|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|2018-01-12 11:28 PM|
It (2017) - In a town where children mysteriously disappear, a group of young teenagers is terrorized by an ancient and evil clown until, eventually, they aren't.
Comments: The movie started off wonderfully creepy but became repetitive and somewhat boring as it dragged on too long. It would have benefited from a stronger main story and the elimination of some of the weaker sub-plots.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ - clear, immersive and LFE-laden - were perfect.
|2017-11-17 11:40 PM|
Atomic Blonde - MI6's top spy, Lorraine Broughton, is sent to late-1989 Berlin to flush out a treacherous double-agent and recover a list of highly-sensitive information stolen by a KGB killer from a murdered British spy. The Cold War is still simmering and the Soviets are expecting her, making Broughton's job a lot less easy...and a lot more messy.
Comments: Although it favoured style over substance, this was a decent - if lightweight - spy flick that benefited from some A-list names and a typically solid performance by Charlize Theron.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were excellent but not outstanding.
|2017-10-23 03:19 AM|
|Woakes||Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017)|
|2017-10-20 10:44 PM|
Baby Driver - Baby is a driver with one last job to do. If everything goes as planned, he hopes to hit the open road with his girl and never look back. Unfortunately for Baby, things don't always go as planned...
Comments: This was a decent-enough action flick but weak dialogue, cartoonish characters and unnecessary padding (the run time could have been 10-15 minutes shorter) kept it from being a good action flick. Ansel Elgort did better than expected.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ - music and effects - were perfect.
|2017-10-20 04:50 PM|
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
One of THE most funny movie of all time. I liked it, I liked it very much. I'm gonna watch it again someday.
|2017-10-07 12:22 AM|
Wonder Woman - When the harsh realities of 1918 shatter the peaceful, reclusive lives of the Amazon women of Themyscira, Diana - princess, goddess and warrior - departs the island and heads to Europe to find and confront Aries, the god of war, and put a stop to his destructive machinations. Along the way, she learns that love is the answer.
Comments: Big, busy and chock full of explosions, slapstick and CGI. Meh. Gal Gadot did as well as could be expected.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were perfect.
|2017-08-18 10:21 PM|
Ghost In the Shell - Major Killian - a human brain in a petite, voluptuous, mechanical body - represents Hanka Robotics' greatest success and the future of cyber/soldiers. While working take down a powerful cyber/terrorist named Kuze, Major begins slowly to confront the truth about the ghost that lurks in her shell.
Comments: Enormous visuals and special effects (and Scarlett in skin-tight outfits) try - but fail - to make up for a small story.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were perfect.
|2017-08-15 08:29 PM|
Based on the graphics in the opening credits, I don't think I've ever referred to it as anything other than "Bromine Barium"!
|2017-08-12 05:02 PM|
Start watching for the second time. This time with my cousin. We didn't call this series by it's name a single time. We are always calling it "Breaking Bad Yo".
|2017-08-11 10:36 PM|
Kong: Skull Island - An expedition sent to map a recently-discovered island in the South Pacific quickly runs afoul of its very large and very dangerous fauna.
Comments: Lots of impressive CGI-candy in this flick, especially during Kong's fight scenes. It's a shame that the story, writing and performances were far less impressive.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were perfect.
|2017-07-14 11:20 PM|
The Fate Of The Furious: 4K Ultra HD BD Dom and his crew are caught in another espionage conspiracy involving a highly-talented criminal. The Movie opens only a short time after the events of the previous film in Cuba where Dom and Letty are honeymooning and doing what they do best. A drag race through the streets of Havana. Charlize Theron shows up as cyber terrorist Cipher, ensnaring Dom into her elaborate evil plan. What she has on Dom convinces him to turn against the love of his life and his family, that will take the team working together to figure out.
