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Number 140 - November, 2006

Part II

Staff

 


Now Playing
Divider

The Terminator (Blu-ray) The Break-Up (HD DVD)
50 First Dates (Blu-ray) Ultimate Mission Box Set (Blu-ray/HD DVD
Monster House (Blu-ray) Nacho Libre (HD DVD)
Click (Blu-ray) Gone in 60 Seconds (Blu-ray)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (HD DVD) End of Days (HD DVD)

Number 140 - November, 2006 - Part I

Number 140 - November, 2006 - Part II

Number 140 - November, 2006 - Part III

Number 140 - November, 2006 - Part IV

Number 140 - November, 2006 - Part V

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MGM

1984, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 48 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080p

 

English Uncompressed PCM 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by James Cameron


Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Lina Hamilton, Paul Winfield

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Stong

Sex

Yes

Language

Strong

"The Terminator" (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

A cyborg (Schwarzenegger) is sent from the future on a deadly mission. He has to kill Sarah Connor, a young woman whose life will have a great significance in years to come. Sarah has only one protector - Kyle Reese - also sent from the future. The Terminator uses his exceptional intelligence and strength to find Sarah, but is there any way to stop the seemingly indestructible cyborg?

Commentary

If you haven't seen this one yet, you've been living under a rock for the last 20 years. The first part of the Terminator trilogy and one of the films that immortalized Arnie, The Terminator was before its time. Cameron's bleak look at the future inspired a new generation of paranoia on machines and computers and can arguably be the basis of many films after it, including The Matrix Trilogy. This is a great action film despite being somewhat dated now (man I am getting old).

Technical

This transfer seems to be minted from the same master used in the recent DVD re-release. The image overall is quite good, given the age of the film and the rather low budget production. Some of the special effects work doesn't hold up well, and the integration of the work with the live scenes looks pretty bad.

Darker scenes are a bit on the noisy side, mainly due to film limitations (like most of Cameron's earlier films). Brighter scenes look quite good, though slightly soft. Compression doesn't seem to be much of an issue, with only some occasional banding noticed. While I wouldn't use this for demo material, it is still the best I've seen this film look to date.

The uncompressed 5.1 PCM soundtrack is the same one from the special edition DVD that was re-done by audio extraordinaire Gary Rydstrom. The mix is quite active, with nice use of the surround channels and better fidelity than any soundtrack I've heard with this film before. Sure the sound is a bit dated and a little on the bright side, but it's a huge step up from what it used to be.

Extras

Extras include some deleted scenes, a production feature and a look back on the film and what it means in today's cinema.

 - Kris Deering -

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Columbia Pictures

2004, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 39 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

1080p

 

English Uncompressed PCM 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by Peter Segal


Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Dan Aykroyd

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Comedic

Sex

Mild

Language

Mild

"50 First Dates" (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

Henry Roth (Sandler) is a veterinarian living in Hawaii who enjoys the company of vacationing women. He leaves the playboy life behind after he falls for Lucy (Barrymore), who suffers from short-term memory loss. Since she can never remember meeting him, Henry has to romance Lucy every single day and hope that she falls for him.

Commentary

In my opinion, this is one of Sandler's better comedies. The premise is sweet, and the execution isn't too goofy. Sure the film has its rather silly moments, but the heart is in the right place. This is a great one for a date!!

Technical

The high definition transfer here is a bit of a disappointment. You would hope that the lavish Hawaiian backdrop would provide some gorgeous visuals, but unfortunately it doesn't. The transfer is on the softer side, with the image coming off as flat most of the time. Contrast seems to be lacking, and there is a haze most of the time that is rather annoying. Colors never seem to reach their full potential at all.

The audio presentation fare a lot better. The uncompressed 5.1 PCM track delivers a solid soundscape for this type of film. Dialogue sounds natural, and imaging is solid. The film's soundtrack is probably the most dynamic aspect of the film and fills the room pretty well.

Extras

Extras include a director's commentary, a gag reel, and a production featurette.

 - Kris Deering -

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Columbia Pictures

2006, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 31 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

1080p

 

English Uncompressed PCM 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

Korean Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by Gil Kenan


Starring (voices) Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Kathleen Turner

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Yes

Sex

No

Language

Mild

"Monster House" (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

Even for a 12 year-old, D.J. Walkers has a particularly overactive imagination. He is convinced that his haggard and crabby neighbor Horace Nebbercracker, who terrorizes all the neighborhood kids, is responsible for Mrs. Nebbercracker's mysterious disappearance. Any toy that touches Nebbercracker's property promptly disappears, swallowed up by the cavernous house in which Horace lives. D.J. has seen it with his own eyes! But no one believes him, not even his best friend Chowder. What everyone does not know is that D.J. is not imagining things. Everything he's seen is absolutely true, and it's about to get much worse than anything D.J. could have imagined.

Commentary

I saw this film in theaters and absolutely loved it. The movie was shown in digital RealD, a new 3D technique that is also being used on the new release of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I HIGHLY recommend checking out a film done in this technology if it comes around your neck of the woods. The nice thing about Monster House was, it was great even without the 3D!

The story is really good, and the animation work is superb. This is a pretty tense film centered around a haunted house that seems to hate all the local kids. Some of them rise up despite the fact that no one believes them. This was a very entertaining ride that I think would be enjoyed by all ages!

Technical

Monster House was one of the best looking presentations I've ever seen in a digital theater. The amount of detail was incredible. Unfortunately the Blu-ray presentation doesn't seem to do it full justice. The image is quite a bit softer than I would have preferred and doesn't come close to the digital presentation I saw in theaters. There just seems to be a thin veil over everything.

Compression artifacts are noticed on occasion in backgrounds, and the image has an alive feel from the subtle noise that seems to be there all the time. Banding is quite obvious in some of the skies throughout the film, and mosquito noise is noticed around some fine detail. Overall, I would say this is a good looking presentation, but not near what it could be.

The audio presentation is a whole different matter. This was an exciting soundtrack in theaters, and it is every bit as good here. Dynamic range is incredible at times, with a very authoritative bottom end. Surrounds are used aggressively to add to the onscreen suspense, and the imaging overall is excellent. Sound design here is first rate, and this disc delivers it wonderfully.

Extras

Extras include some production features, scene design and a commentary. You'll also find a photo gallery.

 - Kris Deering -

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Columbia Pictures

2006, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 47 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080p

 

English Uncompressed PCM 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by Frank Coraci


Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

No

Sex

Implied

Language

Yes

"Click" (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

On the surface, Michael (Sandler) seems to have it all, yet with all the demands forced upon him by his ungrateful boss, Michael finds that setting aside time to spend with his loving wife and two picture-perfect children has grown increasingly difficult.

When a frustrating bout with the television remote leads the overworked husband and father to a nearby Bed, Bath & Beyond, a curious peek into the back room leads Michael into the company of eccentric employee and talented inventor Morty.

It seems that Morty has created a device that will not only allow Michael complete control over his television and stereo, but his entire life as well. As Michael discovers that the remarkable device has the power to muffle the barks of the family dog, zoom himself past an irritating quarrel with his wife, and even allow him to travel back and forth through time to different points in his life, the rush of being able to skip straight to the good parts in life soon leaves him feeling as if he's missing out on the total experience.

Commentary

Adam Sandler's movies are always hit or miss with me. He has definitely had some entertaining ones, but some just leave a sour taste in my mouth. Click overall was in the middle, but leaned a bit toward the bad taste. It is a film that doesn't seem to know exactly what it wants to be sometimes.

It starts out pretty funny, but a little over the top. As the film progresses, a more serious and sentimental side kicks in, but it tends to feel overly dramatic. While I like where the film's heart eventually winds up, I don't know how much I liked the middle road on the way there.

Technical

Click is significant, as it marks the very first Blu-ray release to use a dual layer disc. Blu-ray is capable of storing up to 50 gigabytes of data on a dual layer disc, but every release so far has been on a single layered BD-25. Many people feel that this is one of the direct reasons that so many BD titles haven't been very awe inspiring so far for video. While I think space may have some things to do with it, I think the biggest factor is the quality of the masters and the quality of the encodes.

Click looks quite good on BD, but I would expect it to. The film was shot digitally, and like most films in this genre, tends to be colorful and bright. The transfer looks good, but I wouldn't call this a home run. There is a fairly consistent amount of noise in backgrounds throughout the film, which I found puzzling. The picture's overall quality also drifted a lot throughout the presentation. Some of the outdoor scenes of the city looked incredible, with depth and detail that would have most people's jaw on the floor. But interior shots looked a bit too dark, and fine detail seemed lacking. The image had a bit of a hard look to it. For comparisons sake, I broke out my HD DVD copy of ATL. This film was also shot digitally. It has a bit of noise in some of the darker sequences too, but the interior scenes and outdoor sequences looked amazing throughout the entire film. It is still hard to say what is ultimately holding back Sony's BD releases so far but, I have a sneaking suspicion it has a lot to do with their MPEG-2 encoder.

The 5.1 uncompressed PCM mix is quite good and has some surprising dynamics for this type of film. The 80's rock heavy soundtrack makes good use of the front soundstage, and some of the sound design really lends to a bass friendly experience. Surrounds are used a lot to enhance the music of the film but also lend atmosphere to the overall sound design. Really not much to complain about here.

Extras

Since Sony had a lot of space to play with here they decided to present all of the extras in high definition! A trait that is lacking on both formats. There are some deleted scenes, production features and the trailer.

 - Kris Deering -

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Universal

1982, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 30 mins.

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080p

 

English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 2.0 Mono

 

Directed by Amy Heckerling


Starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Brian Backer

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

No

Sex

Yes

Language

Yes

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (HD DVD Hybrid)

Synopsis

An all-star cast and a stack of future celebrities go to town in this hilarious portrayal of a group of Southern California high school students and their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.

Commentary

Fast Times may be my favorite high school film of all time. While I can't say that my high school was anything like this (I graduated in a class of 23 students in Northern Italy), it captured a lot of the angst and raging hormones that I remember. Based on Cameron Crowe's book of the same name, Fast Times at Ridgemont High will forever be one of my sex comedy faves!

Technical

I don't think I've ever seen this film look great. I've seen it on several formats, including VHS and DVD, and there have always been print issues, subdued color, and inconsistent detail. This release seems to suffer the same fate. Detail is improved overall, but pales in comparison to most of the HD I've seen over the last few months.

There is a persistent amount of grain in the image that can be a bit annoying at times. Darker scenes suffer the most, which is expected. Some of the brighter scenes in the movie actually look quite good. While I think its safe to say this is the best I've seen the film look, it is by a fleeting margin.

Universal includes a 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus soundtrack, but it may as well be stereo. Nothing ever creeps back into the surround channels. Imaging across the main channels is pretty decent though, and fidelity overall isn't too bad. Some of the ADR is horrible, with voiceovers not even coming close to synching. The film's eighties soundtrack fills the soundstage pretty well, but pales in comparison to most films I've seen.

Extras

Fast times is a hybrid HD DVD, so you have the SD presentation on the flip side. You also get a documentary, production notes, and the trailer.

 - Kris Deering -

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Universal

2006, Color, Rated PG-13

1 Hr 47 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080p and 480p

 

English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

 

Starring Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, Joey Lauren Adams, Ann-Margret, Judy Davis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jon Favreau, Cole Hauser

 

Directed by Peyton Reed

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

No

Sex

Suggestive

Language

Yes

"The Break-Up" (HD DVD Hybrid)

Synopsis

In a bid to keep their luxurious condo from their significant other, a couple's break-up proceeds to get uglier and nastier by the moment.

Commentary

When I saw the previews for this in the theaters, I was definitely intrigued. I wanted to take my girlfriend to see it, but we never made it. The film's trailer makes it out to be a comedy of sorts, but this isn't a comedy. The film does have its funny moments, but once the couple split up, it gets grueling. The plot turns into a bickering match between the two, and I actually got a bit uncomfortable watching it. I have lots of friends and I've never seen a couple go at it like this.

This is not a romantic comedy. It is about the nastiness that could ensue if a two people decide to break up and go about it completely the wrong way.

Technical

The Break-Up isn't that great looking in HD. There is no doubt that you are watching an HD presentation rather than a DVD, but all of the things that make HD great are gone. Longer shots seem unnecessarily soft, and color fidelity seems lacking. The opening sequence is the perfect example. It starts at a baseball game, and the longer shots of the field look really soft compared to most films I've watched lately. But as soon as you get around the actors, things improve. This is what I would expect from a standard DVD, but not HD DVD.

I didn't see much to complain about otherwise, but detail is one of the biggest selling points of HD, and this transfer lacks it most of the time.

The audio presentation is what you'd expect from a film like this. The film's musical soundtrack is probably the most engaging element, and it is subtle. Dialogue doesn't have any noticeable strain, and imaging is about average. Surrounds are used on occasion for atmosphere but rarely call attention to themselves.

Extras

Universal gives The Break-Up the hybrid treatment and includes the SD presentation on the flip side. Personally I am not a big fan of hybrids. They tend to cost too much. This is a 30/9 hybrid though so no corners were cut on size. This film has the new "U-Control" feature for its commentary and production photos plus you'll find some deleted scenes, interviews and more.

 - Kris Deering -

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Paramount Pictures

1996/2000/2006, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 50 min/ 2 Hr 3 mins/ 2 Hr 05 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

1080p

 

HD DVD:

English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

 

Blu-Ray:

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams


Starring 
Tom Cruise, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q, Laurence Fishburne, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Jon Voight, Jean Reno, Kristen Scott-Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Yes

Sex

Some

Language

Mild

"Ultimate Mission Box Set" (HD DVD/Blu-ray)

Synopsis

Mission Impossible: This DePalma film is a big-screen remake of a prior American television show, modernized and updated with all of the eye-popping special effects that a Hollywood mega-budget can buy. The show's Jim Phelps is the leader of the 'Impossible Missions Force.' In this 'episode,' Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is the point man for an IMF mission to catch a spy in the act of stealing information about the 'covers' of many other covert operatives. In the tradition of the TV show, the viewer is led down many plot twists, turns, and reversals, while the IMF members employ the latest in technology, disguises, and spy gadgetry to accomplish their mission.

M:I-2: IMF agent Ethan Hunt has been sent on a mission to retrieve and destroy the supply of a genetically created disease called 'Chimera'. His mission is made impossible due to the fact that he is not the only person after samples of the disease. He must also contest with a gang of international terrorists headed by a turned bad former IMF agent who has already managed to steal the cure called 'Bellerophon' and now need 'Chimera' to complete their grand plan of infecting the whole world.

In order to infiltrate and locate the terrorist group, he relies on the help of an international thief Nyah of whom he quickly develops a love interest. Time is not only running out for Agent Hunt to find and destroy 'Chimera' before the terrorists get their hands on it, but he must also find 'Bellerophon' so as to save his love interest, who has already become infected by the disease, from a terrible and rapid death.

M:I-III: Super-spy Ethan Hunt has retired from active duty to train new IMF agents. But he is called back into action to confront the toughest villain he's ever faced - Owen Davian, an international weapons and information provider with no remorse and no conscience. Hunt assembles his team - his old friend Luther Strickell, transportation expert Declan, and background operative Zhen, to rescue one of his very own trainees, Lindsey, who was kidnapped while on a surveillance detail of Davian. It soon becomes evident that Davian is well-protected, well-connected, and downright malicious, forcing Hunt to extend his journey back into the field in order to rescue his wife, Julia, and uncover IMF double agents in the process.

Commentary

The Ultimate Mission box set is the first box set for either format and rather exciting since this is a pretty big franchise for Paramount. Initially we heard rumors of the Harry Potter films or the Matrix trilogy, but really here is the first blockbuster series of films on either high def format. I enjoyed all three of these films, but each one is quite different than the other. De Palma started things off well with the first installment and went a little more subtle route. Woo stepped things up a bit in the second film, but it came off as more of a popcorn flick than the first, which some people didn't care for. Sure there is a lot of need for suspension of disbelief, but it is still a pretty fun ride. The most recent installment is my favorite though. It is gripping, not too over the top, and really just a solid thriller. The pacing of the film is better than the others, and so are the characters overall in my opinion. Regardless though, this box set is a great buy for either format and definitely recommended.

Technical

Despite being encoded in different ways for each format, these films look pretty much identical regardless of whether you get the Blu-ray or HD DVD edition. All three of the films look good, but the third is definitely the standout. It is one of the best HD presentations I've seen to date. It has lots of stunning contrast, fine detail, and depth. The second film has its moments, but I thought longer shots suffer a bit, and the image has a rather processed look to it. Film grain is also a bit intrusive with the second film.

The first film looks better than I expected but slightly veiled. I imagine this is completely intentional since most of De Palma's films always look this way. Colors are slightly muted, and contrast isn't as impressive as the later installments.

I think anyone who watches these films will see a marked improvement as each film progresses, but I honestly feel that the second is the weakest of the bunch and the third is by far the best looking.

Audio on all three is great, with the third film again taking the prize. Dynamics are outstanding in the third installment with good use of the surround environment. The other films sound great, but you can tell that sound design and production have improved over the years. Some of the dialogue in the second film is a bit unnatural to me. The first film is decent, but the weakest of the bunch. Dynamic range seems a tad compressed, but again this is in relation to the other films.

Extras

Another big plus for this set is the inclusion of the first ever two-disc set for a movie with M:I-III, and it's a two-disc set for whichever format you pick. Most of the extras are in HD for this release too. The HD DVD has the overlayed commentaries though, which makes it a slightly better value if you're into that sort of thing. The other films have all of the extras of their DVD counterparts but also have the trailers in HD.

 - Kris Deering -

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Paramount Pictures

2006, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 32 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080p

 

English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

 

Directed by Jared Hess


Starring Jack Black, Peter Stormare

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Mild

Sex

No

Language

Mild

"Nacho Libre" (HD DVD)

Synopsis

Jack Black is at his comic best as Ignacio, a disrespected cook at a Mexican monastery that can barely afford to feed the orphans who live there. Inspired by a local wrestling hero, he decides to moonlight as the not-so-famous Luchador "Nacho Libre" to earn money for the monastery - not to mention the admiration of beautiful nun Sister Encarnacion.

Commentary

I saw Nacho Libre when it was released theatrically, and while it did have its funny moments, I didn't enjoy it a whole lot overall. This second time around, I enjoyed it a bit more, probably because my expectations were lower. This film is from the creators of Napoleon Dynamite, which I enjoyed a lot, but the problem here is some of the comedy comes off a bit too far fetched. A great rental for the comedy fan, but not a must own in my opinion.

Technical

I didn't know what to quite expect from this one when I put the disc in. I had a vague memory of the film's look theatrically, but not enough to do a direct comparison. Immediately I was impressed with color rendition. Color is extremely bold and striking, but not noisy or oversaturated. Detail starts off good but dwindles early. That is a trait I've seen too much with some of the HD stuff, inconsistency in detail. Longer shots seem too soft in comparison to closer shots so it is almost a bit distracting. Film grain is evident throughout the film, but compression noise doesn't seem to be too big of a deal.

The film's soundtrack is delivered nicely, but this isn't some powerhouse of sound design. The music is nicely balanced into the atmosphere of the film, and some of the wrestling matches crank it up a bit. Dialogue is clean, and imaging is decent overall.

Extras

Extras are the same for both versions and include an audio commentary, deleted scenes, a photo gallery and trailers.

 - Kris Deering -

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Touchstone Pictures

2000, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 58 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

1080p

 

English Uncompressed PCM 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French Dolby Digital 5.1

 

Directed by Dominic Sena


Starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Delroy Lindo, Will Patton, Robert Duvall

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Yes

Sex

Mild

Language

Mild

"Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)" (Blu-ray)

Synopsis

Car theft in Long Beach went down 47% when Randall "Memphis" Raines (Cage) walked away from the life. He gets dragged back into it by assuming the job his brother Kip screwed up for stolen-car broker Raymond Calitri: steal 50 exotic cars and have them on a container ship by 8 AM Friday morning, and he gets this news on a Monday. With Calitri threatening to kill him as well as Kip, and the police GRAB unit breathing down his neck, Memphis reassembles his old crew and attempts to pull off the logistically impossible.

Commentary

I remember when the trailer for this film came out. It was one of the best trailers I'd seen to date. Made me want to see this one BAD. Well, the movie didn't live up to the trailer, but it was still a fun ride. Pure popcorn fluff, but with enough action and gorgeous car chases to keep me in my seat. For those who may not be aware, this is a remake of an older B movie of the same name that is also entertaining if you can get over the bad acting!

Technical

Gone in 60 Seconds has always been a stylized looking film. Just about any film produced by Bruckheimer has filtering applied to it that brings out the colors a bit more, and film grain. This is no exception. In fact, it looks like Swordfish in a lot of ways, which was directed by the same guy. Detail is great on close-ups and average on longer shots. Colors are muted and a bit noisy, but that was how the film looked theatrically. Contrast is exceptional at times, and blacks stay consistently solid throughout the film.

Disney has included an uncompressed PCM 24/48 soundtrack here, which is one of the few full resolution lossless soundtracks that I know of. Gone in 60 Seconds has its moments of fun, and I really enjoyed the sound of this film. Personally, I thought it could be a bit more aggressive with overall dynamic range, but soundstage imaging and surround usage are wonderful. Dialogue sounds very clean and natural. While not quite a demo piece, it is definitely exciting.

Extras

Extras include a look at the jump sequence at the end of the film and pre-marked demo scenes for showing it off.

 - Kris Deering -

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Universal

1999, Color, Rated R

2 hr 03 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

1080p

 

English Dolby TrueHD 5.1

English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 2.0

 

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Robin Tunney, Rod Steiger

 

Directed by Peter Hyams

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

Violence

Graphic

Sex

Explicit

Language

Yes

"End of Days" (HD DVD)

Synopsis

The coming of the year 2000 has been surrounded with weighty predictions, from impending chaos to the ultimate demise of civilization.  For many, this includes the return of the Prince of Darkness himself.  A sign from the heavens has predicted the coming of the one to bear his child and, until now, the highest church officials have been unable to find her.  Special Agent Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) gets caught in the middle of the renewed battle of good versus evil when he unknowingly thwarts an attempted assassination of man who is to become the host body for Satan.

As Jericho dives deeper into the investigation, he learns of Christine York (Tunney) and the role Satan has picked for her to play in his plan to establish a Hell on earth.  With the help of the church, Jericho is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Christine undercover and out of sight of those who serve evil. 

Commentary

A recent number of movies have dealt with church-related subject matter.  Some have done it better than others.  The trend has been to put the church in an unkind light. Hey, guess what, itís the year 2006 and all is well . . . for another thousand years that is.

Technical

Despite being a moderately older film, End of Days looks amazing on HD DVD. Contrast is exceptional, with inky blacks and lots of shadow detail. The image has almost a razor sharp look to it. This is bad in some cases because the film's special effects don't hold up near as well as the real stuff around them. Guess that is one of the down sides of this much resolution.

This is one of only two HD DVDs from Universal that features a lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Dynamic range is incredible in this one, with some of the most intense bass I've ever felt in some scenes. The entire soundstage is utilized to the fullest, with a wonderful sense of atmosphere. It is nice to see Universal give this one the lossless nod, because it is a deserving sound design.

Extras

Extras include a commentary, some production features, music videos and the trailer.

 - Kris Deering and Jared Baldwin -

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