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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Prey [Blu-ray]

 

(Darrell Roodt, 2007)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Weinstein Company

Video: Weinstein

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:28:17.333

Disc Size: 21,936,808,269 bytes

Feature Size: 21,731,315,712 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 28th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3370 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3370 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Bridget Moynahan (from I Robot and Lord of War) and Peter Weller (from Robocop and TVs 24) star in this tense and terrifying thriller that pits mans intellect against the king of the jungles most primal killing instinct! They're a vacationing American couple, whose idyllic African family holiday turns to terror when they become lost in an African game reserve and become the target of a pride of man-eating lions. When a potential rescuer comes to a grisly end, they soon realize they must rely on their own wits if they are to survive. Packed with heart-stopping thrills and edge-of-the-seat intensity, Prey wont let you out of its jaws until the final frame!

 

 

The Film:

There was this film about 15-years ago called The Ghost and the Darkness with Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. It was based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine month period, while a bridge engineer and an experienced old hunter tried to kill them. I thought it was great while most critics were mostly 'ho-hum'. Now, Prey is certainly not at that level - but it does share the badass-lion-eating-people phenomenon. So I was reminded of how good The Ghost and the Darkness was - and I want to see it again. Prey is more like Rogue. A modern take on the exploitive creature-feature only using real threats. Since the plot lines run to be less realistic though - it is closer to fantasy. The direct attacks on humans are all incredibly blurry, Weller is a little paunchy, the bonding family aspect is unnecessary... but it is very intense and terrifying - which was probably the filmmakers only intent. So on that front is succeeds as a quick and dirty, straight-to-video, horror-esque popcorn flic with people-eating cats. So be it.

Gary Tooze


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

There is nothing really wrong with the image quality of Prey in 1080P. It's sharp, very bright colors, decent contrast and some of the African animal close-ups resemble nature documentaries (where they most likely got the footage from). This Blu-ray is single-layered but sharing the disc with nothing and hence has a decent bitrate. There is some depth, the transfer is fine but the film itself has relatively poor effects that can leave the presentation less satisfying. While I wouldn't use this as a demo disc - it appeared to do its job very well. The image is occasionally impressive - thanks in most part to the African outdoor cinematography. This blows away the previous DVD version.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The track here is a solid one - a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 at a healthy 3370 kbps. The lion growls, purrs and roars have some notable depth and the separation doesn't produce defined range. There are some gunshots that pierce through with echo. There was an original score by Tony Humecke but I didn't recall much of it. Basically, like the video, this is a good transfer that doesn't have a lot to work with. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

None. But what are they going to include - a commentary? LOL.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
There isn't much doubt that Prey is a 'bad' movie in the rigors of deliberately thought-out, determined filmmaking. However, in that sense there is no reason that it can't be entertaining too. When I get too much heavy cinema - I like to relax mentally with some fluff - this was a perfect empty-headed ride after Ingmar. As a horror/thriller, Prey is not bad as long as you aren't playing the game of picking holes in every plot point. The Blu-ray's best attribute may be the price and that it isn't trying to be something it's not. You know what you are getting yourself in for and it is forgettable enough to revisit - which is kind of a weird positive. Prey remains in the 'to-each-his-own' category but the transfer is not flawed - either in audio or video. 'Enjoy' if you are one to - I am. Throw another egg at me - just not an Ostrich egg. 

Gary Tooze

September 22nd, 2010

 

 

 

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 HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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