S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Ron Underwood, 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal Pictures
Video:Universal Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 33,860,404,594 bytes
Feature Size: 30,058,106,880 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 9th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3892 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3892 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB: DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
•10-part Making Of... (53:38)
• Outtakes (5:07)
• Featurette (3:52)
• Kevin Bacon Profile (2:56), Michael Gross Profile (2:23), Reba McEntire (1:55)
• Theatrical Trailer
My Scenes + D-Box Motion Controls capable
There is nothing particularly special about Tremors. It tackles no important emotional issues nor deeply investigates the human condition. It reminded me of cheap, obvious, titillating nostalgic 50's 'creature feature' sci-fi films. I loved every minute of it.
It's funny and suspenseful. The performances are believable and you can't help but get the feeling the actors are enjoying themselves. I wish there were more modern films like this and... Alligator. It can be such a relaxing diversion if you give yourself over to it - just a bit. Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross and Reba McEntire knew they weren't involved in a grandiose Oscar effort. It's just a simple little project - and more to its credit. When you are in the mood - you can't help but enjoy!
'The phones are dead, the roads are out... we're on our own!' All is not well in Perfection, Nevada, a remote desert town. Itinerant cowpokes Val (Bacon) and Earl (Ward) are all set to up sticks when they happen across a corpse perched incongruously atop a telegraph pole...and then another, apparently swallowed up by the earth. Huge, carnivorous, worm-like creatures, capable of tunnelling at incredible speeds in response to seismic vibrations, are literally undermining Perfection. With a tip of the hat towards its '50s forefathers, this canny genre entry exploits its novel subterranean threat to the max, the ingenious situations being orchestrated with considerable skill by first-time director Underwood. Bacon and Ward project a wonderful low-key rapport, based initially on jokey ignorance before giving way to terse apprehension. It's great to hear authentic B movie talk again, especially when the cast takes it upon itself to name the monsters, only to come up with 'graboids' by default, and to debate their probable origin: 'One thing's for sure...them ain't local boys'. This is what a monster movie is supposed to be like, and it's terrific.
The 1080p AVC transfer is unfortunately plagued with prominent edge enhancement (just like VC-1 encoded HD-DVD from 2007 and the old non-anamorphic SD DVD). This is most likely on the D1 source and while in some spots it is less noticeable - in others it is downright glaring. Shot almost exclusively outdoors - the Arriflex Cameras captured some wonderful rocky desert terrain and mountain vistas (shot in Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California) and detail is at the very high end. If you are not overly sensitive to the edge-enhancement then the image quality can exports some of the more desired attributes of high-definition in terms of colors and depth. It looks significantly better than the original SD in every respect. Colors are typically bright and dominant. The edge-enhancement appears to have been applied with a fairly high frequency and I've certainly seen thicker halos. There are some awesome scenes of visual quality in the limited production 'Tremors'. It's a shame about the egregious edge-enhancement - video purists will be turned off... but film snobs won't dig (pun intended) this film anyway.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio offers a decent DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3892 kbps. There is some notable range but not a ton of it but the depth and aggression of effect sounds (the creatures) is potent. Actually, this is a decent rendering for the audio - it can be quite impressive at times. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements are all taken from the old SD (and are still 480i/p) with a grand 50-minute featurette "The Making of Tremors". It's quite good with input from director Ron Underwood (City Slickers and the 98' Mighty Joe Young on his resume) as well as writer-producers Brent Maddock and Steve Wilson. It's a neat story of how this film came to fruition. Under the title 'Featurette' we are given a 3-minute piece made for the original release. There are 5 minutes of outtakes - mostly showing an alternate opening sequence with a deeper introduction of the minor characters of Tremors. Finally a theatrical trailer and mini-"profiles" of Kevin Bacon, Michael Gross, and Reba McEntire.Finally, you can bookmark your favorite clips with My Scenes feature and this has D-Box Motion controls.
November 4th, 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze