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Angels & Demons 3-disc [Blu-ray]
(Ron Howard, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Sony Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 2:26:15.683 / 2:18:37.852
Disc Size: 46,885,741,438 bytes
Feature Size: 35,209,445,376 bytes / 33,299,324,928 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.14 Mbps
Case: Thicker Blu-ray case
Release date: November 24th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3774 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3774 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2225 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2225 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), English, French, none
Featurettes (all in HD):
•"Rome Was Not Built in a Day"
•"The Path of Illumination" (interactive - travel to St Peter's Square, Piazza Del Popolo, Saint Maria Della Vittoria, Piazza Navona or the Pantheon)
• MovieIQ - choose with either theatrical or extended cut play
• Digital Copy
Description: Tom Hanks reprises his role from the 2006 film 'The Da Vinci Code' as Harvard symbologist and religious expert Robert Langdon, who works alongside Vittoria (Ayelet Zurer), the beautiful daughter of a murdered Italian physicist, to unravel the clues behind her father's murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican by resurgents of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati, the most powerful underground organisation in history.
After the murder of Italian physicist Leonardo Vetra, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon's (Tom Hanks) investigation with Vetra's daughter (Ayelet Zurer) leads to a secret society, the Illuminati, and a quest for the world's most potent -- and deadly -- energy source. Ron Howard directed the crime thriller, which is based on The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown's novel and co-stars Ewan McGregor and Stellan Skarsgård.
A "popular and progressive" pope has just died. The cardinals have been
summoned to elect his successor. Four of them, the preferati, the
favorites to be next pope, have been kidnapped. They will be executed in
succession at 8, 9, 10 and 11 p.m., until the battery on the anti-matter
vial runs out of juice at midnight and the faithful will see more than a
puff of white smoke above the Vatican. I don't recall if the Illuminati
had any demands. Maybe it just wants revenge.
This first Blu-ray disc has both the Theatrical and, 7.5 minute longer, Extended cut of the film seamlessly branched.
The image quality of Angels & Demons on Blu-ray from Sony is pretty much perfect. There is some consistent background grain - it's a thick, heavy appearance - popular in many 1080P transfers these days. Colors look a shade overly vibrant (it's hard to believe Armin Mueller-Stahl's eyes are that blue - but, heck, maybe they are). If there is manipulation - this would be the only area that would be notable. The image has a pristine quality probably evolving right from the immaculate art direction with religious objects looking noble, graceful and sometimes textured. Close-ups are tight and controlled but depth is minimal. This Blu-ray has a very solid theatrical feel and I cannot pinpoint any definite flaws. It looks very impressive.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Aside from a lossless French DUB, the only track available is a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3774 kbps. Hans Zimmer gives us a Bernard Herrmann-esque offering with plenty of rich bass power. Like the video there is nothing to complain about - the raging track doesn't drown out dialogue and effects are crisp and very well separated. The Gregorian Chant sounded wonderful.There are English and French subtitles optional and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
On a second Blu-ray disc are a pile of, about 10 to 20-minutes each, HD featurettes. I actually liked the ones less directly relational to production - "CERN: Pushing the Frontiers of Knowledge" started to drift over my head but was fascinating to view and I also liked the shortish "This Is an Ambigram". There are also some HD Trailers and Previews of other films. This package has all the appropriate Blu-ray bells and whistles with "The Path of Illumination" allowing an interactive travel to St Peter's Square, Piazza Del Popolo, Saint Maria Della Vittoria, Piazza Navona or the Pantheon. It's pretty cool. After pressing 'Play' you have the immediate option to opt for Movie IQ which, if chosen, includes a small icon while the film runs which you can access to have filmic details and information displayed on screen. This only works if your player is connected to the Internet - ditto for the cineChat feature which allows you to chat to friends as the film runs.
November 21st, 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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze