Friday, July 31, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 25th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Film Size: 20.4 GB
TMNT II: Secret Of The Ooze Film Size: 19.2 GB
TMNT III: Turtles In Time Film Size: 20.1 GB
TMNT (2007) Film Size: 12.7 GB
Film Ratings: PG
Region: Free

Video
Each film features a 1080p VC-1 video presentation on a BD25.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Let's start with the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the transfer is good but far from impressive. It's an extremely grainy and dull looking film, but I'm glad! The presentation has not been tampered with, and while the grain does feel excessive at times it's supposed to be there. Shots aren't always as sharp as I would have liked, but there's only so much that can be done with the film. 7/10.


TMNT II: The Secret Of The Ooze
The Secret Of The Ooze is more impressive looking than the first film. There is still a lot of grain to be seen, but mostly in the darker parts of the film. Colors also weren't as dull as the first film, and everything just felt much sharper. It's still far from the best catalog releases we have seen, but I didn't expect it to be to begin with. 7.5/10.


TMNT III: Turtles In Time

The Turtles In Time is next, and while it is a revelation from the previous two films, it looked a bit waxy at times. There may have been some slight DNR applied, but then other scenes look top notch and filled with great detail. The film is a bit soft at times, but much sharper than 1 and 2, it's a toss-up, it's a minor offender overall when it comes to filtering. 8/10.

TMNT (2007)

The animated TMNT is next and is the same transfer featured on the original Blu-ray release. It looks great for an animated flick, and is free of any video flaws. The animation isn't as impressive as Pixar titles on Blu-ray, but it's definitely good. The encode size worries me a bit though, but despite being a small-size it still looks more than fine. 8.5/10.

Audio
If there's one thing that all the films shared in common is the more than pleasing 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio tracks. They have so much more depth than the Dolby Digital tracks included, and were overall impressive. The film does feel dated at times, but effects were dynamic and had much better direction than I expected. The film's dialogue and music also sounded very good, clear and aggressive. I wasn't disappointed with any film included when it comes to audio. 8/10.

Extras

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Theatrical Trailer (1:28) (SD)
Sneak Peek! TMNT: Smash-Up Game For Wii (1:04) (HD)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze:
Theatrical Trailer (2:16) (HD)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles In Time:
Theatrical Trailer (2:03) (HD)

TMNT (2007):
Commentary by Writer/Director Kevin Munroe
TMNT: Voice Talent First Look (SD)
Mikey's Birthday Party Full Sequence (SD)
Raphael's Rough House Fight Test (SD)
Monsters Come Alive (SD)
Donny's Digital Data Files (SD)
Roof Top Workout (SD)
Still Wanna Fight? Temp/Scratch Test (SD)
Alternate Opening To The Movie (SD)
Alternate Ending Temp/Scratch Test (SD)
Additional Scene: Splinter Gets Cake (SD)
TMNT: Internet Reel Trailer (SD)

Packaging:
How it looks on the shelf with other releases, as well as what's included!
Inlcluded in the package are:
Comic Book
Signed Sketch
Radical Beanie
Character Cards

Blu-news Summary
It's amazing to be able to finally own the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Blu-ray. Yes they are not great films, but I grew up watching and loving them. They have an amazing amount of nostalgia to them, and it will definitely bring back memories to those who have seen the films before. I didn't really enjoy the animated release from 2007, but I just think of that as a decent bonus.

The Blu-ray releases are not amazing, but I was still satisfied. Only so much can be done for these films as they are DEFINITELY dated and show. It's true they have never looked better, and I guess that's all we can really ask for. The set may turn off some, as I've seen people claim it to be cheap looking, but I personally feel it captures the feel of the films very well. The pizza box style packaging even features a grease stain for authenticity. The Blu-ray set is 'Recommended' for fans of the films.

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Additional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Screenshots:

Additional TMNT II: The Secret Of The Ooze Screenshots:

Additional TMNT III: Turtles In Time Screenshots:
Additional TMNT (2007) Screenshots:

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Obsessed Blu-ray Review

Film Size: 33.0 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: FREE

Video
Obsessed comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation that is not one of the best, but more than decent. The film's settings lend a big part to the look of the film, and varies between office settings, home settings, and outdoor settings. Usually the picture is sharp and filled with detail and rich colors. But at times, particularly in the home scenes, it felt a bit more dull and soft overall. The presentation will leave viewers pleased despite it's very small flaws. 8/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included and sounds as good as one could expect. The film is actually quite quiet, with dialogue and on-screen gestures being the most important parts of the film. Surround use is there, but is mostly reserved for the more aggressive scenes, and it does the job nicely when used. I never felt the track was too reserved, but don't go in expecting an amazing audio experience. 7.5/10.

Extras

Playing Together Nicely (15:37) (HD)
Cast and crew interviews about this film, featuring a good amount of behind-the-scenes footage. If you enjoyed the film you should enjoy this.

Girl Fight (11:14) (HD)
A feature dedicated to the epic girl fight in the film. It's actually very cool with the behind-the-scenes footage to see how they did it.

Obsessed: Dressed To Kill (9:31) (HD)
Behind the fashion of the film, this isn't Sex And The City, so it was rather dull.

Previews (HD)
Trailers for other Sony Blu-ray releases.

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes/Windows Media/PSP (You are entitled to all three with the code)

Blu-news Summary
Obsessed is a sexy thriller that isn't as thrilling as I would have hoped. The film starts off very dull, which will turn off many from the start. I enjoyed the character build-up, I just felt it could have been made a bit more exciting to keep the attention of viewers. The film is sexy though, with both Ali Larter and Beyonce starring, and they actually do their parts very well, particularly Ali Larter.

The characters in the film aren't always so smart, and I think that's one of the biggest issues with the movie, but overall the film wouldn't work without those stupid mistakes. The girl fight scene (as seen in the trailers as well) was both epic and awesome. I found the film fun despite it's serious flaws, but one that could lack in replay value for the majority of viewers.

The Blu-ray release is good, good video, fitting audio, and a small but decent amount of extras. As stated earlier, the film lacks replay value, it's the type of film that once is enough. If you have any interest in the film I would at least 'Give It A Rent' though.

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Additional Screenshots:

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Green Lantern: First Flight Blu-ray Review

Green Lantern: First Flight Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc Size: 16.6 GB
Film Size: 11.4 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: Free


Clip From The Film:


Packaging:

Green colored 1-disc Blu-ray case with glossy slip cover.

Video
Green Lantern comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. Warner has finally delivered, an animated release free of the issues featured on previous DC Comics releases. Wonder Woman looked fine and quite good at times, but it suffered a bit of banding and had more than a few jaggies throughout. I'm happy to report that Green Lantern is not only free of banding and annoying jaggies, and is much sharper and clear than I had anticipated.

Colors were absolutely fantastic, black levels were as solid as can be, and the animation looks beautiful on screen. It really doesn't get much better than this considering the animation style, I won't give it a 10/10 as there are better looking animated releases on Blu-ray, but this certainly is the best to date from DC Comics. 9.5/10.

Audio
A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included and was somewhat disappointing. It actually felt quite cheap, with tacky effects and weak surround use. Dialogue was crisp and clear, and the film's music came through fine. The film has quite the epic feel, but the surround track just didn't enhance the experience much. The mix is just fine, but it lacks the punch that I was hoping for. 7.5/10.
Extras

Green Lantern: Behind The Story With Geoff Johns (8:42) (SD)
Geoff Johns talks about capturing the perfect form of The Green Lantern in his writing.

I Am The Ring (22:30) (SD)
All about the famous Green Lantern ring and it's popularity.

Sinestro (4:02) (SD)
A feature about The greatest Green Latern gone bad.

The Guardians Of The Universe (3:40) (SD)
A look at The Green Lantern Corp. and the significance the council of elders have.

Blackest Night: Inside The DC Comics Event (8:52) (SD)

Duck Dodgers "The Green Loontern" (22:20) (SD)
Looney Tunes cartoon starring Daffy Duck and Porky Pig.

Bruce Timm's Top Picks: Green Lantern (SD)
Five episodes featuring Green Latern selected by Bruce Timm, the included episodes are 'Once And Future Thing Part 1,' 'Once And Future Thing Part 2,' 'Hearts And Minds Part 1,' 'Heart And Minds Part 2' and 'The Return.'

A First Look At Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (7:50) (SD)
Promotion for Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, coming soon to Blu-ray high-def.

From Graphic Novel To Original Animated Movie - Justice League: The New Frontier (10:45) (SD)
Promotion for Justice League: The New Frontier, available on Blu-ray high-def.

Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess (10:26) (SD)
Promotion for Wonder Woman, available on Blu-ray high-def.

Batman: Gotham Knight - An Anime Evolution (10:11) (SD)
Promotion for Batman: Gotham Knight, available on Blu-ray high-def.

Digital Copy Redemption Code
A code is included to redeem your Windows Media only Digital Copy of Green Lantern: First Flight.

Blu-news Summary
The Green Lantern was definitely a nice surprise, especially considering that I'm not the greatest fan of this type of animation. The film is fun but can also be taken a bit more seriously than I expected it to be. It's the type of film that both kids who love superheros and adults who grew up with the comics will enjoy. The film's PG-13 rating allows the film to hold nothing back as far as action goes, which gives it more of a feel that comes with live action super hero titles.

