Tag Archives: movie

Monsters University Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

Billy Crystal and John Goodman return as Mike Wazowski and James Sullivan in Monsters University with a look back at their college days before they became top scarers at Monsters Inc.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 5/5

Recommendation 5/5 Stars

Monsters University

Billy Crystal is that one eyed green guy and that big hairy green blue lug is John Goodman from Monsters Inc. with a look into their past at Monsters University. Monsters University follows Mike Wozowski and James Sullivan as they join the least noticed fraternity on campus.

When Mike was young he dreamed of going to college at the largest school and becoming a scarer at Monsters Inc. even before a school field trip to the factory. Mike gets his wish and goes to Monsters University but finds that getting into the Scaring Program he wants is harder then he imagines.

James “Sully” Sullivan is from a family of famous scarers and gets everything he wants, the best school and the best fraternity to ensure he gets his chance at the best career. James Sullivan thinks his natural ability at scaring he has inherited from his famous father will be enough but Mike knows better.

Mike studies hard while Sully has fun but when they both fail their final exam they have one last chance at getting back into their chosen field of scaring. The Scare Games allows any fraternity to move on to their chosen field but they need to avoid coming in last place which means getting knocked out of the competition.

The Oozma Kappa fraternity is a bunch of monster nerds but they do have heart which is how they win the Scare Games and prove they have what it takes. Mike and Sully are given a chance at their dream with a start in the schools Scaring Program because the fraternity wins.

Monsters University is one of those rare films that doesn’t bother to try and beat the original with a sequel but heads into less traveled waters of prequels. Pixar has become a part of Disney and with that ownership changes their sequel aversion has been overruled.

Disney has been working on making sequels to many of the Pixar films even though Pixar has avoided them in the past except for a few notable exceptions. Monsters University may not have the same new charm of the original but it does have enough going for it in humor, better visuals and general fun to make it a worthwhile addition.

I enjoyed watching Monsters University and think it is well worth watching over and over so a purchase is a must for any fans. The film will entertain children but adults may be a bit disappointed in the narrative and plot but should be overjoyed with the technical aspects of the film and a good bit of the humor.

Monsters University has excellent video with outstanding color and some of the best graphics I have seen to date in a CGI animated feature. Colors are vibrant but the realistic fur and texture is a real testament to the work put into these films and the computer effects that have really progressed over the years.

Audio is also top notch with excellent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround sound which is a direct competitor to DTS-HD Master Audio which has been the standard for lossless audio to date. The surround sound is great and a lot of attention has been paid to audio effects and voice in this release that adds up to a great sounding experience.

Bonus content is really good which has also been the standard for Pixar and Disney so it is no surprise at the quality and quantity of bonus content. A new short film starts the extras with audio commentary and making of features on the extra Blu-ray disc for the rest of the extras.

Bonus content is excellent with such a variety of extras along with commentary and the short film that you have just about everything you could want. I really think the bonus features are a top rating for this film as it has such a variety that most everyone will have something to enjoy and return to again and again.

Monsters University is a good film but the plot may have been lacking a bit for adult entertainment while kids will get plenty of laughs out the humor. Kids may not get all the jokes with enough geared toward an older audience that balances out the film for a wider entertainment value.

Monsters University is a great film and like many others in the Pixar catalog well worth a purchase even if it is not a top film. I highly recommend purchasing Monsters University in your chosen combination with plenty to find on the Collectors Blu-ray edition.

I also highly recommend checking out the Monsters University Website for an additional fun time that kids and kids at heart will enjoy.

Monsters University Website

Monsters University @ Disney

Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

 Iron Man 3 Blu-ray Review

Tony Stark is back with plenty of suits and comedy with in Iron Man 3 but the suits are not the main feature here as the action is the main feature.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 5/5 Stars

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 returns after the alien invasion of The Avengers with Tony Stark played by Robert Downy Jr. having panic attacks. Yes, the hero is having problems coping with the past and what can happen in the future while trying to improve his suits.

