Media

Movie Renter's Guide - July, 2009

ARTICLE INDEX
"Friday the 13th: Part 3 in 3-D" (Blu-ray)

Friday the 13th: Part 3Synopsis

Ignoring the bloody history of Camp Crystal Lake yet again, a group of camp counselors heads up to the lake for relaxation.

Yeah, right. And Jason Voorhees (Brooker), with his mask and a 2-foot blade that works really well at separating head from body somewhere around C6, has a different way of relaxing.

One of the counselors had been there before, when a serial killer went on a rampage, killing nearly everyone with a machete. She comes along on the trip to prove something to herself (stupidity?)

One by one, the members of the group are killed, and this time, you can see the limbs flying in 3-D.

 

Specifications

  • Paramount
  • 1982, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 35 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Starring Richard Brooker, Steve Daskawisz, Gloria Charles, Anne Gaybis, Rachel Howard
  • Directed by Steve Miner
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

As slasher films go, this one is pretty much run of the mill. Plenty of blood, scary music, pitchforks in the chest, etc.

Technical

The image is not bad for a movie that is nearly 30 years old. Nothing special with the sound. The 3-D is anaglyphic, with red and blue glasses that are included with the disc. Rental stores don't include the glasses though, so if you rent it, you will have to watch the standard version which is also on the disc.

Extras

These include Fresh Cuts, Legacy of the Mask, Going for the Jugular, and Lost Tales from Camp Blood.


"Knowing" (Blu-ray)

KnowingSynopsis

John Koestler (Cage) is a mathematics professor at MIT, and has a young son, Caleb (Canterbury) in school. One day Caleb brings home an envelope that was given to him when his school had a ceremonial opening of a time capsule buried 50 years ago and handed out the contents to the students.

The envelope contains a page with a long series of numbers. John becomes curious about it and begins to analyze the sequences, discovering that the 9/11 disaster was predicted. He further discovers other terrible occurrences that happened after the page was written.

He realizes that there are several disasters predicted by the numbers on the page, but have not yet occurred, and he tries unsuccessfully to convince his associate at MIT that some horrific things are going to happen. When they come true, the professors realize that the last series of numbers predicts a catastrophe for the entire planet, and that they must prepare for the apocalypse.

 

Specifications

  • Summit
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 1 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, D.G. Maloney, Lara Robinson, Chandler Canterbury
  • Directed by Alex Proyas
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

Cage does a pretty good job of playing a nerdy professor, but the movie doesn't have the magic of some of his earlier films in this genre.

Technical

The image is as sharp as it gets, but there is almost no use of the surrounds.

Extras

These include Director's Commentary, Knowing All, The Making of, and Visions of the Apocalypse.


"The International" (Blu-ray)

The InternationalSynopsis

Interpol Agent Louis Salinger (Owen) is gathering evidence against the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC), located in Luxembourg, Belgium, which he believes is acting as an exchange point for weapons being manufactured in China and sold to terrorists in the Middle East.

Louis enlists the aid of Manhattan District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Watts) in obtaining evidence, but there are those who would stop at nothing to protect their interests, which involve billions of dollars, not to mention the exposure of the involvement of various governments. The secretive goal of the bank is to control debt, thereby controlling the countries who owe them very large sums of money.

They discover that the IBBC uses a hit man to silence potential risks, and the realize that through the assassin, they may be able to get the evidence they need to indict the people who run the bank and close it down.

 

Specifications

  • Sony
  • 2009, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 58 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DD
  • Starring Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Ulrich Thomsen, Brian F. O'Byrne
  • Directed by Tom Tykwer
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

With the economy the way it is, and banks being perceived as the "bad guys", it is no surprise that an international bank is the setting of evil in movies such as this. Expect more to eome.

Technical

The image is sharp, but not as sharp as it could be, and with this being an action film, there should have been much more use of the surround channels.

Extras

These include Director's Commentary, The Shooting at the Guggenheim, the Autostadt, Behind the Scenes, a Digital Copy for your Video iPod, and other things.


"The Pink Panther 2" (Blu-ray)

The Pink Panther 2Synopsis

When the Magna Carta is stolen from the London Art Museum, the Shroud of Turin from Italy, and other national treasures from different countries, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Cleese) is ordered to bring Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Martin) in to head an investigation. After his last investigation, Dreyfus had assigned Clouseau to handing out parking tickets to keep him out of trouble, so Dreyfus is dreading what lies ahead with Clousea in charge.

Then, the precious Pink Panther diamond is stolen from the Paris Museum, and Jacques must stay in France to find the culprit, who calls himself the Tornado.

Between Inspectors Clouseau, Vicenso (Garcia), Pepperidge (Molina), and Mazuto (Matsuzaki), they bumble their way through all sorts of situations, looking for the thieves.

 

Specifications

  • Sony
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 32 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molin, John Clees, Yuki Matsuzaki, Jeremy Irons, Lili Tomlin
  • Directed by Harald Zwart
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

No one can replace Peter Sellers as the original Inspector Clouseau, but Steve Martin does a pretty good job, and is not embarrassed to look like a fool. I thought Andy Garcia looked a little stiff, but he is not used to playing comedic parts. I still see him on that horse, assassinating an enemy in God Father III.

Technical

The image is very sharp, but the surround envelopment is not much to speak of.

Extras

These include Drama is Easy, Gag Reel, A Dream Team Like no Other, 27 Pink Panther Cartoons, and a Digital Copy for your Video iPod.


"Push" (Blu-ray)

PushSynopsis

A paranormal group of young people gather together to save the world, yet again.

The US Government, aka, The Division, wants to capture them and use them for their own purposes. They consist of Watchers, who can fortell the future, Movers, who can move objects with their mental power, and Pushers, who can put thoughts in your head and turn them into the truth. No wonder the government wants them.

So, while the group is being hunted, they try to capture a briefcase that holds information dangerous in the hands of any nation.

 

Specifications

  • Summit Entertainment
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 53 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Chris Evans, Camilla Belle, Dakota Fanning, Cliff Curtis, Djimon Hounsou
  • Directed by Paul McGuigan
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence:Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

Is anyone besides me getting tired of super hero movies? There just does not seem to be anything that distinguishes them except their costumes. The background for the story is Hong Kong, but we have seen that before. Come on guys, suprise us.

Technical

The image is very sharp, and there is modest use of the surround channels.

Extras

There are only a few extras: Director Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and The Science Behind the Fiction.


"Echelon Conspiracy" (Blu-ray)

Echelon ConspiracySynopsis

Max Peterson (West) receives a cell phone in the mail while in Las Vegas, and messages appear, telling him to go to a certain slot machine and poker table. Each time he does this, he wins.

He doesn't understand what is going on, but so far, no complaints. That is, until the NSA gets involved.

They want to know who is sending the messages, because they are trying to fund a new computer program that will monitor every cell phone and every Internet connected computer in the world, and they can't seem to track this particular phone.

Then, when the NSA discovers where the messages are actually coming from, the game turns deadly.

 

Specifications

  • Paramount
  • 2009, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 45 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Starring Edward Burns, Jonathan Pryce, Shane West, Ving Rhames, Martin Sheen, Yuri Kutsenk, Tamara Feldman
  • Directed by Paul McGuigan
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

OK, so we have lots of super hero movies, and also plenty of conspiracy movies, where the government is involved. Echelon falls into the latter category. Actually, this one is pretty good, with plenty of action.

Technical

The image has noticeable edge enhancement, and there is not much use of the surround channels.

Extras

None.