DoBlu’s December 2009 Review Round-Up

Think you missed something in December? Let this easy to use, organized list be your guide to the entirety of DoBlu’s reviews last month. The list is sorted from the newest to the oldest, and separated by catalog titles and new releases. Clips are taken from the movie, video, and audio review sections, in that order.

New Releases

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Jennifer’s Body: “Maybe the producers or the studio should have called this Megan Fox’s Body.”

“Fox delivers a stand out AVC encode, possibly one of the best of 2009.”

“A bar is lively early in the film, and as it catches fire, the flames rip through the soundfield.”

A Perfect Getaway: “… At least Hawaii is beautiful.”

“… aerial shots are worth mentioning for their beauty however, including a pass over of a waterfall where the water below shows clearly defined waves.”

“… Brief gunfire is quite powerful, providing excellent punch on the low-end.”

9: “The story lets that design down, pushing forward with wild, energetic action.”

9 does not have the same texture quality of Up, although it wasn’t made with the same financial power behind it either.”

“While it may seem minor, out of all of the audio reviews on this site, none have handled falling debris better than 9.”

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All About Steve: “Sandra Bullock plays Mary in All About Steve, and unfortunately, it’s not of the There’s Something About variety.”

“Color is the stand out of this generally superb AVC transfer from Fox.”

“For all of its ridiculousness, the tornado scene is the audio showcase for this DTS-HD effort.”

Julie & Julia: “Adams’ understated performance has won the audience over.”

“Notably, few discs handle complex distance shots this well.”

“The sweeping music is flawlessly bled into the rear channels for a great enveloping effect.”

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District 9: “However, the story gaps are not as large a concern as the cartoonish, over-the-top violence that is completely wrong for a story struggling to pull emotion from the viewer.”

“The down conversion from the significantly higher resolution seems to have only caused minor problems.”

“Much of this mix is focused on a fine layer of ambiance. Something is always happening in the surrounds.”

The Hangover: “The Hangover is wonderfully written, developing individual characters out of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and a show stealing performance from Zach Galifianakis as the oddball out.”

“Warner delivers a weak, low bit-rate VC-1 encode for The Hangover, a trend that needs to stop.”

“The subwoofer works overtime to push some of these tracks with a clean bass line.”

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Inglorious Basterds: “The first chapter of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is a film by itself.”

“That said, items such as uniforms look stunning, with incredibly rich stitching and definition around medals.”

“Those lucky enough not to worry about volume levels will undoubtedly enjoy the pounding, bass-filled gunfire.”

G-Force: “G-Force wants it all, and this becomes its undoing.”

“A fireworks display late in the movie is a complex spectacle this encode handles without a flaw.”

“Surprisingly, this is a rather flat audio mix.”

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Public Enemies: “It doesn’t make the viewer feel like they are part of this grand escape, but are there on a film set watching it happen live.”

“Noise can be unbearable, particularly during the nighttime forest shoot-out and a hotel invasion.”

“Equalization is poor, with some dialogue registering unintelligible if you have the audio at an acceptable level for the action.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: “For as dark as these Harry Potter film adaptations are becoming, they are still not afraid to laugh”

“Halfway through a second viewing, there were enough instances of high contrast edge ringing, artifacting, and the other issues (plus those stated in the original review) that no more were needed.”

“The surrounds carry a heavy presence, including superb score bleed.”

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: “Wisely keeping the old cast confined for much of the film, Battle creates an entirely new environment to play in, one filled with equally memorable characters.”

“Sharpness is generally perfect, with minor drop-offs, particularly near the hour mark at the Lincoln Memorial.”

“Surrounds are dead for much of the film, the only real highlight being the visit to the Air & Space Museum.”

Death Warrior: “This movie is pure trash, so incomprehensible it is baffling why major MMA/UFC stars would disgrace their names and their sport by “acting” in it.”

“Obviously in an attempt to spend as little money as possible, Death Warriors was shot digitally. It shows.”

“Dialogue is a victim of cheap recording methods, lacking crispness and clarity.”

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Terminator Salvation: “Herein lies the issue with Terminator Salvation:”

“Fantastic facial definition reveals individual stubble, depth-filling textures, and clearly resolved pores.”

“This is a loud, aggressive track, one with a constant stream of bullets and bass.”

Catalog

The Princess Bride: “Princess Bride almost feels self aware of its mountain of clichés, but only uses them to push the story forward.”

“The rolling hills and castles are spectacular in their crispness, and no artifacting is evident.”

“Brief low-end punches are delivered by spouting flames in the fire swamp, and fidelity is quite strong.”

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: “Considering the monumental complexity at work, one would suspect professionals with decades of experience.”

“Snow White lacks the powerful color saturation of Sleeping Beauty, but this suits the tone and story better.”

The General: “It’s appropriate as Buster Keaton was remarkable, and the stunt work in The General puts him in that rare category for stuntmen: the ones with a death wish.”

“Print damage is notable, even severe at times, but never becomes dominant over the visuals.”

“The score itself is superb, capturing the nuances of the performances through music.”

Frozen River: “Frozen River is a story of human smuggling, undoubtedly a dark and tragic part of our society that is little seen.”

“Frozen River was shot digitally, and only in 720p (upscaled to 1080p for this disc), the reason for the variety of problems with this transfer.”

“The surrounds are flat throughout.”

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Gremlins: “To be honest, Gremlins is a mess. It offers three simple rules, and doesn’t follow a single one of them.”

“The first shot of the film in bright light, that of a billboard, carries a color vibrancy this film has likely never seen.”

“Purists will adore the spacious stereo track, which is carried over beautifully into this unobtrusive TrueHD mix.”

Fight Club: “It is ridiculous, played for laughs and some extreme violence, if not much else.”

“Detail is remarkable, capturing well-defined beads of sweat, blood, and pores.”

“Every location is lively, from the city streets which feature cars and sirens in all channels, to the rundown, abandoned house capturing fantastic echoes.”

Specials

DoBlu’s Christmas Blu-ray List

Interview: Bret Wood Discusses Keaton’s The General on Blu-ray

Blu-ray Three Pack Winner Announced

Movies We Want on Blu-ray: Harry and the Hendersons

Up Blu-ray Winner Announced

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