P/Q: The movie arrives on Ultra HD with a stunningly gorgeous, demo-worthy HEVC H.265 encode in Dolby Vision, which defaults to HDR10 for those not yet equipped for the newer format. The freshly-minted transfer is definitely more detailed than the Blu-ray, showing razor-sharp lines in the various cars, the buildings of several locales and the inside of Cipher's plane. The lettering in signs, windows and cars are also a bit more legible and clear, even as the camera zooms by, and the smallest object in the distance is plainly visible at all times. More astute viewers can even make out the most negligible imperfection in the vehicles, and fragments from collisions and rowdy wreckage remain extraordinarily detailed during the most vulgar of action sequences. The faces of the cast are also more revealing, exposing the tiniest pores, blemishes and individual beads of sweat while maintaining healthy, lifelike complexions for the most part.
In my opinion compared to its SDR BD counterpart, the Ultra HD version, once again, wins the race. The overall palette comes with a bit more of pop and intensity, especially the reds and blues of the various vehicles throughout. The scenes in Havana and New York are fantastic examples for showing the differences between the two formats. The screen just lights up with a kaleidoscope of colors that energise the action and animates the ridiculousness of the stunts to another level of absurdity and excitement. Secondary hues also receive a noticeable boost, making those scenes in Havana a tad more colorful and flamboyant due to the wide array of pastels in the clothing and some of the buildings. Presented in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, the 4K presentation also rides with pitch-perfect contrast, providing the overall picture with a vivid, almost looking-through-a-window punch. From the clothing and computer monitors to the cars and buildings, the whole screen screams with a brilliantly crisp, crunchy displays of whites everywhere.
In HDR, spectacular highlights come with just a bit more pop, giving the metal and chrome edges of cars a realistic sparkle when driving through the streets of a sunny New York City. The ice crystals in the snow of the Russian Arctic are a tad punchier, and the fluffy clouds in the sky are a hair puffier with a bit more detailing and realism. Blacks are also slightly richer and velvety in HDR making brightness levels are absolutely exceptional ó a massive jump compared to the SDR Blu-ray. The finer details within the darkest shadows remain plainly visible at all times, providing the image with an appreciable three-dimensional quality and a beautiful cinematic appeal. ***Note I don't have a Dolby Vision display so I can't comment on how it compares to HDR10.
A/Q The sound comes roaring to life thanks to a highly-satisfying DTS:X soundtrack(Also on the regular BD). From the opening drag race sequence, listeners are welcomed to this world of muscle cars, double-crosses and espionage outlaws as Dom races through the streets of Havana in a fiery blaze. With superb balance and separation, vehicles fluidly speed between all three front channels, noises convincingly move in the background and engines echo across the entire screen. Much of that activity also spreads into the front heights, generating an awesomely engaging half-dome wall of sound. The surrounds and back speakers are also often employed, expanding the over-the-top insanity into the entire room and plunging the viewers right smack in the middle of the action. Sometimes, cars fly through the air and a helicopter towards the end circles a trapped Dom, utilizing the overheads with excellent effectiveness.
Through all the vehicular carnage and destructive mayhem, the mid-range remains crystal clear with superb distinction and clarity between the various noises, providing the crunch and grind of metal against metal with astounding precision. Every conversation and interaction is discreet and unmistakable, never overwhelmed by the ear-piercing loudness of the rest of the action. The low-end also packs a terrific wallop in every crash and explosion while also providing a weighty rumbling boom to the rev of engines, giving each of them a cool realistic feel. Best of all, for those with the subwoofers that can handle it. This is my first DTS-X title and it was great.
|2017-07-03 11:56 PM|
T2 Trainspotting - Twenty years have passed since Mark Renton chose life over heroin, stole the drug money from his friends and traded Edinburgh for Amsterdam. When fate returns him to Edinburgh, Spud - ever the junkie - is happy to see his old friend. Shady entrepreneur Sick Boy can't wait to settle his grudge against Mark. And Begbie - furious, unforgiving and recently escaped from prison - is determined to kill Renton for his betrayal.
Comments: This was a well-written, well-acted and worthy follow-up to the original. My one small gripe is that the soundtrack was occasionally a bit overbearing.
Blu-ray: PQ was excellent, with grain in some of the darker scenes. AQ was perfectly big and bold.
|2017-07-02 10:42 PM|
What are you watching on Blu-ray? (and discussion of said titles)
Nighthawks: Finally after waiting years or even decades I finally get my favourite Stallone movie on Blu-Ray thanks to shout factory. Sylvester Stallone and Rutger Hauer star in this riveting story of suspense and intrigue that starts in London, continues in Paris and reaches its chilling conclusion on the streets of New York.
When Europe's most feared terrorist Wulfgar, explosively announces his presence in Manhattan, two elite undercover cops (Stallone and Billy Dee Williams) are assigned to stop him before he strikes again. But the ruthless terrorist has other plans for the city - and the detectives.
This edge-of-your-seat thriller is highly under rated and well ahead of its time. Nighthawks is something of a cult favourite for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its cast.
P/Q: Shout! Factoryís Blu-ray offers the film in very good 1080p HD video quality at the original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The print is in fine condition, with excellent detail and texturing, nice contrast, deep shadows, and moderate film grain thatís appropriate to both the period and the subject matter. Colors are strong and accurate, even vibrant when needed (note the bold neon lighting in the disco scene).
A/Q: The audio is available in a solid English 2.0 mono mix in DTS-HD Master Audio format. The sound quality is good, with clear dialogue and excellent mono music fidelity. Thatís a plus, given that the score was composed by Keith Emerson from the English prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. (Itís also worth noting that the score is intact here for the first time on home video; both The Rolling Stonesí Brown Sugar and Emersonís Spencer Davis Group cover of Iím a Man play during the club scene. Previous versions replaced these tracks due to music licensing issues.) The mix offers a fairly wide front/center soundstage that works well for the film.
Extras: The real surprise here is that Shout!ís Blu-ray includes a substantial batch of extras (the disc was originally announced as a bare-bones title, but become a Collectorís Edition when the Shout Select line was announced). Produced by Cliff MacMillan, they include 6 new interview featurettes. Lights, Camera, Action! (HD Ė 16:10) is an audio interview with producer Herb Nanas. We Gotta Shoot This! (HD Ė 24:37) is a video interview with director of photography James A. Contner. A Sign of the Times (HD Ė 10:24) features Lindsay Wagner talking about her role and career. Not the Other Girls (HD Ė 4:24) is a short interview with actress Catherine Mary Stewart. Nighthawks: The First Draft (HD Ė 9:49) is an interview with original writer Paul Sylbert, who talks about how his original draft differed from the final version. And It Was Hell (HD Ė 10:50) features an interview with technical adviser Randy Jurgensen. You also get the filmís theatrical trailer (SD Ė 4x3), a short collection of radio spots, and a gallery of still images (HD Ė 6:42 if auto played). Iím told from Brian Ward that Shout! did try to get Stallone and Hauer to participate in the extras, but they declined. Shout also tried to obtain deleted footage from the film, but Universal didnít allow it to be included. In any case, this is still a lot more bonus material for this film than weíve ever had before.
Nighthawks canít rightly be called a great film, but itís a pretty damn good one and my favourite Stallone movie. Stallone and Hauer both deliver terrific performances. If youíre a fan, Shoutís new Blu-ray is well worth your time and money. In terms of both A/V quality and extras, it puts all previous home video versions to shame. Highly Recommended.
|2017-07-02 10:36 PM|
Life - Aboard the International Space Station a dormant, Martian-sourced organism is successfully brought back to life. Shortly thereafter, it proceeds successfully to sow death.
Comments: This wasn't a bad movie, but thanks to some weak writing (situations and dialogue) it wasn't as good as it could have been.
Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were perfect.
|2017-07-02 10:22 PM|
What are you watching on Blu-ray? (and discussion of said titles)
Power Rangers: 4K Ultra HD BD I was 13 when the original series came out and wasn't all that interested in it, but thanks to my younger cousins who spent a lot of time at my house growing up the show always seemed to be on and as such I got to know it well. The movie follows 5 teenagers who come together through chance. We start with Jason Scott the school football star and local celebrity, who after a failed prank resulted in house arrest and Saturday detention for the rest of the school year. There, he meets two of his future teammates, Kimberly Scott and Billy Cranston. Scott did a very bad thing ruining a friend's trust, and Billy . . . ? Well, he's the typical highly intelligent nerd who really loves playing with explosives. In a mix of plot convenience and cosmic fortuity, the last two Rangers, Trini and Zack, were already unwinding in search for some peace of mind at the quarry when the other three made a big boom, disrupting their tranquil meditation. There they find the power coins and their new found power. Each of the characters is a unique personality with genuinely troubling problems that explain their delinquent behaviour and perspective of the world. From there the story doesn't simply have the kids become a team, but has them earn it, starting with learning to get along and using their anger for something greater than themselves. When Rita Repulsa shows up, she functions as an emblematic example of what that unchecked rage can become; she used to be a Green Ranger until her anger and greed completely consumed her. Will they learn to work together to stop an enemy they don't completely understand?
P/Q: The mighty morphing power rangers arrive on Ultra HD BD in what is a truly stunning, reference-quality HEVC H.265 encode in Dolby Vision, marking it the first live-action film on a physical media with Dolby Vision HDR. For anyone without a Dolby Vision-capable HDR-display, the disc will default to HDR10. On my display(Panasonic EZ1000) the movie defaulted to HDR10 and it was breathtaking. Whether you like the movie or not the visuals are unreal and a real treat to watch. I couldn't imagine an already demo-worthy Blu-ray being bested, but here it is, a 4K presentation that handily outshines its SDR counterpart. Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the 2160p video also impresses with a pitch-perfect and brighter contrast, keeping the action and drama endlessly vivid and optimistic. From beginning to end, whites are beaming and wash over every scene with an intense luminosity without hampering other areas of the picture. Specular highlights are phenomenal for a live-action film, providing the Ranger uniforms, Rita's staff and various other metal objects with a more realistic glow and roundness when light bounces off them. This is where HDR really shines as it shows an improvement as that same glow seems tighter and more controlled, revealing a better outline and definition in those objects. When the sun shines on faces, the furrows and pores remain discrete and are not engulfed by the glow. A good example of this is when the teens finally morph and the intensely bright light of the Grid overwhelms them. After reading up on the film I found that it was shot on the Red Epic Dragon camera system, capable of up to 6K resolution and later transferred into a 4K digital intermediate, and on Ultra HD, the transfer delivers razor-sharp definition in the clothing and costumes. Even the threading and stitching in the Power Ranger uniforms are better defined while every smudge of dirt and blemish on Rita Repulsa's surprisingly sparse outfit is made more plainly visible. The tiniest object aboard Zordon's spaceship is resolute and distinct in the distance, the internal wires of Alpha 5's robotic body are clearly delineated, and the lettering on buildings and signs are surprisingly more legible than before.
A/Q: The rangers soar onto Ultra HD BD with a tremendous reference-quality Dolby Atmos soundtrack that utilizes the entire soundscape on various occasions.
The most surprising aspect of the design is how often the ceiling channels are employed, not only during explosive action sequences but also in several of the more mundane, dialogue-driven moments. When Jason visits Billy, mom's voice can be heard in the top rear, or while the kids are training, the sound of water dripping and tiny pebbles fall all around the entire room. There are also several scenes of conversations echoing into every speaker, adding another layer of realism. When the action erupts in the last quarter of the movie, debris flies in every which direction and Pink Ranger's Dinozord flies overhead with flawless panning, generating a terrifically satisfying dome-like sound field. It will definitely impress.
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