Thursday, July 16, 2009
Quick Blu-ray Reviews: 16 July 2009
Not what you expect. I can see why some critics are not fans of this film but I thought it was quite entertaining. Alex Proyas (I Robot, Dark City, The Crow) is one of my favorite directors and he pulled convincing performances out of everyone, including Nicholas Cage; who starts the film in typical Cage-mode but then finds great depth in the role. Some complain about the Twilight Zone-ish ending but I enjoyed it. I also enjoy a film that leaves enough room for questions and conversation after; Knowing definitely is one of those! The Blu-ray is about as perfect a presentation as I have seen from recent releases.
The obvious start to a "superhero" franchise that doesn't really have an ending. Dakota Fanning is a little shaky in the beginning but fills out her "more mature" role nicely. (Although the short "drunken" sequence could have been cut.) Everyone else does fine with what they are given. It is not a bad film, it just doesn't quite come together. Feeling too much like a part one and not a stand alone movie, I still enjoyed my time spent watching. There are enough interesting concepts to rate a rental but a purchase is only for fans. The Blu-ray has exceptional picture and sound and the extras are also in HD.
Iron Maiden Flight 666
If you are a fan, stop reading and buy this now. For everyone else, this is one of the best rock documentaries of all time and as an added bonus, you get a full show of songs. Both the feature and concert are shot in full HD and digital surround sound. (The Blu-ray have both on one disc, the DVD is a 2-disc set.) There are no extras other than the concert, but this is a quality package that should be in all metal music collections! This is the best live Maiden footage you will find and the story of one of the most ambitious tour outings ever is definitely worth seeing more than once. The Blu-ray looks amazing and other than a few audio glitches, the mix was thunderous. Not just for Iron Maiden fans; pick this up if you love live rock and roll! Up the Irons!
True Blood The Complete First Season
Rarely, if ever, has someone adapted a novel and made the show better than it's written counterpart. As a vampire fan who is always looking for another guilty pleasure, this series is much, much more. Created/Adapted by Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) and using a variety of movie proven & up and coming directors, this show truly captures the flavor of the books and deepens the characterizations. A few changes are made but so far they appear to enhance the storylines and maintain the mood of the work. The Blu-ray set is light on extras but has near perfect video and sound. Highly recommended for fans of vampire horror and gothic mystery.
Star Trek: The Original Series: Season 1
At times it is hard to believe this is the show I have watched since I was in diapers. Some of my earliest childhood memories are from Star Trek; it debuted when I was four months old and I can remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV with my Dad. The restoration of this show is breathtaking; whether you watch the episodes with the new, modern special effects or the orginal charming but cheesy ones. Sound and video look almost new and the extras are facinating. This Blu-ray set will definitely be on year-end best-of lists and I cannot wait for Season 2!!