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Blu-ray Review Westworld Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

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    XenForo Template Westworld Blu-ray Review

    Michael Crichton’s android disaster film debuts on Blu-ray with a decent – though not always visually pleasing – presentation. The bonus material is on the slim side, but fans of short-lived ‘80s TV shows should get a kick out of one particular item.

    Posted Image


    Studio: Warner Brothers

    Distributed By: N/A

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

    Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 1.0 DD (Mono), French 1.0 DD (Mono)

    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

    Rating: PG

    Run Time: 1 Hr. 29 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray

    Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 03/05/2013

    MSRP: $19.98




    The Production Rating: 4/5

    Has Delos got a vacation for you! The cutting edge, adult amusement park promises an experience like no other as it immerses its visitors in bygone times and places that have long held sway on the human imagination – the Old West, the Medieval Age, and Ancient Rome. The incredible realism found in Delos’s Westworld, Medievalworld and Romanworld is made possible by robots (androids to be precise) populating the environments and catering to guests’ every whim, be it seducing a buxom handmaiden or putting down a sinister gunslinger in a shootout. Those able to pay the $1,000 per day price tag can give themselves over to such fantasies without fear of real world consequences; only the robots are getting hurt and even then they’re just repaired and put back in operation by the next day.Visiting Delos for the first time is recently divorced attorney Peter Martin (Richard Benjamin), joining his friend John Blaine (James Brolin), who has returned for a second visit to Westworld. At first Martin can’t help feeling self-conscious about playing make believe in his cowboy costume, but when he locks horns with an android gunslinger (Yul Brynner) and successfully outdraws him in a duel, he starts to understand the appeal. A visit to the town’s brothel and the comforts of its mechanical ladies of the night quickly seals the deal, making Martin declare Delos truly worthy of the hype.But behind the scenes there’s something very wrong. Androids across all the environments have started malfunctioning, going against their programming in small but insidious ways that eventually lead to a real injury. Though the park should be shut down to investigate the problem thoroughly, the directors dismiss the concerns and keep the facility running. In short order, however, there’s a full-on android revolt against the guests, who have no defense against the physically superior human facsimiles. In Westworld specifically the gunslinger Martin put down is back for another go around, and this time the machine aims to win.Though the Michael Crichton written and directed Westworld may not have the biggest budget or best special effects going for it, it does have a highly compelling premise that’s like Frankenstein meets a classic 1970s disaster film. Told with a measure of dark sarcasm, it ultimately plays out as a cautionary tale against technology-driven hubris, something that’s still relevant despite the dated particulars (viewers will find the ultra-pixelated gunslinger POV especially funny in today’s high definition era).Not that the movie’s especially preachy on the topic. If anything it’s easy to disregard the underlying themes in favor of the spectacle of consequence-free debauchery, something we’ve all fantasized about on some level. Along with the steely presence of Brynner as the robot gunslinger, a casting stroke of genius if there ever was one given his work in the Magnificent Seven, Westworld makes for one entertaining amusement ride, though like the best of such endeavors, it seems to end just as it’s getting good.


    Video Rating: 3.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Framed at 2.40:1, the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer features consistently strong black levels and color depth, but things like contrast and sharpness are more variable. Some shots in full daylight can look a touch “hot” and blacks look crushed on a number of occasions. Viewers will probably have the hardest time with the source-related softness in the early part of the film, though things sharpen up considerably once the guests arrive in Delos. There’s still a few shots and scenes on the hazy side, but grain never appears reduced nor are there other signs of excessive digital enhancement.



    Audio Rating: 3.5/5

    Dialogue in the English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently crisp, detailed, and intelligible. Surround channels perk up for things like the hovercraft landing and cues in the soundtrack, but the mix still favors the front speaker array, albeit with decently wide staging. LFE is non-existent, but the track features consistent depth and dynamic range throughout.


    Special Features Rating: 2.5/5

    The bonus material consists entirely of archival materials, the most curious being the 1980 TV pilot for a Westworld spinoff.On Location with Westworld (9:07, SD): The vintage electronic press kit includes an interview with Director Michael Crichton and footage from production.1980 TV Pilot: Beyond Westworld (47:52, SD): The short-lived TV series, which only aired three out of five produced episodes, has former Delos scientist Simon Quaid (James Wainwright) as the man responsible for the malfunctioning machines, as part of his grand plan to take over the world.Trailer (3:07, SD)


    Overall Rating: 4/5

    Warner Home Video delivers a faithful – though not always easy on the eyes – high definition presentation for Michael Crichton’s technology gone awry sci-fi tale. The extras are limited to a couple of perfunctory promotional items, but those curious about the short-lived Beyond Westworld TV series should appreciate the inclusion of its pilot. Though some may balk at the less than perfect image for the main feature, the release is still worthy of a purchase, especially given the strength and popularity of the film and the Blu-ray's going street price.


    Reviewed By: Cameron Yee


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  2. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    Always liked this film, but always wondered if there had been a "longer" or "director's cut". The Roman World was never really shown except for the catastrophic ending, and it always seemed like things were left out of the film, or heavily edited. I remember when I first saw it, that I had, the "is that all there is?" feeling.
     
  3. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Well-Known Member

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    A bigger budget would have helped. It was a big hit.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

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    I think that I would of been bored if the film had been much longer. Some movies should be short, 100 minutes or less. West World got all it's points across in the alotted time. I watched the BD the week it came out.
     
  5. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait to get this to upgrade a DVD and Futureworld to upgrade a bought tape. (wish they'd done a double feature deal, and I would have already ordered these, but gotta a wait a bit). Glad to hear it's worth it.

    First saw it when I was about 9. The gunfighter scared the s**t out of me. That whole scene of Benjamin being chased is among my favorite movie scenes ever. Relentless. I had a dream that night after first seeing it I never forgot. I was eating breakfast cereal and suddenly noticed I was eating it out of the gunfighter's face plate. I remember that dream each and every time I see the film. The scene when his face is sizzling just shocked the crap out of me. That really is a beautifully done moment.
     
  6. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. I'd love to see more of the other "worlds".

    Just noticed that the writer said Westworld would never work as a book so he just wrote the screenplay. there was a companion book done. So much for reading the story looking for expanded bits... :(
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Blind bought this with Futureworld when they had a price drop online. Look forward to spending some time with it now, I don't think I ever seen it!
     

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