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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Insomnia Blu-ray Review
Jul 27 2014 06:48 PM
Insomnia (1997), Director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s debut feature, is an absorbing and isolating narrative. Bright and harshly lit settings wash the dark and broodi... Read More
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Great car stunts and high speed street racing with a stunning array of muscle cars and super cars mostly done in real time are the reasons for the existence... Read More
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Immortal Sergeant DVD Review
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With his innate acting talent and a couple of long term contracts, Henry Fonda assured himself of acting some great roles: sometimes famous (Abraham Lincoln)... Read More
THE GREAT GATSBY 3D Blu-ray/DVD Combo3D Blu-ray
Aug 23 2013 03:03 PM | Timothy E in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
- Studio: Warner Brothers
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 2 Hrs. 22 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet
- Case Type: keep case
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: ABC
- Release Date: 08/27/2013
- MSRP: $34.95
The Production Rating: 3.5/5The story of The Great Gatsby is seen through the eyes of its narrator, Nick Carraway(Tobey Maguire). Nick is a war veteran circa 1922 looking for meaning in his life as he takes a menial job and finds modest lodgings on Long Island across the bay from his cousin Daisy(Carey Mulligan). Daisy is married to Tom(Joel Edgerton), an aging athlete who takes Daisy for granted and has a mistress on the side. Nick finds that his modest rental property is next door to the fabulous estate of the mysterious Jay Gatsby(Leonardo Dicaprio). Nick eventually meets Gatsby and learns that his cousin Daisy is the lost love of Gatsby's life. The extravagance and decadence of the Jazz Age run thematically through this drama as matters unravel for the participants with tragic consequences for all.
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald passed away in 1940 believing that The Great Gatsby was a critical and commercial failure. The novel was first published in 1925 to modest numbers, and most of its sales have occurred after Fitzgerald's death as The Great Gatsby has come to be considered one of the great American novels and a time capsule representation of the Roaring 20s.
Film audiences familiar with Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (2001) will be comfortable with the fast cuts and constantly moving camera that assists perspective in the 3-D presentation of this film. The cast of the film is first-rate, and the sets and costumes are marvels of design. The anachronistic modern music blends well with the more era-appropriate compositions by Gershwin and Porter.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: 3.5/5
The film is presented on Blu-ray in 3-D in 1080p in a 2.4:1 aspect ratio with the AVC codec. The 3-D effects are used subtly with the camera often approaching or retreating to demonstrate the perspective of multiple levels in the stereo window. Real pop-out moments are minimal, which may be a positive or negative according to your preference. Cross-talk is minimal to non-existent except briefly in a couple of scenes.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks are fairly immersive to provide a rich aural experience. As in other Baz Luhrmann films, there is almost constant background music to set tone, and the 5.1 has no perceptible flaws.
Special Features: 4/5The 3-D disc includes only the film with the special features included separately on the 2-D Blu-ray disc and the DVD.
The special features, all in HD, include all of the following:
The Greatness of Gatsby(9:14): Director Luhrmann and screenwriter Craig Pearce talk about creating their unique adapation.
"Within and Without" with Tobey Maguire(8:41): The actor playing the film's narrator offers his own video narration while filming his own behind the scenes footage.
The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby(12:46): Director Luhrmann, executive music supervisor Anton Monsted, and others talk about the classical and contemporary selections for the soundtrack.
The Jazz Age(15:43): Luhrmann introduces some brief clips from Rick Burns' documentary New York.
Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the '20s(16:22): Costume designer Catherine Martin talks about wardrobe selections for the film.
Fitzgerald's Visual Poetry(6:55): Luhrmann talks about his stylistic choices in reinterpreting Fitzgerald's novella.
Gatsby Revealed: This consist of several connected behind the scenes featurettes entitled "Gatsby's Party"(7:12), "Disconcerting Ride"(4:53), "Daisy and Gatsby Meet"(7:49), "The Plaza"(4:26), and "Pool Scene"(5:49).
Deleted Scenes(14:24): Include an alternate ending that may be played individually or with a "play all" option, and with an introduction by director Luhrmann.
Trailer(1:05): Original trailer for the first film adaptation of The Great Gatsby(1926), a Paramount film.
Also included is a redemption code for Ultraviolet for those consumers who want to store their digital copy in the "cloud."