Monday, November 23, 2009

Cujo: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 20.1 GB
Film Size: 17.5 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: Free
Cujo comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film can look very strong at times, but it certainly has some weak scenes in comparison. Detail isn't always as strong as I would have liked, but in this case it's more than likely due to the lower production values of the film over any digital manipulation for the high-def release.

The picture is not razor sharp or filled with detail, but it never did. For a lower budget film celebrating it's 25th anniversary there's not much more one could expect from the film in high-definition. The level of detail varies from scene to scene and of course the lighting conditions, but nothing ever looked wrong with the film.

Right from the start you will notice the film is very grainy, something that I was very happy to see, as I definitely went in thinking there was a chance all grain would be removed. DNR is something I don't think many casual consumers understand, one of the complaints I got from someone who viewed Cujo's high-def presentation was 'sometimes the pictures looks really grainy' as if it were a bad thing.

While my friend has much to learn about the negative effects about DNR, he was certainly disappointed by the Blu-ray release. The print is not always very clean, but it's natural and looks better than I expected it to look in high-def considering the film's budget. It's not going to be ANYONE'S high-def demo material, but I don't see how the transfer itself could have been much better. 7/10.

A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included for the release, and while it certainly sounds good overall I found the mix slightly unbalanced. Dialogue was generally as crisp and clear as one could expect and effects are well placed overall. The issue for me was when effects and dialogue were put in more intense scenes together, effects definitely became overpowering to the dialogue.

Despite it's flaws, the mix does have much to enjoy about it as well. The overall step up in clarity is easy to appreciate, and effects were well placed aside from the few volume issues. The track will please any fan of the film as it has never sounded better, but don't go in expecting miracles. 7/10.


Audio Commentary
with Director Lewis Teague.

Dog Days: The Making of Cujo (42:48) (SD)
Available in 3 part viewing or play all options. It features cast and crew interviews remembering the film, as well as interviews with the film's composer to Stephen King's biographer.

Also From Lionsgate (1:06) (HD)
A montage of clips from many different Lionsgate horror releases on Blu-ray.

A place where all your bookmarks from the film are placed, making it easy to return to where you left off in the film.

For a '25th Anniversary Edition' release, extras are very underwhelming, but what is included is enjoyable and welcome. 3/10.

Blu-news Summary
Cujo is a film I have always liked but have not seen in a years. So now comes the 25th anniversary and we get a Blu-ray release, I was certainly excited to give the film a spin for the first time in high-definition.

Like a few films, Cujo doesn't stand the test of time as much as I would have hoped. I never considered the film a horror classic, but it certainly was more unique in nature and what Old Yeller could have been had they given the film a horror spin, kidding.

The film is still fun and it will certainly give younger kids a reason to be more afraid of big dogs than they already may be. The effects at times can be quite disappointing, but I did expect them to be considering the film was fairly lower budget when produced.

Cujo is a fun ride that doesn't hold up like I remembered, something that becomes more and more common when viewing many older horror favorites on Blu-ray. If you are a fan of the film though, there's still so much entertainment that comes from the movie. If you are new to the film, I definitely suggest giving it a chance rather than skipping. 7/10.

The Blu-ray release is slightly mediocre, but certainly pleasing when compared to the DVD release I own. Extras are also underwhelming, but at least we get something. Overall this Blu-ray release is 'Recommended' to fans of the film.

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