Saturday, July 17, 2010

Charlie's Angels Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 31.1 GB
Film Size: 26.6 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABC
The Video
Charlie’s Angels comes to Blu-ray 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film is now ten years old so I went in with average expectations, I figured some scenes would look very dated and others could look quite good. The actual presentation shocked me, it is stunning and this is just another title that quickly reminds you why Blu-ray is worth the extra investment over DVD.

The Blu-ray release of Charlie’s Angels is beautiful and features so many jaw-dropping moments for a catalog title. The level of detail can be amazing; many scenes look as if they were filmed just yesterday. Colors have always been intentionally pushed and look stunning on Blu-ray; everything has a nice level of pop and leaps off the screen.

Black levels stay inky throughout and are particularly impressive for a catalog release; they definitely could have left much more to be desired as seen with many catalog releases. Charlie’s Angels truly is a perfect title to showcase the format, the source material lends itself well to high-definition.

I am truly amazed by the high-def video presentation. The film has received a video presentation which is true to the source and left untouched, creating a very impressive visual experience. Charlie’s Angels is definitely one of the best looking catalog titles I have seen on the format lately or ever for that matter.

The film looks fantastic in every way and I could not be more pleased. The majority of the film looks like it was just filmed yesterday and for a catalog release it doesn’t get much better than it does here. Taking into consideration that the film is now ten years old, I really could not be more impressed. 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 tracks included. Also included is a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

While I wish I could say the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio compares to the video presentation, I cannot. The audio while very good overall, does lack some key elements of the very best lossless audio tracks.

Dialogue is not an issue on this release, it is always easy to understand and very clear. There are some slight moments were dialogue was slightly overpowered by the film’s surround mix, but this was just a very small issue. Dialogue never featured any cracking, etc.

The film’s surround use is good; we definitely get some nice direction throughout, particularly during the fight sequences of the movie. The film’s music expands nicely to the rear speakers; audio effects also do the same quite often.

My issue is that the track lacked the ‘oomph’ that comes with the best tracks. The action sequences while exciting could have used a bit more intensity and clarity. The explosions in the film were fine, they aren’t anything to get excited about here, but they definitely sounded good.

The gunshots however are a different story. I was so hoping the shooting sequences would provide for demo-worthy material, but that is not the case here. The gunshot effects really lacked clarity and really made the film sound dated (which it is). The gunshots during certain sequences were much to front-heavy for my taste; I just wish the audio effect traveled during certain moments to the rear speakers.

The film’s music on the other hand sounds very good. The movie has a wide selection of popular songs throughout which did sound much better than I anticipated. They were loud, clear and made many scenes come alive.

Charlie’s Angels definitely features a very good audio mix, I just wish certain moments came alive more than they actually did. Don’t get me wrong, the audio track has plenty to love about it through. The mix is definitely exciting as a whole and there are many moments which enhance the experience. 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 McG and Cinematographer Russell Carpenter.

Deleted Scenes (4:43) (SD)
Three deleted scenes are included and are presented in standard-definition.

Outtakes & Bloopers (2:39) (SD)
This is a fun selection of outtakes and bloopers, worth watching if you liked the movie.

Getting G’D Up (6:33) (SD)
This featurette is all about Director McG and the energy he brings to the film and set.

The Master and the Angels (7:25) (SD)
Yeun Cheung-yan worked as the fight choreographer for the film; learn about his work on the film and what all three Angels were made to do for training.

Welcome to Angel World (4:48) (HD)
The crew talks about the world in which the Angels live in, the cartoon-look they went for and recreating the look of the television show.

Angelic Attire: Dressing Cameron, Drew and Lucy (3:26) (SD)
This is a feature all about the creative wardrobes of each Angel.

Angelic Effects (6:46) (SD)
The film is heavy on special effects; see how a few of the special effects were done.

Wired Angels (2:35) (SD)
Director McG talks about filming the alley scene, showing footage of the ladies with the wires and after the wires are edited out of the scene. The Blu-ray presentation is so strong, you can actually see a wire in the movie itself during a Cameron Diaz scene towards the end.

Destiny’s Child - “Independent Women Part 1” Music Video (4:07) (SD)

Apollo Four Forty – “Charlie’s Angels 2000” Music Video (4:14) (SD)

Previews (HD)
Trailers for ‘Stomp the Yard: Homecoming,’ ‘The Back-Up Plan,’ ‘Beastly,’ ‘The Runaways,’ and ‘Damages’ are included.

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

The extras on this release are all DVD ports, aside from MovieIQ, previews and BD-Live. I wish new features were produced for the Blu-ray release as well, but this isn’t technically an ‘anniversary’ release to demand new features. Overall I thought the extras were informative and many were quite fun. 7.5/10.

The Movie
When Charlie’s Angels was announced for Blu-ray release, I’ll admit, I was excited. I know I don’t speak for myself alone when I say this movie is one seriously guilty pleasure. I am not really a fan of the original Charlie’s Angel series, but I am of this film.

The movie stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the Angels. I know not everyone loved the casting choices, but I personally think they are perfect together. I think all three women are beautiful, all in their own ways. Cameron is cute and quirky, Drew is fun and spunky and Lucy Liu is just so incredibly sexy.

This action-comedy features a great balance of laughs and action. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously; it is intentionally cheesy and intentionally wacky. There are certain moments which are just so random, but I love the dumb humor.

I would definitely say the movie is one which you should leave your brain at the door, but it also isn’t terrible like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I know many will not agree with my opinion of the movie, but I have no problem admitting that I find the movie entertaining.

If you didn’t like the movie when it first released, watching it again will not change your mind. Those who have never seen the movie, I definitely say give it a chance; you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. The movie isn’t smart whatsoever, but entertainment value alone makes this one score higher in my book. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Charlie’s Angels is a fun movie with a great Blu-ray release. The video presentation is stunning and the audio experience is definitely good. There are a nice amount of extras to go through as well. Overall Charlie’s Angels on Blu-ray is ‘A Must Own’ for fans and ‘Recommended’ to all others.

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