Archive for Blu-ray

Blu-Ray Duplicators

The Blu-ray is an optical disc format of the new generation that has 12 cm in diameter, the same size as CD and DVD, high definition video and high data storage density. It is a possible successor to DVD movies and can store up to 1080p Full HD up to 4 hours without loss of image quality and sound. However, not all devices can display the content of a Blu-Ray disc, the device must also be good, you need at least a full HDTV with LCD monitor, plasma or LED to give you the true experience of the device. The name Blu-ray, is because the device showing a blue ray.

Today, some people use Blu-Ray Duplicators for professional use. You can use a blu-ray copier to duplicate BD discs, is the method to use when you need to make multiple copies of a Blu Ray disc. Summation Technology offers the most powerfull blu-ray duplicators and all of duplicator systems provide reliable multi-drive Blu-ray duplication at an affordable price, starting at only $430 with one year warranty. Also, they offer a list of other products, like disc printers, disc destroyers, and pro audio & video systems. To pay you will have no problem, because they accept Western Union, Paypal and Credit Cards. Just choice your product and pay instantly.

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Click Here!The year was 1992. The setting was New York City and the time of year was a snow laden Christmas. It saw the return of Macaulay Culkin as the precocious Kevin McCallister and how his family once again forgot (well…this time they just lost him) him for their annual Christmas vacation. As unlikely as the premise and scenario is, the film went on to enjoy a healthy box office life and it only further bolstered the career of the then unstoppable Culkin. For all intents and purposes the film was a giant cash-in on the first film and had a remarkable amount of product placement…but Fox at least had enough sense to stop at this second film. Until 1997 at least when they made a direct-to-video third film. And again in 2002.

Synopsis
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is back! But this time he’s in New York City with enough cash and credit cards to turn the Big Apple into his own playground! But Kevin won’t be alone for long. The notorious Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), still smarting from their last encounter with Kevin, are bound for New York too, plotting a huge holiday heist. Kevin’s ready to welcome them with a battery of booby traps the bumbling bandits will never forget!

As far as sequels go this film really is a pretty superfluous outing. It’s not even remotely as believable as the first film…yet at the same time I couldn’t help but love it. As a kid at least; as an adult my reaction is a great deal different, but still…there’s so much here to enjoy purely for nostalgia reasons that even when my adult brain starts to kick in and say “hey wait a minute…”my kid side chimes up and says “Hey shut up! I’m trying to watch the movie!”

I can remember watching this film quite a great deal more than the original…and the main reason for that was because we owned this on VHS. Buying a film on VHS when I was a kid was a ritual in our house and it had to be something that was genuinely something worthwhile and would get many repeat viewings. We owned a number of the Disney animated films and a few live action outings…but it was Home Alone 2 that made the most impact on my young mind that I must have begged for it enough to the point that we actually had to own it.

Honestly I can’t even remember watching it all that often as a kid, maybe once a year (it was a Christmas-time movie, after all, and it just felt strange to watch it at any other period). But I can recall the enchantment and excitement I would feel while watching it. Checking into a big hotel room that w as all my own and raiding a refrigerator that was filled with the most delicious looking cookies and sweets and even just wandering around New York City seemed like a fantastic time and dream for a kid to wrap himself up in.

Of course now it is all a bit ridiculous, but with the added likes of Tim Curry, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, I can’t help but enjoy this film even now. While I would be lying if I said that the film isn’t as awesome as my younger self remembers it, that’s the case with almost all films I watched as a kid—if I enjoyed it then, chances are I won’t enjoy it nearly as much now (and the opposite is true as well, I’ve found). What makes the film still work is just the believability of Culkin’s character, who is an incredible smart-aleck and yet believably still child like.

I will say that the brick throwing scene still makes me laugh my head off though. Stern and Pecsi really did make quite a comedic pair in the series—I’m glad Stern opted not to return for the fourth film when it was made. In any case, Home Alone 2 is only going to work now if you were a fan of it when you were a kid or if you’re under the age of ten. I’m still entertained by it, but it really did work better back in 1992 than it did now…which adds to its charm in a certain way, I suppose.

The Blu-ray
I had wondered if Fox would release this title on Blu-ray or not. It seemed like they should’ve just put it on the same disc as the first film, seeing as the extras list for this film is basically zilcho. But at least they finally released it—the previous DVD release was severely dated and sported quite an atrocious transfer. As is the disc arrives in a standard Elite Eco Blu-ray case without any inserts or anything fancy. Menu system is relatively easy to navigate, if a bit dull simply because of the lack of options to choose from.

Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded 1080p 1.85:1 transfer and considering this transfer is going on seventeen (!) years, I have to say it looks quite nice. It’s retained a film like quality and while compression still causes the transfer to get a bit murky at times, overall it’s a very nice transfer. Some grain here and there, but it only adds to the overall appearance of the film. Audio arrives in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that seems a bit overkill for such a movie…until the hijinks ensues. John Williams score also blasts through quite well, as does the environmental sound effects. Overall I was really impressed by how strong this sound mix is…I suppose Fox had the option of presenting a solid A/V presentation or providing extras and they chose the former. I’m conflicted if I should be too upset about that, seeing as this is a Blu-ray release after all.

And the extras? Yeah a handful of Trailers for Home Alone 1, 2, & 3 and that’s it.

Overall only pick this up if you’re looking to toss out the old DVD copy. Recommended in that case, but a Rental is required if you’ve never seen it first as it really probably wouldn’t bring in any new viewers.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is now available on Blu-ray.

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Click Here!Documentaries have always been big business for film festivals and independent movie theaters, but rarely have they had such a presence on DVD lately as they have from documramafilms. In the past couple months alone they’ve pounded out several award winning documentaries that had previously only been seen by a few in local theaters and, very rarely, on television/PBS airings. Now, docuramafilms is bringing to DVD the Béla Fleck documentary Throw Down Your Heart, which has already accumulated several awards and nominations over various film festivals. Now those unable to see the film in its limited theatrical runs can now witness the inspiring documentary for themselves.

Synopsis
“Throw Down Your Heart” follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album. Béla’s boundary-breaking musical adventure takes him to Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali, and provides a glimpse of the beauty and complexity of Africa. Using his banjo, Béla transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground and forging connections with musicians from very different backgrounds.

Occasionally I let out strings of questionable words when I receive certain DVDs to review. Having not heard of Fleck or this documentary, such a string emitted from my mouth that would have no doubt been perceived as offensive by some. But that’s to be expected from time to time and with a title like the one this documentary has, can you really blame me? Still, I’ve long since learned not to judge a book (or DVD, in this case) by its cover and even after reading the somewhat strange sounding synopsis, I dove into it.

I have to say that I’ve never heard of such a strange idea for a mash-up as an American banjo “virtuoso” playing in Africa. But I was really taken aback by how much this film had to offer. It was more than about the music that Fleck played with the multitude of African musicians, as it ended up showing just how universal the sound of music really is. Fleck didn’t speak any of the language so while he was at a loss for communicating with words to the other musicians, he was able to speak to them fluently through music.

It may sound a bit hokey and cheesy to say that this film is about communication through music, how beautiful and simple a medium it is and how uplifting this documentary was but…man, it really was all of those things. I was really impressed by not only how real the whole situations that Fleck was in, but also how evident it was that he was really not in his element at all in terms of culture and language, but once the music started the divide between him and the African musicians just dissipated.

I was completely unaware as to who Fleck was prior to this documentary, but I have to say he seems like a genuinely great guy. Just how humble he is throughout the entire documentary is simply outstanding; as much as people praise him throughout, he’s never anything less than gracious. Fleck himself is almost as inspiring s the documentary, as so often we’re shown how ugly the world is but this piece is a great bright beckon of light.

Speaking of light, the cinematography in this film is brilliant. Africa has always been an amazing visual landscape and the travels that Fleck and director Sascha Paladino go through is nothing short of brilliant. A truly amazing documentary from beginning to end and one I Highly Recommend.

The DVD
docuramafilms brings Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart to DVD in a standard amaray DVD case. Nothing overly special about the presentation of the documentary here—no fancy exterior cardboard slipcase (not that it needs one) and nothing to really pop out at you, although the blood red cover art is eye catching in its own way. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and the documentary style lends itself well in the basic transfer, with solid visuals throughout (speckled with grain here and there) and a strong audio track (which is important in a music based documentary) to back it all up.

Extras include:

Audio Commentary with Bela Fleck and Director Sascha Paladino
Deleted Scenes and Musical Performances

The commentary is an incredibly welcome piece, especially with both of the men responsible for this film on tap for the duration of the film. There’s plenty of additional insight and input on not only the documentary itself but the work that went into it as well. In addition the extra scenes and performances are incredibly nice as well, as even at an hour and thirty-seven minutes long, I wasn’t ready to leave the “world” that the documentary transported you to.

Overall a Recommended release.

Bela Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart arrives on DVD on November 3rd.