Iron Man 3 is a contradiction in many things and one of them is the advancement of suit technology while working toward not needing to be in a suit at all. Tony Stark looks back at a pivotal moment in his past that creates a bad guy when he ignores a budding scientist who has a new invention.

Robert Downey Jr. starts the movie talking about the demons he creates and the movie is all about that creation in an adversary. Iron Man has always been a loner but his loved ones are an important part of his life and one weakness that his enemies can exploit.

Iron Man 3 has a great story line but I feel the more human side that they show for Tony Stark is a welcome look at a superhero who is, after all, only human. There are many times when humor is at the forefront of Iron Man 3 and the laughs just keep coming throughout the film along with the action.

Iron Man 3 looks at some of the problems that being a super hero entails along with building both heroes and villains but mixed with plenty of reality. The plot of the film follows Tony trying to find out who is the terrorist The Mandarin but the outcome is not expected at all.

Tony finds out that the suits are not what make him Iron Man but his heroism and what he does with the suits makes the difference. Iron Man 3 has lots going for it with good acting and excellent plot but problems creep in as well like the excessive use of product placement.

It’s the little things that really make the film worthwhile like the suit that he is so proud of when the first pieces fly to him and form around his arms. Just when he thinks he’s got it working right The rest of the suit pounds him into submission flying onto his body with pounding force.

But not even those lengthy moments are needed to show how haphazard his technological abilities are and how he just needs things to work. When his suit fails to give him the firepower he needs, JARVIS explains the suit is not combat ready, he smacks his arm in frustration like that is going to make his weapon work.

It may not have been a very noticeable moment but it is these little gems that make the film so much more enjoyable and fun. I mean panic attacks! Real down to earth I am having bad dreams because I saved the world from aliens panic attacks.

Iron Man 3 in my opinion is the better of the three films as it has moments like these that make the film much more enjoyable. I really like the humanity and problems that Tony Stark must deal with in order to continue to keep the world a safer place.

Iron Man 3 is a treat as far as audio and video quality with excellent color and great looking detail that highlights the films excellent transfer. Video has a great look with everything about it being almost perfect with no problems that detract from your enjoyment of the film.

Audio is also excellent with clear voice and a perfect surround sound from the DTS-HD Master 7.1 audio track that really is a treat. Audio and video are as near to perfect as you could want and really help to make the film a total success.

Bonus content includes audio commentary, a short film, two making of features and a few other short extras that work pretty well. The making of features work and the Marvel short film is good but it seems they are saving some extras for future releases as the bonus content is pretty scarce for such a big box office production.

Iron Man 3 is in my opinion the best of the Iron Man movies as the hero is shown to be more human than superhuman and the comedy is a welcome addition. Iron Man 3 is well worth the purchase for any comic book fan and action adventure enthusiast and the Blu-ray edition looks and sounds as good as it’s ever going to get.

Iron Man 3 Website

Now You See Me Blu-ray Review

Now You See Me Blu-ray Review

Four magicians need to work together to pass the test and prove their eligibility to enter the prestigious and mysterious group known as The Eye in Now You See Me.

Film making 4/5
Video 5/5
Audio 5/5
Bonus Features 2/5

Recommendation 4/5 Stars

Now You See Me Blu-ray

The Eye is a mysterious organization that was created in ancient Egyptian times to help the poor get food by stealing it from the rich. The Eye is a group of magicians who throughout time have helped people using their skill in misdirection and sleight of hand but to most it is only a legend.

Now You See Me stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco as four magician/performers that are being hunted down by FBI agent Dylan Rhodes played by Mark Ruffalo. The four are great at magic with two being illusionists, one being an escape artist and the fourth performing sleight of hand magic.

They get together after receiving mysterious cards in unique ways inviting them to a room in an old building where they find plans to some very big acts. When they perform the acts as the Four Horsemen their illusion becomes not only a hit with the audience but a crime.

They steal money from a French bank and give it to the audience but the second act is even better with money disappearing from one account and appearing in the audiences. The audience is full of people who have been cheated out of insurance money from the very millionaire who is promoting the Four Horsemen.

