Thursday, August 25, 2011

Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978)

Movie: 3.5/5
Video: 4/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

A Great Release From MEDIA BLASTERS.

"Devil Dog: Hound of Hell" is a television movie from the late 70's. The film is about a family who adopts a dog after the death of their previous dog. After a year of owning the beloved German Shepard, things start to spiral downward as the father starts to realize that the dog is not of this world. The film is pretty entertaining as far as television movies go, but there's always room for improvement on television movies due to the budget. I haven't really been that big on TV movies but I was quite surprised with this film; I give Devil Dog a 3.5/5.

The video is in pretty amazing shape for an almost 35 year old film. Now, there's one thing I want to address about this film; the scenes where we have our "Devil Dog" were shot on film, but edited in VHS due to the special effects. The scenes with the "Devil Dog" are about a minute in length and it's not that bad but you can tell the PQ drops in these scenes. Now, my issues with the film and why I give it a 4/5, there's print damage here and there that is present, especially in the opening credits and various scenes throughout, but it's not that bad. Now, towards the end 10 minutes when we are taken to the plant where the father works, the low lit interior shots look faded and could have been possibly corrected by doing some contrasting. Overall this is a pretty amazing transfer.

There are two audio tracks present; DTS-HD MA 2.0 English and Italian (Dub). When selecting the Italian dub in the main menu, before the film starts it gives you a message stating that the audio was taken from a television broadcast and that drop outs will occur. And I think both of the audio tracks sound great on this release. 4/5.

Now on to the extras; I have to say that this movie contains the most pointless extras I have ever seen for a film. There's several hours of material, but it's the most boring material I have ever watched. We have a 73 min interview which is divided up between the producer Jerry Zeitman; Kim Richards; and Ike Eisenmann. Jerry Zeitman talks for about 20 minutes about the film and then in the last five minutes or so, talks about other projects. Kim Richards takes up over 30 minutes and barely talks about the film. SHE TALKS AND TALKS AND TALKS AND TALKS SOME MORE ABOUT EVERYTHING! And the only person who actually talks about the film is Ike Eisenmann and he only got like 12 minutes to talk time. And then as soon as the 73 minutes are up, it cuts to an extra 23 minutes of Kim Richards just going on and on. I honestly wanted to hit my head against the wall because of what this woman talks about. Her career is obviously past the point of no return as she's only done two movies last decade; Black Snake Moan and Race to Witch Mountain.

Then, we have an audio interview with the director, which was done some point before his passing. He's really seemed to show no respect for the film and said that it was made for the paychecks. He said he would have rather had his film "Killer Bees" released over this. I don't think this interview should be even present on this disc. Then there's a scrolling video which lists the director's credits. A photo gallery on Martine Beswick who was only in the opening of the film. There's a trailer for the film. And then finally some trailers for Media Blasters releases such as; "Hansel & Gretel"; "Shooting April"; and "The Man Who Collected Food". Extras score a dismal 2.5/5.

Overall, these extras are a doozy; I felt this hurt my overall views on this release. I mean, why put two hours of pointless ramblings from two child actors and a deceased director who seemed to disown the film? I found the addition of an Italian dubbing to be an odd choice to add to this release. But, I am very pleased with the PQ, it is pretty amazing and I hope that Media Blasters treats Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla Vs Megalon with this much respect PQ wise. Movie is entertaining, especially if you love old school films. I spent $13 total on this release, I recommend it. 3.5/5 for this release.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet Bill (2007)

Movie: 3.5/5
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Made Me Want to Eat Candy Bars.

I decided to import this title since I saw it was under $9 and it's got Elizabeth Banks and Jessica Alba. Aaron Eckhart certainly plays a different type of role in this film. This performance isn't like "The Dark Knight" or "Battle: LA". In this film he's a fat, depressed, married man whose wife cheats on him with a local news reporter. Through the disastrous situation, he is stuck with a kid through a work program who tries to help him see the bigger picture. The film is all right, certainly not the greatest movie I have seen, but I think it has potential for a re-watch here and there. Movie scores a 3.5/5.

