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An assortment of recent (Q4 2008) Blu-ray, HD DVD and other movie reviews


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28 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 10:44 PM

Most recently watched: Get Smart
Rather than waste a lot of words here, I'm going to cheat and just refer folks over to my review at Amazon. Suffice it to say that I found several annoyances with the Blu-ray version.

Also recently: Zack and Miri make a Pr0no
I watched the new Kevin Smith film Zack & Miri at the theatres with a friend. We both laughed quite a bit at it, though it isn't without some disgusting material included.
I look forward to when it's available on Blu-ray as I'll be adding it to my collection unless it's ridiculously over-priced.
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#2 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 08:09 AM

As a fan of Kevin Smith films, I look forward to Zack and Miri on pay-per-view or rental.
Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
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#3 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 07:26 PM

It's been a while since I last added some titles and review links to this thread but that just gives me a lot more titles to add. Again, I politely ask that if you find the reviews helpful you click on the voting links to make that known to Amazon.com (where they're all posted at).

In reverse chronological order of viewing:
====

Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais (from the original britcom version of The Office, later from the short, but very, very funny series Extras), Greg Kinnear, and Téa Leoni. A charming romantic comedy. Well worth viewing if you are looking for a date movie. :up:

==

I didn't write up a review of Traitor starring Don Cheadle. It was interesting, though lacked enough action to keep my wife from falling asleep while watching it. I enjoyed it myself, but would note that it's somewhat slower paced than you might expect and takes a while to really get going.

==

I also neglected to write up a review of the Anna Ferris movie: The House Bunny. Totally silly flick, but I liked it.

==

If you love the music of ABBA then you might be tempted to watch Mamma Mia! The Movie. If you can, you would probably best to resist. If forced to do it, it should be tolerable up until you see Pierce Brosnan starting to sign. Once you see that happening you might make a quick excuse to run to the bathroom while it's still your choice rather than because the wretched singing makes you lose your lunch one way or the other.

==

Horton Hears a Who is entertaining family fare.

==

I didn't put up a review of the film The Visitor, but it was very, very good. Richard Jenkins (who was also in the next movie I've listed below) starred in this one. It'll be showing up on Starz! in February (unless the schedule changes). It's not an action flick at all, but it makes you think and gives you characters you should find somewhat fascinating. Some might consider it a bleeding heart film, and it definitely includes a look at the illegal immigration issue, so be somewhat forewarned.

==

Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly had me laughing for the first viewing, but left me somewhat bored when watching it a second time. By the end it really seems to run out of steam, so consider it a rental at best unless you are a big Ferrell fan.

==

If you want to kill some time and several hundred brain cells, pop Fred Claus into your player or tune it in on a pay channel along the way. Personally I found it to be a complete waste and didn't make it beyond the first 30 minutes before I saved my PS3 by ejecting this piece of trash from it's Blu-ray drive.

==

Definitely better than above, at least on the comparitive scale, was the Eddie Murphy visiting space alien family flick Meet Dave. I actually enjoyed it for what it was. As a family flick it's entertaining enough and certainly is fairly harmless.

==

Classic Rock fans should enjoy The Who at Kilburn: 1977. If you like The Who it is must see viewing. Note that the extras on the Blu-ray disc include footage from other concerts as well, though the quality of that footage isn't as nice as that of the Kilburn show.

==

A totally unexpected gem was Kung Fu Panda. I really didn't think it was going to be any where near as good as it wound up being. Top notch animation, cute story, decent voice work that didn't detract from the story or animation, etc. 5 stars all around.
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#4 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 07:33 PM

Oh, one other film that I recently watched was How the West was Won. I snagged it on Blu-ray disc at a fairly low price from Best Buy from their day after christmas sale ($14.99). I had seen others raving about how gorgeous the video transfer was and given that it's a parade of all-stars in the cast felt it was certainly worth grabbing at that low price. The CINERAMA presentation is offered in "Smileavision" format on the second disc and actually comes through quite nicely. Just a couple spots where you would notice the "seaming" that was done to get the panoramic view done. It was, as promised, a gorgeous video presentation and has made a nice addition to my collection.
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#5 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 07:41 PM

Darn it, I knew I had missed another one. Burn After Reading. Bless my wife for watching that one with me as normally she's not really appreciative of dark comedies.