The Blu-ray release easily trumps the DVD release with a perfect high-def video presentation, and a decent audio track. There are quite a few extras, although all of them are in standard definition. The Green Lantern on Blu-ray is 'Worth A Look.'

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Additional Screenshots:

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Race To Witch Mountain Blu-ray Review

Race To Witch Mountain Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc Size: 33.9 GB
Film Size: 25.8 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A

Theatrical Trailer:


Video
Race To Witch Mountain comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film's look is quite bland, but still features a nice amount of detail at all times. Colors were a bit on the muted side, but there were times where they did shine and impress. There was a thin layer of grain present throughout the film, which is much preferred to a DNR filled transfer.

It's a very strong presentation overall, the bland palette just keeps it from being up there with the best. I understand stylistic choices, but this felt a bit off. Regardless of the palette, it's a far stronger presentation than the included DVD, and I guess it doesn't get much better than that. 8/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and fairly impressive. Dialogue was crisp and clear, and the film's direction was very good. The film's music expanded into the surround area nicely, while the film's crashes, bangs,and explosions awakened the bass. That being said, I have to say I was expecting it to be a bit stronger, considering the film's theme and specific scenes. What was done was very nice, but I just felt it could have had more of an impact. The track is far from a disappointment though, and easily an upgrade from DVD. 8.5/10.

Extras

Disc 1:

Deleted Scenes (23:21) (SD)
Nine deleted scenes are included, and feature an introduction by Director Andy Fickman.

Bloopers (3:37) (SD)
Typical bloopers, nothing special to see here.

"Which Mountain?" Featurette (8:20) (HD)
Director Andy Fickman talk about his hidden references from the original films. It was neat to see the actors who played the children originally featured in the film, I wouldn't have noticed without seeing the featurette.


Disc 2:

DVD copy of the film.

Disc 3:

DisneyFile Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

Blu-news Summary
Race To Witch Mountain is your average family adventure film, nothing special but not bad either. I've always enjoyed Dwayne Johnson as an actor, and this film is no different. My biggest issues are more with the dialogue and often the scenes. There was a lot that should have been thought out a bit better, such as the camera security at Witch Mountain. So much security outside, yet obviously not enough inside. I perhaps analyzed the film a bit too much, as it was clearly intended as a fun family flick, not the next best sci-fi film.

The Blu-ray release is a tad dissapointing via Disney standards, but still a notch above most new releases from other studios. The video presentation is filled with great detail, while the film's audio is a clear upgrade from DVD. There aren't very many extras to be honest, but the Blu-ray release is the ultimate package, including both a DVD and Digital Copy of the film. The Blu-ray release is 'Highly Recommended' for fans, and 'At Least A Rental' to newcomers.

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Additional Screenshots:

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Cutthroat Island Blu-ray Review

Cutthroat Island Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc Size: 20.5 GB
Film Size: 19.6 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: Free

Video
Cutthroat Island comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation that is sure to please fans of the film. Cutthroat Island has never looked better, and the upgrade is actually quite big. The film has never looked good on home video, and while the Blu-ray does have it's flaws, it was definitely more impressive than I had anticipated. The film looks much better in motion than the screenshots reflect.

There was a bit of edge enhancement and DNR as well that I noticed, but a lot of the look has to do with the soft look of the film. Compared to the DVD, everything was much sharper, colors were much more vibrant, and detail was quite nice as well. The film's lighting and effects used at times affected the video presentation just a tad, black levels ranged from decent to deep, but overall I was more pleased than disappointed. Fans of the film will see the upgrade from the start, the film looks dated, but never looked better. 7/10.

Audio
A 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and sounds as good as one could expect from the film. Everything was very clear, and the mix did a great job at creating an environment for the film. The ship scenes were the most impressive, as the cannons fired aggressively. The track was not gimmicky at all, and the effects were well placed. The film's music was very nice and aggressive as well. Cutthroat Island is a catalog high-def audio treat. 8.5/10.

Extras

Audio Commentary
With Director Renny Harlin.

Featurette (6:08) (SD)
A featurette that is more of a big advertisement for the film than an actual home video supplement. A narrator tells the story of Cuthroat Island, with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews mixed in.

Theatrical Trailer (2:03) (SD)

Teaser Trailer (1:20) (SD)

Blu-news Summary
Cutthroat Island is such a fun movie that I'm sure many remember enjoying as well. The film is far from Academy Award recognition status, but it's definitely a good time from start to finish. The characters are great and it was nice getting to revisit the film on Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray release is quite good, with upgraded video, impressive audio, and ported DVD extras. Cutthroat Island on Blu-ray is 'Recommended' for fans, and to all others 'Worth A Look,' especially considering the price!

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Additional Screenshots:

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