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HTF Blu-Ray Review: Monsters Ball

Blu-ray Reviews

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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 28 2008 - 08:59 PM



PQ could have been better, AQ was certainly up to the job with DTS Master, there are a few extras there for those that enjoy them. Not too bad of a release all around



#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 28 2008 - 10:25 PM

Gary, In your opinion, knowing the look of this movie and how it was filmed, how much better could this video presentation really be on a scale from 1 to 5? Maybe, a 4 if a 5 is the very best a video presentation can be? Crawdaddy

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 28 2008 - 11:09 PM

Crawdad, I think this would have been a lot better looking release with a better treated master, it is just missing that last extra bit of detail that the best releases have and has a slight DNR look too it, this is very slight, also of course no EE would be great I don't think this will ever look like the Fifth Element remaster(apples to oranges of course) but it could do without these small issues this seems to be most likely a older master that looks slightly mushy when compared to fresh pieces like the 4k Blade Runner/Dirty Harry etc. -Gary

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted October 29 2008 - 03:15 AM

I have the Director's Cut on DVD, but held on to the original DVD release as well, because it contained a commentary with Billy Bob Thornton that wasn't carried over to the Director's Cut. When your review says "Standard stuff like . . . multiple commentaries," some of us would actually like to know what those commentaries are.

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted October 29 2008 - 04:44 AM

Gary: Thanks for the review! While I believe the info on the feature presentation is of prime importance, I agree that some kind of information on the extras that are included would really be helpful and a nice addition to your review.

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#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 29 2008 - 09:07 AM

Gary, do you have any sense of how much DNR has been applied? It's an important issue for this film, because the standard DVDs (both of them) were poster children for the excessive use of DNR. I saw the film during its 2001 Oscar-qualifying release, and I was instantly struck by the graininess -- obviously deliberate -- of the cinematography, especially in the early night scenes with Thornton's character, where that look is particularly suited to the fuzzy and somnolent emotional state of the leads. The image gradually stabilizes as their lives clarify, although it's a subtle transition. The image for DVD was scrubbed clean of grain, and the image was all but turned into video. The story and performances remained compelling, but a lot of the mood was gone. I was hoping that the Blu-ray would rectify this, but your review suggests otherwise. Could you elaborate on the extent of the DNR? For an example, you might take a look at the first scene when Thornton is driving to the diner. In the theater, there was never an area of solidly black night; every part of the screen was slightly alive, as if sharing his insomniac funk. (Just as an aside: Heath Ledger has a small part in this film, and it's one of the performances that Daniel Day-Lewis singled out in his tribute to Ledger at this year's SAG Awards. With good reason.)
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#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 29 2008 - 09:39 AM


sorry guys, I am not big on extras as you can see, I focus more on technical A/V quality Posted Image

I will check that in a jiffy and let you know

-Gary

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 29 2008 - 09:44 AM

you are pretty much right on the money there, the BD is using the same master that the DVD was obviously minted from, DNR is there and grain is not to the level of norm it is not to the magnitude of something like Face/Off or Untouchables or etc., but it has been degrained and then EE'd I struggled with the rating, had the DNR been just a pinch more I would have went to 3 or under -Gary

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 29 2008 - 09:52 AM

audio commentarys are only those of the director and the 2 writers, no Thornton on this release -Gary

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 29 2008 - 10:19 AM

There are too many of these masters in the pipeline and people are best waiting until these titles are revisited some time down the road.

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 29 2008 - 11:09 AM

Agreed. Thanks for the additional report, Gary. I can't say I'm surprised, but it's still a disappointment.
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#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted October 29 2008 - 11:23 AM

I agree totally these new masters from stuff like the Bonds, Blade Runner, Dirty Harry and other 4k jobs just walk all over the older masters from years back -Gary

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted October 30 2008 - 02:11 PM

Disappointed the Billy Bob commentary wasn't carried over to the Blu-ray. In fact, it was Billy Bob AND Halle Berry that did the commentary on the original theatrical version release. It sounds like they just duplicated the follow-up Director's Cut DVD, which contained different -- and fewer -- extras than the original. It seems like they could have have taken the time and used the space to put everything on this Blu-ray. Why do the studios continue to play these silly games?





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