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
Tropic Thunder (Unrated Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
(Ben Stiller, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Studio: Dreamworks Video
Time: 2:01:08 (includes faux trailers and Energy Drink advert)
Feature film disc size: 28.93 Gig
One dual-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 18th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Two audio commentaries:
• 2nd with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr.
• Before the Thunder (five-minute in HD!)
The Hot LZ - (about 6 minutes HD!)
• Make-up test with Tom Cruise (1:34 - SD) with introduction by Stiller and editor Greg Hayden
• Deleted Scenes (Water Buffalo Wrestling and Speedman Unpacking His Backpack w/optional commentary) / Extended Scenes - (Snorkels w/optional commentary and Eight Minutes in Hell w/optional commentary) / Alternate Ending w/optional commentary (8:03/11:14/3:29 in HD) with introduction by Stiller and editor Greg Hayden
• Full Mags with introduction by Stiller and editor Greg Hayden / Choose a Dude (33 minutes)
• MTV Movie Awards
Product Description: Pampered action superstar Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) is cast in the biggest, most expensive war movie ever produced. He sets out to Southeast Asia with a "Who's Who" of celebrity co- stars. They include Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), an intense, three-time Oscar-winning actor; Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black), star of the popular gross-out comedy franchise "The Fatties"; multi-platinum hip-hop-star-turned-entrepreneur-turned-actor Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson); and first-timer Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel). Soon after the production begins the actors are thrown into a real-life situation and are forced to become the fighting unit they're portraying, in order to find a way out of the jungle in one piece.
The documentary “Hearts of Darkness” is about the struggles of filming the great Vietnam war movie “Apocalypse Now.” Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder” plays like that doc’s nightmare. A troupe of actors, under the impression they’re making a Vietnam war movie, wanders dangerously in the jungle and is captured by a gang of druglords who think the actors are narcs.
All but stealing the show, Robert Downey Jr. is not merely funny but also very good and sometimes even subtle as Kirk Lazarus, an Australian actor who has won five Oscars and has surgically dyed his skin to transform himself into a black man. So committed is he to this role that he remains in character at all times, seemingly convinced that he is actually black.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Theimage is gorgeous at times... the Hawaiian flora and fauna, representing Vietnam, looked breathtaking - but I think it was the black levels that impressed me the most. Contrast is rich and deep - almost achieving new heights. Although there is some herky-jerky camera motion, when settled, some of the close-ups show brilliant detail (see the last two large captures). Although I haven't seen the SD-DVD - I am positive that this Blu-ray image quality must appear dramatically superior. Colors leave a subtle impression never overtaking the power of the layered contrast. Really, this is one of the better Blu-ray images that I've seen in a while. Although it doesn't appear glossy it seems to withdraw from a more dynamic film-like presentation - this would be my only real complaint - if you can call it that. Perhaps because it tends to look almost too true - as some regard the appearance of DV. Anyway, some of the opening scenes (after the faux trailers) could easily be used for demonstration. The feature takes up about almost 30 Gig on this dual-layered Blu-ray disc. I saw no evidence of manipulation techniques - as none were, obviously necessary. You may click on the screen grabs to see the full 1080 resolution. This disc is a winner!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
Tropic Thunder starts with a Faux Energy Drink advertisement and three Faux film trailers
November 11th, 2008