Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tombstone Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 37.8 GB
Film Size: 33.8 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABCThe Video
Tombstone comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The movie features nice high-def clarity throughout and I was quite impressed on first impression. However, after watching the film in whole did I notice how inconsistent the transfer is.

The film has some very beautiful and detailed moments throughout, but then far less detailed and muddy scenes happen and it takes you out of the high-def experience. The film’s colors are actually quite strong and pleasing to the eye, although at times it looked a bit pushed.

Black levels are generally very solid, although there are moments which I definitely wished were inkier. There were also some moments which I noticed some black crushing. The film has a nice level of depth occasionally and other times look a bit flatter than I had hoped.

Overall the video presentation easily improves previous home video releases of Tombstone. That being said, this is far from the amazing high-def presentation I expected. Certain aspects of the presentation are due to source, but I do think the film could have looked a bit better. 7.5/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as the lossless option. Other audio options include French 2.0 Dolby Digital and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital. Optional subtitles include English, English (For the hearing impaired), French and Spanish.

Unlike the mediocre video presentation, the audio presentation is something to get very excited about. Right from the very first moment of audio you realize this is going to be one very immersive and exciting mix. The film’s score fills your entire theater room while effects sound clear as can be.

The mix balances the audio nicely. Dialogue is prioritized front and center and sounds crisp and clear, never overpowered by anything else happening. The film’s music is loud and aggressive while still retaining a beautiful level of clarity.

The film’s audio effects are also clear as can be and placed nicely throughout the surround speakers, particularly during more intense sequences in the film. The mix is definitely as great as I had hoped and perhaps even surpassed by expectations quite a bit.

Tombstone has definitely never sounded better and fans are in for a major treat with this mix. Considering the film will celebrate its 20th anniversary release in just a few years, it is really hard to expect or demand much more out of this mix. I’m definitely impressed. 9/10.

The Extras

The Making of Tombstone (27:19) (SD)
This is a three part behind-the-scenes look of the film.

Director’s Original Storyboards (4:01) (SD)
See the original storyboards made to map the O.K. Corral Sequence.

Theatrical Trailer (2:35) (SD)

Teaser Trailer (1:27) (SD)

TV Spots (3:28) (SD)

Extras on this release are decent but certainly in disappointing to the Vista Series DVD release of the film. Some of the features from that DVD are included here, but there are quite a few notable things missing such as an audio commentary and more. Hopefully Disney will be able to include those extras as well as all-new extras for the inevitable 20th anniversary release. 3/10.

The Movie
Tombstone finally makes a debut on Blu-ray, a title that I have been very excited for since buzz began about a potential release. George P. Cosmatos is credited as Director of the film, but according to later news and interviews, it appears the actual Director was lead actor Kurt Russell.

Tombstone is a film in which I have always found the cast to be impressive. Kurt Russell stars as U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer stars as Doc Holiday. Supporting cast includes Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Dana Delany, Jason Priestley, Michael Biehn and last but certainly not least…the incredible Charlton Heston.

The film is of course based on a true story about Wyatt Earp, but don’t begin to think this movie is educational. The movie is a typical ‘Hollywood’ true story in which everything is slightly changed, dramatized, exaggerated. The story is still entertaining regardless of how accurate it is or isn’t.

The film is filled with action and any fan of classic western films will find a lot to love about Tombstone. The story is intense, the characters are great, the acting is superb, I just love so many things about it. The movie’s Hollywood accuracy may be a turn off for some, but it doesn’t really bug me.

The film is definitely one of my favorite Westerns, but I would be lying if I said it was one of my absolute favorite films in general. There really aren’t many negative things I can say about the movie itself, everything really is great about it. While it may not be one of my all-time favorites, I can’t deny that this is one great film. 8.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Tombstone is a great movie with a decent video presentation and impressive audio mix. The extras on this release are definitely disappointing and this release definitely screams double dip. In the meantime though, this release is certainly ‘Recommended’ to fans of the film.

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