Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Dark Knight Blu-ray Review

The Dark Knight Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
The Dark Knight comes to Blu-ray with a fantastic 1080p VC-1 video transfer. The Blu-ray features some of the best detail I have seen on Blu-ray, particularly during the IMAX shots. Colors were rich and bold, and black levels were nice and deep. There was a tiny bit of edge enhancement, but luckily it was not that bad. I can't say this is the best looking film I have seen lately, but it is top notch, and I'm sure it will be demo material for many. I do have to say the IMAX scenes were some of the best high-def scenes I have seen so far and the film looks impressive all around. 9/10.

Audio
Warner has included 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track. The track is amazing, and easily competes with many recent Universal Studios DTS-HD MA releases. Dialogue is nice and clear, even in action heavy scenes. The film's surround use is very immersive, from the top notch action sequences to the fabulous score. The track is aggressive, immersive, and totally impressive. There's not much more to say about this demo-material presentation other than WOW! 10/10.

Extras

Disc 1:
Focus Points:
The Prologue (8:48) (HD)
The New Bat-Suit (4:47) (HD)
Joker Theme (6:18) (HD)
Hong Kong Jump (3:05) (HD)
Judge's Car Blows Up (1:09) (HD)
Challenge Of The Chase, In IMAX (4:04) (HD)
Swat Van Into River (1:44) (HD)
Miniature Unit (1:35) (HD)
Destruction Of Batmobile (2:08) (HD)
Bat-Pod (6:06) (HD)
Helicopter Crash (1:12) (HD)
Truck Flip (4:02) (HD)
MCU Explosion (1:12) (HD)
Lamborghini Crash (1:54) (HD)
Hospital Explosion (6:43) (HD)
Mob Car Flip (:39) (HD)
String Of Sausages Stunt (2:08) (HD)
Upping The Ante (6:40) (HD)
Warner Bros. BD-Live

Disc 2:
Batman Tech (45:59) (HD)
Batman Unmasked: The Psychology Of The Dark Knight (46:02)
Gotham Tonight (46:41) (HD)
Joker Cards Gallery (9:44) (HD)
Concept Art Gallery (7:44) (HD)
Poster Art (1:36) (HD)
Production Stills (11:52) (HD)
Trailers 1 (:57) (HD)
Trailer 2 (2:08) (HD)
Trailer 3 (2:31) (HD)
TV Spot Anarchy (:32) (HD)
TV Spot Alter Ego (:32) (HD)
TV Spot Aggressive Expansion (:32) (HD)
TV Spot One Rule (:32) (HD)
TV Spot Avenge (:32) (HD)
TV Spot Madness (:32) (HD)

Disc 3:
Digital Copy (Compatible with PC and Mac)

Blu-news Summary
First I would like to say that The Dark Knight is a must for any collection, no matter the format. The film provides a great story and great cast. There really are some standout top notch performances in the film. The Blu-ray is a must for fans of the film (which is many), the release is gorgeous in both video and audio presentations. Extras are great for the most part, although I think the focus points could have been turned into a fantastic Picture-in-Picture track. Warner has also included a digital copy compatible with both PC and Mac. The Dark Knight is a 'Must Own' on Blu-ray.



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hancock Blu-ray Review

Hancock Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
Hancock comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film looks good, typical of new releases. Colors are good, detail is excellent, and black levels are solid. There was a bit of grain, but never intrusive. The film features quite a bit of 3-D pop that we have become used to seeing with many fantastic Blu-ray releases. There were a few scenes that were not as impressive and a bit more on the weak side, but there's not too much to complain about. 8/10.

Audio
Sony has included 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track, and it was quite good. I have to admit I was expecting a bit more, but I was still pleased. Dialogue was always clear despite the action sequences. The film made a good use of the surround speakers, with the film's score coming through beautifully. After viewing a few recent action releases such as Wanted and The Incredible Hulk, Hancock just doesn't compete in the audio department, but most should be very happy with the track overall. 8/10.

