance sheets, company loyalty means nothing anymore.
PQ is excellent, sharp, detailed. AQ is a bit problematic as the dialogue is a little soft at times and my copy of the blu-ray seemed to have some strange audio pops right at the beginning of the movie.
2011-07-11, 10:59 AM
Pedestrian and droll suspense/horor film that is a paint by numbers borefest. I understand there was a long delay from filming to the theatre...I can understand why now! PQ and AQ nothing to write home about either.
2011-07-12, 09:35 AM
An interesting Zack Snyder effort. I won't go into detail on the film as it will come across as a spoiler. Enough to say there are epic battles, one set in WWI complete with zombie German soldiers, Fokker DR1 Triplanes, Zeppelins and scantily clad young ladies;)
PQ, the battle scenes are near perfect, although pure CGI. The scenes outside of this "dream state"(or at least that level of the dream...) are somewhat soft but still look good.
AQ during battle scenes is terrific, great use of surrounds and some imperssive bass although I would not consider it "reference" it's darn close!
Overall a decent time waster that is generating some debate over on AVS.
2011-07-12, 08:18 PM
The Mechanic - When a situation needs "fixing", the Agency hires a mechanic, and Arthur Bishop's the best there is. Unfortunately for Arthur, his latest job requires that he eliminate his friend and mentor, Harry, who has been exposed as a threat to the Agency. When Arthur meets Harry's estranged and bitter son, Steve, at Harry's funeral, his guilt moves him to take Steve under his wing and teach him the trade. The two men begin working as a team and develop a bond, which is threatened when Arthur discovers that the Agency lied to him about Harry's loyalty and Steve discovers that Arthur is the man who killed his father. Together, they will take the Agency down, but when that job is done, will there be peace...or will Arthur become the final situation to be fixed?
This was a mostly-predictable, but perfectly acceptable shoot-'em-up, blow-'em-up, kill-'em-all action flick. Not great, but definitely watchable.
PQ was very good, although light grain was noticeable in most scenes. AQ was very well balanced throughout.
2011-07-15, 02:54 PM
Picked this up only because it was cheaper than a rental at Blockbuster...But very glad I did. It's supposedly based on a video game although not 1 I ever tried.
Timothy Olephant (sp?) plays the Hitman and does a decent job of it. Of course there are plenty of "hits", the typical doublecross and revenge with hottie in tow. But there are sprinkles of humour and the action is well executed.
PQ is sharp and clear!
AQ is near reference, fantastic use of surrounds and some deep tight low bass.
I went into this with very low expectations so that I may be why I was pleasently surprised.
2011-07-15, 02:59 PM
^^^ Timothy Olyphant is perfect in that movie (and nothing else, unfortunately). AQ is absolutely amazing. At reference level, you'll be able to hear subtle atmospheric sound emanating from your surrounds that opens up the sonic vista of the home theatre.
PS: Timothy Olyphant also looks identical to my previous (and evil mightier-than-thou) director :D :D
2011-07-15, 03:25 PM
He is great in Justified.
2011-07-18, 01:48 AM
Lincoln Lawyer - Matthew McConaughey plays a smooth, cocky criminal defense lawyer who operates from the back seat of his old Lincoln Continental. But when a big money case seemingly lands in his lap from a rich client accused of unsavory deeds, he becomes embroiled in a legal cat and mouse game that forces to work both sides of the legal process to ensure justice is served.
Fast-paced legal drama with some sharp writing and adept performances from Mcconaughey and Ryan Phillipe, as well as a solid turn from William H. Macy in a minor role.
PQ is razor sharp with a muted color palette.
AQ is variable, as some of the dialogue seems muffled at times, especially early in the film when I seemed to be adjusting the levels frequently.
2011-07-24, 01:56 AM
Rango - When a mysterious chameleon suddenly appears in a drought-stricken frontier town, its parched citizens look to him to lead them to water. Little do they know their beloved mayor is conspiring against them and is the true source of their misery.
This is a clever, witty,existential animated feature that plays like a classic western while also taking some fun pokes at the genre.
PQ is simply outstanding, the detail and subtlety in the animation is breathtaking.
AQ is equally impressive, with deep bass, and plenty of lively action in the surrounds during the various fight scenes. Hans Zimmer's soundtrack also sounds great.
