Blu-ray Review Demolition Man Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    AAfter waking up from 35 years of CryoPrison, criminal Simon Phoenix and Sgt. John Spartan discover a Los Angeles as a dreamlike, serene, and non-violent, and certainly unprepared for the violence of the 1990s. Leave it to Phoenix to be a blast from the past and for Stallone to be prepared to send the criminals packing.
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    DEMOLITION MAN
    Release Date: August 16, 2011
    Distributor: Warner Bros.
    Packaging/Materials: keepcase, no insert
    Year: 1993
    Rating: 14A
    Running Time: 115 minutes
    THE FEATURE
    Video 1080p 2:4:1
    AUDIO
    English DTS 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Spanish
    SUBTITLES
    English SDH, French, Spanish

    The Feature: 3/5
    It’s funny how a few years of maturity can make a difference in opinions. I remember seeing Demolition Man in the theatres with friends, laughing at the jokes, being amused with the action scenes, and being smitten with the then unknown Sandra Bullock. I never quite understood why the adults around me thought less than excited about the movie, but now I understand.
    Wesley Snipes plays a murderous criminal Simon Phoenix who was put in a deep-freeze CryoPrison for 35 years for his crimes. When waking in 2032, he’s found that the world around him is in a state of non-violence and flowing with positive energy and happiness. Not being a convert to this way of life, he begins his devilish ways upon the angelic city. The police (including Bullock) are not prepared to handle this sort of violence as they’ve been raised with the same non-violent mentality as the rest of the city. They conclude the only way to stop Phoenix is to fight the past with the past. Unjustly sent to prison for his handling of Phoenix’s terror tactics, they unfreeze L.A. Sgt. John Spartan (Stallone), known in their history books as the “demolition man” for his extreme tactics on fighting crime. In a humorous clash with past and future, Stallone and Bullock partner up to fight crime, change the present and liberate the future. After many discount bin editions of this title on DVD, this is the first time it's released in HD on Blu-ray.
    Video Quality: 4/5
    Viewed on a calibrated Panasonic TC-P55VT30, the 2.4:1 image was much better than I expected…I’m not sure when the high def master was created; I could assume that it was done in the 1990s for the original DVD (and maybe the laserdisc) or maybe it was created recently for the 2010 DVD release. Regardless, the transfer looks great with very good detail. Small strands of hair and textures of the skin can be seen on Stallone and Bullock, background images have very good definition without appearing too blurry. I’m also impressed with the look of the colour as it’s neither aggressive or muted, and seems to fit nicely within this future sci-fi. Just beware of Wesley Snipes’s rather colour ‘90s outfits! Finally, image contrast is also very good. White levels are bright without clipping and black levels are suitably deep without a loss in shadow detail. Overall this is a nice HD upgrade when compared to my DVD copy.
    Audio Quality: 3.5/5
    This soundtrack is one of the earlier modern-day 5.1 recordings delivered by Dolby Digital theatrically. Being nearly 20 years old, it holds up well to today’s recordings. Sound effects are spread at and between all channels with the music score coming through as the best element within. Dialogue is very clear among sound effects with a hint of brittleness, but Stallone’s low murmuring voice is perfectly audible, and Bullock’s excitement is decidedly captured with nothing less. Gun shots are limited in fidelity and dynamics as is evident during the escape from the museum. Even in the future, recordings can sound wimpy to the big gun sound movies today. As for a surround experience, all five channels are filled with music and effects to wrap the viewer with excitement, although the original recording does so a bit modestly including the use of .1 LFE information. While reference in its day, this new lossless DTS-HDMA lossless of encode of Demolition Man pleases no less. The most displeasing aspect of this soundtrack is Sting’s Demolition Man theme song. I’m not sure what Sting was thinking, but it goes down in my books as one of the worst theme songs in history and in Sting’s career. Yikes!
    Special Features: 1/5
    The same commentary included on the 1997 DVD by director Marco Brambilla and producer Joel Silver is included here with the theatrical trailer (SD, 16:9).
    In the end...
    If you like Demolition Man’s odd humour, style, and entertainment, or are a fan of Bullock’s earliest career films, this Blu-ray is an improvement in both audio and video over the standard definition DVD and lossy audio soundtrack. While the special features remain thin, the improvements in the A/V experience do not.
    Mike Osadciw
    11.08.07
     
  2. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Thanks for the review Mike. This is a total guilty pleasure movie for me and I'm glad to hear the video looks as good as it does. Picking it up this week, on my way home from Taco Bell.
     
  3. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    There's a joke in here somewhere about President Schwarzenegger but I can't think of any right now... Or maybe I don't want to. :huh::P But I am looking forward to this release, too, as well as The Specialist (it has its charm). Great review, Michael!
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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  5. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Yes, there was a joke about that - how funny was that!! I had a good laugh when I heard that!
     
  6. Keith I

    Keith I FoS

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    It's not the greatest movie, agreed, but I liked its attempt at quasi-noir. Rod Steiger isn't bad in anything he's in. I love his over-the-top antics (also see The January Man when he's chewing out Danny Aiello). And James Woods also steals the limelight in most things he's in. We'll save that discussion for the review of The Specialist.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Michael's just mad because he still doesn't get how to use the three seashells… Will be picking this up once the price is right (sub $15). This isn't a guilty pleasure for me. It's just a pleasure, period. :D
     
  8. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

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    I can't believe they still haven't included the deleted scenes that feature Jesse Ventura.
     
  9. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    I still don't know how to use the three seashells!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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