Tag Archives: Blu-Ray

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Michelle says Maybe to Yes Man!

Yes Man Blu-ray

Yes, yes, yes! I missed Yes Man when it came out in the theaters, wanted to see it but never got around to it. It came out on the old Blu-ray a few weeks ago and I finally got a chance to watch it this weekend. Jim Carrey is great in this as the guy who always says no to everything until he meets Terrence Bundley a motivational speaker who is pushing the concept that you have to say "Yes" to everything in order to get something in return. It’s basically a karma thing and of course in the beginning Carl Allen is leery until a series of strange events leads him to a chance encounter with Allison (Zooey Deschanel) who turns out to be his dream girl. Why don’t we see more of Zooey? She’s awesome, unique, plays real down to earth quirky characters. The sad thing is, I live my life like Carl Allen did before he discovered the power Yes. I stay home all the time, make excuses not to go out and seeing a film like this makes me think, "hey, maybe I should start saying "Yes" more." Yes Man isn’t a laugh out loud movie, but it does make you feel good.

Picture, Menu and Audio Quality

It’s Blu-ray so the picture quality is excellent, but it’s not eye-popping or a "showcase" title. It would probably look just as good on a standard or up-scalled DVD. It’s a full 1080P transfer. But there’s nothing in the cinematography that makes you go "Wow, this is amazing!" The navigation follows the standard Warner Brother’s template – which frankly, I don’t like. It’s a regular menu bar when you click the special features button you get this big screen of blocky, crunched up text. And normally on WB menus the text colors also make it hard to read. It’s a little cleaner here.

Continue reading BLU-RAY REVIEW: Michelle says Maybe to Yes Man!

BLU-RAY Announcements: Plenty of Trek Blu-ray coming and Box Art Revealed!

Since the movie is coming out in a few weeks it was inevitable that we’ll finally get some Trek on the good old Blu-ray. And some regular DVD double dips – more on this in the next post.  On May 12th, Paramount Home Entertainment will release the STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE COLLECTION & TRILOGY on Blu-ray! The STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY is also available on DVD! Get ready to blast off and make sure you grab your copy of STAR TREK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE COLLECTION & TRILOGY as it arrives on Blu-ray May 12th!  The collection is looking pretty darn sweet!  Here’s the full press release, complete with all of the bonus features.

 

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Continue reading BLU-RAY Announcements: Plenty of Trek Blu-ray coming and Box Art Revealed!

BLU-RAY NEWS: The Spirit Is Out Today

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While I get settled into my Florida routine I’m not able to give you the in-depth Blu-ray review that you’ve come to expect. The fine folks at Lions Gate sent me a copy, unfortunately it’s sitting at my DC Home, but I do have it in my Netflix Que and should get it in a couple of days. In the meantime here’s the official press release, look for my review in a few days.

The Spirit Blu-ray Disc and 2-disc Special Edition DVD contain thrilling bonus materials including multiple featurettes, an alternate storyboard ending with cast voiceovers and feature film audio commentary by the screenwriter/director and producer. They both also feature a standard definition digital copy of the film. The Blu-ray Disc will contain an additional featurette not found on the DVD. The Spirit Blu-ray also marks the debut of the first LIONSGATE LIVE™ enabled title for the studio. LIONSGATE LIVE™ is a unique BD Live based menu system that delivers updateable exclusive content such as commentaries, games, ringtones, wallpapers, trailers and much more via a series of on-screen notifications and widgets. In addition, LIONSGATE LIVE™ will continually notify users to any new features across all Lionsgate BD Live titles. LIONSGATE LIVE™ will be available on select theatrical titles throughout 2009. The Blu-ray Disc also features Molog, which allows users to insert and animate shapes, text, audio and other graphics right into the film as well as post “blogs” about the film to share with other registered MOLOG™ users. The standard one-disc DVD of The Spirit will include a Widescreen and Full Screen version of the film and the theatrical trailer.

  • “Green World” featurette – a look at the technical wizardry behind the making of the film
  • “Miller on Miller” featurette – a look at the artistry of Frank Miller
  • “History Repeats” featurette – an in-depth look at the origin of The Spirit as well as Will Eisner’s influence and vision in the comic book world.
  • Alternate storyboard ending with voiceovers by Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Macht
  • Audio commentary by Frank Miller and Deborah Del Prete
  • MoLog™ – Movie Blog network connected community and interactive movie blog tool set
  • LIONSGATE LIVE™ enabled
  • Theatrical trailer

BLU-RAY NEWS: Paramount Announces Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Saturday Night Fever and Grease!

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How’s this for a Blu-Ray release Trifecta Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Saturday Night Fever and Grease from the fine folks at Paramount Home Video.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Synopsis:

High-schooler Ferris Bueller (Mathew Broderick), his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara), and his best bud Cameron (Alan Ruck) are off on the spontaneous romp through Chicago known as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. You’ll also enjoy righteous bonus materials that give you an insider’s peek at this hilarious comedy hit from John Hughes (Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Sixteen Candles). So, barf up a lung, forge a “sick note” from the parents, and tag along on the funniest adventure to ever sweep through the Windy City. What are you still doing here? Save Ferris!

Special Features:

  • Getting the Class Together – The Cast of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • The Making of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Who is Ferris Bueller?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Street date: May 5, 2009
S.R.P. $39.99 US/ $49.99 Canada
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 US/ PG Canada

Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: Paramount Announces Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Saturday Night Fever and Grease!

HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Michael Ealy talks Seven Pounds

Hollywood Insider: Michael Ealy Talks about Seven Pounds and working with Spike Lee
Hollywood Insider: Michael Ealy Talks about Seven Pounds and working with Spike Lee

I love Michael Ealy; he’s one of those really strong character actors who does a great job of blending into the background for his roles. You may not know his name but you’ll recognize his face. He was once selected as one of People’s most beautiful people in the world but he’s never been one who traded on his looks. As a matter of fact he’s purposely avoided getting famous. “When you get too famous, people just see that famous face.” So no his goal isn’t to become a super star, it’s to continue getting steady work,  “If it were up to me I’d be doing nothing but great things.”   I recently had a television conversation with him about his role in 7 Pounds and his star turn as the cynical soldier Bishop in Spike Lee’s controversial film Miracle at St. Anna.

EM
What was it like going from playing Bishop to your role in Seven Pounds?

ME
It was like night and day. Two completely different characters, Bishop was all cynical anti-establishment, he was the guy who was like F the government and the war, why should I fight for a country that treats me like dirt?  My character in Seven Pounds works for the Government has a wife and kids.  I get to play a total square. I think this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit in a movie. I called my Mom up and told her to watch it.

Continue reading HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Michael Ealy talks Seven Pounds

Blu-ray Review: Michelle looks at Zodiac!

Blu-ray Review: Zodiac

I’ve never met him, but David Fincher is one dark guy. This is the man who did Seven, which I loved, Fight Club, which I loathed, Zodiac. No wonder he followed that up with the Oscar nominated The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. But this review isn’t about his latest epic; it’s about his last one Zodiac about the unsolved, 1969, San Francisco Serial Killings.  When I first saw this a few years ago, I thought it was dull, primarily because I don’t like Jake Gyllenhaal but on this second viewing it works for me. And hey, it starts with Lee “Mouth  from One Tree Hill” Norris getting shot up, you can’t go wrong with that. Mark Ruffalo is great as Inspector David Toschi. The cinematography in this film is beautiful. I’m not sure it’s enhanced any by the HD transfer. But the lighting really shines and you can see the depth the shadows.  It’s actually a beautiful transfer, so I’ll contradict myself and say that yeah it adds depth to the film. I still hate Jake though.   Continue reading Blu-ray Review: Michelle looks at Zodiac!

Blu-Ray Review: Michelle looks at High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Deluxe Extended Edition!

Blu-Ray Review: High School Musical 3

I watched High School Musical in 2006 when it first came out on The Disney Channel. I’m a sucker for musicals and the teen romance. At the time, I was, meh, about it. It was fine for what it was, but I had no idea it would explode into the phenomena that it has. It’s a testament to Disney’s marketing power. They still know how to tap in the tween demo.  The thing that makes the High School Musical series work is the energy of the cast.  You can’t help but get swept up in their exuberance. Musically, it pretty much sucks. Especially in High School Musical 3: Senior year.  Zac Efron (Troy Bolton) has a terrible voice it’s very weak and timid, as is the music itself. But there is undeniable chemistry between Zac and Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez).

This time out, the kids are in their Senior Year and have to put on a Play about their lives. They find out that Julliard has one scholarship available and everyone starts fighting over it. The non-musical moments with the evil Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) are great. Disney felt the need to shoehorn new, younger characters into this film. And they are horrible, it’s clear they want to do a 4th film with these new characters, just don’t. You have a great cast in the original don’t soil their memories with these awful new people.

I keep saying this and it’s true. Disney Home Video knows how to put together a Blu-ray package. The Deluxe edition of High-School Musical 3:  Senior Year. Is tasty, tasty, tasty.  This package includes the Extended Version of the Film, Disney’s Digital File, and if that’s not good enough, they even throw in a DVD copy of the film. Now that’s service!  Of course the picture is full 1080pm, 1:85:1 aspect ratio with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. There are two audio and subtitle tracks – English and Spanish. I think I’m going to have to set up my 7.1 surround system and get rid of my Sony Soundbar.    Continue reading Blu-Ray Review: Michelle looks at High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Deluxe Extended Edition!

BLU-RAY NEWS: Pinocchio Goes Blu March 10th!

BLU-RAY NEWS: Pinocchio Goes Blu March 10th.

The film that taught the world to “Wish Upon a Star” shines brighter than ever when Walt Disney’s original classic, Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition is released from the Disney vault on March 10, 2009.  Available for the first time in high-definition and 2-Disc DVD,
Pinocchio is brilliantly restored with enhanced picture and sound unlike anything you’ve ever seen or heard before. This classic story of magic, adventure and loyalty will be available for a limited time only and comes loaded with bonus features that unlock the doors to the magical world of Pinocchio.

The special 2-Disc Blu-ray release not only includes a bonus standard definition DVD of the classic animated film in the same package, allowing viewers the opportunity to enjoy Pinocchio on a standard def DVD while they are preparing to upgrade to a 1080p Hi-Def Blu-ray experience in the near to present future, but provides viewers accessibility to Disney’s popular BD-Live Network, a backstage pass for Blu-ray Disc owners to chat, video stream, participate in communal games and download exclusive content unavailable to general DVD owners.  Walt Disney’s second animated feature, Pinocchio debuted 70 years ago with vibrant hand drawn animation, universally loved music like the Academy Award® winning original song “When You Wish upon a Star,” and a touching story that made it an instant classic. Introducing audiences to the magical favorites of Pinocchio, Geppetto the puppet maker and the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio also marks the screen debut of a character who became one of Disney’s signatures: the fast-talking, wisecracking Jiminy Cricket.   Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: Pinocchio Goes Blu March 10th!

BLU-RAY NEWS: Southpark Season 12 Coming in March

Blu-ray News: South Park coming to Blu-ray March 10th

On Tuesday March 10th, Paramount Home Entertainment and Comedy Central will release South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season on DVD and (for the first time ever) Blu-ray! This exclusive 3-disc set includes all fourteen uncensored episodes and some great special features such as A Day-to-Day making of South Park and mini-commentaries by the creators. Get ready to laugh as SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON comes to DVD and Blu-ray on March 10, 2009!

All fourteen uncensored episodes from South Park’s twelfth season are now available in this exclusive three-disc set.   In this collection, SOUTH PARK follows the new President-elect from his acceptance speech to his first official day of duty as Commander in Chief.  The boys keep busy helping a pop-princess who’s down on her luck, negotiating a truce for striking Canadians, and preventing giant rodents from destroying the world.   For them, it’s all part of growing up in SOUTH PARK.

Special Features:

* The Making of “Major Boobage” Disc One
* Six Days to South Park – A Day-by-Day Making of South Park (Super Funny Times) Disc Two
* Six Days to South Park – The Sixth Day (About Last Night) Disc Three

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Eagle Eye, Michelle’s Take

Blu-Ray Review: Eagle Eye, EclipseMagazine Michelle Alexandria's Take

I have two quick Blu-ray reviews for you. First up is last fall’s Eagle Eye featuring EM Favorite and “discovery,” Shia LaBeouf, solidifying himself as an A list action star. I’m still not entirely convinced this is the route he should be going with his career, yes you can’t turn down Transformers or Indian Jones, but I think he should have thought long and hard before taking this on.  Eagle Eye is an almost blatant rip-off of Will Smith’s Enemy of the State.  I didn’t like this when I saw it in the theater and on Blu-ray it somehow works for me. I have more patience for watching stupid stuff at home than I do in a theater. But this movie really requires you to shut your brain off, there’s no chemistry between LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan and the action scenes felt really generic.

Video

The video quality on this Blu-ray is of course excellent. The full 1080p really shows. I didn’t notice any artifacts in it, which is as it should be considering this is a new film. But I have to say it until I’m blu (pun intended) in the face, I HATE letter boxing. I have this beautiful 46-inch Bravia, why do I have to still put up with half my picture being cut off?  The problem is the color palette is pretty dull, all blacks and blues, nothing that makes you standup and take notice. I watched The Duchess right after this one and the difference is stark. This is one of those films that I don’t think needs to be on Blu-ray, I don’t really see much of a difference in picture quality from this and the standard definition version. And when studios charge you 50 percent more for the Blu-ray then the picture really needs make you go wow. This is a nice transfer, but the film itself is just really plain.

Audio

The Dolby 5.1, True HD Audio sounds great. My room shook doing the explosions…

Features

The menu navigation is plain as can be, but well laid out and simple to follow.

  • Deleted Scenes – You get three deleted scenes and an Alternate Ending, each scene is only about a minute each. (HD)
  • Asymmetrical Warfare the making of Eagle Eye (25 Mins, HD)
  • Eagle Eye on Location Washington, DC (6 Mins, HD) – Since I live in DC, I really liked seeing my city on display. It’s funny that when films are shot here, we rarely here it about it, other than maybe a small item in the Post or when they shut down entire neighborhoods.  What sucks is they don’t feature anyone from the DC Film Commission in the clip.
  • Is My Cell Phone Spying on ME (9 Min, HD) – A feature about big brother spying on people.
  • Shall We Play A Game? (9:25, HD) – A cool featurette where Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso sits down with his mentor Director John Badham who did War Games.
  • Road Trip (3 Min, HD) – About the Car Stunts.
  • Gag Reel (7 Min, HD)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

The features are actually more intriguing the film. Really enjoyed all of them, but again, Dreamworks did nothing special for the Blu-ray version there’s nothing here that really showcases the format, although I do appreciate getting all of them in HD.

Conclusion

Eagle Eye actually works much better in a home environment than it did for me in the theater. I’m glad I gave it another try, my issues with the film still remain, but it’s more tolerable. The Blu-ray is a nice enough edition to add to your collection – only if you can find it on sale for like $18, it’s not worth the premium Blu-ray $40 retail (Dreamworks is out of their ever loving minds, putting a $40 suggested retail price on this thing) – you can currently pick it up on Amazon for $18. If you are on the fence, pick up the DVD version, there really isn’t a real difference between the two.

Blu-ray Grades

  • Movie Grade – C
  • Video – B-
  • Audio – A
  • Menu Navigation – A
  • Features – B-

Final Overall Grade B-

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 02.03.09

BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Dark Knight Sparkles, Michelle’s Review

Blu-Ray Review: The Dark Knight Sparkles, Michelle Alexandria's Take
Blu-Ray Review: The Dark Knight Sparkles, Michelle Alexandria

I’m currently working on my 2008 Blu-ray Holiday Guide and my top 20 list for 2008 and it goes without saying The Dark Knight Blu-ray disc is one of the best Blu-rays of the year. It’s a true showcase title that combines an Amazing 1080P Picture, TrueHD Sound, and truly unique special features into something remarkable.  Director Christopher Nolan gives puts a lot of love into the 3 Disc special edition.  The menus make sense and all the Featurettes are filmed in beautiful HD.  The disk includes Digital Copy, which I’m really starting to get into. I would never want to want this movie on my iPod Touch – even though it looks gorgeous, but being able to watch it on my Macbook while on the go, is pretty awesome.

BD-Live

WB is doing something truly unique with BD-Live which is usually just some lame menu that includes trailers. The Dark Knight disc let’s you actually record a video commentary and share it with your friends. You can also schedule group viewing as well. Unfortunately, BD-Live wasn’t turned on last week when I was reviewing this, so I decided to wait until today to test it out and everything works really well, it takes a bit to set up but once you do it’s a pretty cool use of the technology.  In order to use BD-Live you have to first setup an account – an immediate turnoff, especially typing it on an onscreen keypad. Then after that, you still have to go to your email for a confirmation and feel out this long, intrusive form. Go back to the BD-Live and resign it. What a pain in the ass. After all of that the first thing I saw was a trailer for….The Dark Knight! How retarded is that?

Picture

The one thing that bugs me is the Aspect Ratio of the picture is harsh. I just purchased a 46 inch, Sony Bravia, I don’t want to see any freaking letterboxed black bars on my screen.  I’ve never been a fan of letterboxing and never will.  There’s a feature called Focal Points where you can watch how to sequences during the course of the film. It’s especially irritating because the navigation is broken when you are watching these clips. You can’t get back to the movie unless you stop it and restart the film. So it’s a really useless feature. You can, however watch all 18 features separately.  Most of these average about 2 – 7 minutes, some are shot in HD and others in Standard Def.

On Disc 2 you have the Features

Behind the Story

  • Batman Tech – A really cool 45 Minute feature about the technology used by Batman and close to reality all of this gear is. (HD)
  • Batman Unmasked The Psychology of The Dark Kight – Another 45 minute feature that looks into Batman’s motivations and pschye. We get to go inside the mind of a Superhero with real psychologists. As a former Psych major, I found this to be fascinating stuff. (HD)

Extras

  • Gotham Tonight – All 6 episodes of the Web Series (HD)
  • Photo Galleries
  • Nine Trailers and TV Spots (HD)

You can read my review of the movie here. As I said in the beginning, this is a ground breaking Blu-ray disk and must buy. One of the year’s best films gets the year’s best Blu-Ray.

Movie Grade – A+

Picture – A-

Audio – A

Features – A

Final Overall Grade – A+

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted
12.09.08