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A view on Blu-ray by Brian Montgomery


The Relic [Blu-ray]


(Peter Hyams, 1997)






Review by Brian Montgomery



Theatrical: Paramount

Blu-ray: Lionsgate



Region: A (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:40.239

Disc Size: 23,117,534,460 bytes

Feature Size: 21,526,966,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.97 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 6th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 5462 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5462 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



English, Spanish, None



• Audio commentary with director Peter Hyams

• The Filmmaker's Lens: An Interview with Peter Hyams (10:10)

• Theatrical Trailer



The Film:

Though based on an original, quite respected sci-fi novel, Peter Hyams' new horror thriller, "The Relic," comes across as a pastiche of genre conventions from major pictures of the last two decades, most notably "Jaws" and the first two "Alien" movies. Still, this strikingly proficient production boasts genuinely scary thrills and first-rate visual and creature effects....

Made in the tradition of a Gothic haunted-house movie, "The Relic" doesn't so much inject new blood into the increasingly tiresome horror mold as "rearrange" some of the genre's most familiar characters and themes, including science vs. myth and superstition, wild beasts lurking in the dark, a bright female professional in peril, a rescue mission of civilians entrapped in a confined space - and even cynical politicians primed for a comeuppance.

Excerpt of review from Emanuel Levy located HERE

Image:   NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Fortunately the visuals on this release from Lionsgate look far better than those found on their simultaneous release of "Jade". Although the film was made before the advent of HD and has a dated mid-90s look to it, the visuals here are more than acceptable, and even though I haven't seen it, certainly a step up from the standard edition. Clarity levels are consistently decent, and there was no discernible artefacting in the print. My only real complaint about the image is that the film itself is too dark. At least half of the scenes, if not more, are set in dim or poorly lit environments and the image often is therefore difficult to make out.
















Audio & Music:

The soundtrack is presented here in another masterful DTS-HD Master 7.1 mix that really showcases the potential for the HD systems. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that all aspects of their system will get a workout here. There's really no downside to the track that I noticed. The English and Spanish subtitles are clear and do not obstruct the image.



Aside from a trailer real for Lionsgate releases, the disc also sports an audio commentary and "making of..." featurette. While director Peter Hyams is the sole participant of the commentary, he is also nearly the sole participant of the documentary. Neither feature is particularly elucidating or entertaining. I suppose that fans of the film might get something more out of them than I did.



Bottom line:

I have to admit that despite the fact that this film has a number of high profile admirers (most notably both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert), I'm afraid that I can't recommend it. While I certainly appreciate a good horror film, there were simply too many cliches in this one for my taste. However, if you are a fan of the film and you're considering upgrading your DVD, then I would certainly recommend it.

Brian Montgomery
April 12th. 2010








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