The video presentation is 1080/50i, despite being region all, means that it will not work unless your TV or player/PS3 can handle 50hrz. It has the 25fps speed up which more or less effects the audio, which will be addressed in a bit. Considering that the movie takes up about 15GB of space on the disc, it looks great, however it does not look perfect. There's specs on the film that pop up here and there and there seems to be compression problems which don't look that bad unless you have your eyes glued to the screen. Video gets a 3.5/5.

With our audio, we have a bit of a problem. Due to the 25 frame speed up, the voices sound a little high. Given that this is the first time that I have seen the film, it didn't really bother me as much. In the opening, when Aaron Eckhart speaks, it did bother me because it was high pitch. Other than that, both English and German DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound good. 3.5/5.

We have quite a few extras presented on the disc, however, not really that great. We have deleted scenes that are about 15 minutes in length, obviously in PAL and 4:3 which gives up a window boxing with black bars on all sides. Then we have a photo gallery. A German language filmography for Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Banks, Timothy Olyphant, and Jessica Alba. Then finally we have three trailers on the disc presented in both English and German; "Meet Bill", "I Could Never Be Your Woman", and "Miss Potter". Extras get a 3.5/5.

And with every rating getting a 3.5/5, means that are overall score is 3.5/5. If you have the capabilities of handling 50hrz 1080i in the US, then I can recommend this release. It's one of the cheapest Blu-rays off of Grooves Inc right now, coming in at under $9.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010)

Movie: 4/5
Video: 4/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

"Goin' Campin'?"

When I saw that this film was getting released on Blu-ray in Germany two months before the U.S. theatrical release, I had to jump on the chance of getting this. And I am now reviewing the Region B locked Universum Film Blu-ray of "Tucker & Dale Vs Evil". The film centers around the title characters played by Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine respectively. They are heading out to their vacation cabin that is in dire need of repairing. While en route, they bump into these college kids on vacation. Things take a turn for the worst when the college kids go skinny dipping in a lake while two good ol' boys save one of the kids from drowning. Soon, the college kids hilariously die off one by one as they think the two are going to kill their own.

I am giving the film a 4/5; in the U.S. trailer, you do see quite a few of the deaths. That kinda brought it down a bit, but the humor is pretty funny. I had a smile on my face pretty much throughout the film. I think Tudyk and Labine are great as the bumbling rednecks. Plus, another thing that bothers me about comedies lately is the run time, this film clocks in at 85 minutes not counting the credits. I recommend the film, in the horror aspects the whole cabin in the woods reminds me of like Evil Dead, Cabin Fever, and Friday the 13th Part 2.

The film is presented in 1080p and the picture has a brownish tone to it, I want to say it's an artistic choice by the director since this takes place in the woods, but I think that might bring it down for some videophiles. Especially when there's this fire and the color of the fire isn't that strong, color wise. It's pretty sharp and detailed. The film has German subs which can be removed and when you select the English audio, you have English subtitles for the German text that appears on screen in the opening which was like "3 Days Earlier" or something like that. 4/5 for the video.

Audio presented on the disc is English and German DTS-HD MA 5.1, both tracks sound pretty good. Audio has never been my strong suit but I really felt like both tracks sounded good. 4/5. We have a few extras on the disc; there's a BD-Live function which I cannot access since I don't have my player connected. German dubbed trailers for Season of the Witch, Black Dynamite, Chatroom, The Informers, Splice, and The Joneses. An English and German trailer for the feature; same trailer with just different audio. And finally an 11 minute Making Of that is in English with removable German subs. Extras score a 4/5.

This release of Tucker and Dale Vs Evil scores a 4 across the board. If you have a Region B or All player, I would recommend checking it out. Especially since the US Blu-ray probably won't be until Christmas time 2011. I paid $27 for it and I am happy with this release of the film. 4/5.