Extras
Disc One:
On Set Visual Diary Picture-in-Picture
Superhumans: The Making Of Hancock (12:51) (HD)
Seeing The Future (15:11) (HD)
Building A Better Hero (8:15) (HD)
Bumps And Bruises (10:28) (HD)
Home Life (10:48) (HD)
Suiting Up (8:22) (HD)
Mere Mortals: Behind The Scenes With ''Dirty Pete'' (3:57) (HD)
D-BOX Motion Code
Previews (HD)
BD-Live

Disc Two:
Digital Copy (Compatible with PC (Windows Media) and PSP)

Blu-news Summary
Hancock is fun little popcorn flick, that I consider a film where you should just leave your brains at the door, and just enjoy. It's not a serious film, and it's one of the complaints with many viewers. But Will Smith really fits the part well, and I would recommend at least a rental. The Blu-ray itself is very good, with pleasing video and audio, and all HD extras. The Digital Copy is useless to Mac/iPod users, but I'm sure PSP users will be happy to finally have digital copy support from at least Sony. Overall Hancock on Blu-ray is 'Recommended.'


Monday, November 24, 2008

Space Chimps Blu-ray Review

Space Chimps Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
Space Chimps comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The presentation seems to be an accurate portrayal of the source. The film looks good, just not amazing. The production values on the film didn't seem to be the best, so little details and textures were not as great. With that being said, I was still impressed for the most part. Colors were vibrant, and black levels were solid. Detail (when it was there) had it's moments when it really shined, and the film was sharp from start to finish. My biggest complaint has to be the production values, as detail really tends to be missing from quite a bit of the film, giving a very generic look. The Blu-ray is an accurate portrayal of the source though, and overall still impressive. 8/10.

Audio
Fox has included a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, and it's pretty decent. Dialogue is the most important part of the film, and it's always nice and clear. The film's music makes a decent use of the surround speakers, but felt a bit lacking. Being a kid's film, I can't say the intended audience would have anything complain about. The audio sounds fine, just not impressive. 7/10.

Extras
FOX Movie Channel Presents Casting Session (8:55) (SD)
TV Spot Adventure (:16) (SD)
TV Spot Countdown (:32) (SD)
TV Spot Meet (:31) (SD)
TV Spot Right Stuff (:30) (SD)
TV Spot Spacier (:31) (SD)
Trailers (SD) - Nim's Island, Meet Dave, Elephant Tales
Still Gallery (HD)
Trivia Blast Off (Blu-ray Exclusive)

There are not many extras, but I found Trivia Blast Off the best extra on the disc, which is Blu-ray exclusive. The Trivia Blast Off Trivia track features facts about the film, the cast, space travel, and chimps in space. There are a few fun facts about the cast that I had no idea voiced a part in the film. The Casting Session was a decent feature, providing cast interviews and more. The extras are lacking though, and pretty much all in standard definition.

Blu-news Summary
Space Chimps is not a terrible film, kids should enjoy the film, being the film's target audience. Adults may find it to be quite weak when compared to other recent animated releases. The film features the voices of Andy Samberg, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Patrick Warburton, Kristen Chenoweth, and Kenan Thompson.
The film relies on a ton of random humor which kids should enjoy, but a lot doesn't work story-wise. It's a very simple film, with out much character development. I wouldn't say it was terrible, just a bit on the weak side. The Blu-ray presentation features good video, and decent audio. Extras are definitely lacking, and disappointing. Overall, Space Chimps is 'Worth A Look For The Kids.' Don't have kids? I suggest skipping.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Fred Clause Blu-ray Review

Fred Clause Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
Warner brings Fred Clause to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The presentation was impressive for the most part. Colors were rich and vibrant, and black levels were nice and deep. The Christmas environments really shine in the presentation, every Christmas light being a beautiful sight to see. Detail is strong, particularly close-up shots and clothing textures. Grain can be seen during the entire film, although never intrusive. There are a few weaker scenes that fill a bit more dull, but I was more impressed than let down by the transfer. 8/10.

Audio
Warner has opted not to include a lossless track, and includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. I have to say it's getting a bit tiresome to see so many releases being treated this way. This comedy actually has quite a bit of music, and I really think a lossless track would only help bring that more clearly. Dialogue was nice and clear, while the film's music made a good use of the surround speakers, although not as impressive as I had hoped it would be. 6/10.

Extras
Commentary with Director David Dobkin
Pause For Clause: Elves Tell All (8:59) (HD)
Sibling Rivalry (9:27) (HD)
Meet The Other Clause (13:04) (HD)
Vince And Paul Fireside Chats (4:10) (SD)
Deleted Scenes (25:30) (SD)
Ludacrismas Music Video (1:36) (HD)
Digital Copy (Compatible with PC ONLY)
Fred Clause: Race To Save Christmas DVD Game

The bonus features are decent, although a bit disappointing. The commentary track is fine, although only big fans of the film should enjoy it. The featurettes are fun, interesting, and the best of the features. The deleted scenes are alright, but you can see why they were deleted. Ludacrismas music video is rapped by Ludacris (Who also plays an elf in the film), the video just features clips from the film. The digital copy is PC only, and not compatible with Mac and iPod devices, why even bother? The DVD game is just like the other recent DVD games, very boring and even kids should leave it alone after 5 minutes.

Blu-news Summary
Fred Clause was a mixed bag for me, there were definitely very funny moments, but the film felt like it dragged on quite a bit. I also think the casting was not the best, but it's a bit late too change that. The story mixes a Christmas film with sibling rivalry, and while it's not the most unique Christmas film, it's overall a fun film. The Blu-ray presentation is quite strong video-wise, but disappointing in the audio department. Extras are also a bit weak, but I'm glad they at least included what they did. Overall Fred Clause is 'A Solid Rental.'



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wanted Blu-ray Review

Wanted Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
Wanted comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The transfer was very pleasing, despite being quite dark. Colors are rich and bold, and black levels are very deep. There is quite a bit of grain, and while clearly visible, it's never intrusive to the film experience. There were a few scenes which were a bit more dull, but never a bad experience. Outdoor scenes were extremely vibrant, and impressive. Detail is very impressive as well, particularly any close-up of Angelina Jolie. The film does have a unique style, but in the end the transfer is free of any issues. 9/10.

Audio
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is included, and it sounds fantastic. This film really comes to life, the action makes a great use of the surround speakers, providing a truly immersive experience. There's always something going on, providing the perfect work out for your surround system. Dialogue managed to stay nice and clear despite the action. I was very impressed! Universal Studios has proven once again why they provide 'The Perfect Hi-Def Movie Experience' 10/10.

Extras
My Scenes
Alternate Opening (2:38) (HD)
Extended Scene (1:58) (SD)
Cast and Characters (19:59) (HD)
Stunts On The L Train (2:30) (HD)
Special Effects: The Art of the Impossible (8:27) (HD)
Groundbreaking Visual Effects: From Imagination to Execution (8:06) (HD)
The Origins Of Wanted: Bringing the Graphic Novel to Life (8:05) (HD)
Through the Eyes of Visionary Director Timur Bekmambetov (9:05) (HD)
Wanted: Motion Comics (13:55) (HD)
The Making Of Wanted: The Game (10:01) (HD)
U-Control:
Motion Comics
Scene Explorer
Assassin Profiles
Picture in Picture
BD-Live (Features will launch on December 2nd)
Digital Copy (Compatible with Mac and PC)


I was very impressed with all the behind-the-scenes footage. It was always entertaining, and a very cool thing to see in a film filled with huge action scenes. Also included is a sneak peek at the upcoming Wanted video game 'Wanted: Weapons Of Fate' for Windows, Xbox 360, and PS3. Several extras also include special codes at the end to unlock special modes in the game, although it won't release until Q1 2009. I was also very happy almost all the extras are in high-def, it's something I hope Universal Studios continues to do.

The U-Control features are pretty neat, with the Picture-In-Picture track being my favorite. It includes cast interviews, as well as thoughts on the overall film and specific scenes. The Motion Comics is the same as the one available in the regular extras, just put in where it fits into the film. Assassin Profiles might be pleasing to hardcore fans, but I found it pretty useless. Scene Explorer allows you to view certain scenes during different stages of creation, from the storyboards, green screen, and final. It also allows you to choose which to view in full screen at anytime.

Blu-news Summary
Wanted is one of the best films of 2008. The cast really is fantastic, with James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie. James McAvoy's performance really reminds me of Shia LaBeouf, only fifty times better though. The story is just fun, The film is visually stunning, and a thrilling ride that many will enjoy. The Blu-ray release is fantastic, with impressive video, and a stunning audio track. Universal has include quite a bit of behind-the-scenes, and in high-def as well. Wanted is 'A Must Own' Blu-ray release.


The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 Blu-ray Review

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
The Sisterhood comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation that is sure to please. The transfer is bright and bold, colors are very vibrant, and detail is very strong. Blake Lively reveals all her flaws in the Blu-ray presentation, but it's okay, she's still gorgeous. Everything is sharp and clear. Black levels are deep at all times, and the film just popped off the screen from start to finish. 9/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio is included. The film is of course very dialogue driven, and some would argue that it would not need lossless audio, I'm glad it was included. Dialogue was nice and clear, while the film's music made a nice light use of the surround speakers. The track sounds nice and it does a good job. 7.5/10.

Extras
Go Jump Off A Cliff (4:25) (HD)
Gag Reel (4:05) (HD)
Additional Scenes, each with an Introduction by Director Sanaa Hamri (8:29) (HD)
Digital Copy (Compatible with Mac and PC)

Go Jump Off A Cliff is a short behind-the-scenes of what inspired one of the final bits in the film. The gag reel is your typical short gag reel, nothing special. The additional scenes are scenes which were cut out to shorten the film, fans should enjoy them. Also included is a digital copy for those who want to take the film with them on the go.

Blu-news Summary
The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2 reminds me very much of The Cheetah Girls series, although a bit more for mature and minus the cheesy dance numbers and songs. The film is still intended for teenage girls, but involves issues such as pregnancy scares and sexual situations, which bumps it up a bit. The film still stays quite clean despite a few things implied in the film. The story should please fans, but it was a bit to much for me.
The Blu-ray release is very good, strong video being the highlight of the disc, with good audio, and some decent high-def features. The film is not bad at all, but I would say 'Give It A Rent' before considering a purchase.

Tropic Thunder Blu-ray Review

Tropic Thunder: Director's Cut Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
Tropic Thunder comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The presentation is vibrant, detailed, and sharp from start to finish. Right from the start the colors are rich and pleasing. Black levels are always very deep and and impressive. Detail was also very strong, wrinkles and facial hair have never been so clear. I was very impressed overall. 9/10.

Audio:
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is the star of the show, and it sounds fantastic. This action comedy really comes to life with the lossless track, with a very immersive presentation. Dialogue is nice and clear, while the action scenes and wildlife expands to the surround speakers. The track is aggressive and impressive, and far better than I expected. 9/10.

Extras
Filmmaker Commentary with Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Stuart Cornfeld, Jeff Mann, John Toll and Greg Hayden
Cast Commentary with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.
Before The Thunder (4:54) (HD)
The Hot LZ (6:25) (HD)
Blowing Shit Up (6:18) (HD)
Designing The Thunder (7:31) (HD)
The Cast Of Tropic Thunder (22:12) (HD)
Rain Of Madness (30:00) (HD)
Make-Up Test With Tom Cruise (1:34) (HD):
Intro by Ben Stiller and editor Greg Hayden (1:12) (HD)
Deleted Scenes/Extended Sequences/Alternate Ending (HD) (Available with audio commentary)
Full Mags:
Intro by Ben Stiller and editor Greg Hayden (:53) (HD)
Choose A Dude (11:14) (HD)
MTV Movie Awards (4:06) (SD)
BD-Live (Features Currently Not Live)

Blu-news Summary
Tropic Thunder is one of my favorite comedies of the year. I think the cast is fantastic, and the chemistry between them all is fantastic. The humor isn't for everyone, as it does provide a lot of possibly offensive dialogue to some people, but it's all in good fun. The Blu-ray is a fantastic release, being top notch in every category. Stunning video, immersive audio, and a ton of extras as well! Tropic Thunder is 'Highly Recommended.'

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Blu-ray Review

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
Star Wars: The Clone Wars comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. I have to say I did not find any issues with the video presentation, although it was not as dazzling as I had expected it to be. The transfer definitely looks good, although I had a few issues with the source. While everything was sharp and vibrant for the most part, I felt detail was quite lacking, but most likely due to recent viewings of Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E. Overall the source was in great condition, and looks great overall. 8/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included, and it sounds very good. Dialogue was nice and clear at all times, while the film's music made a light use of the surround speakers. The film's sound effects managed to be a bit more dynamic, and really brought a lot to the experience. The track wasn't amazing, but it did it's job, and a pretty good one at that. 8/10.

Extras
Video Commentary (1:38:28) (SD)

Behind The Story:
Star Wars: The Cone Wars - The Untold Stories (24:53) (HD)
The Voices Of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (10:00) (HD)
A New Score (10:45) (HD)
Gallery (HD)

Deleted Scenes:
Through The Tanks (:50) (SD)
Rancor Pit (4:03) (SD)
Platform Droid Fight (4:12) (SD)
Cargo Bay (1:46) (SD)

Webisodes:
Introducing Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3:41) (HD)
Epic Battles (2:45) (HD)
The Clones Are Coming (3:27) (HD)
Heroes (3:27) (HD)
Villains (3:58) (HD)
Anakin's Padawan (3:43) (HD)

Trailers:
Launch Trailer (2:16) (HD)
Dark Trailer (2:09) (HD)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Videogame Trailer (1:10) (SD)

Game:
The Hologram Memory Challenge (HD)

Digital Copy (Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media)

We are presented with far more extras than I had expected. I was particularly surprised to see quite a few high-definition extras. The Webisodes were quite entertaining, and also featured high-def footage of other Star Wars films, which I'm sure fans of the films will enjoy to see. The video commentary was the biggest letdown, as I thought it would be a Picture-in-Picture commentary. The video commentary is actually in standard definition, and plays while the film also plays in standard definition. I can't see too many people getting excited about watching a Blu-ray movie in terrible quality to view the commentary. Also included is a Digital Copy, which I am a big fan of. 6/10.

Blu-news Summary
Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been the very first time I have ever seen an entire film having to do with Star Wars. I did watch part of one of the later films, but only about 20 minutes of it. I can't say I disliked it, I just have never found the time to watch any of the films. Star Wars: The Clone Wars was quite the fun film, although felt very made-for-tv quality at the same time.

The video presentation is very good, but it definitely does not compete with recent animated releases. The audio track is quite strong, with clear dialogue and a good use of the surround speakers. There are quite a few extras, many in high-definition as well, that fans will love. Overall though, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is 'A Solid Rental.'

Friday, November 14, 2008

Firefly: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

Firefly: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
The Firefly series comes to Blu-ray with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations. I wasn't sure what to expect, having never seen an episode of the show. Overall I felt it was mediocre, but not bad. There are actually quite a few impressive scenes per episodes, but also quite a few not so attractive scenes. The special effects looked quite bad at times, very soft and very blurry at times as well. Detail was quite strong on any close-up, and well-lit outdoor scenes also tended to be a bit more impressive, with vibrant colors. Fans of the series should be pleased, but those looking for demo-material television will be disappointed. 6/10.

Disc 1:
1. Serenity (Part 1 & 2) (Available with commentary by executive producer Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion)
2. The Train Job (Available with commentary by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear)
3. Bushwhacked
4. Shindig (Available with commentary by writer Jane Espenson, Morena Baccarin and costume designer Shawna Trpcic)

Disc 2:
5. Safe
6. Our Mrs. Reynolds (Available with commentary by executive producers Joss Whedon and actors Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass)
7. Jaynestown
8. Out Of Gas (Available with commentary by executive producer Tim Minear and director David Solomon)
9. Airel

Disc 3:
10. War Stories (Available with commentary by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk)
11. Trash
12. The Message (Available with commentary by Alan Tudyk and Jewel Staite)
13. Heart Of Gold
14. Objects In Space (Available with commentary by executive producer Joss Whedon)

Audio
Each episode features a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. I was quite impressed with the audio presentation, and it really started off with a bang. The first episode starts off with a battle scene that really impressed. It sounded great for a television series, and it was more dynamic than I thought it would be. Dialogue was nice and clear, and special effects sounded quite good as well. I was very pleased with the audio track, making it the highlight of the release. 8/10.

Extras
Disc 1:
Here's How It Was: The Making Of Firefly (28:39) (SD)
Trailers:
Dollhouse (2:29) (SD)
Buffy And Angel Promo (:18) (SD)

Disc 2:
Firefly Reunion: Lunch With Joss, Nathan, Alan and Ron (24:03) (HD)

Disc 3:
Deleted Scenes:
Serenity - Scene 1 (1:37) (SD)
Serenity - Scene 74 & 75 (4:36) (SD)
Our Mrs. Reynolds - Scene 18 (3:41) (SD)
Objects In Space - Scene 6 (2:11) (SD)

Featurettes:
Serenity: The 10th Character (9:45) (SD)
Alan Tudyk's Audition (1:04) (SD)
Joss Sings The Firefly Theme (1:15) (SD)
Joss Tours The Set (1:23) (SD)
Gag Reel (2;40) (SD)

Blu-news Summary
I have to admit, I just didn't get into Firefly. I felt the story was a bit too slow. I have talked to many people about the series, and the majority have enjoyed it. I would say I'm one of the few people that disliked it. The opening theme song alone was enough to give me headache, but that's just my opinion. The Blu-ray release is quite strong, with decent video, and a quite impressive audio track. Extras include audio commentaries, as well as a high-def reunion which fans should enjoy. Overall Firefly on Blu-ray is 'For Fans Only'.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kung Fu Panda Blu-ray Review

Kung Fu Panda Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
Kung Fu Panda comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Colors are fantastic, with the transfer being rich and vibrant, while black levels are always nice and deep. Detail is also very good, down to every inch of hair, I was very impressed by the amount of detail put into the film. Kung Fu Panda is very pleasing to the eyes, and definite demo material. 10/10.

Audio
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track was quite impressive as well, with a very immersive presentation. Dialogue is always very clear, and the film's score made fantastic use of the surround speakers. The film's sound effects were very dynamic, and also made great use of the surround speakers. It was far more impressive than I had expected, and it definitely added a lot to the film. 9.5/10.

