Friday, June 25, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3D Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 39.2 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: ABC
The Video
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs comes to Blu-ray again with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation, available in both 2D and 3D viewing options. The 2D version of the film will play in any currently available Blu-ray player and television, while the 3D version requires a 3D Blu-ray player and 3D television to activate.

Let’s start with the 2D version of the film. The encode size of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is definitely smaller, at least 9 GB smaller than the standard edition Blu-ray. However, when comparing the two Blu-ray releases I found no noticeable difference in quality.

The animation itself is great, which always helps make a presentation stand out among the rest. It’s certainly simple but not due to laziness. Animators clearly paid attention to the big picture, as everything on screen is filled with dimension and life.

The film features every color of the rainbow, each one looking just as rich and vibrant as the other, blacks are inky as can be and everything just leaps off the screen. Detail is also very nice, whether it is hair and clothing or food and buildings, it all just shines.

The 3D version of the film is even more impressive in my eyes, adding another dimension to a film that already has so much natural 3D pop. The film really works great for 3D and I have to say I was much more impressed with this than I was with Monsters vs. Aliens (reviewed here).

Every scene in the film has a nice level of depth and it sucks us into the animated world in which the characters live. There are also plenty of moments in which the action comes out of the screen, whether it is the food experiment gone wrong and flying out of the television or the massive food overflow on the town.

Blu-ray 3D currently has very little content available, with only Monsters vs. Aliens and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs currently available. In the next couple of weeks we expect to review Coraline and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. If the experience of the upcoming two titles is anything like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, then viewers are in for a treat.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the first retail-available release and Sony will be bringing Open Season 3D and Monster House 3D in the months to come. I have to commend Sony for presenting a stunning visual experience that goes beyond what I had imagined in 3D. The presentation is impressive viewed in either 2D or 3D, but if you have the equipment, this one is a must! 10/10.

The Audio
English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio are the lossless options included, also included is a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the same included on the standard Blu-ray release, and while it can be impressive it’s not among the best animated high-def audio mixes. Everything about the track is clear and aggressive, but I felt surround use moments could have had a bigger impact.

Dialogue was front and center, like any animated release, it’s clear and crisp and always easy to understand. The film’s effects are mostly front heavy but do feature good direction, I just wish a bit more attention was paid to the surround speakers.

One specific moment was when Flint’s rocket invention goes flying through the sky, going left and right and upside down, but it didn’t feel like it was flying around the town as it was much more front heavy than I expected.

The film’s music did expand into the surround area nicely, and when effects were placed in the surround area it was very nice. The mix is very good, but I was hoping for a demo level audio track. 8.5/10.

The Extras

Open Season 3D Sneak Peek (1:09) (HD)

Monster House 3D Sneak Peek (1:29) (HD)

A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (10:51) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about the film and how they made the book into a film.

Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (12:39) (HD)
This feature is all about the voice talent involved in the film. The cast is fantastic in this film; see them talk about working on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Extended Scenes (2:36) (HD)
Two extended scenes are included and presented in high-definition.

Early Development Scenes (5:47) (HD)
Two early development scenes are included and presented in high-definition.

Progression Reels (8:10) (HD)
Five progression reels are included with introductions by Visual FX Supervisor Rob Bredow and presented in high-definition.

Miranda Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine” (SD)
“Raining Sunshine” Sing-A-Long
“Raining Sunshine” Music Video
Behind the Scenes of the Music Video

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures theatrical and Blu-ray releases.

Most of the extras from the previous Blu-ray release are included here. The following content however, has not been included: Audio Commentary, two interactive games, a ‘Fight Hunger’ ad, PSP Digital Copy and DVD copy.

The missing content is slightly annoying, but I bet most who will be buying Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D already have the standard edition Blu-ray. While I could excuse this if I found the disc was too full to include anything else, unfortunately that is not the case.

There was plenty of room to include the other extras, but they were not. I don’t care that the DVD or Digital Copy were not included; people aren’t buying the 3D version for any added value.

The audio commentary is the only actual extra that I felt should have been included but was not. Why it was not included? I have no idea, there was space but perhaps they want people to own both the 2D and 3D versions of the film separately? 6/10.

The Movie
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a film I had a chance to view theatrically and I was very surprised by the quality of the film to be honest. I went in with no idea what to expect as I had never read the book by Judi Barrett. While it wasn’t Pixar quality story-telling, it was close, and the film has so much heart.

The story is about Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader), a man who has been conducting experiments and inventions since he was a child. He lives in a small town called Swallow Falls, a town famous for their sardines and coming attraction Sardineland. Flint had been teased about his experiments and inventions since he was a child, but things have never gone so wrong when his latest invention destroys Sardineland.

The townspeople never really liked him, but that mishap was the final straw. Ashamed he goes to a dock near the ocean, where he runs into recently humiliated weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris). While talking on the dock, pink clouds begin to form in the sky and come closer and closer to the town.

One by one, condiments from a cheeseburger begin to hit the ground, soon after entire cheeseburgers. The townspeople go crazy as everyone tries to catch one of their own, later shocked to find out this all happened because of Flint Lockwood.

Flint’s life changes from that moment, becoming a local celebrity and making it rain food on a daily basis. When two many requests begin to be filled, Flint’s invention begins to form mutated food, things go wrong like he never expected and that’s where the action really begins.

I enjoyed every minute of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The film’s story is original and features quite a bit of depth and character development. The relationship between Flint and his father, weather girl Sam Sparks recognizing her true self, among many other things. It’s a cute story and one that is very funny and enjoyable for any member of your family.

The film is primarily aimed at kids, but I think the story does a good job at appealing to adults as well, those without children may find yourself enjoying this movie as well. The amount of little details in the film are easy to appreciate, overall Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a delightful and extremely satisfying film that most will love. 9/10.

The Blu-news Summary
The 3D Blu-ray release is great, featuring a stellar video presentation, good audio mix, and a satisfying selection of extras. Overall Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on Blu-ray 3D is ‘Highly Recommended.

Additional Screenshots: (From the Blu-ray 3D Disc)

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When In Rome Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 29.7 GB
Film Size: 21.0 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
The Video
When In Rome’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. First off, I have to say I am not a big fan of the film’s look. The film’s look is something we have seen with a few Blu-ray releases in the past in which many scenes feature a soft glow.

The soft glow isn’t a technical issue whatsoever; particularly in this case as no DNR or edge enhancement is present unlike some other transfers I had issues with. The image features a very pleasing if not impressive level of detail if you get past the slightly misty look of the movie.

Colors are quite great, certain moments looked a bit more pushed than I would have liked, but overall they compared to any new release on Blu-ray. Black levels remained solid throughout, generally nice and inky throughout.

Luckily I was also sent the DVD version of the film to compare with the Blu-ray release. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the DVD would feature the same soft glow throughout, but I wasn’t sure how big of an upgrade the Blu-ray would be or wouldn’t be.

Comparing the two versions it really was no competition. The less attractive scenes on the Blu-ray looked SO much worse on the Blu-ray. It really reminds me how big of an upgrade Blu-ray can provide. The DVD looks far less detailed and just looks sloppy when handling those scenes, clearly limited by the smaller encode.

The comparison really made me appreciate the Blu-ray release that much more. The film really isn’t going to look much better than it does on this Blu-ray release. The upgrades it provides are easy to appreciate and definitely help make this a much more enjoyable experience. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English for the Hearing Impaired, French and Spanish.

The audio on this release is about as good as one could expect. The film is a romantic comedy, with heavy focus on the comedy. Dialogue is priority here and is presented without a hitch. There wasn’t a moment that was difficult to understand or even felt slightly overpowered.

The film features some currently popular pop songs that are aggressive (in a good way) and make the mix a bit more exciting as a whole. The music moments also expand nicely into the surround area, helping create an immersive experience.

The film picks up in surround use especially towards the end as we experience a really bad thunderstorm in which the blasts wake up your surround speakers and create quite the unexpected surround-use moments.

The mix is definitely impressive as it works with the content and creates an experience that is more immersive than one would generally expect from a romantic comedy. I really can’t complain at all about the audio as it definitely was better than I anticipated as well as a notable improvement from Dolby Digital on the DVD version. 8/10.

The Extras

Alternate Opening and Ending (7:17) (HD)
Included are alternate versions of the opening and ending of the film, which are mediocre at best.

Crazy Casanovas: Mischief from the Set (12:28) (HD)
This feature serves as the behind-the-scenes look of the film, including cast and crew interviews.

Extended Pain with the Suitors (2:39) (HD)
This is an extended sequence where the Suitors turn the Guggenheim Museum into their own Pain Exhibit.

Kerplunk!: Bloopers From Rome (3:07) (HD)
This is your typical blooper reel.

Deleted Scenes (7:45) (HD)
Eight deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition.

“Starstrukk” Music Video by 30H!3 Featuring Katy Perry (3:45) (HD)

“Stupid Love Letter” Music Video by Friday Night Boys (3:01) (HD)

The extras on this release are decently entertaining, although everything generally is kind of bland to me. Perhaps others will enjoy it if they enjoyed the film more than I did. I do feel this release should have been a combo pack and should have included a DVD copy of the movie. This is one which I think does appeal more to younger and female audiences especially; I think it is a missed opportunity really. 5/10.

The Movie
‘When In Rome’ is one movie which wasn’t something I was particularly excited to see, but I do admit the theatrical trailer looked semi-entertaining with some quite funny moments. Unfortunately going into the film I realized that all the funny moments were crammed into the trailer, leaving very little left as far as laughs go.

The movie is a goofy romantic comedy and that is what they went for. It works in certain aspects, with a very outlandish and diverse cast, but it also had many moments in which the goofy was just stupid. The film stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, they work well together but ultimately I thought the duo lacked chemistry for a believable romance.

Kristen Bell is quite attractive and has generated quite a male fan-base (but not really for her TV/film work). I thought she was great in Veronica Mars, but I don’t think she was cut out for leads in films. I didn’t find her acting to be that impressive and made the movie feel like a TV sitcom episode rather than a feature film.

The story really starts when her character pulls out coins from a fountain, causing someone to fall in love with her with every coin. Unfortunately for her the worst of the worst begin to fight for her love and the wackiness really begin.

Conveniently, all the coins she pulled out of the fountain where coins that men threw in the fountain. The story would have likely been much more interesting or entertaining if it involved another woman fighting for her love as well, I mean wouldn’t the ratio of women throwing coins in a fountain outweigh the amount of men throwing coins into a fountain?

Overall I found ‘When In Rome’ to be rather bland. Yes there is some great moments in the movie, many moments that had me laughing, but almost all of it can be seen in the theatrical trailer. If you don’t have interest in seeing the film, I wouldn’t recommend adding it to your Netflix queue or purchase plans. Those who are interested in the film should go in with lower expectations to avoid disappointment. It isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t do anything to stick out among the average romantic comedy. 5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
I can’t say I was a big fan of ‘When In Rome,’ but you may like it more than I do. The Blu-ray release is good and becomes much more impressive when compared to the DVD version. Overall the Blu-ray release of ‘When In Rome’ is ‘Recommended To Fans Of The Film,' but to others I have to be honest and say it is a ‘Rental At Best.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Unthinkable Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 26.7 GB
Film Size: 20.0 GB
Film Rating: R/Unrated
Region: ABThe Video
Unthinkable comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation, presenting both the theatrical and extended versions of the film via seamless branching. The video presentation is quite impressive, featuring strong levels of detail like a new release can.

The movie also has a slightly gritty look to it with film grain present throughout. Colors are definitely on the warmer/darker side but they are quite impressive visually. The level of high-def pop is great and compares to any new release.

The presentation does feature a few softer scenes, but overall the look of the film was consistently sharp and visually impressive. The video quality looks to be true to the source and the transfer itself did not feature any technical issues.

Overall I’m quite impressed by the presentation as a whole. The video presentation is great and while it may not compare to the very best on Blu-ray, it definitely is a marked improvement over its DVD counterpart. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included and is actually the only audio option aside from audio commentary. Optional subtitles include English and English SDH.

The audio on this film is a bit more front heavy than I anticipated, but I also didn’t anticipate the film to be as dialogue-driven as it actually was. The surround use is present during the more intense scenes and does make its presence known.

Dialogue is front and center, always clear and easy to understand. The film’s mix is definitely a good one overall; there was nothing that really stood out to rave about. The audio mix does the job nicely and I think this is about as good as it could be considering the film itself. 8/10.

The Extras

Connect to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie. You must have a BD-Live connected Blu-ray player to use MovieIQ.

Audio Commentary
With Director Gregor Jordan.

Previews (HD)
High-def trailers for other upcoming Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases.

BD-Live Portal
Download the latest trailers for upcoming Sony Pictures theatrical and Blu-ray releases.

I definitely wish more features were included, maybe some deleted scenes or at least the theatrical trailer. Unfortunately the only real extra on the disc is the audio commentary, but some may consider including both versions of the film an extra. 3/10.

The Movie
Unthinkable is a film I honestly didn’t even hear about until the Blu-ray release was announced. However, once I learned about the film I definitely wanted to see it. I am a huge Samuel L. Jackson fan and enjoy almost all of his performances in film.

The movie gave me the impression of being an action-thriller, which is why I expected a more robust audio track prior to seeing the film. Once I saw the film itself though, my expectations changed completely. The movie isn’t very action-driven at all, but still has a great amount of thrills as the characters are down to the wire.

The film isn’t going to be memorable for many; I suspect many will go without seeing the film either as theatrical promotion had to have been quite weak. The story is good and the acting is great, but ultimately I didn’t feel the story did enough to say “That was an amazing film.”

The movie features some great aspects and for the most part I stayed very entertained. This is a film that will definitely get a mixed reception among viewers; some may feel it is something they would watch once and never again. Others may feel the opposite and find it to be much better than they expected.

I felt a little bit of both. The film is good and I definitely could see myself watching it again, but given the amount of new titles I am constantly watching…there isn’t very much that will want me coming back to ‘Unthinkable’ anytime soon. At the end of the day I would definitely recommend you watch the film at least once if it does interest you even at all. 7/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Unthinkable is a good film which unfortunately doesn’t do much to stay memorable. The video and audio presentations are great and definitely improve upon the standard DVD in every way. Overall I would say Unthinkable is worth your time, but I would say ‘Rent It First.

Additional Screenshots:

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Monsters vs. Aliens 3D Blu-ray Review

Film Rating: PG
Region: ABC
The Video
Monsters vs. Aliens is the first title available on Blu-ray 3D, exclusively in a Samsung 3D starter kit. The 3D Blu-ray release features both the 2D and 3D versions of the film with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations, and I’ll touch on both versions of the film.

The disc itself would not load on my computer for some reason, but the high-def encode of the 2D version of the film appears identical to that on the regular Blu-ray release. No surprise the film looks terrific, with the presentation leaping off the screen from beginning to end. Detail is top-notch and colors are absolutely beautiful.

Now to what matters, the 3D version of the film. The 3D version of the film is definitely impressive but is also not without its issues. You will notice that the 2D and 3D versions of the film feature different aspect ratios.

The 3D presentation of the film is quite impressive as a whole, particularly viewed at my home rather than a Best Buy demo (which I found less impressive, mostly due to the lighting and the thought of wearing glasses worn by possibly hundreds of people).

Detail levels are fantastic and colors stay surprisingly vibrant (I definitely expected them to be much darker than they are here, like theatrical 3D viewings). However, I did find myself annoyed by the ghosting present on the Blu-ray release.

The ghosting on the Blu-ray release is not a constant thing, but when it is present it definitely clear. I absolutely hate ghosting and it constantly bothered me with previous 3D formats, unfortunately I do think certain moments could have looked better had they taken the time to fix the ghosting issues.

While the ghosting was definitely a turn-off, I am still very impressed by the 3D quality of the presentation. The upgrade from previous 3D home video formats is amazing and you will instantly appreciate and love the difference.

Monsters vs. Aliens may have 3D video issues at times, but this is definitely a strong first effort from Paramount Home Entertainment. The presentation definitely could have been worse and the release will likely be free for anyone who purchases a Samsung 3D bundle. 8/10.

The Audio
While the regular Blu-ray release of Monsters vs. Aliens includes a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track, unfortunately that is not the case for the 3D Blu-ray release. The 3D disc actually includes the following 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Chinese and Portuguese. Optional subtitles include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Korean, Chinese and Portuguese.

This is extremely disappointing. Lossy audio? Paramount, this is Blu-ray and it is almost insulting to include outdated audio technology for something that takes quite the investment to get your hands on. I wish I could say I was impressed by the 5.1 Dolby Digital track, but I honestly am not.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track while certainly active, lacks that oomph that came with the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track on the regular Blu-ray release. While the 3D video presentation helps sooth the pain, this could have been a VERY immersive presentation if they did it right.

Unfortunately that is not the case. I am personally disappointed, but I don’t think everyone will be. I guess I just expected better for a new 3D technology. The upcoming Blu-ray release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs includes SEVERAL high-def audio tracks and both versions of the film; I don’t know why Paramount couldn’t make that happen too. 5/10.

The Extras

B.O.B.’s Big Break (13:20) (HD)
A Blu-ray 3D version of B.O.B’s Big Break is included, clearly an improvement from the anaglyph 3D version included on the regular Blu-ray release. In fact I actually found this short to be more impressive in 3D than I did the actual film, perhaps because the content was clearly made to pop out of the screen. Gimmicky I know, but it was neat.

How To Train Your Dragon 3D Trailer (2:22) (HD)

Shrek Forever After 3D Trailer (1:12) (HD)

Yes, that is all that is included on the 3D Blu-ray release. I believe there are a total of nine bonus features missing from the 3D Blu-ray release that are included on the regular Blu-ray release. Perhaps Paramount/Dreamworks have plans to re-release the Blu-ray release once their Samsung exclusivity deal is over? Maybe. 3/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Monsters vs. Aliens is definitely not going to be a favorite for everyone, but I did enjoy it very much. The characters were very unique and fun, and the story was generally solid. I certainly enjoyed it more than other previous Dreamwork releases. While the movie doesn’t compare to films from Pixar, there is definitely plenty of heart and fun to be had.

The 3D Blu-ray release is impressive in certain aspects and disappointing in other aspects. The video presentation of both the 2D and 3D versions of the film is impressive while the lossy audio included is extremely disappointing. The lack of bonus features only makes this release less enticing.

If you are going to buy a Samsung 3D television bundle than it is a nice addition, but I certainly wouldn’t buy a setup for this title alone as it could have been better in certain areas. Overall though, I would definitely say it is ‘A Nice Addition’ to those thinking about buying a Samsung 3D Starter Kit.

Additional Screenshots: (Screenshots from regular Blu-ray release)

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hung: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Disc 1 Size: 31.0 GB
Disc 2 Size: 36.0 GB
TV-Rating: TV-MA
Region: A
The Video
Hung: The Complete First Season comes to Blu-ray with 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentations for all 10 episodes across 2 Blu-ray discs. Being an HBO Blu-ray release, I didn’t expect anything less than to be impressed and Hung does not disappoint at all.

The video is quite grainy, so grain haters will likely be annoyed by this release. However, those who appreciate the natural look of the film and detail will be ecstatic like I was. The show features a very pleasing level of clarity and detail levels can be particularly amazing.

Colors on the release are also very strong and pleasing to the eye. Black levels while not the inkiest, remain solid throughout. There are some softer scenes throughout the presentation, but they appear naturally soft.

Overall I am very impressed by the video presentation. While it may not compare to the very best on Blu-ray (True Blood for example) it definitely appears to be true to the source and accurate to intention. I can’t say I was disappointed at all. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. A Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital Surround track and French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround track are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH, Spanish, French, Nederlands, Dansk, Suomi, Norsk and Svenska.

The show is definitely heavy on the comedy so I didn’t go in expecting a surround sound experience. The result? Not a surround sound experience. I can say that the audio experience is limited due to the show’s sound design, but that doesn’t mean it can’t impress.

Dialogue is presented front and center and is always crisp and clear. The film’s music also sounds nice as it expands to the surround speakers from time to time. Audio effects such as basketball games are bit more exciting audio-wise but that is about as good as it gets.

I wasn’t disappointed at all by the mix as it delivered everything it needed to in the most immersive way possible. The audio effects were nicely placed and there are some immersive moments throughout the season. Overall I don’t think anyone will find the audio disappointed if they go in with the right expectations. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

Audio Commentary on Episode 1 “Pilot”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin.

Audio Commentary on Episode 4 “The Pickle Jar” or “Twice As Fat”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin.

Disc 2:

Audio Commentary on Episode 8 “Thith Ith A Prothetic” or “You Cum Just Right”
With series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin and writer Brett C. Leonard.

About Hung (9:36) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes of production, including crew and cast interviews.

The Women of Hung (7:20) (HD)
This feature is all about the ladies in Hung. It mixes a nice amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.

Ray and Tanya’s Personal Ads (1:53) (HD)
See some fun personal ads promoting Happiness Consultants.

The extras on this release are definitely decent, but it does leave bit to be desired. I wish trivia tracks or picture-in-picture tracks were included for the episodes, but sadly that is not the case. The behind-the-scenes features are definitely entertaining, but for a television release I definitely expected a bit more. Overall the extras are good, but ultimately lacking. 4.5/10.

The Season
Hung is just one of the latest series from HBO and for the most part I liked it. The series stars Thomas Jane as high school basketball coach Ray Drecker. While he was once a hot shot in high school with a promising future, reality has caught up with him.

Separated from his wife and a father of two, things go from bad to worse when his house catches on fire….leaving him living in a tent and his children wanting to move in with their mother. Down on his luck and needing to make money, he attends some entrepreneur classes.

At the classes he runs into Tanya Skagle (played by Jane Adams) who we learn he knew before, including working together and having occasionally sex together. They are both told to find their tool and market it, it doesn’t take long for Ray to realize that his friend downstairs could be his tool to success.

Tanya wants in on his plans and quickly makes herself his pimp, finding potential clients and setting up appointments with newly male prostitute Ray Drecker. This is where the story really starts and to be honest, not much happens throughout the season, but it is still quite an entertaining comedy.

I think the cast is quite great, but I do have a few complaints which many have had as well. Ray’s kids are just so incredibly hideous that it makes no sense how they can actually be the children of two decent looking adults. I’ve read some viewers thoughts in which they think it was an intentional joke of the show, which I can see why it would make sense. Regardless, those kids are UGLY, Lawwwwd have mercy!

The series while on a totally different subject than Nurse Jackie was quite similar to the show in which the show does progress, but quite slowly. The show is a comedy after-all, but unlike Nurse Jackie the show doesn’t leave you wanting to watch the next episode directly after one ends.

The show isn’t what I would call boring, it just isn’t gripping. For those looking for a fun and fairly entertaining series, you can’t go wrong with Hung. I don’t know of another comedy that is about male prostitution, so it is unique in that aspect. However, I do admit that there are definitely better comedies out there and on Blu-ray as well.

Overall I definitely enjoyed the first season of Hung. Hopefully the second season develops a bit more story-wise and hopefully adds a bit more drama than that of the first season. The show’s humor is quite great and the season was definitely enjoyable compared to most of the garbage on television today. I would definitely say it is worth watching if the show interests you even at all, but I would be lying if I said it is one of the better comedies on television. 7.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Hung is an entertaining comedy with a good Blu-ray release. The video and audio presentations get the job done and extras are pleasing, overall this release is ‘Recommended’ if you can get a good price on it.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Remember Me Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 31.7 GB
Film Size: 28.2 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
The Video
Remember Me comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. As expected, the film does look good in high-definition. The level of detail varies from scene to scene, many coming across much softer than others.

The film has a great level of clarity; there is no way the high-def release could be confused with DVD. Certain moments feature a very impressive level of detail; other scenes come off slightly waxy looking. Don’t worry though; this is not a case of Edge Enhancement or DNR, just on the softer side/slightly out of focus.

Colors on the release are pleasing to the eye; its intensity varies by the lighting in the scene. Remember Me doesn’t appear to have any serious issues worth mentioning. The presentation doesn’t compare to the best available on Blu-ray, but I can’t blame the transfer as everything appears to be true to the source. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless mix included. A Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track and two audio commentary tracks are also included. Optional subtitles include English SDH and Spanish.

The movie is extremely dialogue focused and the mix presents it accurately. Dialogue is presented front and center but is always crisp and easy to understand. The film’s surround moments are quite constant, but very much on the light side.

We have effects thrown in which help create a little busy city environment, although we have seen more immersive uses in other Blu-ray releases. The film’s music is beautiful and does extend to the surround area of your home theater setup from time to time.

Overall this is a respectable mix which presents everything that needed to be presented as clear as can be. The mix worked with the content the film provides and I was not disappointed in the least. The mix is about as good as it will get for the film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 7.5/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Director Allen Coulter.

Audio Commentary
With Cast.

The Making of “Remember Me” (14:32) (HD)
This is a great behind-the-scenes look of the film which features plenty of cast/crew interviews and on-set footage. This is a very entertaining and informative feature.

There are very few features included, but I loved what was included. The audio commentaries are surprisingly informative from what I sampled and look forward to watching both in whole on another viewing. The featurette included is both informative and entertaining, included in high-definition.

It would have been nice if a DVD copy were included with a film like this, but not a big loss. Overall I do wish more was included, but I find myself perfectly satisfied by the high quality extras included. 4.5/10.

The Movie
Remember Me is a film which definitely looked interesting, but I was a bit apprehensive to see it theatrically as I found Robert Pattinson to be quite the dull actor with his role as Edward in the Twilight film series.

While I did not see the film theatrically, the movie quickly made news on entertainment sites all over the internet. If you have not heard about the film’s ending, I recommend you avoid even typing ‘Remember Me’ into Google and just wait to watch the movie before reading about the film.

I will not be spoiling the film for those who have yet to see it, but I can say that despite knowing the ending I still enjoyed the film very much. The film stars Robert Pattinson (Twilight) and Emilie De Ravin (Lost). There is also an impressive supporting cast which includes Chris Cooper, Lena Olin and Pierce Brosnan.

The film starts off with Ally (Emilie De Ravin) as a little girl, preparing to board the subway with her mother before things go from creepy to heartbreaking. The film then fast forwards many years from the incident and we are introduced to New York college student Tyler (Robert Pattinson). They both have their problems with themselves and their families and quickly form an unexpected connection.

The film is a love story, but it is not a chick flick. The film is also a drama which I’m sure many with divorce or death in their family can relate to in big or small aspects. The film is unexpectedly good; I truly did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

The film’s ending was very satisfying and brings a great message of treasuring every day you have to live and keeping your relationships with your family strong. The movie features impressive acting from the entire cast, particularly Robert Pattinson who I never thought I would call a good actor.

If you plan to see the film, I recommend you buy or rent it upon release and avoid reading up about the film. Like I said, the movie can still be enjoyed (like I did) with knowing the ending, but I think it would be even better not knowing the first time. The ending isn’t entirely difficult to guess even from reading the synopsis on the back of the case, but if you can go in without spoilers it would be even better. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Remember Me is a surprisingly good film with a good video and audio presentation. There are not many extras on this release, but they certainly are enjoyable and above average in quality. Overall Remember Me on Blu-ray is ‘Recommended.

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