The third act involves the Four Horsemen now running from the FBI agent with help from Interpol agent Alma Dray played by Melanie Laurent. The third act is more of a disappearing act with money being dispersed to the waiting crowd while the magicians disappear.

The money is actually fake and the four magicians meet after escaping the manhunt to find out who gave them the plans to their act and the invitation. In the end they are made members of the Eye but it’s who was behind the whole thing that is the surprise of the movie.

Now You See Me is a great movie and one that is well worth a watch or a rental but a purchase may not be in the cards for everyone. The movie is a definite mystery that you will not see coming and the second viewing is a must as it does contain plenty of obvious clues once you know who is the prime suspect.

The Blu-ray editions video and audio quality are fantastic with sharp looking video and great sounding audio that has really good surround with the extra 7.1 track if you have the system. Video has great looking and vibrant color with very sharp detail throughout the movie for an excellent looking film.

The audio is also top notch with a great DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that uses a great surround for an immersive film experience. Bonus content includes audio commentary, a making of feature and a bit on magicians of the past along with customary deleted scenes and a couple trailers.

The bit about the magicians showing some past greats is pretty decent but filled with clips from the movie while the making of feature is alright as well. The other bonus features are about typical for fillers that are not worth watching more than once so bonus content is not all that great but at least there is something.

Now You See Me is a unique film dealing with magicians but also a very good crime thriller so you get something for both groups to enjoy. I highly recommend Now You See Me for a great crime thriller that is a very smart film with a great look at the world of magicians seen form a caper point of view.

Now You See Me Website

Erased Blu-ray

Erased Blu-ray

Aaron Eckhart stars as ex-CIA operative Ben Logan who must find the truth behind the company he was working for and why they are making his past disappear in Erased.

Film making 2/5

Video 4/5

Audio 4/5

Bonus Features 1/5

Recommendation 3/5 Stars

Erased Blu-ray

Erased stars Aaron Eckhart as Ben Logan and Liana Liberto as his daughter Amy Logan with Philipp Stolzl directing. Erased is much like Taken in its realistic fighting style while the action and plot are all too familiar.

Ben Logan worked for the CIA as an operative but he tires of killing without knowing why or if he is doing the right thing. He seeks work outside the agency and gets a recommendation from his former supervisor but things are not what they seem.

One day after work Ben gives his daughter a treat from a coworker but his daughter is allergic to peanuts which is in the baked good. Ben takes his daughter to the hospital when she has a reaction to the treat and they spend most of the night while she gets better.

Ben stops by work before taking her home only to find the labs he worked in have been vacated with no trace of his former workers. Not only is his office gone but any proof that he worked there is also gone and the hunt to find out why begins.

Ben soon figures out that he is targeted to disappear as well and he seeks answers but even going to old friends in the agency might mean not knowing who to trust. In the end Ben discovers who to trust and who needs to be dealt with using Jason Bourne type vengeance.

Erased is directed by Philipp Stolzl who does pretty good with the films pace but near the end it just follows a too familiar tone and plot. The story is there in the beginning but by the end of the film we see nothing new or original except the basic style of spies who are not superhuman.

I really enjoy films such as Erased and Taken that show a hero who is just tough enough but not superhuman with god like fighting abilities. The realistic fighting and cast that actually get hurt make for a more believable story but in the end there is not much to Erased that is new and original.

Erased has a good enough story but direction and how the film followed a too familiar tale just makes it a decent enough film. Video and audio for Erased was very good bordering on perfect with excellent color and great surround sound.

The Blu-ray edition of Erased has great color and very few problems in video while audio uses a full surround sound from the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Both video and audio are excellent while bonus content is on the opposite end of the scale at almost nonexistent.

There is only a 5 minute behind the scenes feature which is a typical look at filming so bonus features gets a low rating. Erased is a decent rental but follows along the lines of too many other action films to warrant more than a rental when no other films are worthwhile.

Erased @ IMDb

the perks of being a wallflower Blu-ray

the perks of being a wallflower stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller

the perks of being a wallflower stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller in a crazy stirred up film that starts with a simple high school tale that ends up becoming clearer by the end of the film.

