Monday, January 4, 2010

Hi-Def Blood Movie reviews

The Lost Boys (Blu-Ray)
Review written by Steven M Duarte

Vampires crave blu blood with the high definition blu ray release of the 1987 classic vampire flick “Lost Boys.” This reissue of the cult classic film that graced us with the two Corey’s was released in July of 2008. The popularity of this film has grown over the years with many people hoping for a sequel. While we received a lackluster sequel in 2008 fans still hope for original director Joel Schumacher to take the reins yet again to deliver a true sequel to the series. I can go on and on about how fucking awesome the Lost Boys is but this piece is only intended to be a review on the blu ray release so I will subdue my inner fanboy for the time being.
Lost Boys is presented on blu ray with a VC-1 codec and a 1080P transfer. While this is the best the picture has ever looked, the film does show its age. Many dark scenes contain grain that blurs from the clarity of the overall picture. I found the daytime scenes to produce clear and detailed colors. This is a vampire flick so naturally a majority of the scenes are at night. One thing I did find grotesquely disturbing was how extra sweaty the meathead playing the saxophone at the beach party looked. The clarity of the blu ray picture provided too much detail of his saxophone romp. With that being said this is definitely the best the film has looked.
A re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is provided for this release. The music played throughout the film such as the cover of “People Are Strange.” and the haunting “Cry Little Sister,” really benefit from the audio upgrade. My only gripe with the audio would be some unwanted hiss that could be heard in the quieter scenes of the film. Otherwise the sound is acceptable and really plunges you into the dark caves of the lost boys.
There are many features carried over from the original DVD release of the film. We are treated to commentary tracks, directorial insights into the film and the vampires and an interactive map that provides vampire history. Sadly none are exclusive to the blu ray version. Many blu ray releases now are including exclusive content so it’s disappointing when a release is not given the special treatment.

Final Verdict
This is the definitive version of the Lost Boys film. I even recommend purchasing this version even if you already own it on DVD. I have a pet peeve of buying the same movie multiple times. The version that I’m buying needs to include enough upgrades for me to shell out the extra dough for something I already own. In this case the Lost Boys blu ray would be a welcome addition to any horror enthusiast’s movie library.

--Steven M Duarte

DISTRICT 9 (2009)
Review written by Brian M. Sammons

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt.

This year’s surprise smash hit, DISTRICT 9, has just come out on DVD and Blu-ray and a welcome addition to any sci-fi lovers’ library this movie will be. In case you haven’t heard about it before, the film is set in South Africa, deals with the forced separation and imprisonment of an alien minority, and has more symbolism than a Dan Brown novel and more political subtext than a George A. Romero DEAD film. However such undertones are handled well and the special effects, oh man, the special effects are so dazzling that while they are holding your undivided attention you hardly realize that you’re leaning stuff. That is the mark of a great movie.
The story is equal parts familiar and refreshingly innovative. Some years back a huge alien spaceship came to rest over South Africa and promptly broke down. The local government took all the aliens off of the ship and imprisoned them in a shanty town while they studied the alien technology, specifically the weapons. Unfortunately the E.T. ray guns only work for the insect-like aliens. Needless to say that until the human government can learn how to use the otherworldly firearms they intend to keep the visitors on a very short leash. Then comes the day when the humans decide to move the aliens from one ghetto to another further away from the city. Enter Sharlto Copley as a pencil pushing yes man Wikus Van De Merwe, who is placed in charge of the forced relocation. Too bad for Wikus that he gets dosed with alien goop that begins to alter his DNA and soon after the government is just dying to get their hands on the milquetoast company man. What quickly follows is some great sci-fi gun play, some robot battle suit combat, a surprise bit of “buddy movie” action, and some black humor tossed in for good measure.
The Blu-ray release of this movie is what I reviewed and it looks and sounds superb, but that should come as no real shock. What is a nice surprise is the amount of extras packed onto this disc. There are deleted scenes, directors commentary, a filmmaker’s log, a thee-part doc on the making of the movie, more documentaries of acting, special effects, visual effects, and set design, an interactive map of District 9, online trivia, and I could go on, but I’m getting tired just thinking about all of it. Let’s just say that if you have a sweet tooth for bonus extras then this Blu-ray will give you a sugar rush that will last for days. All those extras, the dizzying special effects, and a smart sci-fi flick the likes of which hasn’t been made in years are all great reasons for getting DISTRIC 9.

--Brian M. Sammons