August 27, 2014

Blended Blu-ray Review


After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren (Barrymore) and Jim (Sandler) agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again. But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week. Own Blended on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD on August 26th.


I'll begin by stating that I've always found Adam Sandler at least watchable despite him playing the same character in every film. Drew Barrymore I have adored since 1982 when she played Gertie in the classic film E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, but the two leads starring in their third film together just never really do much with the material they are given, which isn't much to begin with. They play two single parents who have a nightmare of a blind date and then when on vacation at an African resort with their children run into each other and are forced to merge the clans to stay at the resort. The film has it's fill of infantile comedy that I'm not a huge fan of but did find myself laughing a few times. The scenery is pleasing enough at the resort and on location. So overall I would suggest checking it out if you're a die-hard Sandler fan. 7/10


Blended arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 - The presentation is pristine and exhibits fine details with striking clarity. Colors feature beautifully saturated primaries and warm sun drenched African locales. Skintones appeared natural. Black levels were inky and showed solid shadow delineation. There were no signs of compression artifacts or digital enhancement. 9/10


Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. - Dialogue is placed and front center remaining crystal clear throughout. LFE performance adds heft to music and a couple exciting activities that Lauren and Jim try out. Surrounds lend an immersive blend of busy moments at the resort and natural outdoor sounds. Not a particularly dynamic track but a solid presentation overall. 8.5/10


The special features are an okay blend of standard EPK quick clips with interviews and a couple brief but fun moments are included in "Dick's Customer Service" and "Safari"

* Safari (HD)
* Animals (HD)
* Parasailing (HD)
* Ostriches (HD)
* Dick’s Customer Service (HD)
* Herlihopps: Basketball Actor (HD)
* Adam and Drew: Back Together Again (HD)
* Bella Thorne’s Makeover (HD)
* Nickens (HD)
* Deleted Scenes (HD)
* Georgia (HD)
* Gag Reel(HD)

August 22, 2014

Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy DVD Review


Scooby-Doo and those “meddling kids” Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma are back in this all-new original movie! Velma discovers she’s inherited her great-great-uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein’s cursed castle in the terrifying town of Transylvania…Pennsylvania, that is. Just when the Gang persuades Velma to go claim her inheritance, the ghost of Dinkenstein Castle blows up the Mystery Machine as a warning! Now the Crew must spring back into action, but this time it’s personal! Who’s responsible for the Dinkenstein monster? What family secret has Velma been hiding? Will Fred recover from the loss of his beloved Mystery Machine? Can any helpless snack survive Scooby and Shaggy’s monster-sized appetites? This Scooby-Doo adventure has enough spooky fun to make the whole family come alive!


Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy arrives on DVD with a 480 transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 - Colors pop off the screen with beautifully saturated primaries. Black levels are the key to spooky and were deep and inky throughout. Fine detail is strong with super crisp lines and the animation looks crisp. I noticed some light banding issues but no compression artifacts were seen. 9/10


Audio is provided by a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. - The voice work is represented perfectly with crisp and claer dialogue. LFE performance had some surprising power with deep rumbles and heft being added to the more exciting moments. Surround activity keeps the viewer involved with the action on screen with smooth panning and environmental effects. No pops, cracks or hissing at all. 8.5/10


* Bonus Episodes (SD) - Included are "A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts" and "To Switch a Witch".

Vikings: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray and DVD October 7th

20th Century Fox and MGM Home Entertainment has officially announced they will release the thrilling Vikings: The Complete Second Season to Blu-ray and DVD on October 7, 2014. The show stars Travis Fimmel and Donal Logue. The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Audio will be provided by a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track. Below are the official details:


LOS ANGELES, CA (August 19, 2014) – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are back with another season of the hit dramatic series “Vikings” Season 2. The hit HISTORY drama, created and written by Michael Hirst (“The Tudors,” “Elizabeth”), arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 7.

“Vikings” centers on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own. Now he is an Earl, allied with King Horrik (Donal Logue). With more power than ever before, his desire to sail west and explore new kingdoms remains unquenchable.

Yet there’s a heavy price to pay for Ragnar’s ascent to greatness. Season two brings crises of faith, of power, of relationships. Brothers rise up against one another. Loyalties shift from friend to foe, and unlikely alliances are formed in the name of supremacy. Ragnar’s indiscretions threaten his marriage to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), tearing him and his beloved son apart. Plots are hatched, scores are settled, blood is spilled…all under the watchful eyes of the gods.

New to the cast of VIKINGS this season are Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) as Bjorn, the intelligent and bold warrior son of Ragnar Lothbrok, and Linus Roache (Law & Order) as Ecbert, King of Wessex, a man of strength, knowledge and undisguised ambition. They join Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok; Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar’s wife; Clive Standen as Rollo, Ragnar’s impulsive, wild, care-free brother; George Blagden as Athelstan, a young and not-so-innocent Monk; Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy, beautiful wife of the late Earl Haraldson; Donal Logue as King Horrik, who desires to make the increasingly famous Earl Ragnar an ally and supporter; Gustaf Skarsgard, a ship builder who designs the new generation of Vikings ships; and Alyssa Sutherland as Princess Aslaug, Ragnar’s new love interest.

Creator and writer Michael Hirst – one of the premier historical story-tellers in the industry (Academy-Award winning film Elizabeth; and the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated series “The Tudors”) – serves as Executive Producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo, “The Tudors”), Sheila Hockin (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn (“The Tudors,” “The Borgias”). Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs are the Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY.

“Vikings” is an international Irish/Canadian co-production being co-produced by World 2000 and Take 5 Productions. HISTORY broadcasts domestically in the U.S. MGM Television brought the series to the network and brings “Vikings” to the global audience, serving as the worldwide distributor outside of Ireland and Canada. “Vikings” is produced in association with Shaw Media, and the series also airs on HISTORY in Canada.

In addition to all 10 fan-favorite episodes, the “Vikings” Season 2 Blu-ray and DVD include bonus features – such as “Imagining and Executing Climactic Battles,” a behind the scenes exploration into every aspect of planning and execution of the key battle sequences. The Blu-ray contains more than 16 hours of exclusive content, 10 unrated episodes with extended and alternate scenes and two episode audio commentaries, in which Michael Hirst and Gustaf Skarsgard dive deeper into the making of the sophomore season.


* (Blu-ray Exclusive) - 10 Unrated episodes that include extended and alternate scenes

* (Blu-ray Exclusive) The Viking Sagas – An Interactive Archival Exploration of the Viking Sagas. Use the BD remote to select an icon within the Sagas to hear a detailed deconstruction told by Viking historians.

* A Warrior Society: Rites of Passage - Viking Historians unravel more fascinating mysteries of the Viking culture delving deeper into their rich history revealing the real world practices of the Viking people. Topics for exploration include: Viking Birthing Rituals, the significance of a young man receiving an armring, and the preparation undertaken before a young man or shieldmaiden’s first battle.

* My Family, My Enemy - Creator Michael Hirst details the story arcs of season two and how compelling stories from history influenced the script, with further insights from the cast members and their roles in this season.

* Imagining and Executing Climactic Battles – A behind the scenes exploration into every aspect of planning and execution of the key battle sequences, before intricately deconstructing every stage of preparation for the climactic VIKING battles in season 2.

* Audio Commentary (Extended) on “Blood Eagle” featuring Michael Hirst and Gustaf Skarsgard

* Audio Commentary (Extended on “The Lord’s Prayer” featuring Michael Hirst and Gustaf Skarsgard

Revolution: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review


Imagine a world where all technology – computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights – has suddenly and mysteriously blacked out…everywhere. What’s left is a post-apocalyptic landscape inhabited by ruthless paramilitary groups, heroic freedom fighters – and a family struggling to survive in this epic adventure thriller from Supernatural’s Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. Seen through the eyes of a fiercely determined young woman, Charlie Matheson, REVOLUTION follows a rogue band of rebels – including Charlie’s secretive mother Rachel and estranged uncle Miles, a former marine and militia leader – as they face danger at every turn in an attempt to overthrow the Militia, and ultimately return power to the people.


Revolution was one of the better high concept shows that followed after the ending of the brilliant LOST tv series but just couldn't find a large audience to warrant a third season. The cast is strong with the standouts being Billy Burke's Han Solo lite Miles Matheson and the lovely Elizabeth Mitchell as Rachel Matheson. Unfortunately the tail end of the season really ramps up the action and then left me wanting more because the last episode ends on a cliffhanger that will now, sadly never be resolved. 7.5/10


Revolution: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 - Revolution gets a fine video presentation. Colors are excellent showing off lush primaries. Fleshtones have a natural appearance. Black levels are rich and deep. The image is razor sharp and fine details such as clothing textures and the various stubble, wrinkles, pockmarks and more on faces. Compression artifacts are non existent. 9/10


Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. - A solid collection of tracks overall. Dialogue was crisp and clear. LFE performance was impressive with deep low end reproduction. Surrounds feature environmental effects that help open up the soundfield quite a bit. No anomalies were heard. 8.5/10


* Revolution: Heading West (HD)
Impact Revolution: Conversations with the United Nations (HD)
* United Nations: The Mission Continues PSA (HD)
* 2013 Comic Con Panel (HD)
* Deleted Scenes (HD)
* Gag Reel (HD)