H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def discs 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 Kingdom [Blu-ray]
(Peter Berg, 2007)
Review by Gary Tooze
Feature Runtime: 1:50:20
Feature film disc size: 30.9 Gig
One dual-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 25th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Commentary With Director
Product Description: "A High-Octane Action Movie." -A. O. Scott, The New York Times Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (Collateral) and Chris Cooper (Breach) and Golden Globe winners Jennifer Garner (Daredevil) and Jason Bateman (Smokin' Aces) ignite the screen in this high-intensity thriller about a team of elite FBI agents sent to Saudi Arabia to solve a brutal mass murder and find a killer before he strikes again. Out of their element and under heavy fire, the team must join forces with their Saudi counterparts. As these unlikely allies begin to unlock the secrets of the crime scene, the team is led into a heart-stopping, do-or-die confrontation.
The Kingdom is a police procedural with a unique - and interesting - twist. While the movie employs all of the investigative techniques we have become familiar with as a result of countless TV shows, there's a little more to this movie than CSI: Saudi Arabia. Politics of many different sorts play a role here, from the international need to keep relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia cordial to the difficulties faced by a female investigator working in a country where women do not hold equal positions to men. Actor-turned-director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) handles the tricky material of Matthew Michael Carnahan's dense script effectively and turns out a movie that is both intelligent and, at least in its latter stages, pulse-pounding.
Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelViews located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The cinematography of The Kingdom often utilizes the 'hand-held appearance' with jittery, and frequent out-of-focus, shots but when it does settle down theBlu-ray exhibits very strong detail and contrast. These shots are few and far between though. Initially I wasn't expecting much with the realistic, docu-feel that the camera exported - taking over with fast-cuts and hardly any focus on characters - even in dialogue. But the film tends to occasionally settle down, more so, in the less action-infused sequences. It is here that the glory of the 1080P resolution shows true benefit through your system. Although The Kingdom has a dark, muted appearance (obviously intentional) colors become noticeable when entering the frame much later in the film. The dusty, grey (and a little green) look is more a 'style intent' giving much of the Middle East a weathered dry, and often unfriendly, appearance. The image doesn't show a lot of depth and background noise exists but it seems limited. The image is not glossy and is, expectantly, blemish-free. I expect that this faithfully shows the theatrical look. Technically it is dual-layered with the feature size being a healthy 31 Gig. I don't see evidence of DNR or edge enhancements. In fact I'd have to say the encoded image is fairly flawless - with my only reservations on the manner in which it was shot, but that is the filmmakers prerogative. Hopefully, the Blu-ray screen captures below will give you an idea of what it will look like on your system. It's pretty healthy - close to impressive at times.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
November 19th, 2008