It is, as advertised, a Coen Brothers film through and through. I liked it, but have to say it is not the comedy that is promised and hinted at in the trailers/previews. It is good, it is humorous at times, but the humor is definitely darker and comes from a place where you may question yourself as to whether you should be laughing or not (it's ok, I promise, go for it!).
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#6 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 08:55 PM

Here's one more film that I watched over the last few weeks. One I can't recommend highly enough: Outsourced. I caught it on my Xbox 360, streamed from Netflix in HD. If you have that option, do take advantage of it while you can. Even if you don't have an Xbox 360, if you have Netflix you can stream this to your PC or any other supported device, and if that is possible for you, DO IT! Seriously, it's an excellent film and is worth catching.

I really, really wish it was available in Blu-ray as it would be an instant purchase for me (unless the price was just insane). On DVD @ Amazon it's presently priced at $22.49 which is a little high for DVD format in my book. But, again, if you have Netflix or perhaps Blockbuster, then catch it that way. Alternatively, wait a little while for it to show up on one of the pay TV channels and catch it, but either way, well, catch it.
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#7 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

I've generally found this site to be the best one for reviews - pretty objective and informative as well about the quality of the imagery and audio.

The site also contains alot of additional Blu Ray information....

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/
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#8 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:58 PM

I've generally found this site to be the best one for reviews - pretty objective and informative as well about the quality of the imagery and audio.

The site also contains alot of additional Blu Ray information....

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/


I visit there frequently and contribute to the forums there too (including adding comments to the threads about reviews, over in their forums, also including -- at times -- linking back to the reviews that I've done at Amazon for those that are interested). I'd beg to differ, at least in many cases, about how objective the reviewers are there. At least one reviewer there (Peter) is fairly regularly panned in the forums there for his ratings of the movies that he reviews. Ken is pretty fair though.
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#9 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:01 PM

Last one from the last several months of 2008:

I watched An American Carol over the last few days. Unless you dislike Michael Moore, don't bother. Even if you don't dislike him, well, you might enjoy it as it's a Zucker (Airplane, etc.) film, but really it hardly seems worth the effort. If you don't like Country music, definitely skip it as you'll get some of that too and probably be turned off all the more.

Why did I watch? well, I like Country music, enjoy Zucker films, don't much care for Michael Moore, etc. Even with all that in mind I was glad it was a fairly short film. It wasn't horrible, but definitely isn't something that I'd recommend buying.
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#10 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

I visit there frequently and contribute to the forums there too (including adding comments to the threads about reviews, over in their forums, also including -- at times -- linking back to the reviews that I've done at Amazon for those that are interested). I'd beg to differ, at least in many cases, about how objective the reviewers are there. At least one reviewer there (Peter) is fairly regularly panned in the forums there for his ratings of the movies that he reviews. Ken is pretty fair though.

I've found almost all of them at that site to be right on target, based on my viewing the very same disks.
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#11 OFFLINE   bdowell

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 09:56 PM

I've found almost all of them at that site to be right on target, based on my viewing the very same disks.


That's nice. Perhaps you'd like to go tell the folks there that rather than, well, continuing to be cheerleading that site in a thread that I started to offer up my *own* reviews.
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#12 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:37 AM

That's nice. Perhaps you'd like to go tell the folks there that rather than, well, continuing to be cheerleading that site in a thread that I started to offer up my *own* reviews.

I've seen your reviews as well, and they appear to be very sound too.

Reviews are reviews....opinions of one's audio/video viewing experience, as well as the listing of the technical facts of the media content.

Half of that is pure subjective, and half is fact.

Thank you for your reviews - I enjoy them no less.

There are plenty of other places to see reviews....and this was just one suggestion. It's not a competition. :rolleyes:
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#13 OFFLINE   machavez00

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:42 AM

Have the "bad" Fifth Element discs been pulled from the market? If they are still out there, how does one identify it?

#14 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:51 AM

Have the "bad" Fifth Element discs been pulled from the market? If they are still out there, how does one identify it?

They were "recalled" many months ago....but I suspect that there as still some out there...hit or miss.

Most of the inventories now contain the "fixed" versions. Between here and 3 other households that I know of personally, all those 4 versions were purchased in the past 90 days and were fine.

It's a heck of a movie and demo BD, by the way.
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#15 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:50 PM

Amazon has both entries still online for The Fifth Element, and the UPCs are different.

#16 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:58 PM

Amazon has both entries still online for The Fifth Element, and the UPCs are different.

Two different Blu Ray UPC's???
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#17 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:09 PM

That's nice. Perhaps you'd like to go tell the folks there that rather than, well, continuing to be cheerleading that site in a thread that I started to offer up my *own* reviews.


Dude, you really think some of these are reviews?

Also recently: Zack and Miri make a Pr0no
I watched the new Kevin Smith film Zack & Miri at the theatres with a friend. We both laughed quite a bit at it, though it isn't without some disgusting material included.


Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais (from the original britcom version of The Office, later from the short, but very, very funny series Extras), Greg Kinnear, and Téa Leoni. A charming romantic comedy. Well worth viewing if you are looking for a date movie. :up:

==

I didn't write up a review of Traitor starring Don Cheadle. It was interesting, though lacked enough action to keep my wife from falling asleep while watching it. I enjoyed it myself, but would note that it's somewhat slower paced than you might expect and takes a while to really get going.

==

I also neglected to write up a review of the Anna Ferris movie: The House Bunny. Totally silly flick, but I liked it.

==

Horton Hears a Who is entertaining family fare.

==

If you want to kill some time and several hundred brain cells, pop Fred Claus into your player or tune it in on a pay channel along the way. Personally I found it to be a complete waste and didn't make it beyond the first 30 minutes before I saved my PS3 by ejecting this piece of trash from it's Blu-ray drive.

==

Definitely better than above, at least on the comparitive scale, was the Eddie Murphy visiting space alien family flick Meet Dave. I actually enjoyed it for what it was. As a family flick it's entertaining enough and certainly is fairly harmless.

==

Classic Rock fans should enjoy The Who at Kilburn: 1977. If you like The Who it is must see viewing. Note that the extras on the Blu-ray disc include footage from other concerts as well, though the quality of that footage isn't as nice as that of the Kilburn show.

==

A totally unexpected gem was Kung Fu Panda. I really didn't think it was going to be any where near as good as it wound up being. Top notch animation, cute story, decent voice work that didn't detract from the story or animation, etc. 5 stars all around.


The "reviews" you're posting here are one sentence comments. I know that your "reviews" on Amazon are longer, but it just seems like you post them here so that people will go to Amazon and vote for your or something. This is like an advertising thread.

Additionally, if I'm going to read a Blu Ray (or DVD) review (which I do at dvdtalk.com), I want to know the specifics of the image and sound quality for each particular disc and what equipment the reviewer is using to evaluate it.

Here's an example of a movie you also reviewed.

Edited by spartanstew, 03 January 2009 - 09:43 PM.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#18 OFFLINE   smiddy

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:13 PM

Dude, you really think some of these are reviews?





The "reviews" you're posting here are one sentence comments. I know that your "reviews" on Amazon are longer, but it just seems like you post them here so that people will go to Amazon and vote for your or something. This is like an advertising thread.

Additionally, if I'm going to read a Blu Ray (or DVD) review (which I do at dvdtalk.com), I want to know the specifics of the image and sound quality for each particular disc and what equipment the reviewer is using to evaluate it.

Here's an example of a movie you also reviewed.


Yep, not worth reading some people's reviews.

BTW, because of you I have purchased my wheels and 2 x 4's to create a rack. I'll let you know when I've finished.
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#19 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:16 PM

Looking forward to seeing pics of it Smiddy.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#20 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:01 AM

Dude, you really think some of these are reviews?

The "reviews" you're posting here are one sentence comments. I know that your "reviews" on Amazon are longer, but it just seems like you post them here so that people will go to Amazon and vote for your or something. This is like an advertising thread.

Additionally, if I'm going to read a Blu Ray (or DVD) review (which I do at dvdtalk.com), I want to know the specifics of the image and sound quality for each particular disc and what equipment the reviewer is using to evaluate it.

...which is why I also referenced the other site, which has in-depth information and disk specifications....

As I said..there are several good sites....after you read some reviews and then see the movies yourself, one can align one's self with those that seem to fit one's taste.
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