2011-07-24, 09:45 AM
Stargate Atlantis: The complete series (20 blu-ray set)
so far the presentation is a bit disappointing. Too many missed opportunities in using the surround channel and it also seems like there are quite a mix between 1080p and (improperly de-interlaced) 1080i shots combined together (or are they all 1080i but some were properly de-interlaced and some were not?). Most of the CG are so unrealistic and seemingly upconverted from 480 or 720 resolution they are noticable even on a 50" viewed from 12 feet away.
Ps: the more I watch the episodes, the more mis-match in ADR, resolution, colour balance, quality of effects from within an single episode and moreso from one episode to the next.
Too bad, I really want to watch this series in my HT but I'd rather watch it in SD... this way at least the PQ will be consistently garbage instead of changing quality too many times within a single episodes.
2011-07-24, 03:59 PM
Limitless - Eddie Morra's life of hopeless medocrity is astonishingly transformed by NZT, a mystery drug that allows humans to access the full potential of their minds. With his old life behind him and a bright, limitless future ahead of him, only three problems still face Eddie: NZT's seemingly terminal side-effects; the limited supply of the drug he possesses; and the people who are prepared to kill him for what he has and what he knows. Will NZT ultimately prove to be Eddie's salvation...or his downfall?
A slick, briskly-paced drama that was enjoyable right up to its abrupt and disappointing ending.
PQ and AQ - with its occasional bursts of room-pressurizing LFE - were both good.
2011-07-24, 04:00 PM
Rango - Accidentally ejected from the family car while on a trip through the Mojave Desert, Rango - a pet chameleon with a vivid imagination - finds himself involved in both an existential quest for self-discovery and a more tangible adventure concerning the inhabitants of a small town facing a crippling drought, a highly-suspicious and authoritarian mayor, and the mystery of the missing water.
This is a VERY bizarre and trippy film - reminiscent, in many ways, of "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1085614&postcount=1227) - which, at first, seems a little too clever for its own good, but which soon settles into an enjoyable and well-told story. The writing is excellent, at times even complex; there are plenty of great characters; and the animation is terrific. It's not your average animated flick - and, IMO, it's not one that I think children will appreciate - but it's definitely worth watching.
PQ and AQ were good.
2011-07-24, 04:54 PM
adding some more info on eljay's Limitless:
Want to know whether your surround system have been EQ-ed properly to a timbre-matched and also volume level balanced to perfection? Get "Limitless" on Blu-ray and near the beginning of the movie there is a circling effect (circling several times). If you can hear the circling effect without any level and timbre change and being unable to pin-point exactly where your speakers are located (due to perfect phantom imaging as a result of perfect timbre, EQ, level and speaker positioning), that means your surround settings and setup is perfect.
2011-08-01, 04:21 PM
The Tourist - An American tourist in Venice inadvertently finds himself caught in a web of intrigue involving a beautiful British spy.
A fluffy and mildly-entertaining romance-thriller with great scenery.
PQ was very good. AQ was good.
2011-08-01, 04:21 PM
The Lincoln Lawyer - Mickey Haller is a slick, amiable and capable criminal defence attorney who's never taken on a case he couldn't handle. When he is approached by a wealthy matriarch to help her playboy son, Louis Roulet, beat a violent assault charge, Haller quickly accepts what appears to be a very straightforward and very lucrative case. He soon discovers that his confidence may have been premature: Roulet's recent brush with the law reveals a dark and disturbing past, and he will stop at nothing to keep it hidden. Haller is good...but is he good enough to defend Roulet, expose his past and keep himself alive?
This was a decent and well-paced crime drama, with a good story and a solid performance by Matthew McConaughey.
PQ was very good. AQ was also very good overall although, in a few instances, center-channel audio (primarily dialogue) sounded a bit boxy or flat.
2011-08-01, 05:38 PM
Human Planet - A nature-style documentary looking at how humans survive in different climates and geography, away from the comforts of the urban environment most of us take for granted.
I've watched all the episodes, including the extra content. Many of the segments focus on native/indigenous peoples way of life. I found all of them interesting to varying degrees, but some are definitely more compelling than others - The Dorobo hunters stealing a Lion's kill, and the Zanskar trek through a frozen river valley are a couple that come to mind in the latter category. PQ ranges from good to absolutely stunning. The surround mix is quite aggressive for a documentary (more so than Planet Earth or Life), and at times I felt was a little over-the-top to the point of being gimmicky. John Hurt's narration comes through crystal clear.
I found the entire series an audio-visual treat, with most of the content engaging and kept my attention.
One very slight complaint I have is the behind-the-scenes Zanskar segment is available only as a BD-Live feature presented in SD.