Film making 4.5/5
Video 3/5
Audio 4/5
Bonus Features 3/5

Recommendation 3/5 Stars

the perks of being a wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower stars Logan Lerman as Charlie who is starting high school after some sort of life altering incident but we only get a hint at the beginning that something occurred in Charlie’s life. Charlie is your typical high school outcast who sits alone in the cafeteria and yearns for friends like many others have but only has his writing to occupy his mind.

Charlie meets Patrick played by Ezra Miller who is very much a high school outcast in his own right along with his half-sister Sam played by Emma Watson. Charlie instantly falls for Sam after a bit of confusion about Sam and Patrick’s relationship but Sam is not as attracted to Charlie in the same way.

Patrick and Sam are very much not your typical high school seniors while Charlie is a freshman just starting his high school journey but he does fit in the smaller crowd that Patrick and Sam are part of. Patrick is having a sort of affair with a high school football player and is openly gay while the football player is hiding behind his own status as football jock to keep his secret.

Charlie has typical but not earth shattering encounters with drugs and other emotional upsets but behind all his daily activities a secret of his own lies ready to spring forth at some time. Patrick has an encounter with the football players father after the father finds the two in bed together.

The next day at school while Patrick is walking past the football jocks table one of them trips him and Patrick decides to make a stand for their relationship. He tries to coerce the football player he has been sleeping with to defend him from his buddies but he only calls Patrick a fag and continues to tease Patrick with his buddies.

The football player acts dumb and innocent and just calls Patrick gay which sets off his buddies to taunt and ridicule Patrick in front of everyone until Charlie steps in. Quickly changing scenes we do not see Charlie snap and attack the group of football players but in a few scenes we see his anger and something deeply hidden escapes and he lays into the brutes teasing Patrick.

Charlie is taken to a hospital where he talks more with a psychiatrist and finally reveals what he has been hiding for years and is the main cause of his emotional problems. Perks does keep you guessing as you know there is some mysterious event that caused Charlie at one time to snap but we get no clear look at it until nearly the end of the movie.

the perks of being a wallflower is one of those films that is close to becoming a classic much like The Breakfast Club with its coming of age story but maybe missing this by a bit. While it does have excellent acting and a great story it just did not click where everything fell into place to create that magic that makes a film rise above a mere movie to classic filmmaking status.

One thing that keeps Perks from rising to a higher level is the almost idyllic look at high school life that the film takes at times which contrasts with the problems we see that many youngsters have. The film looks at both the highs and lows of typical teenagers in high school and tries to keep balance but we see a bit too much of the fun times even though the tribulations are more memorable.

the perks of being a wallflower is a good looking film and the Blu-ray edition does do justice to the film but occasional problems do mar the film a bit. The film was shot in 35 mm and did have some grainy scenes that are at times too soft for an inconsistent film as far as video quality.

While the quality is not up to today’s standards it does look good enough to view and enjoy so the quality is not a big deal as far as film enjoyment. Audio quality is much better with excellent but not perfect quality due to a lack of surround sound speaker use but overall very good.

Audio is mostly centered on the front of your sound field with occasional use of the rears in some scenes but mostly the films center and front speakers will be used. Actual sound quality is excellent with clear voice and great sounding music that happens often due to the nature of the film so overall audio gets a great score.

Bonus content includes audio commentary with writer/director Stephen Chbosky and another audio commentary with Stephen Chbosky, Logan Merman, Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons, Emma Watson Mae Whitman and Erin Willhelm. Extra features also include a five minute interview set, deleted scenes and a couple of unedited scenes for a look at the film before it hits the editing room for an interesting look behind the scenes.

The extras are about what you would expect and about the minimum I would expect for a film but kind of a disappointment that comes with reviewing films. I really enjoy different bonus features that stand apart but in most films and this one included the extras are not worth more than a single look.

the perks of being a wallflower is a great movie but could have reached that epic classic cult level of movie except for that special something that just missed the mark. The film does a great job of conveying the story of Charlie and his new friends and is well worth a rental but you may not like this coming of age film as a collection addition.

The Perk of Being a Wallflower Website