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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
As Above So Below Blu-ray Review
Dec 18 2014 01:08 AM
As Above So Below finds its footage on Blu-ray with a nearly bare-bones edition that doesn’t make this confusing maze of a film any easier to understand. Os... Read More
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Dec 18 2014 12:51 AM
Wish I Was Here kickstarts itself onto Blu-ray with an edition that offers a solid high definition presentation of this surprisingly effective movie, along w... Read More
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Dec 16 2014 02:51 PM
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Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa Blu-Ray Review
Feb 08 2014 07:42 PM | mattCR in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Paramount
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
- Subtitles: English, English SDH
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 Hr 31 Min., 1 hr 41 Min (Ext)
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
- Case Type:
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer), DVD-9 (dual layer)
- Region: A
- Release Date: 01/28/2014
- MSRP: $39.99
The Production Rating: 3.5/5When Stephen Prouty was nominated for the makeup scene within this film it surprised a few. I have to admit, I was one of them. The makeup as presented is effective, cloaking Johny Knoxville in a disguise that has been called everything from 'a typical old person makeup' to 'an amazing technique that avoided detection of average people up close'.
The reality is a little bit of both. The makeup as presented is effective and interesting, but very few people will watch a film for makeup alone. The film tells a pretty straightforward story of an old man delivering a kid to a drug addict in North Carolina who believes that handling the kid will entitle him to government benefits and as a result, he's willing to take the kid on. Along the journey, we experience several sketches that build the storyline: A funeral that goes wrong; transportation of a body in a trunk; minor petty crimes; some road chaos; a children's beauty contest are amongs the bits that mark the time in the world that Knoxville has created.
Fans of prior Jackass films will find that a Jackass movie with a storyline has two results. One is that the storyline may help build the comedy the other is that the breaks in the bits can provide lulls that don't really add much to the film. I found that the pauses did a mix of both; in some instances the buildup really paid off - but because of the inconsistent quality of the segments between bits, the film couldn't build a narrative that I would appreciate more than once.
Repeat viewings, therefore, will primarily be quick fastforwards to the bits I enjoyed most and I don't imagine I will watch this all the way through often.
There are two presentations of the film provided on the disc. The theatrical cut and the extended cut. The extended cut, at 10 minutes later contains mostly extended segments present in the theatrical cut, which help bring out the 'cringe' factor in some sketches.
Video Rating: 2.5/5 3D Rating: NA
Because this film relies heavily on hidden camreas and what appears to be co-opted or specially planted security camera feeds the image quality varies greatly in presentation. Some images are overly soft, some have a light buzz. While all were filmed in a form of HD because of the varying level of quality in the original recording,
(Above using inside hidden cameras; where blurry nature and a lot of error is obvious)
Presented in MPEG4-AVC at an 29.7-31.2AWBR for the VIdeo feed, the film does the best it can with the video source. Still, outside views are quite good; and once you understand that many inside views are done using significantly lesser equpment it helps build the authentic nature of the movie being about catching people unaware as a first priority.
(outside shot, much higher quality)
Audio Rating: 4.5/5Audio is presented in DTS-MA 5.1 and does a very effective job of delivering dialogue. This is not a film that provides a lot of sound int he rear channels or musical score, but it is always easy to understand and presents content quite well.
Special Features: 4.5/5One of the biggest questions about Extras for this disc is how you interpret two cuts of a film. Is one an extra? Are they both the main feature? In this case, because the Extended, unrated cut is the selling point I find it hard to think of it as anything but an extra to the original theatrical print. The extra cut is longer, provides more information but there aren't really new skits - just extra moments form the ones you've seen, which tend to be either quite good or just a touch too long depending on how much you like the film as presented.
Other extras include:
- Behind the Scenes (1080P, DTS5.1): There are numerous looks behind the scenes of each element as designed within the film and how they were setup. One of the nice things about these segments is that they give you a look at how many different cameras, designes and fake-outs were used to get the people who were blindsided into the film.
- Alternate Marks (1080P, DTS 5.1): While these are seperated out from 'Deleted scenes', these alternate takes on the film provide different ways that some of these scenes could have happened, with alternate 'unaware' people blindsided. Meet Billy (5:43), Meet Irving (3:00), The Skype Call (4:15), Billy Shops for Parents (1:47), Irving Hits on Women 1 (3:10), and Irving Hits on Women 2 (1:54).
- Deleted Scenes (1080P, DTS 5.1): Street Magician (2:40), Chair Kick (1:39), and Shopping Cart (1:49). Everyone of these deserved to be cut in comparison to what is in the film.