H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze
Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze
The Forbidden Kingdom (Two-Disc) [Blu-ray]
(Rob Minkoff, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Feature Runtime: 1:44:26
Feature film disc size: 32.2 Gig
One dual-layered, a 2nd disc of the downloadable digital copy
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 9th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.4:1
Video codec: MPEG4-AVC
• Commentary with Director Rob Minkoff and writer John Fusco
• Previsualization Featurette with Minkoff commentary
•Six Deleted Scenes with optional commentary
Product Description: While hunting down bootleg kung-fu DVDs in a Chinatown pawnshop, Jason (Michael Angarano) makes an extraordinary discovery that sends him hurtling back in time to ancient China. There, Jason is charged with a monumental task: he must free the fabled warrior the Monkey King, who has been imprisoned by the evil Jade War Lord. Jason is joined in his quest by wise kung fu master Lu Yan (Jackie Chan) and a band of misfit warriors including Silent Monk (Jet Li). But only by learning the true precepts of kung fu can Jason hope to succeed — and find a way to get back home...
The Forbidden Kingdom opens not in some distant land but in the bedroom of Jason (Michael Angarano), a friendless high school boy who loves kung fu movies. His favorite place to go is a pawn shop in Chinatown, where he looks for used genre DVDs that he doesn't already own. One day, a local gang bullies him into forcing the owner of the pawn shop to open late for Jason. In the ensuing struggle, the owner is shot and Jason finds himself in possession of a talisman that transports him to a mystical version of ancient China where characters of myth and legend walk the Earth. It may not be Oz, but Jason sure isn't in Kansas, either.
Excerpt from James Berardinelli's Reel Review located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
There is extensive use of CGI but the image is very strong in its own right. The, almost hour-and-3/4 film takes up a healthy 32.2 Gig of space on the dual-layered first disc. We can safely assume that this is an improvement over the SD edition simply based on this huge amount of data (at times around 30mb/s). This new Blu-ray looks very good balancing nicely between slight saturation and the brilliancy of the colors with some very strong detail to boot. The only problem I found was more with the effects which probably force the rapid edit-cuts. You can never really focus for too long in one of the numerous fight sequences in The Forbidden Kingdom. There is some magic and people bounce of walls - some flying. I just don't know how far my suspension of disbelief extends. Colors are the most impressive at times - again probably artificially boosted - it's hard to be positive though. In the end, the image is jaw-dropping at times. I don't see any Digital Noise Reduction used to compensate for artefacts but although the image is extremely smooth - minor noise still exists. Resolution, on the other hand, is at a top-shelf level and the transfer could easily be described as 'flawless'. It's quite a visual feast with excessive levels of eye-candy locales and costumes.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
September 3rd, 2008