Monday, May 23, 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: May 24th, 2011
Film Rating: G
Region: ABC
The Video
'Gnomeo & Juliet' comes to Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation, and Blu-ray 2D with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Both high-def versions of the film are included on separate discs in this 3-disc combo pack.

The Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D releases feature a sharp video presentation that makes for some pretty nice demo material. The film certainly doesn’t look like a Pixar film, but I was still quite impressed by the high quality of the presentation.

Colors are very appealing, rich and vibrant at all times. Black levels are solid and inky throughout. The improvement from DVD is obvious, at least compared to the DVD copy included in the combo pack. Overall clarity is a huge improvement.

The Blu-ray 3D release takes things up a notch, the visually eye popping film manages to make good use of the 3D effects throughout. The film’s depth looks incredible at times. I was especially impressed by the little details and pop that comes from the environments, such as blades of grass which pop like never before in 3D.

There are a decent amount of pop-out effects for those who enjoy them, but everything is quite subtle as a whole. Ghosting was never an issue in my experience, but I have seen a few reviewer friends say there was some light use; I didn’t have an issue however. I do find the film far more enjoyable in 3D, it certainly benefits nicely and anyone with a 3D setup looking for more material will definitely enjoy this one. 10/10

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is the lossless option included on both the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray discs. Also included is Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH and Spanish.

The audio mix included isn’t the most impressive 7.1 mix we have heard, but it certainly makes use of the additional speakers nicely. The effect when a lawnmower goes spinning in the air is quite neat, as the sound travels throughout your home theater with perfect direction.

Clarity is always clear as can be, bringing the audio clarity that comes best with studio-recorded dialogue. The film’s music comes through clearly as well, featuring a soundtrack by Sir Elton John, and special guests Lady Gaga and Nelly Furtado on new/updated songs.

Overall the 7.1 mix is very good, but we have heard better before. I think viewers will be very pleased, if not impressed. The soundtrack certainly adds to the experience, and I think the mix handles the content as well as it can. 9/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray 3D):


No features are included on the Blu-ray 3D disc.

Disc 2 (Blu-ray Disc):

Elton Builds A Garden (5:47) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes with Elton John; you get a quick look at different levels of production of the film. This feature is short, but quite fun and informative for the run-time.

Alternate Endings (4:06) (HD)
With Filmmaker introductions.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (42:26) (HD)
With Filmmaker introductions.

Frog Talk With Ashley Jensen (1:46) (HD)
Ashley Jensen plays the frog, go behind-the-scenes with her crazy recording.

The Fawn of Darkness (1:29) (HD)
Go behind-the-scenes with Ozzy Osbourne recording dialogue for his character in the film.

Crocodile Rock Music Video (1:32) (HD)
Nelly Furtado (Featuring Elton John)

Disc 3 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media devices.

There are not too many extras included on this release, but I did enjoy what was included. I was hoping some 3D features would be included, but unfortunately that is not the case. The DVD and Digital Copy are nice additions, making this the obvious choice for anyone on the fence as to which format to pick up, you get them all! 7/10

The 3D Movie
Gnomeo & Juliet’ is a cute, but average film. Released under the Touchstone brand, it was obvious Disney didn’t want to be remembered for this film. Despite that, I went into the film with no real expectations, good or bad.

I was certainly excited to view the film in 3D, as I did not see it theatrically. Right from the beginning I was impressed by the 3D effects in the film, it was certainly a nice balance between impressive depth and the occasional pop-out effect for those who enjoy that more.

The film is certainly not geared to be a classic anytime soon, but I found it to be quite funny. The humor is certainly dumb at times, but it surprisingly works. The story pays nice tribute to William Shakespeare, despite taking quite a different turn from the Romeo & Juliet we all know.

Overall I found the film to be average, but it isn’t too bad, I actually enjoyed it much more in 3D. There is a bit of adult humor which will fly over kids’ heads, so I think adults will find it a bit more tolerable if you don’t typically enjoy animated films. Overall I liked it, but the 3D use plays a big part in my enjoyment of the film. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
Gnomeo & Juliet’ is a cute film, which is better in 3D. The Blu-ray release features an impressive video and audio presentation. The extras included are also very enjoyable. Overall this Blu-ray release is easily ‘Recommended.

Additional Images:

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Straight Talk Blu-ray Review

Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Disc Size: 18.0 GB
Film Size: 17.4 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A
The Video
Straight Talk’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. This is another licensed release from Mill Creek Entertainment. After reviewing their Blu-ray release for ‘Big Business,’ I felt quite confident going into this release that the presentation would be nice.

The film looks quite good in high-definition. The clarity and improvement is obvious, there is definitely no confusing it for standard-definition. Even weaker looking moments still feature a notable level in improvement.

