Tag Archives: Blu-Ray

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

Blu-Ray News_ The Day The Earth Stood Still is coming Dec 2

day

What the hell? Do these studios think we’re made of money? Dec. 2nd is shaping up to be a huge day for Blu-Ray releases. We have The Dark Knight, Prince Caspian, X-Files and now this, one of the all time great Sci-Fi flicks The Day The Earth Stood Still. Just in time to remind us how the upcoming Christmas Keanu remake will inevitably fail by comparison. Whooaaa…. The new Blu-ray version looks like an nice package. It’ll contain, as the press release says, “two amazing new Blu-ray games,” (can you smell the suckage?)  Gort Command!,” an arcade-style shooting gallery game and “Interactive Theremin: Create Your Own Score,” where viewers can re-score the film’s opening sequence.  Both the BD and DVD versions of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Special Edition feature all-new and exclusive bonus materials including legendary composer and Academy Award®-winner*** Bernard Herrmann’s isolated score; film and sci-fi featurettes – including a “Making Of The Day The Earth Stood Still” and “Decoding Klaatu Barada Nikto: Science Fiction As A Metaphor” – an audio presentation of the original short story; commentaries from Robert Wise and other film and music historians; and more.  I will say, DVD games suck, but the Create Your Own Score thing, intrigues me. The Blu-ray and DVD versions will also include:

•    New:  Exclusive First Look At The New Movie The Day The Earth Stood Still Starring
Keanu Reeves And Jennifer Connelly
•    New & Exclusive To BD:  Interactive Theremin:  Create Your Own Score
•    New & Exclusive To BD:  Gort Command!:  Interactive Game
•    Commentary by Robert Wise and Nicholas Meyer
•    New:  Commentary by Film & Music Historians John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg and Nick                         Redman
•    New:  Isolated Score Track
•    New:  The Mysterious, Melodious Theremin
•    New: The Day The Earth Stood Still Main Title Live Performance By Peter Pringle
•    New:  The Making of The Day the Earth Stood Still
•    New:  Decoding “Klaatu Barada Nikto”: Science Fiction as Metaphor Featurette
•    New:  A Brief History of Flying Saucers Featurette
•    New: The Astounding Harry Bates Featurette
•    New: Edmund North: The Man Who Made the Earth Stand Still Featurette
•    New To Disc:  Race To Oblivion:  A Documentary Short Written And Produced By Edmund North
•    New To Disc: Farewell To The Master:  A Reading By Jamieson K. Price Of The Original
Harry Bates Short Story; Audio Only
•    New:  Interactive Pressbook
•    Fox Movietonews from 1951
•    Original Theatrical Trailer & Teaser Trailer
•    Advertising Gallery
•    Behind-The Scenes Gallery
•    Portrait Gallery
•    Production Gallery
•    Spaceship Construction Blueprints
•    Shooting Script

BLU-ray Review: James Bond Collection

James Bond Blu-ray DVD Collection

I’m not a fan of triple dips, but MGM and Fox Home Video have done an amazing job on the newly released James Bond Blu-ray set. I was generally skeptical about this dip because I already own three different versions of all the Bond films. But these Blu-ray versions are the definitive set. The picture transfer/upgrade is beautiful. I put on Dr. No and it was an eye-opening experience. The colors were deep, reach and sharp. There is so much more depth now it’s hard to believe this film is over 30 years old. It looks like it was shot on HD last week. The blacks are black which make the colors pop on my Vizio HDTV set. The hours and hours of extra features (in Standard Def) are the same ones from the Ultimate Collection from a few years ago with some neat little Blu-ray additions like a 42 Minute HD Feature called Inside Dr. No and a 18 minute feature on Terrance Young, the director of Dr. No.

The one area where they dropped the ball is on the Menu navigation system. It reminds me of the early days of DVD where the one thing you could always count on was Fox Home Video totally screwing up the menu. This is one of the ugliest and most unfriendly systems I’ve seen in awhile. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to play the movie and access the special features.  The Pop Up/Menu button doesn’t work once you select a feature. If you select a feature to watch, while viewing the film, it kicks you out and doesn’t return to the point you left off.  Each film are on a 50 GB Dual Layer disk, is in Widescreen 1.66:1 (No letter boxing!) and Lossless Audio. The movie sounds amazing on my Sony Crossbar.  I sampled a few of the other titles in this collection and it’s safe to say all six of these releases and must own.  The Six disk set includes Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, For Your Eyes Only, Die Another Day and Live and Let Die. I’m not going to bother reviewing the movies or giving you the TPS, come on it’s Bond! You’ve all see these a million times. My only, minor complaint with this set, beyond the menu system is the lack of Profile 1.1 or BD-Live support. Yeah BD-Live sucks, but I would still like to see them implemented as standard features in all Blu-ray releases.  After watching a slew of lackluster Blu-ray releases (I’m looking at you Iron-Man!) this release restores my faith.

Movie Grade (All 6 Films, except Thunderball) – A

Features – A

Picture – A

Audio – A

Final Overall – A

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 10.21.08

BLU-ray Releases – The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week in a super dooper 3 disk special edition and it includes digital copy. I actually kind of liked this version. I thought it was a solid, no brainer, popcorn flick with a horrible last act. I’m actually going to be speaking with the SFX honcho from this sometime in the next few days. Here are a couple of clips from the extras.

Making of the Opening Chase Scene.

Becoming the Abomination

HIGH DEFINITION: Bond goes Blu next Week

James Bond on Blu-ray

I’m such a freaking sucker for Bond that I’ve purchased almost all of MGM’s triple dip set of Bond films – I have three versions of all 21 movies. There was the regular non-restored collection, then the ultimate restored collection, then the super dooper ooper special edition collection and like a moron get suckered in, I refuse to buy into the hype on this new Blu-ray set, but this one looks so tasty…. But no, I’m going to turn away this time.  But wait, for a change MGM is going to send me a set for review, so I don’t have to shell out my own dollars. But still…. This set is packed to the gills with features – all of the ones from the S.D.O.S.E. set from two years ago and some Blu-ray exclusives.  The initial set includes Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only and Die Another Day. Not bad at all (except the unwatchable Thunderball).  I wish MGM would release these things in chronological order though. I understand their need to do a sampling of all the Bonds – but where’s poor Timothy Dalton? As an added bonus you get a free ticket to the new Bond flick. This set hits the street next week for $89.98. Which isn’t bad, that’s less than $20 a flick and considering the individual retail price is $35 dollars, it’s obvious you get the set.  But really, what Bond fan doesn’t already own one of the previous sets? You can read the full press release after the break.

Continue reading HIGH DEFINITION: Bond goes Blu next Week

BLU-Ray NEWS: The Great Ray Harryhausen Gets His Blu-ray Due!

Ray_Harryhausen_Gift_Set_BD_box_art

The legendary Ray Harryhausen is finally getting his due this week when Sony releases the Ray Harryhausen collection on Blu-ray. This collection includes the Sci-Fi classics – "It Came From Beneath the Sea," "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers," "20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition," and "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad".  This should give any self respecting some good geek gasms and it’s all in beautifully restored HD.  Each disk is chock full of features and includes audio commentaries from Ray himself.  Check out the full press release, features and some clippage after the break. 

Continue reading BLU-Ray NEWS: The Great Ray Harryhausen Gets His Blu-ray Due!

BLU-RAY NEWS: The Fall on Blu-ray Sept 9

Presented by David Fincher and Spike Jonze, and from acclaimed Director Tarsem comes THE FALL, starring Golden Globe® nominee Lee Pace.  On Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD September 9th! Filmed over a period of 4 years in 18 different countries, Tarsem’s The Fall is an unforgettable movie experience. In 1920s Los Angeles, Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a 5-year-old girl hospitalized from a fall, strikes up an unlikely friendship with Roy (Lee Pace, TV’s “Pushing Daisies”), a Hollywood stuntman shattered by a near-fatal movie set accident and his lover’s betrayal.

The_Fall_BD_boxart

To pass the time, he tells Alexandria the epic story of Governor Odious and the 5 remarkable heroes determined to defeat him – a dazzling world of magic and myth. Only when the line between reality and fantasy begins to dissolve does Alexandria realize how much is truly at stake. Presented by David Fincher (FIGHT CLUB) and Spike Jonze (ADAPTATION), THE FALL is an awe-inspiring, cinematic tour de force. Check out the clippage.

Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: The Fall on Blu-ray Sept 9

BLU-RAY NEWS: Firefly comes to Blu-ray this fall.

I love Joss Whedon and I loved the Serenity movie. But for some reason, I could never get into the Firefly TV Series. The pilot episode puts me to sleep every time I’ve tried to watch it. Maybe if I watch it Hi-Def, that’ll make the difference. Fox Home Video is bringing the complete series to Blu-ray this fall. Set 500 years into the future, in the wake of a universal civil war, “Firefly” centers on the crew of Serenity, a small transport spaceship that does not have a planet to call home.  Captain Malcom “Mal” Reynolds, a defeated soldier who opposed the unification of the planets by the totalitarian governed Alliance, will undertake any job – legal or not – to stay afloat and keep his crew fed. 

Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: Firefly comes to Blu-ray this fall.

BLU-RAY NEWS: Austin Powers is Bluuuuvy Baby

All three Austin Powers films are coming to Blu-ray in a beautiful looking collector’s edition package.  Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Name: Austin Danger Powers. Sex: Yes, please! Combine the swinging ’60s, spy movies, talented Mike Myers in dual roles and one hilariously well- placed champagne bottle and you get Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Say “Yeah, baby!” for laughs as Flower Power-era superspy Austin (Myers) is thawed from a 30-year cryogenic freeze to stop the world-dominating scheme of bald baddie Dr. Evil (also Myers). Elizabeth Hurley, shagadelic style and Austin’s randy attempts to find ’60s-style free love in a very different, uptight time add to the groovy fun of this mad, mod, Myers world.  

Continue reading BLU-RAY NEWS: Austin Powers is Bluuuuvy Baby