Extras

Inside Kung Fu Panda:

Filmmakers' Commentary
Trivia Track
The Animators' Corner - Picture-in-Picture Track
Meet The Cast (13:18) (HD)
Pushing The Boundaries (7:07) (HD)
Conservation International: Help Save Wild Pandas (2:00) (HD)

Po's Power Play:

Dragon Warrior Training Academy (HD)
Dumpling Shuffle (HD)
Learn To Draw (HD)

Sounds And Moves Of Kung Fu:

Sound Design (3:54) (HD)
"Kung Fu Fighting" Music Video By Cee-Lo (2:29) (HD)
Learn The Panda Dance (4:32) (HD)
Do You Kung Fu? (HD)

Land Of The Panda:

Mr. Ping's Noodle House (4:43) (HD)
How To Use Chopsticks (2:55) (HD)
Inside The Chinese Zodiac (11:33) (HD)
Animals Of Kung Fu Panda (6:18) (HD)
What Fighting Style Are You? (HD)

DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox:
Bee Movie - "Here Comes The Sun" (1:19) (HD)
Flushed Away - "Dancing With Myself" (1:56) (HD)
Over The Hedge - "Rockin' The Suburbs" (1:53) (HD)
Madagascar - "I Like To Move It, Move It" (:58) (HD)
Shark Tale - "Car Wash (Shark Tale Mix)" (2:24) (HD)
Shrek 2 - "Livin' La Vida Loca" (1:20) (HD)
Shrek - "I'm A Believer" (1:14) (HD)
Shrek The Third - "Losing Streak" (1:33) (HD)

Trailers:

Monsters VS. Aliens (2:26) (HD)
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (1:52) (HD)

BD-Live:

Po Around The World (HD)
A Day In The Life: A Shaolin Monk In Training (11:11) (SD)

Blu-news Summary
Kung Fu Panda is a fun and entertaining family film, although it's definitely not amazing. The all-star cast is very impressive, and the film is very funny as well. The video presentation is perfect, and the audio packs a punch as well. Extras are quite packed, although the majority of extras will appeal more to children. Kung Fu Panda is 'Highly Recommended' as a demo-disc alone, but the film is also quite good.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get Smart Blu-ray Review

Get Smart Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys Johnson
Video
Get Smart comes to Blu-ray with a solid 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The film looks very good, and very clean. Detail was quite strong through out, with a few scenes that were a bit more on the soft side. Grain is there, although never intrusive. Colors were pretty good, although not as vibrant as I imagined they would be. Get Smart looks quite good on Blu-ray, it just isn't amazing. 8/10.

Audio
Warner has once again decided to go lossy, and only included a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. The track did not impress me that much, and not just because it's lossy. Dialogue did sound very nice and clear, although the surround speaker use was quite dull. The film's action scenes really felt limited, as if they were not able to reach their full potential. The track does it's job, but I wish the film would have received a Dolby TrueHD track. 7/10.

Extras

Disc 1:

Smart Takes-Alternate Scenes: Play Movie With Smart Takes (52:55)
The Old ''I Hid It In The Movie'' Trick (9:04) (SD)
The Right Agent For The Right Job (10:30) (SD)
Max In Moscow! (6:20) (SD)
Language Lessons (3:29) (SD)
Get Smart's Bruce & Lloyd Out Of Control Sneak Speak (3:12) (SD)
The Vomit Reel (5:19) (SD)
Spy Confidential: Gag Reel (5:39) (SD)

Disc 2:
Digital Copy of the film (Compatible with PC and Mac)

Disc 3:
Get Smart: Kaos Control DVD Game

I found the extras to be very funny, although I feel Smart Takes could have been incorporated out of the film instead. The digital copy is always great, although the DVD game is downright boring and confusing. 6/10.

Blu-news Summary
'Get Smart' is one of my favorite films of the year, it's just fun and hilarious. Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway work great as a team comedy-wise, and found myself laughing from start to finish. If you are looking for a fun film to watch on the weekend, I would definitely suggest it. The Blu-ray release is quite good, with great video and decent audio. The extras are mostly in standard definition, but I'm glad it's all there. Also included is a digital copy, as well as a DVD game. Get Smart on Blu-ray is 'Recommended.'

Monday, November 3, 2008

Futurama: Bender's Game Blu-ray Review

Futurama: Bender's Game Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
Bender's Game comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The transfer is quite flawless, with colors that just leap off the screen. Colors were bold and vibrant, and looks terrific in high-definition. Black levels were nice and deep. I could not find anything wrong with the presentation, and was left very impressed with the Blu-ray presentation. 10/10.

