|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Beast - aka Peter Benchley's The Beast [Blu-ray]
(Jeff Bleckner, 1996)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: MCA Television Entertainment (MTE)
Video:Timeless Media Group
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,316,627,764 bytes
Feature Size: 21,245,300,736 bytes
Video Bitrate: 15.30 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 4th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78
Resolution:720p (Both of my software programs identify this as being 720 X 1280 resolution NOT 1080 X 1920)
Video codec: MPEG-2 Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Description: SPECIAL EXTENDED EDITION! Peter Benchley, the master of sea terror, returns with another tale of aquatic mayhem in this three hour uncut version. With almost 80 minutes of restored scenes previously edited from earlier release, this is the original version, nominated for two Prime Time Emmys. Stars William L. Petersen (CSI).
The Beast is, like most television miniseries, engineered to be
watchable without being compelling. It's like a McDonald's milkshake
(are they still called milkshakes or are they back to shakes?)--you're
in the mood for a milkshake, so you figure it can't be too bad and order
one... only to finish it and discover you should have waited for a real
one. The Beast is never real--it's incredible how many opportunities the
movie misses, mostly out of laziness, but also out of disinterest. It's
a TV miniseries about a giant squid, which is--according to wikipedia--a
real thing. So I guess it's a little real, anyway.
STOP THE PRESSES! My software is identifying this as being 720 resolution - in fact, as opposed to the Blu-ray standard of 1080 X 1920 this is 720 X 1280. Technically I don't even think it's Blu-ray. This wouldn't concern me as much if the image was stellar - but it's not. The visuals are riddled with artifacts that make me believe this was just blown up from 480 (the DVD). The encode is MPEG-2. This looks horrible - don't buy it.
Only a 2.0 channel (DVD-level) Dolby track, at 192 kbps, is available. No HD sound quality. It exhibits none of the depth or range that many have come to expect from Blu-ray. There aren't even any subtitles. My Momitsu is identifying this as region FREE!
There are no extras. Nada, zilch, nil. The pop-up menu just has a chapter search.
August 1st, 2009
About the Reviewer: 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
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze