Sherlock: Season Three Blu-ray Review

    Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Una Stubbs, Mark Gatiss
  • Directors: Jeremy Lovering, Colm McCarthy, Nick Hurran
  • Writers: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 262 minutes


  •  

           

            Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizable fictional characters in both literature and the subsequent film and television adaptations, which allows for the release of yet another adaptation without any resistance from fans of the franchise. While TV’s “Sherlock” shares an emphasis on the friendship between the infamous detective and his sidekick and much of the visual flair that Guy Ritchie’s theatrical releases also had, it sets itself apart by adding a modern element to the beloved stories. The entire endeavor breathes new life into the old stories, reviving them with quick, clever dialogue and a dynamic visual style.

     

    Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner
  • Format: Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: February 4, 2014
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 234 minutes


  •  

     

            Dallas  Buyers Club is a marvelously competent film, both engaging and inspirational, entertaining yet grounded in the reality of a true story. It is nearly impossible not to like Dallas Buyers Club, which is why I have such difficulty expressing my skepticism in any real point to the film’s narrative. However capable the filmmaking or flashy the performances may be, the end result of the film’s narrative fails to strike any cords of relevance beyond the protagonist’s willingness to do anything to survive. It captures a rare chapter in American history where an individual attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to challenge the seemingly tyrannous monopoly that is the pharmaceutical industry.

     

    Sorority Party Massacre DVD Review

         Actors: Kevin Sorbo, Marissa Skell, Yvette Yates, Eve Mauro
  • Directors: Chris W. Freeman, Justin Jones
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 103 minutes


  •  

           

            When the best a cast has to offer is Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules”) and aged porn star Ron Jeremy, this is a fairly decent indicator that the film is a certified piece of shit. These two are brief cameos in a film filled with actors who somehow manage incompetence to the point of making Jeremy look talented, and the viewing experience of Sorority Party Massacre nearly unbearable. Even in fast-forward this film moves too slow, testing the patience of any viewer’s willingness to endure bad acting, poor direction and an atrociously asinine screenplay, all for the brief moments of sloppy gore and nude scenes from actresses not suited for internet porn.

     

    Baggage Claim Blu-ray Review

         Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: February 4, 2014
  • Run Time: 97 minutes


  •  

            I appreciate that romantic comedies are often built upon clich├ęs and derivative narratives that offer up flaccid fantasies for the undiscerning idealistic consumer. Baggage Claim, however, builds so much of the storyline upon a shallow materialistic mentality that it is entertainment specifically directed at superficial personalities that find more attraction in a male’s bank account than any element of romance. Even though the protagonist inevitably makes the morally admirable choice by the end of the film, her ugly choices leading to that obvious end result are difficult to forgive.

     

    Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Mark Chao, William Feng, Angelababy, Carina Lau, Lin Gengxin
  • Director: Tsui Hark
  • Format: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 134 minutes



  •        

            The 3D format has become a hugely moneymaking gimmick, and one which has certainly played a large role in giving audiences a reason to see a film in theaters rather than waiting for home entertainment or downloading illegally. We have seen from successes like Avatar, The Avengers and Gravity in the United States that people are willing to pay more if it gives them a unique viewing experience, and filmmaker Tsui Hark (Seven Swords, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate) has been at the forefront of a similar shift in Asian cinema. The only problem with this mentality of making movies is the shortsightedness when it comes to home entertainment, especially as that is the primary means of seeing these films as imports. The effects are still very good in Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, but there are elements better suited for 3D, and at times they resemble the type of flat, unfinished CGI effects from the late 1990s.

     

    The Armstrong Lie Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
  • Director: Alex Gibney
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 124 minutes


  •  

            I’ve never been very good at sports, but it has more to do with my attitude than any lack of physical abilities. As a child, I found myself only interested in competition if it simultaneously involved the companionship of friends. My concerns were always more aligned with the mentality of playing than they were in winning, and that makes me less of a competitor than those with the die-hard athlete attitudes. While I respect that the element of ambition and drive certainly has a place in competitive sports, I have never had the attitude that winning is the only point. Once winning becomes the only objective, there are no ideals or morals which won’t be discarded in order to achieve this goal, and Lance Armstrong has become the poster child for this mentality.

     

    Rocky: Heavyweight Collection Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burt Young, Mr. T
  • Directors: Sylvester Stallone, John G. Avildsen
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Box set, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: MGM
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014


  •  

     

            The Undisputed Collection of the Rocky films included all six of the films in the franchise, four of which were on Blu-ray for the first time. The discs for the first, Rocky (1976) and the last, Rocky Balboa (2006), in the series were the discs from the previously released Blu-ray, which caused complaints from many consumers. Now just a short time later we have yet another collection, this time titled the Heavyweight Collection and featuring a newly remastered release of Rocky and limiting the size of the package as well as the number of discs needed. The seventh disc of special features has been removed this time around, though nearly all of the former extras have still been included on the first disc.