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Click Here!Apparently Fox has more faith in this series than its fans do, as the third installment in the series is undoubtedly its worst. It was also shot overseas with a low budget, helmed by a SyFy channel movie director and employed by some mediocre actors. How does this differ from the previous films, you ask? Well I guess it doesn’t really, but damn if it isn’t really noticeable this time around. I mean this film is simply embarrassing to watch as it puts itself through all of the predictable and cliché horror film paces, with breasts, gore, and dismemberment occurring so early into the film you wonder if there’s anything to stick around for. And guess what? There isn’t.

Synopsis
Three times the fear… three times the horror… three times the terror! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents another frightening addition to the Wrong Turn franchise, when the unrated massacre Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead is unleashed exclusively on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD October 20. Three Finger and his disturbed family of inbred cannibals are alive and well-fed in this terrifying, white-knuckle ride directed by Sci-Fi Channel movie veteran Declan O’Brien (Cyclops, Rock Monster).

I guess good horror films must be a pain to make, because major movie studios haven’t put out anything of value in years (that wasn’t a remake of something Japan did that was 20x better). Watching this film after Paranormal Activity was a giant mistake because A) that film was genuinely unsettling at times and B) this film was just made all the worse in comparison. I mean these two films share the same genre, right? Why are horror films so consistently horrible and not worth watching? Who is actually entertained by films like Wrong Turn 3? The first film…ok, I could see, maybe. It essentially cobbled together a series of mediocre films and made it into one big pile up and the sequel at least tried to be a bit more tongue in cheek about it. But the third film is basically the first film again but with stupider results.

So the gist of this film is that Three Finger (who still lives, because…that’s just the way he rolls) kills some campers at the start of the film and then he and his family have to deal with some escaped convicts that he himself runs off the road. The tagline of the movie is that these are hardened criminals and that they’ll be a tougher match for Three Finger than the usual shirt-poking buxom babes that run around his woods usually. Of course there are those this time still and those who end up surviving isn’t a great deal all that exciting…but then again, neither is the movie.

The major problem with this film, aside from the horrible green screen work and the convicts randomly finding a truck full of money in the woods (because that is what turns the cons against one another! Money! Always the money! Not the fact they’re being hunted by a cannibal freakshow!) is that it takes the whole scenario and concept so seriously. I mean sure, keep the survival horror movie serious…but only when it warrants that. This film is simply too idiotic, visually boring and too much of a copy and paste from the previous films in the series to work.

On top of that cannibal red neck mutants are just about the most annoying concept for a monster ever. Words cannot really describe how much I dislike this series in its entirety—at least Eliza Dushku made the first one moderately entertaining and the second one had a bit of humor to it…this third one is just pure garbage. Avoid this film.

The Blu-ray
Fox releases this film straight to DVD/Blu-ray in “unrated” form and with a big piece of cardboard glued to the cellophane for…some reason. Seriously I wish Fox would stop that, it serves no purpose that I can tell. On top of that there’s a sticker that says “All-New Movie! With Footage Too Gory For Theaters!” attached to the cover…eh? You were never in theaters, silly movie! You went straight to DVD/Blu-ray! I guess you could call it clever marketing to release a film that in its entirety is too gory for theaters…but really. There’s not enough gore here to really offend theaters…certainly not anymore than your average horror outing, at least.

Video arrives in the form of a AVC (@22mbps) encoded transfer that is relatively pleasant in appearance from the start of the film…but it ultimately turns to crap. See while the previous releases boasted interesting color palettes and a rich, earthy/brown tone throughout, this film is mostly taking place at night and as a result it is mostly devoid of color and instead riddle with a ridiculous amount of grain. So whatever detail is there to see it’s so smeared over by a lack of visual clarity and grain that it’s not worth checking out.

On top of that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is also disappointing, simply because it made me enjoy the film a little bit. The film had such a solid track record of sucking in every category…but then the audio mix came along and splashed gooey sound effects around the room and provided some ample thuds to the woofer. Still not worth watching the film, however, but it at least makes it slightly easier to suffer through.

Extras include:

“Action, Gore and Chaos!” featurette
“Brothers in Blood” featurette
“Three Finger’s Fight Night” featurette
Deleted Scenes

Like the film, the extras all suck. All total it’s barely over twenty minutes of extras and not only are they all in standard definition, but you get to hear the director make stupid comments about his vision. There’s nothing about this film that I would actually admit to having a “vision” about. Except maybe that scene where the girl gets shot in the boob with an arrow. I guess someone had to have that vision, that’s not something you can really steal from other films (although the snake biting the girls boob in Snakes on a Plane was pretty close).

Whatever way you cut it, this movie and Blu-ray are not worth checking out at all. Skip It.

Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead is now available on Blu-ray.

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