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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 — 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.
 

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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.
 

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Breaking Bad

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".
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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The Artist - Proud and stubborn, a silent-film star's refusal to embrace the age of talking cinema results in his fall from grace while his protégé's star rises.

Comments: It took a little while to adjust to adjust to this movie, but the reward was a good story with some very fine moments in it, wonderful acting (and dancing) by the leads and a satisfying ending.

Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were excellent.
 

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Frustrated by the inability of the Ebbing police department to solve her daughter's brutal murder, Mildred Hayes rents three derelict billboards on the outskirts of town and posts on them an inflammatory message that generates a variety of reactions.

Comments: This low-key, quirky and darkly-comedic movie hit all the right notes, with a good story, good writing, steady pacing and interesting characters.

Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were excellent.
 

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Scorpions: Live in 3D - Get Your Sting & Blackout - The Scorpions play Saarbrücken Saarlandhalle in 2011 during their "Get Your Sting and Blackout World Tour".

Comments: The guys are older, but they still know how to rock and seem to have a good time doing it! The set-list is solid and the deft camera-work does a great job of capturing all the action. A worthwhile addition to any Scorpion fan's collection.

Blu-ray (2D, 1080p): PQ is excellent, despite the veil-like quality reminiscent of "Rush - R30" (another top-notch show). AQ - also excellent and immersive - would have benefitted from just a bit more bottom end.
 

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Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi - The Rebellion is on the verge of being crushed by Kylo Ren and the First Order (a good name for a band). Will Leia and Holdo lead the surviving members of the Rebellion to safety / Rey get reluctant Luke Skywalker onside / Finn & Rose find the master hacker in time to save the day or - Porgs help us! - is freedom doomed to die?

Comments: Having read a bunch of reviews of the movie, I went in with lower than usual expectations...and ended up wondering what all the negative buzz was about. This was a perfectly average Star Wars movie, filled with the usual Force-related jibber-jabber, mediocre writing, decent pacing, clumsy humour, pointless characters and cutesy creatures. It tied in well to "The Force Awakens" and actually has me interested in seeing Ep. IX.

Blu-ray: PQ and AQ were truly excellent but neither was particularly outstanding.
 

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - Four teens in detention stumble upon - and are pulled into - an old video game that requires them to complete a difficult challenge in order to save the day, end the game and return them to the real world. If they can learn to trust and rely on each other, they will conquer Jumanji; if they don't, Jumanji will conquer them.

Comments: I'm a fan of the original and I wasn't sure what to expect from this quasi-sequel but I was pleasantly surprised: It was entertaining overall and, in a few instances, laugh-out-loud enjoyable.

Blu-ray: PQ and AQ - appropriately huge and thunderous - were perfect.
 

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The Matrix - 4k UHD in Dolby Vision

Just played The Matrix in 4K. It looked amazing in Dolby Vision. The picture had much greater detail than the Blu Ray.
HDR really came through (in Dolby Vision). I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to see what a UHD Blu Ray can do!
 

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Stop Making Sense - Talking Heads play Hollywood's Pantages Theater in 1983 during a tour to promote their latest album ("Speaking in Tongues").

Comments: I am not a Talking Heads fan, but this was a weirdly interesting blend of concert movie and performance art. The song "Once In A Lifetime" (a personal favourite) is, IMO, worth the (~$17) price of admission.

Blu-ray: PQ, overall, was roughly SD quality but at least it was relatively consistent. AQ of the "regular" DTS-HD MA mix was big and reasonably immersive, while the DTS-HD MA "Studio Mix" was distractingly bass-heavy.
 

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Re: Stop Making Sense

Were the first few songs massively out of sync? My DVD from probably 20 yeas ago is like that especially the first song 'Psycho Killer'. I'm talking about probably 2 seconds out of sync.
 
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