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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF Blu-ray Review: Transporter 3



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#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted March 09 2009 - 07:58 AM




Transporter 3 (Blu-ray)



Studio: Lionsgate
Year: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Film Length: 104 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: DTS HD MA 7.1 (English), DTS 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French)
Subtitles: English, English (SDH), Spanish



US DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009


Movie: out of
Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin in Transporter 3. In this installment of the series produced by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Le Femme Nikita), Frank has to deliver the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian diplomat, ransomed in exchange for signing a contract involving the disposal of toxic waste. In an obvious nod to John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, Frank and his passenger, Valentina (newcomer Natalya Rudakova), must stay within 75 feet from the car or else the bracelet bombs on their wrists will explode.

Yes, the plot here is ludicrous, but that is half of the fun of this kind of movie. It is the action sequences that make this movie such an enjoyment to watch. The sequences are frequently over the top, but never overstay their welcome. Director Olivier Megaton (a good name for an action director, by the way) keeps the pacing rather tight, with enough room between sequences to allow the audience to catch their breath. Statham is in fine form playing a character he is obviously familiar with. Rudakova, in her acting debut, give a decent performance, portraying Valentina as a spoiled daddy’s girl. Francois Berleand reprises his role as Inspector Tarconi, bringing some dry humor to the film. And Robert Knepper (from TV’s Prison Break) is very good as the villain, Johnson, a business man who is just trying to do his job and doesn’t necessarily see what he is doing is wrong.


Video: out of
Lionsgate has provided Transporter 3 with a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. This is a clean, sharp transfer with deep blacks and a nice color palette. I noticed no compression artifacts, and film grain has thankfully not been scrubbed away through the use of DNR, providing a nice film-like presentation.


Audio: out of
In usual Lionsgate fashion, Transporter 3 sports a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Since my receiver is not capable of DTS-HD playback, I was only able to access the 5.1 lossy DTS core at 1.5 Mbps. This is a very active mix, with fighting thuds and fiery explosions that will envelop and rock your viewing space. Lionsgate has also provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in French, encoded at 640 kbps.


Special Features: out of
This Blu-ray edition includes all of the same features from the DVD version (and in standard definition).

Director’s Commentary with Olivier Megaton Megaton has a lot to say about this production, albeit in a very thick, and often difficult to understand, French accent. He does make one obvious error very early on, saying that he first became involved with the film in December 2008. I assume he meant 2007.

Special Delivery: Transporters In The Real World This 14 minute featurette (in 16:9 widescreen) includes interviews with security experts and former government agents discussing what a real Transporter does.

Making of Transporter 3 An above-average EPK featurette, lasting 16 minutes (in non-anamorphic widescreen), that covers the making of this film, including pre-production costume tests and stunt rehearsals and shooting.

Storyboard Comparisons Not really comparisons, since only the storyboards are shown for two sequences, one of which was cut prior to principal photography.

Visual Effects The two big action sequences from the third act are featured in this way too short (2:30) featurette.

The Sets Olivier Megaton discusses the production design of the movie. I was very surprised that Frank Martin’s house was built from scratch.

Theatrical Trailer presented in high-definition and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Also From Lionsgate A collection of trailers, all high definition.
Crank 2: High Voltage
The Punisher
Bangkok Dangerous
The Spirit
War


MoLog Lionsgate’s BD-Live feature, sort of a cross between the My Scenes and My Chat features on many of Universal’s BD-Live titles. I found the feature to be way too complicated for it own good, with absolutely no instructions on the disc or Lionsgate’s MoLog website on how to use it. What I was able to do was litter my screen with small icon animations and text. I plan on revisiting this feature and add to my review shortly after street date.

Digital Copy Lionsgate has provided an extra disc to download and install the film on your PC, MAC, or portable media player (iPod or Windows Plays For Sure device).

Overall: out of
Transporter 3 is a fun, exciting distraction of a movie with a nice high-def transfer and rocking soundtrack, with a standard set of extras. Lionsgate does need to work on making their BD-Live feature, MoLog, more user-friendly.



This DVD was reviewed on the following home theater gear:
  • Toshiba 56HM66 DLP HDTV
  • Sony Playstation 3 (outputting to 1080i)
  • Yamaha HTR-5940 Home Theater Receiver (in 5.1 configuration)
  • Yamaha NS-AP2600 Home Cinema Speaker Package
  • Yamaha YST-SW010 subwoofer


#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted March 10 2009 - 08:02 AM

Thanks for the review! I plan to pick this up, good mindless action! Before I do, does anyone know if there might be a box set of all 3 on BD? I don't have the first 2 on BD yet, just SD. I have a feeling it won't happen, not a big enough seller probably.

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted March 10 2009 - 11:03 AM

Very doubtful. The first two were released by FOX, this third installment is from Lionsgate. Don't you hate it when franchises jump studios?

