August 25, 2016

Ratchet & Clank Blu-ray Review


Based on the celebrated video game franchise, Ratchet & Clank follows two accidental heroes who join forces to save the universe. Ratchet is a “lombax” with big dreams of joining the elite fighting team, the Galactic Rangers. Clank is a spunky robot who discovers that the evil alien Chairman Drek has a weapon that can destroy whole planets in a moment’s notice. The two misfits must use their wits to help the Rangers save the day in this thrilling and funny adventure featuring the voices of Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc.), Bella Thorne (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), Rosario Dawson (The Lego Batman Movie), and Sylvester Stallone (Creed). The stellar voice cast is rounded out by the game’s original performers including James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, and Armin Shimerman, reprising their respective video game roles of Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and Dr. Nefarious.


Being a fan of the long running Playstation game franchise I'm happy to report this animated movie is enjoyable for all ages and for someone like myself it was a treat. There are callbacks to the games, some fun and surprising characters return for brief moments. The animation is smooth and visually more appealing than most recent animated blockbusters. Some playful voice acting from John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Rosario Dawson and James Arnold Taylor adds the to the charm. 8.5/10


Ratchet & Clank arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 2.40:1 - Wow! Color saturation and variety is striking. Detailing in textures and hairs look almost touchable through the screen. Black levels were inky deep. There are no problems to speak of past a moment of banding that can't take away from this stunning presentation. 9.5/10


Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. - Dialogue reproduction was flawless and voices were prioritized to the center channel. Where this track stands out is in the LFE performance, bass was deep and there are some shake the room moments to experience. Surrounds are used to create a brilliant sense of atmosphere. The mix is beautifully balanced letting the score, atmospherics, dialogue and rich bass work in tandem. No pops, cracks or hissing to worry about here. 10/10


* Ratchet & Clank: A Hero’s Journey (HD, 07:32) - Cast and Crew discuss what a hero means to them and how Ratchet and Clank both measure up. Featuring interviews with director Kevin Munroe and stars James Arnold Taylor and Bella Thorne.

* Ratchet & Clank: Leveling Up (HD, 04:21) - Cast and Crew talk about adapting a video game to film and the legacy of Ratchet & Clank. Featuring interviews with director Kevin Munroe and stars James Arnold Taylor and Bella Thorne.

Gotham: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review


Darkness saturates Gotham in its triumphant second season as the city’s villains continue to rise from the shadows, each more ambitious and depraved than the last. As Penguin continues to solidify his control over Gotham’s underworld, the battle for power in the city has become a game of interesting alliances on both sides of the law – with detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the forefront of the fight against crime in the dangerously corrupt city. Season Two witnesses Gordon’s moral compass wavering as he confronts Gotham City’s most notorious criminals while simultaneously attempting to gain the trust of young Bruce Wayne, a boy now clearly on the path toward the man he is destined to be. And all the while, Gotham follows the intriguing origin stories and evolution of some of the city’s most infamous personalities, including Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Hugo Strange and Mr. Freeze.

Gotham: The Complete Second Season features a star-studded cast including Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue (Vikings, Sons of Anarchy) as Detective Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz (Touch) as the young Bruce Wayne, Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Firefly) as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, Sean Pertwee (Elementary, Event Horizon) as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor (The Walking Dead, Another Earth) as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Erin Richards (Open Grave, Breaking In) as Barbara Kean, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Cory Michael Smith (Carol) as Edward Nygma, James Frain (True Blood, Orphan Black) as Theo Galavan, Jessica Lucas (Gracepoint, Pompeii) as Tabitha Galavan, Chris Chalk (The Newsroom, Homeland) as Lucius Fox, Drew Powell (The Mentalist, Ray Donovan) as Butch Gilzean, Nicholas D’Agosto (Election, Heroes) as ADA Harvey Dent, and Michael Chiklis (The Shield, The Commish) as Captain Nathaniel Barnes. The series also features guest stars Jada Pinkett Smith (HawthoRNe, The Matrix films) as Fish Mooney, Nathan Darrow (House of Cards) as Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze, BD Wong (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Oz) as Professor Hugo Strange, Cameron Monaghan (Shameless, The Giver) as Jerome Valeska, Natalie Alyn Lind (The Goldbergs) as Silver St. Cloud, Richard Kind (Inside Out, Mad About You) as Mayor Aubrey James, Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman films, Batman Returns) as Elijah Van Dahl, Melinda Clarke (The O.C.) as Grace Van Dahl, Michelle Veintimlla (The Good Wife) as Bridgit Pike/aka Firefly, and Carol Kane (Young Frankenstein) as Gertrud Kapelput. Based on the characters from DC Comics, Gotham is executive produced by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome), Danny Cannon (Nikita, CSI series) and John Stephens (Gossip Girl) and produced by Warner Bros. Television.<


Damned If You Do
Knock Knock
The Last Laugh
Strike Force
By Fire
Mommy’s Little Monster
Tonight’s The Night
A Bitter Pill to Swallow
The Son of Gotham
Worse Than A Crime…
Mr. Freeze
A Dead Man Feels No Cold
This Ball of Mud and Meanness
Mad Grey Dawn
Into the Woods
A Legion of Horribles


The second season of Gotham builds on the enjoyable first season and ramps up the intensity to another level. This season is called "Rise of the Villains" and it delivers them in spades. I don't want to spoil some of the comic book favorites that show up but rest assured they are portrayed in an entertaining and sometimes new way. The cast is at the top of their game and the addition of Michael Chiklis only adds to the strengths of this season. There are many twists and turns I didn't see coming and can't wait for the third season to start. 9/10


Gotham: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 - Gotham is a moody and dark show at times and it is reflected in the color palette that uses darker tones. There are moments where a brighter color will pop and looks great in contrast. Skin tones appear lifelike. Black levels were deep, rich and inky. Fine details on clothing, paper littered desks, and the seedy underworld of Gotham are crisp and revealing. No signs of edge enhancement or artifacts. 9/10


Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. - Dialogue reproduction was perfect on this collection of 22 episodes, crisp and crystal clear throughout. LFE performance adds significant weight to gun shots, explosions, and the score. Surround activity includes great use of directional and environmental effects. No signs of popping or hissing. 9/10



* Aftermath (HD, Play All 04:45)
- Oswald (00:36)
- Nygma (01:41)
- Barbara (00:49)
- Gordon (01:38)

* Father's Office (HD, 00:24)

* A Look Back (HD, Play All 03:21)
- Donal Logue (01:11)
- Robin Lord Taylor (00:59)
- Sean Pertwee (01:10)

* Maniax Jerome (HD, 00:24)

* Strike Force (HD, 01:58)

* He Who Laughs Last (HD, 01:47)


* New Day, Dark Nights (HD, 01:36)

* A Look Ahead (HD, Play All 03:09)
- Bruce & Alfred (00:49)
- Oswald (00:40)
- Nygma (00:53)
- Gordon (00:44)


* The King (HD, 01:54)

* Gotham: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 16:19) - Warner Bros. Television Presents a Night of DC Entertainment at Comic-Con 2015


* Gotham by Noir Light (HD, 25:37) - Gotham is deeply cast into the film noir technique and edgy attitude. The camera’s lens is able to pick up on the subtlety for the fans to enjoy a modern update to an age old tradition, of how to paint with shadow and light.

* Alfred: Batman’s Greatest Ally (HD, 19:51) - This story is about Gotham's take on the father/son bond between Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred. The depth of the mythology from the comic books comes to life on the series. Poignant and powerful.

* Cold Hearted – The Tale of Victor Fries (HD, 10:12) - The mix of cold blood and a warm heart. We examine the humanistic melt-down of Victor Fries in pursuit of a cure for his love, Nora.

Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray September 13th

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has officially announced they will be releasing Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition to Blu-ray on September 13, 2016. The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Below are the official details:


Celebrate three decades of pulse-pounding action and bone-chilling suspense with this Aliens 30th Anniversary Limited-Edition Set that features both the Theatrical and Special Edition versions of the film on Blu-ray™, as well as audio commentary, deleted and extended scenes and more. This must-have set also includes collectible art cards, and a book featuring art from the Dark Horse Comics Aliens series with an all-new cover created exclusively for this 30th Anniversary Edition. The Blu-ray and Digital HD release will include an all-new, documentary titled “The Inspiration and Design of Aliens,” which delves into the origins of the film.

James Cameron directed this critically acclaimed sequel starring Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of the Nostromo’s deadly encounter with the monstrous Alien. After drifting through space in hypersleep for 57 years, Ripley returns to Earth, haunted by nightmares of the past. Although her story is initially met with disbelief, she agrees to accompany a team of Colonial Marines back to LV-426...and this time it’s war!


* NEW – The Inspiration and Design of Aliens featurette
* Deleted and Extended Scenes
* Superior Firepower: Making Aliens
* Superior Firepower: Making Aliens Enhancement
* Pre-Production Galleries
- The Art of Aliens
- Gateway Station and Colony
- Vehicles and Weapons
- Aliens
* Casting
- Cast Portrait Gallery
* Deleted Scene Montage

Independence Day: Resurgence 4K Blu-ray October 18th

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has officially announced they will be releasing the sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence to Blu-ray 4K UHD, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 18, 2016. The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, while the 4K UHD Blu-ray will feature 2160p video and a Dolby Atmos track. Below are the official details:


Twenty years after mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind, they’re back with a vengeance in this explosive sequel to the original blockbuster hit, INDEPENDENCE DAY! Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth developed a vast defense program to protect the planet, led by Jeff Goldblum, returning as brilliant scientist David Levinson. But nothing could prepare us for a new invasion of unprecedented scale—and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save our world from extinction. Co-starring Liam Hemsworth and Jesse T. Usher alongside returning fan favorites Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish!


* Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich
* Eight Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich
* The War of 1996
* It’s Early, ABQ!
* Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence (available as Digital HD Extra on DVD only)
* Gag Reel
* Concept Art
* Theatrical Trailers and TV Spot