Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Relic Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 21.5 GB
Film Size: 20.0 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
The Relic comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film can look quite good in high-definition, but is not without its issues. Fans of the film know by now that the film is dark, in my opinion overly dark, which does not allow detail to really shine through.

The outdoor scenes and the well-lit darker moments can look quite good and feature a nice high-def image and colors. That being said, there are moments which did not call for such a dark look and makes the film look significantly dated.

The print also features a notable amount of dirt and specks, but it could have been much worse. Film grain is kept intact and scenes generally look quite solid. Overall my biggest issues have to do with the look of the film itself.

Yes, the film could have looked better, but is definitely not worth the investment for the studio to clean this one up a bit. I’m just grateful that there is no DNR or Edge Enhancement to be found with the presentation, fans should be pleased but I don’t think anyone will be dazzled by The Relic in high-definition. 6/10.

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is the only audio option included, aside from the audio commentary. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH and Spanish.

The 7.1 mix is the highlight of the disc and features plenty to love about it. First off, I am very happy to see Lionsgate continuing to release many 7.1 mixes for both new release and catalog titles. The studio manages to provide an immersive audio experience for many catalog titles and the results are surprisingly good.

The Relic is no different, providing a fantastic mix for a dated horror film. Clear attention has been paid to every speaker in your home theater, whether it is audio effects or the film’s score. The mix has great separation and we definitely get a nice sense of the environments featured in the scenes.

Audio effects are immersive and for the most part sound very clear. There are some front heavy effects which sound a tad dated, but it is certainly expected and I expected it to sound even more dated. Dialogue is generally front and center and is crisp and clear like only a high-def mix can be.

The mix won’t become demo material anytime soon, but it is certainly much better than I anticipated. I am very pleased by the 7.1 mix and I think most viewers will be as well. It features everything a good mix should and while it sounds semi-dated at times, this mix is far from lifeless. 8/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Director/Cinematographer Peter Hyams.

The Fillmmaker’s Lens: An Interview with Peter Hyams (10:11) (HD)
This is a behind-the-scenes featurette, mostly consisting of an interview with Peter Hyams in high-definition.

Theatrical Trailer (2:15) (SD)

Also From Lionsgate (HD)
View trailers for other Lionsgate Blu-ray releases.

Bookmarks
Save your favorite scenes and return to them later.

The extras included are nice additions as they were not included on the previous DVD release. The featurette is interesting, but I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t care or the audio commentary and turned it off after a few minutes.

There isn’t a lot to be seen, but anything new is noticed and appreciated. The fact that they went back and added extras for a film like The Relic is especially nice to see as it could have been just a standard port. 5/10.

The Movie
The Relic is on Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, previously released by Paramount Home Entertainment on DVD. Being able to revisit the film on Blu-ray was an enjoyable experience, but to be honest the movie just does not hold up like I remember.

The Relic has never been the type of movie in which the viewer can take seriously; it is more of a fun popcorn flick with plenty of scares and intense moments. The films overly dark look is a way to fill the film with a bit more mystery, not knowing what is going to happen next or where something is going to jump out from.

What was impressive at the time of its release is just not as impressive anymore. The special effects while still respectable don’t compare to the technology available now. The scares are also far more underwhelming, but the 7.1 mix does help a bit as far as adding the necessary intensity to those moments.

The story itself is somewhat unique, taking place in Chicago’s natural history museum and featuring a mysterious but deadly creature. The film while not as scary now still has that campy fun appeal and I think fans of the film will still enjoy it quite a bit.

The movie is definitely flawed and always was flawed, but it still makes for quite an entertaining film to watch on a stormy Saturday night with a bowl of popcorn and a group of friends. I am not as impressed by the film as I remember being, but it’s still fun. 6.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
The Relic was fun to revisit on Blu-ray, which features a decent video presentation and great audio mix. The extras are also a nice addition and should appeal to many fans of the film. The Blu-ray release can be found for a very affordable price at Wal-Mart stores and Amazon.com, making this release easily ‘Recommended’ to fans of the film.

Additional Screenshots:

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