Audio
Fox has provided a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track for the film. The film was not very demanding in the audio department, dialogue was front and center, nice and clear. The film's music made a decent use of the surround speakers, clear as well. The audio didn't really impress, but it was very solid, and can't imagine anyone being disappointed. 7/10.

Extras
Commentary by Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, Bily West, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeile, Michael Rowe, Claudia Katz and Dwayne Carey-Hill.
Storyboard Animatic: Bender's Game, Part One (21:47) (SD)
Futrama Genetics Lab: Cross-breed Your Favorite Characters! (HD)
D&D&F (Dungeons & Dragons & Futurama) (7:00) (HD)
How to Draw Futurama in 83 Easy Steps (7:52) (HD)
3D Models with Animator Discussion (5:03) (HD)
Geysers of Gygax (1:23) (SD)
Deleted Scene: 'Cup or Nozzle?' (1:03) (HD)
Blooperama 2: Outtakes from Bender's Game (SD) (1:50)
Bender's Anti-Piracy Warning (1:11) (HD)
Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder - A sneak peek at the next Futurama Epic! (1:14) (HD)
7-Elven (:53) (HD)

The video commentary (Picture-in-Picture) is exclusive to the Blu-ray version, the cast and crew even mention Blu-ray in their commentary about the exclusive feature. The Futurama Genetics Lab is entertaining for about a minute, click on two of your favorite characters and merge them together. I thought Bender's Anti-Piracy Warning extremely funny. Geysers of Gygax is what seems to be an easter egg, but you can't miss it if you want to see the remaining features. Another easter egg is featured on the final page of extras, and accessible by clicking to the right of the extras. Also included in the package are 4 postcards featuring the Futurama characters. 7/10.

Blu-news Summary
Bender's Game is quite the decent film, although I didn't find it as funny as the previous two Futurama film releases. The film had it's moments, but mostly felt like something you would see on television. The video presentation is pretty much perfect, and the audio does it's job. There are quite a few extras that will have fans very pleased. Overall Bender's Game is 'Recommended.'

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Christmas Blu-ray Review

This Christmas Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonVideo
This Christmas comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC MPEG-4 video presentation. The colors on the release are fantastic, and everything just leaps off the screen. Black levels are always deep and impressive. Detail is very good as well, everything was extremely clear and sharp. The film is very clean, and grain is minimal. 'This Christmas' is a very vibrant and very impressive Blu-ray release. 9/10.

Audio
'This Christmas' comes to Blu-ray with a solid 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track. Dialogue is the most important part of the film, and it all sounds very nice and clear. The film also features quite a bit of music, and it made fantastic use of the surround speakers. The track was actually quite a bit more aggressive than I expected it to, and quite a bit more impressive than I expected it to be. 8/10.

Extras
Commentary with Regina King, Sharon Leal, and Lauren London
Deleted & Extended Scenes (5:33) (SD)
Making 'This Christmas' Special (11:36) (SD)
'This Christmas' Music Video Performed By Chris Brown (3:45) (SD)
Previews (HD)
BD-Live

'Making This Christmas' was the best extra on the disc, it provides cast interviews and behind-the-scenes, and just everything fun about the film. The extras were all entertaining. The commentary is quite good, it's not the most insightful commentary, but it was very funny and there almost always something to say about everything. 6/10.

Blu-news Summary
I loved 'This Christmas', the story has heart, laughs, drama, and much more.The cast is fantastic, my personal favorite being Regina King. The film is very similar to 'Tyler Perry' films, although quite a bit more entertaining, which is why it may not be for everyone. The video and audio presentations are both very good, particularly the video, although the audio is dynamic as well. Extras are quite short, but I still found them entertaining. Overall 'This Christmas' is recommended.