Colors are pleasing and black levels remain solid throughout. Detail isn’t always the sharpest, but it is definitely easy to appreciate in the majority of the scenes. The film isn’t visually stunning, but it certainly doesn’t look bad either.

Overall I think this is a respectable transfer that will at least please fans of the film. I’ve never seen the film look better, so I don’t know how much better it could look than this. Overall I think Mill Creek did a good job with the transfer, with no serious issues to report. 6.5/10

The Audio
An English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included. The packaging lists the release with English 2.0 Dolby Digital audio, but rest assured that it was simply a mistake. Like with other titles in the Mill Creek wave, no subtitle options are included.

While 2.0 audio isn’t exactly something to get excited about, I am very appreciative that Mill Creek managed to include a high-def audio track. The film relies very little on surround sound effects, so I wasn’t too upset when a 5.1 mix was not included.

Dialogue is of highest priority in the film and sounds quite clear throughout. The film’s music also has some nice clarity throughout. Audio effects from the film manage to satisfy, though nothing special. Overall this is a very solid mix, which I don’t think could sound much better. 6/10

The Extras

No extras are included. 0/10

The Movie
‘Straight Talk’ is one film I didn’t expect to see on Blu-ray for many years, but thanks to Mill Creek the film gets an earlier than expected high-def debut. The romantic comedy film starring Dolly Parton has always had a positive response and following throughout the years.

I have always found the film to be a harmless comedy. Dolly Parton is always likable, and I think she does a particularly great job in comedy films. The story is wacky and fun, which is what I enjoyed most about the film.The country girl who suddenly becomes the city’s biggest radio personality makes for a more unique story, mixed with a predictable but fitting love story. The film certainly has cheesy moments, but I do think the film holds up quite well for a film just about to celebrate its 20th anniversary since original release.

The film is a lot of fun, although it doesn’t rank among the best comedies from the early 90’s. If you find yourself to be a fan of the typical romantic comedy, I think you will find great entertainment from Dolly Parton in ‘Straight Talk.’ 6.5/10

The Blu-news Summary
Straight Talk’ earns a solid Blu-ray release from Mill Creek Entertainment. The video and audio presentations are certainly satisfying, and at times impressive. Overall this Blu-ray release is ‘Worth A Look’ to any fan of the film. The pricing on the release is fantastic.

Additional Images:

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Tron/Tron Legacy: 2-Movie Collection 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Film Ratings: PG
Region: ABC
The Video
Tron: The Original Classic' debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The unique look of the film looks interesting in high-definition, certainly dated, but expected considering the lack of technology we have now.

The video presentation for the original classic was actually better than I anticipated. The upgrade in clarity is obvious from the very beginning. Detail is also quite strong, and the presentation is very clean. The special effects are dated as mentioned, but it is the best they will look. I’m very pleased and was often impressed by the issue-free transfer.

Tron: Legacy’ debuts on Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation, as well as a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation for the 2D version of the film.

The 2D and 3D version feature the same impressive level of detail, in one of the best looking films to hit Blu-ray in 2011. The film is extremely heavy on special effects, but it all looks fantastic. The 2D and 3D presentations both feature shifting aspect ratios, which is particularly welcome on the 3D release.

The detail is fantastic, clarity is excellent and if you pop in the DVD included you will find the upgrade to be even more worth it. Colors are rich and vibrant throughout; black levels are always deep and inky as well.

The 3D presentation features a very neat level of depth, but isn’t particularly heavy on pop for those expecting it. Many scenes appear as if you were looking through an open window and could jump in at any time, it is a cool effect that certainly adds to the experience as a whole.

‘Tron’ looks fantastic, especially when you consider the film’s age. The sequel fares even better, but of course it would, being a new release film. Overall I found both films to look truly fantastic, certainly the best anyone could expect them to look. 10/10

The Audio
Tron: The Original Classic’ includes an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track as the lossless option. Also included are French, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The mix for the original film sounds great. Dialogue is of most importance, and for the most part it packs quite the punch with excellent clarity. The film’s special effects are nicely placed in the surround speakers, certainly helping create a very immersive experience.

Tron: Legacy’ includes an English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track as the lossless option on both the Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray disc. Also included is an English 2.0 Dolby Digital track, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Descriptive Video Service track, as well as French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French and Spanish.

The 7.1 mix found on both versions of ‘Tron: Legacy’ steals the show though, which many may consider to be the best audio mix on Blu-ray this year, at least so far. The soundtrack is loud and aggressive, just like the film should be.

While it is loud and aggressive, clarity is always excellent as well. Dialogue is easy to understand, the film’s audio effects are very immersive. The film’s score of course is excellent, making for one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. 10/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Tron: Legacy) (Blu-ray 3D) (46.5 GB):


Cars 2 Trailer (3D HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in 3D HD.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer (3D HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in 3D HD.

Disc 2 (Tron: Legacy) (Blu-ray) (40.1 GB):

The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed (HD)
Watch a neat featurette that connects the two films even more. This is a very fun feature that fans of the film will especially enjoy.

Play Movie with Second Screen (HD)
View the film with exclusive features via your iPad or laptop.

What Is Disney Second Screen? (0:41) (HD)
Learn about everything necessary for the Disney Second Screen feature.

First Look at Tron: Uprising (1:16) (HD)
The Disney XD Animated Series.

Launching the Legacy (10:21) (HD)
The production crew talks about how Tron: Legacy came to happen. This is a very entertaining and informative feature that I think is a must see.

Visualizing Tron (11:47) (HD)
The production crew talks about the look of Tron: Legacy and the benefits received from advancements in special effects technology.

Installing the Cast (12:05) (HD)
This feature provides a nice level of behind-the-scenes footage. We see Jeff Bridges return for the sequel, and are introduced to the new cast members.

Disc Roars (3:00) (HD)
Director Joseph Kosinski talks about including Comic-Con audience members into the film.

Music Video (2:58) (HD)
Daft Punk – “Derezzed”

Discover Blu-ray 3D With Timon & Pumbaa (4:24) (HD)
A 2D trailer is included, for those who want to learn more about Blu-ray 3D.

Digital Copy Tutorial (1:04) (HD)
Learn how to take your favorite movies on the go.

Disc 3 (Tron: The Original Classic) (Blu-ray) (37.6 GB):

The Tron Phenomenon (9:46) (HD)
The new cast/crew, as well as some original cast/crew talks about their memories of the original Tron film, as well as the effect it had on pop culture.

Photo Tronology (16:38) (HD)
Director Steven Lisberger and his son revisit the Disney archives.

Audio Commentary
With Director Steven Lisberger, Producer Donald Kushner, Associate Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor.

Original DVD Features (SD)
  • Development
  • Digital Imagery
  • The Making of Tron
  • Music
  • Publicity
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Design
  • Storyboarding
  • Galleries
Disc 4 (Tron: Legacy) (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

Disc 5 (Tron: Legacy) (DVD):

Digital Copy version of the film

The extras included are fantastic. I especially loved the behind-the-scenes footage included for the sequel. It is just very neat to see how the scenes were filmed and how they look after special effects are added. The DVD and Digital Copy additions are also welcome.

The extras included for the original ‘Tron’ are also great. We get some new bonus features, which was a welcome surprise. As expected, all DVD features are ported over in standard-definition. The new features are certainly worth watching for anyone who loves the original. 10/10

The Movies
I certainly welcome ‘Tron’ to Blu-ray with open arms, a film that likely would not hit the format for a few years had it not been for the newly produced sequel ‘Tron: Legacy.’ I have always had great respect for ‘Tron,’ the special effects may not be very impressive now, but they were certainly quite the accomplishment for its time.

The film is heavy on special effects, but it also provides an excellent and unique story that won the hearts of many viewers throughout the years. The characters are not particularly memorable, but Jeff Bridges does an excellent job as the film’s lead.

The film certainly feels dated, but it was futuristic for its time. I personally found the film to still be very entertaining, but I do think younger audiences now will not embrace the film like they will ‘Tron: Legacy’ simply on look alone, which is a shame.Tron: Legacy’ is an excellent follow-up to the original. I didn’t expect to enjoy the film as much as I did, especially since I was turned off from the first theatrical trailer releases. I kept my expectations low, and perhaps that is why I enjoyed it as much as I did.

The story takes place many years after the original, with a brand new cast as well, with Jeff Bridges reprising his role from the original. The film is also heavy on special effects, but it looks fantastic and only helps bring you into the experience even more.

The 3D scenes in the film certainly add a cool factor to an already great experience, and for that alone I do find the 3D version to be a heavy preference between both versions of the film. There are 2D scenes throughout the 3D presentation, but nothing to complain about.

The story provides a far better follow-up than I could have expected. I found the characters to be a lot more memorable than the first, and I do think many may find the sequel to be the better film, but that is debatable.

Overall I was very impressed by the film, which looks even better in 3D. Regardless of viewing format however, you will find great entertainment from the film, particularly if you are a fan of the original. You don’t have to be familiar with the original to enjoy it, but the connections and back-story certainly add to the experience. 9/10

The Blu-news Summary
Tron’ and ‘Tron: Legacy’ are both very enjoyable films with excellent Blu-ray presentations. The video presentation is excellent, and the audio mix on ‘Tron: Legacy’ has become my new choice for audio demo material. The extras included are informative and entertaining. Overall this Blu-ray release is 'A Must Own’ to any fan of the films and ‘Highly Recommended’ to those new to them.

Additional Images:

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!

Tron: Legacy 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Film Ratings: PG
Region: ABC
The Video
Tron: Legacy’ debuts on Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation, as well as a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation for the 2D version of the film.

The 2D and 3D version feature the same impressive level of detail, in one of the best looking films to hit Blu-ray in 2011. The film is extremely heavy on special effects, but it all looks fantastic. The 2D and 3D presentations both feature shifting aspect ratios, which is particularly welcome on the 3D release.

The detail is fantastic, clarity is excellent and if you pop in the DVD included you will find the upgrade to be even more worth it. Colors are rich and vibrant throughout; black levels are always deep and inky as well.

The 3D presentation features a very neat level of depth, but isn’t particularly heavy on pop for those expecting it. Many scenes appear as if you were looking through an open window and could jump in at any time, it is a cool effect that certainly adds to the experience as a whole. 10/10

The Audio
Tron: Legacy’ includes an English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track as the lossless option on both the Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray disc. Also included is an English 2.0 Dolby Digital track, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Descriptive Video Service track, as well as French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French and Spanish.

The 7.1 mix found on both versions of ‘Tron: Legacy’ steals the show though, which many may consider to be the best audio mix on Blu-ray this year, at least so far. The soundtrack is loud and aggressive, just like the film should be.

While it is loud and aggressive, clarity is always excellent as well. Dialogue is easy to understand, the film’s audio effects are very immersive. The film’s score of course is excellent, making for one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. 10/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Tron: Legacy) (Blu-ray 3D) (46.5 GB):

Cars 2 Trailer (3D HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in 3D HD.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Trailer (3D HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in 3D HD.

Disc 2 (Tron: Legacy) (Blu-ray) (40.1 GB):

The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed (HD)
Watch a neat featurette that connects the two films even more. This is a very fun feature that fans of the film will especially enjoy.

Play Movie with Second Screen (HD)
View the film with exclusive features via your iPad or laptop.

What Is Disney Second Screen? (0:41) (HD)
Learn about everything necessary for the Disney Second Screen feature.

First Look at Tron: Uprising (1:16) (HD)
The Disney XD Animated Series.

Launching the Legacy (10:21) (HD)
The production crew talks about how Tron: Legacy came to happen. This is a very entertaining and informative feature that I think is a must see.

Visualizing Tron (11:47) (HD)
The production crew talks about the look of Tron: Legacy and the benefits received from advancements in special effects technology.

Installing the Cast (12:05) (HD)
This feature provides a nice level of behind-the-scenes footage. We see Jeff Bridges return for the sequel, and are introduced to the new cast members.

Disc Roars (3:00) (HD)
Director Joseph Kosinski talks about including Comic-Con audience members into the film.

Music Video (2:58) (HD)
Daft Punk – “Derezzed”

Discover Blu-ray 3D With Timon & Pumbaa (4:24) (HD)
A 2D trailer is included, for those who want to learn more about Blu-ray 3D.

Digital Copy Tutorial (1:04) (HD)
Learn how to take your favorite movies on the go.

Disc 3 (Tron: Legacy) (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

Disc 4 (Tron: Legacy) (DVD):

Digital Copy version of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

The extras included are fantastic. I especially loved the behind-the-scenes footage included for the sequel. It is just very neat to see how the scenes were filmed and how they look after special effects are added. The DVD and Digital Copy additions are also welcome. 9/10

The 3D Movie
Tron: Legacy’ is an excellent follow-up to the original. I didn’t expect to enjoy the film as much as I did, especially since I was turned off from the first theatrical trailer releases. I kept my expectations low, and perhaps that is why I enjoyed it as much as I did.

The story takes place many years after the original, with a brand new cast as well, with Jeff Bridges reprising his role from the original. The film is also heavy on special effects, but it looks fantastic and only helps bring you into the experience even more.

The 3D scenes in the film certainly add a cool factor to an already great experience, and for that alone I do find the 3D version to be a heavy preference between both versions of the film. There are 2D scenes throughout the 3D presentation, but nothing to complain about.The story provides a far better follow-up than I could have expected. I found the characters to be a lot more memorable than the first, and I do think many may find the sequel to be the better film, but that is debatable.

Overall I was very impressed by the film, which looks even better in 3D. Regardless of viewing format however, you will find great entertainment from the film, particularly if you are a fan of the original. You don’t have to be familiar with the original to enjoy it, but the connections and back-story certainly add to the experience. 9/10

The Blu-news Summary
Tron: Legacy’ is very enjoyable films with excellent 3D & 2D Blu-ray presentations. The video presentation is excellent, and the audio mix on has become my new choice for demo material. The extras included are informative and entertaining. Overall this Blu-ray release is 'A Must Own’ to any fan of the film and ‘Highly Recommended’ to those new to the film.

To Order From Amazon.com, Click Here!