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted March 10 2009 - 11:14 AM

I'll be picking this up, I really enjoyed the first two.
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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted March 10 2009 - 01:51 PM

As will I.....I love these type of films where you can just let your brain take a rest and marvel at the stunts and fight choreography. Posted Image
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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   bases1616

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Posted March 10 2009 - 02:52 PM

Todd,

I just picked up this movie today. If your audio system can not handle lossless audio then why are you doing a review on a movie of this audio caliber. This was hands down 5 out 5 audio with my 7.1 setup. It sounds really good. With your audio setup you need to stick to movies without great audio like HoosiersPosted Image I just think it is fair to us readers to get a better perspective on the audio part of the review.

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   ATimson

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Posted March 10 2009 - 03:13 PM

But which of the two will be the better perspective? Are there really more readers with a 7.1 DTS-HD capable setup than those without?
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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 10 2009 - 03:37 PM

Honestly, I wondered the same thing when I read the review. Ralph over on AVS gave this a perfect 100/100 for audio! Cant wait to hear this.

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted March 10 2009 - 03:55 PM

Hmm, Lionsgate!? Thanks for that insight. T1 and T2 are fairly inexpensive so I'll pick those up separately.

#10 of 22 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 11 2009 - 05:55 AM


I think it's safe to agree that no one who was interested in this movie would turn it down because Todd said the audio "would envelop and rock your viewing space", but didn't listen to it in lossless, if anything it would only make those with lossess even more interested Posted Image

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   bases1616

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Posted March 11 2009 - 01:08 PM

Adam, The point I was trying to get across was not if your system can handle 7.1 or not. HD movies have been out for quite awhile now and there quite a few that are just a high audio expereince. Before I upgraded to my 7.1 lossless surround sound, I was doing the whole 5.1 core only for the audio setup. There is a big difference when you are stripping the core of the DTS-HD MA track. I just think when you guys select reviewers for certain movies that they should have a adequete setup to give the best review on the audio. I just don't think someone who does not have the lossless audio setup can give the readers an accurate rating on the sound.

#12 of 22 OFFLINE   troy evans

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Posted March 11 2009 - 01:45 PM

Again, I think he's well aware of the fact that the 7.1 track may be better. Since he only gives the 5.1 track 4 out of 5 stars which leaves room for improvement, aka, 7.1 DTS-Master. If he had rated the 5.1 mix at 5 stars people would wonder how much better the 7.1 mix would really be. I think he's being pretty fair here.
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#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 12 2009 - 04:21 AM

I agree with this. Nobody is asking for a reviewer to have "speakerwire as thick as my arm" or anything to that ridiculous standard, just be up to speed with being able to decode AND output the audio format in question in this case 7.1 DTS-MA. At the very least, HTF could pass on this type of audio caliber movie to someone who is up to speed with their equipment.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted March 12 2009 - 05:53 AM

Agreed. This is not a knock against Todd or his review but at least pass along films to a reviewer that can decode the HD audio formats, for me, it's just as important as the video quality.
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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted March 12 2009 - 06:13 AM

So I guess this means he should stop reviewing Blu-ray titles because they are almost all in HD lossless audio. The postings here should send a message to HTF reviewers: don't reveal what kind of equipment you are using in your reviews. Nobody would have been the wiser if he hadn't been decent enough to point out the limitations of his equipment. It must make a guy feel good when he volunteers his labour to write reviews, only to be dumped on because his equipment is not the latest and greatest. At least he qualified his audio review and rating by stating as much. It is obvious to me that a high rating for the lossy track would mean that a person is certainly not going to lose anything (and would most likely gain) with the lossless track.
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#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 12 2009 - 06:30 AM

Absolutely. I would also like to reiterate your point that this is not a knock against Todd personaly in any way. I just think at the very least if somebody is going to do a review for a reputable publication such as HTF, they should be able to review the full unwatered down version on that disc and having equip capable of doing that should be a basic pre-req in order to be a reviewer.

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Todd smith

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Posted March 12 2009 - 06:34 AM

This is not about dumping on anyone. If you see it that way, you are missing the point. This does not mean he should stop reviewing Blu-Ray titles, but if I were one of the owners of HTF I certainly would not have a reviewer writing for me who could not get 1080/24p and be able to decode lossless audio (in other words be able to review these discs as they are meant to be seen and heard). He is writing for a very reputable HT website and being able to pass a 1080/24p signal and being able to output it properly and being able to decode and output a 7.1 lossless signal should be a requirement (IMO) for being a review rep for such a respected forum such as this one.

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   bases1616

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Posted March 12 2009 - 12:30 PM

I agree with Todd Smith. I had no problem with his review, but when you say don't mention the equipment, that is when I ask why such a low rating on the audio. I think if the reviewer had the lossless equipment he gives this movie a 4 1/2 or 5 on audio. You can not hear the perfect 5 on audio with only pulling the core. I talk from experience and there is a big difference from the full 7.1 DTS-HD MA compared to the 5.1 DTS core of 1.5 mbps.

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Loregnum

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Posted March 13 2009 - 02:25 AM

I loved Transporter 1 but felt Transporter 2 was just....blah. Is this movie more along T1 or T2?

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   bases1616

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Posted March 13 2009 - 07:49 AM

It is more along T1. I just got done watching it again and I really liked this one. Way better than T2 and the sound is amazing. I love the footage of Marseille, France right by the water and it shows the gold statue of Mary and her child on top of the Notre Dame la Garde several times.





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