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The Fifth Element (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

July 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2017 4K Ultra HD release.  While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching and a cult favorite that continues to entertain audiences 25 years later.

Images courtesy of © 1997 Gaumont. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Fifth Element

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 1997

DURATION: 126 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible), French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Scenes of Strong Graphic Violence and for Language)

RELEASE DATE: July 11, 2017


Written and Directed by Luc Besson

Screenplay by Robert Mark Kamen

Producer: Patrice Ledoux

Co-Producer: Iain Smith

Associate Producer: Thierry Arbogast

Music by Eric Serra

Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast

Edited by Sylvie Landra

Casting by Lucinda Syson

Production Design by Dan Weil

Art Direction by Ira Gilford, Ron Gress, Michael Lamont, Jim Morahan, Kevin Phipps

Set Decoration by Maggie Gray, Anna Pinnock

Costume Design by Jean-Paul Gaultier


Starring:

Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas

Gary Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg

Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius

Mila Jovovich as Leeloo

Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod

Luke Perry as Billy

Brion James as General Munro

Tommy “Tiny” Lister as President Lindberg

Lee Evans as Fog

Charlie Creed-Miles as David

Tricky as Right Arm

John Neville as General Staedert

John Bluthal as Professor Pacoli


New York cab driver Korben Dallas didn’t mean to be a hero, but he just picked up the kind of fare that only comes along every five thousand years: A perfect beauty, a perfect being, a perfect weapon. Together, they must save the world. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world. Now presented in full 4K resolution, experience this dynamic action favorite like never before.


From the director Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Taxi”, “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”) comes his 1997 sci-fi action film “The Fifth Element”.

Starring Bruce Willis (“The Sixth Sense”, “Die Hard”, “Looper”), Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight Rises”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Batman Begins”), Iain Holm (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, “Alien”), Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil” films, “The Three Musketeers”), Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” films, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Jeremiah”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

A story that was written by Luc Besson when he was 16-years-old, the film would be made 32-years later. While receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was a box office success with a budget of $90 million, “The Fifth Element” would go on to to make over $90 million.

And now, a new 4K Ultra HD release for “The Fifth Element” will be released in 2017 to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary. Now presented in full 4K Ultra High Definition and in Dolby Atmos, this is the best version of the film available on physical media!

The film begins in 1914 as scientists discover something huge in an ancient Egyptian temple. Not long after, aliens known as Mondoshawans have arrived to collect (for safekeeping) a weapon capable of defeating a great evil that appears every 5,000 years.

The weapon is a sarcophagus that contains four classical elements which combines each element to create a divine light of defeating evil. The aliens say they will return when the great evil returns.

Fast forward to 2263 and the great evil has now reappeared as a giant ball of black fire. As the priest Vito Cornelius (portrayed by Ian Hom) tries to send a message to the President of the Federated Territories (portrayed by Tom Lister, Jr.) about how they must defeat the great evil with the weapon that can stop it, the Mondoshawans make their return.

But while they return, the Mangalores led by Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (portrayed by Gary Oldman), has been instructed by the great evil to acquire the stones. A hand of the Fifth element after an exchange between the Mondoshawans and Mangalores and scientist use the technology to reconstruct a humanoid woman named Leeloo (portrayed by Milla Jovovich).

Not knowing of where she is and unaware of her surroundings, Leeloo escapes and jumps off a ledge and crashes into a flying taxicab driven by Korben Dallas (portrayed by Bruce Willis), a former major of the special forces.

Will Leeloo become the key to stop the great evil? Or will she be used as a weapon to destroy humanity?


VIDEO:

“The Fifth Element” receives its first 4K Ultra HD release in time for its 20th Anniversary. This 2017 4K Ultra HD release is presented in 2160p Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).

Featuring wonderful detail and better clarity, the film looks even better in HD. Skin tones look natural and there is a good amount of grain present. I didn’t notice any major banding issues during my viewing of the film, nor does this film looked aged.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Audio quality is equally impressive. Featured in English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Considering that this sci-fi action film contains a lot of action sequences, the fact that the 2007 and 2015 Blu-ray release had a magnificent lossless soundtrack that utilized the surround channels, now this Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1) lossless soundtrack is quite impressive. From the scenes which Dallas encounters Leloo for the very first time to the ending action sequence, the film features great use of the surround and rear surround channels, as well as utilizing LFE.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Fifth Element” on 4K Ultra HD comes with the following special features:

  • The Visual Element – (18:25) A featurette about the films visual effects.
  • The Visual Element Extras – (6:13) Featuring seven visual element tests.
  • The Star Element: Bruce Willis – (4:19) Featuring an interview with actor Bruce Willis.
  • The Star Element: Mila Jovovich – (12:47) Featuring an interview with actress Mila Jovovich.
  • The Star element: Mila Jovovich Extras – (12:02) Featuring four screen tests with Mila Jovovich.
  • The Star Element: Chris Tucker – (4:17) Featuring an interview with actor Chris Tucker.
  • The Alien Element: Mondoshawans – (8:13) Featuring how they created the Mondoshawans and their movements.
  • The Alien Element: Mondoshawans Extras – (3:23) Featuring six outtakes and screen tests for the Mondoshawans.
  • The Alien Element: Mangalores – (9:47) A featurette about the evil Mangalores and how to bring these aliens to life.
  • The Alien Element: Mangalores Extras – (2:11) Featuring two Mangalores extras.
  • The Alien Element: Picasso – (4:17) A featurette  about Zorg’s pet, Picasso.
  • The Alien Element: Strikers – (3:04) A featurette about the Strikers that did not make the final cut of the film.
  • The Alien Element: Strikers Extras – (1:32) Featuring four Striker extras.
  • The Fashion Element – (7:46) A featurette about the fashion in “The Fifth Element”.
  • The Fashion Element: Extras – (5:17) Featuring four fashion extras.
  • The Diva – (16:16) The actress who brought Diva Plavalaguna to life.
  • The Divas Extras – (8:03) Four outtakes featuring Diva Plavalaguna.
  • The Digital Element – (9:49) A featurette about Digital Domain bringing “The Fifth Element” to life.
  • Imagining The Fifth Element – (5:14) The concept design, visual effects design and imagining of “The Fifth Element”.
  • The Elements of Style – (5:13) A featurette of an interview with Jean-Paul Gaultier and the film’s costume design.
  • Fact Track – Watch “The Fifth Element” with fact tracks.

EXTRAS:

“The Fifth Element” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


It has been 20-years since the release of “The Fifth Element” and with each watch, my perception of the film changes overtime.

With my older 1999 DVD review of the film, I wrote:

I finally saw this movie and this is what I thought.  I liked it a lot!  This movie is visually stunning and the computer graphics were wonderful.  The storyline is good but it appears that an extra 30 minutes or an hour would have given this movie judgment a much better score because I felt there were some loose ends that were never answered.

Watching this film once again in 4K Ultra HD in 20017, my thoughts that while the film was often considered a reference title for video and audiophiles (back during the DVD days), it’s a popcorn action films with impressive visuals.  With some CG elements that still hold up, while other scenes do look its age.

But what I enjoyed about the film at the time was the fact that it introduced us to Mila Jovovich, who would become a much bigger star with the “Resident Evil” films years later, Chris Tucker who would become a big star with his “Rush Hour” films not long after, and for Bruce Willis fans, the film gave us another chance to watch the man who wowed us in the ’90s with his “Die Hard” films to return in a sci-fi action film which we can see his character kicking butt once again.  And of course, watching Bruce Willis as a protagonist (with the similar bravado as his other action characters in previous films) and Gary Oldman as the antagonist, made the film worthwhile.

The film benefits from its visual imagery and imaginative settings, but the CG is well-done and its far-out Jean-Paul Gaultier costume design was also interesting to see.  But how I felt about the film back in 1999, again in 2006-2007, 2015  and in 2017 has not changed.  “The Fifth Element” does not have the greatest story but it was no doubt an entertaining film.

But I feel each time I watch it, my appreciation of the film tends to lessen.  The fact is, back in the DVD years, we considered “The Fifth Element” as a reference quality film to showcase our surround sound system. Especially now as its prsented in Dolby Atmos.  And watching this film in 2160p 4K Ultra HD, along with the 7.1 lossless soundtrack makes the film even more enjoyable and video/audiophiles should be pleased.

And with this 2017 4K Ultra HD release, fans of the film will also get a good number of special features and an Ultraviolet HD code.  For those who purchased the 2015 Blu-ray release, the special features are the same.  The difference of course between 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray is that the 4K Ultra HD is presented in 2160p Ultra High Defition versus 1080p (on Blu-ray).

Overall, “The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2017 4K Ultra HD release.  While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching and a cult favorite that continues to entertain audiences 20-years later.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

February 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” may have not won me over compared to his other films but I did enjoy the artistic freedom of using technology and the highest film FPS and trying something fresh and different compared to other films shot digitally.  Storywise, it may not be a heavy-hitting war film, but “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” does manage to capture brotherhood at arms, American war propaganda and the distorted perception of heroism. A film worth checking out!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 113 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio), English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), French, Portuguese, Thai, English and French Audio Description Tracks 5.1 Dolby Digital. SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese (Classic), Spanish (Castilan and Latin American) and Thai.

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Language Throughout, Some War Violence, Sexual Content and Brief Drug Use)

RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2017


Based on the Novel by Ben Fountain

Directed by Ang Lee

Written by Jean-Christophe Castelli

Producer: Stephen Cornwell, Ang Lee, Marc Platt, Rhodri Thomas

Executive Producer: Brian Bell, Guo Guangchang, Jeff Robinov, Ben Walsbren

Associate Producer: Alexei Boltho, Simon Cornwell, Ben Fountain, David Kosse, David Lee

Music by Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna

Cinematography by John Toll

Edited by Tim Squyres

Casting by Salah Benchegra, Shay Griffin, Avy Kaufman

Production Design by Mark Friedberg

Art Direction by Gregory S. Hooper, Kim Jennings, Thomas Minton, Aziz Rafiq

Set Decoration by Elizabeth Keenan

Costume Design by Joseph G. Aulisi


Starring:

Joe Alwyn as Billy

Garrett Hedlund as Dime

Arturo Castro as Mango

Mason Lee as Foo

Astro as Lodis

Beau Knapp as Crack

Ismael Cruz Cordova as Holliday

Barney Harris as Sykes

Vin Diesel as Shroom

Steve Martin as Norm

Chris Tucker as Albert

Kristen Stewart as Kathryn

Makenzie Leigh as Faison

Ben Platt as Josh

Bruce McKinnon as Billy’s Father

Deirdre Lovejoy as Billy’s Mother

Laura Lundy Wheale as Patty Lynn

Allen Daniel as Major Mac


Academy Award® winner Ang Lee (2012, Best Director, Life Of Pi ) brings his extraordinary vision to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, based on the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. The story is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing battle in Iraq and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through a sequence of flashbacks the truth about what really a happened is revealed – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s distorted perceptions of heroism. Co-starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel, and Steve Martin.


In 2012, award-winning writer Ben Fountain wrote his debut novel “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”.

Published in 2012, the novel received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the National Book Critics Award for Fiction, the 2012 National Book Award and Fountain would win the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize.

This would lead to a British-American war film adaptation directed by Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Brokeback mountain”, “The Ice Storm”, “Hulk”) and a screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli (“Sense and Sensibility”, “Life of Pi”, “The Ice Storm”).

The film stars Joe Alwyn (“The Sense of an Ending”,”A Higher Education”, “Keepers”), Garrett Hedlund (“Tron: Legacy”, “Unbroken”, “Four Brothers”, “Troy”), Arturo Castro (“Bushwick”), Mason Lee (“The Hangover Part II”), Astro (“Earth to Echo”, “A Walk Among the Tombstones”), Beau Knapp (“The Nice Guys”, “Southpaw”, “Super 8”), Ismael Cruz Cordova (“In the Blood”, “Exposed”), Barney Harris (“The Hollow Crown”, “Billionaire’s Boys Club”, “All Roads Lead to Rome”), Vin Diesel (“xXx” films, “Fast & Furious” films), Steve Martin (“The Jerk”, “Bowfinger”, “The Pink Panther” films, “Cheaper by the Dozen” films), Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” films, “Silver Linings”, “The Fifth Element”), Kristen Stewart (“Twilight” films, “Snow White and the Huntsman”), Makenzie Leigh (“The Slap”, “Gotham”) and Ben Platt (“Pitch Perfect” films, “Ricki and the Flash”).

The film had its world premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival and was released in 3D in theaters courtesy of TriStar Pictures.

The film begins with showing 19-year-old Army specialist Billy Lynn (portrayed by Joe Alwyn) of “Bravo Squad” from Texas dragging his wounded Sergeant Virgil “Shroom” Breem (portrayed by Vin Diesel) to safety during a firefight with enemies in Iraq.

While Shroom did not survive, the act of courage makes Billy an American hero, including his fellow soldiers of Bravo Squad.  And now each of them are on a nationwide tour which will end at the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving home game halftime show.

As Billy visits his family at home, his sister Kathryn (potrayed by Kristen Stewart) and we learn through a flashback that the reason that Billy joined the military because he destroyed the car of his sister’s boyfriend, who dumped her after she was in a car accident that required multiple facial reconstruction procedures.  And after destroying the car, he was given a choice to serve time or join the military and Billy chose to join the military.

But Kathryn wants her brother to no longer fight because he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and wants him to be honorably discharged, so that he doesn’t have to go back to Iraq.  And she feels guilty that he had to go to war in Iraq because of her.

As film producer Albert Brown (portrayed by Chris Tucker) tries to secure a film deal for the men of Bravo Squad, they meetup with Dallas Cowboys PR representative Josh (portrayed by Ben Platt) to the stadium.

While at the stadium, during the press conference, Billy falls for a cheerleader named Faison (portrayed by Makenzie Leigh), meanwhile meeting the owners of the Cowboys, Norm Oglesby (portrayed by Steve Martin), which Albert is hoping will investing in his film about the incident in Iraq.

How will the day go for Billy and his fellow soldiers of Bravo Squad as they prepare for the big halftime show?


VIDEO:

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is presented in 2160p High Definition (1:85:1).  The film is presented in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and on normal Blu-ray.

The film received a lot of attention from videophiles as filmmaker Ang Lee made sure the film was shot with a projection frame rate of 120 frames per second in 3D at 4K HD resolution.  Especially as Lee wanted to make sure the film was “immersive” and “realistic” as possible.  So, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” was the first feature film ever to be shot with a high frame rate (this film was 120fps, the last film to be shot with a high fps was “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” which was shot at 48 fps).

So, because the film was shot with a high fps, another major direction Ang Lee wanted to accomplish is that no make-up was allowed, so the make-up artist Luis Abel found a way to use make-up by using a silicone-based makeup that can see through skin.

Having watched this film in several formats, first let’s discuss the 4K Ultra HD.  Picture quality is fantastic and I can see where Ang Lee wanted to keep things real, as characters are not glammed up.  They are depicted like normal people and for the most part, may it be inside a stadium or outdoors during a major firefight, the film looks great in 4K!  It’s important to note that while the film was shot in 120 fps, it is presented in 4K Ultra HD in 60 fps.

With that being said, I think for some people, without the grain and the usual look of film that may turn a few people off.  It may look too realistic, so it is subjective to the viewing audience.  As many people are used to watching film shot in digital, this film no doubt looks different. And it’s the first film that tries to capture realism.  It’s just whether or not you enjoy it or not.

Watching the film via 3D Blu-ray, since the film was shot originally in 3D, the depth perception is fantastic!  May it be Billy waiting behind Destiny’s Child or during a firefight and seeing the machine gun bullets flying in the air.  I’m not a huge fan of 3D films on Blu-ray as a lot of it tends to get banal, but I enjoyed watching “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” in 3D.

And of course, the film is also featured on Blu-ray and you also get to an UltraViolet code to watch the film in Digital HD.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is presented in English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), French, Portuguse, Russian, Thai, English and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio Description Track.

While the film features crystal clear audio and music, surround channels are well-utilized for crowd atmosphere, especially during the half-time sequence, but also during the war-based action sequences.  This is a lossless soundtrack that really does take advantage of an immersive soundspace.

You can expect bullets whizzing, hitting and flying everywhere through your surround channels, explosions and booms, an awesome music soundtrack coming through the surround channels and LFE. Lossless audio is fantastic!

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish  and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” comes with the following special features:

  • Technology as Art: Changing the Way We View Cinema – (5:26) A 4K Ultra HD exclusive.  Ang Lee and crew discussing shooting the film in 120fps.
  • Deleted Scenes – (1:18) Featuring six deleted scenes.
  • Into Battle and Onto the Field: Stepping Inside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – (9:19) Ang Lee discusses making a film that examines humanity.  Interviews with the cast and also shooting the film at a high fps in 3D.
  • Assembling a Cast – (11:26) Featuring interviews with the cast of the film and how each of them were cast for the film.
  • Recreating the Half Time Show – (6:25) The process of recreating the half-time show and the many people involved to create the scene.
  • The Brotherhood of Combat – (4:24) How the cast would have to go through boot camp training to prepare for their role for the film.

EXTRAS:

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” will come with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray plus an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


Having watched “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” several times while reviewing the film in its different formats, while the film tends to narrow the focus on the protagonist Billy and less on the other soldiers of Bravo Squad in terms of their individual lives, the film focuses on the brotherhood of Bravo Squad.

As Billy is seen as the hometown hero, he is a man who doesn’t feel much of a hero as the person he was trying to save, Bravo Squad leader Shroom didn’t make it, part of the film is told in flashbacks of how Billy was a troublemaker of the squad, but eventually became a brother and respected Shroom who taught him a lot about life.

Billy joined the military as he had to make a choice of being incarcerated or joining the Army, because of damaging the vehicle of his sister’s ex-boyfriend, who dumped her after she got into a near-tragic car accident which damaged her face and has had to go through multiple facial reconstruction procedures.

Billy’s sister feels guilty of the sacrifice that Billy had to endure of going to war and seeing him suffer from PTSD and desperately wants him to file for honorable discharge.  As Billy contemplates it, he and his brothers must go through a media campaign for a victory tour which culminates in their final appearance at the Dallas Cowboys halftime show.

But the film exposes the reality of war and what these men sacrificed and also how they are at home, suffering from PTSD and even loud noises makes them feel they are still in Iraq.  And while they are home temporarily and being looked at as heroes, how the military and the government are using this squad and giving America a distorted perception of heroism.

Watching this film, it reminded me about the story of Jessica Lynch and how her convoy was ambushed by Iraqi forces during the Battle of Nasiriyah and how the government and media made her out as a hero, but then reports would come out years later, Lynch testifying that she never fired her weapon and the reality of what happened was revealed.  She criticized media reports about putting her in the status of a heroine and she did not take credit for something that she didn’t do.

While “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is a fictional story, the story of Billy and his squad is reminiscent of Pentagon propaganda that took place during the early 2000’s.  And in the film, Billy and the Bravo Squad are no doubt being used to further America’s involvement in the Iraq War.

While I enjoyed the film for watching Billy and the Bravo Squad crew reaching the end of their victory tour, the film does focus more on brotherhood, while the more emotional moments are focused on Kristen Stewart’s Kathryn who feels guilty about her brother and wants him to leave the military and come back home.

The other men of Bravo Squad are more background characters that would have been effective to show how each of the men were suffering, but while Billy does suffer from PTSD, only one character in the squad is focused on and showing the difficulty of adjusting away from the war zone.  So, aside from Billy, for the other men in the film, character development was not really all there…and by watching the deleted scenes included on the Blu-ray, you start to realize that showcasing the squad a bit more, was left on the cutting room floor.

As for the 4K Ultra HD release, I was very impressed by the realness of the film and how it looked in 4K.  Director Ang Lee wanted to keep things real and for the most part, he was able to accomplish that with the wonderful detail of the film.  Again, impressive!  But I can see if some people are turned off with the hyper-realism look of the film in 4K Ultra HD.  But I enjoyed watching a film try something new and different technologically and giving audiences a chance to see if they enjoy watching a film that looks realistic.  Some will enjoy it, others will hate it, but it is all subjective to the viewer.

Even the 3D Blu-ray version of the film, I also felt it was enjoyable to watch as the depth perception was amazing and how it really utilized depth for many parts of the film, was quite impressive.  Especially during the half-time and firefight in Iraq.

And this release contains four versions of the film: 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and UltraViolet Digital HD which is great!

Also, you get a good number of special features included (one that is exclusive on 4K Ultra HD and the others are featured on the Blu-ray disc).

Overall, Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” may have not won me over compared to his other films but I did enjoy the artistic freedom of using technology and the highest film FPS and trying something fresh and different compared to other films shot digitally.

Storywise, it may not be a heavy-hitting war film, but “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” does manage to capture brotherhood at arms, American war propaganda and the distorted perception of heroism.  A film worth checking out!

The Fifth Element (2015 Blu-ray release) (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

fifthelement

“The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2015 Blu-ray release.  While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, but still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching.

Images courtesy of © 1997 Gaumont. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Fifth Element (2015 Blu-ray Release)

DURATION: 126 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish

RATED: PG-13 (Intense Sci-Fi Violence, Some Sexuality and Brief Nudity)

COMPANY: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2015


Written and Directed by Luc Besson

Screenplay by Robert Mark Kamen

Producer: Patrice Ledoux

Co-Producer: Iain Smith

Associate Producer: Thierry Arbogast

Music by Eric Serra

Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast

Edited by Sylvie Landra

Casting by Lucinda Syson

Production Design by Dan Weil

Art Direction by Ira Gilford, Ron Gress, Michael Lamont, Jim Morahan, Kevin Phipps

Set Decoration by Maggie Gray, Anna Pinnock

Costume Design by Jean-Paul Gaultier


Starring:

Bruce Willis as Korben Dallas

Gary Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg

Ian Holm as Father Vito Cornelius

Mila Jovovich as Leeloo

Chris Tucker as Ruby Rhod

Luke Perry as Billy

Brion James as General Munro

Tommy “Tiny” Lister as President Lindberg

Lee Evans as Fog

Charlie Creed-Miles as David

Tricky as Right Arm

John Neville as General Staedert

John Bluthal as Professor Pacoli


New York cab driver Korben Dallas didn’t mean to be a hero, but he just picked up the kind of fare that only comes along every five thousand years: A perfect beauty, a perfect being, a perfect weapon. Together, they must save the world. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world. Now fully remastered in 4K, experience this dynamic action favorite like never before.


From the director Luc Besson (“La Femme Nikita”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Taxi”, “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc”) comes his 1997 sci-fi action film “The Fifth Element”.

Starring Bruce Willis (“The Sixth Sense”, “Die Hard”, “Looper”), Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight Rises”, “Leon: The Professional”, “Batman Begins”), Iain Holm (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, “Alien”), Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil” films, “The Three Musketeers”), Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” films, “Silver Linings Playbook”) and Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Jeremiah”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).

A story that was written by Luc Besson when he was 16-years-old, the film would be made 32-years later.  While receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was a box office success with a budget of $90 million, “The Fifth Element” would go on to to make over $90 million.

And now, a new Blu-ray release for “The Fifth Element” will be released in October 2015.  Remastered in 4K and in Dolby Atmos, plus the inclusion of an Ultraviolet HD code.

The film begins in 1914 as scientists discover something huge in an ancient Egyptian temple.  Not long after, aliens known as Mondoshawans have arrived to collect (for safekeeping) a weapon capable of defeating a great evil that appears every 5,000 years.

The weapon is a sarcophagus that contains four classical elements which combines each element to create a divine light of defeating evil.  The aliens say they will return when the great evil returns.

Fast forward to 2263 and the great evil has now reappeared as a giant ball of black fire.  As the priest Vito Cornelius (portrayed by Ian Hom) tries to send a message to the President of the Federated Territories (portrayed by Tom Lister, Jr.) about how they must defeat the great evil with the weapon that can stop it, the Mondoshawans make their return.

But while they return, the Mangalores led by Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (portrayed by Gary Oldman), has been instructed by the great evil to acquire the stones.  A hand of the Fifth element after an exchange between the Mondoshawans and Mangalores and scientist use the technology to reconstruct a humanoid woman named Leeloo (portrayed by Milla Jovovich).

Not knowing of where she is and unaware of her surroundings, Leeloo escapes and jumps off a ledge and crashes into a flying taxicab driven by Korben Dallas (portrayed by Bruce Willis), a former major of the special forces.

Will Leeloo become the key to stop the great evil?  Or will she be used as a weapon to destroy humanity?


 

VIDEO:

“The Fifth Element” receives its third Blu-ray release in the last ten years.  With a 2006 Blu-ray release which had plenty of issues, the second Blu-ray released in 2007 was a major improvement.  And now with the 2015 Blu-ray release, presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), “The Fifth Element” receives a remastering in 4K.

Featuring wonderful detail and better clarity, the film looks even better in HD.  Skin tones look natural and there is a good amount of grain present.  I didn’t notice any major banding issues during my viewing of the film, nor does this film looked aged.

AUDIO:

Audio quality is equally impressive. Featured in English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1), French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1.

Considering that this sci-fi action film contains a lot of action sequences, the fact that the 2007 Blu-ray release had a magnificent lossless soundtrack that utilized the surround channels, now this Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1) lossless soundtrack is even more impressive.  From the scenes which Dallas encounters Leloo for the very first time to the ending action sequence, the film features great use of the surround and rear surround channels, as well as utilizing LFE.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Fifth Element” on Blu-ray comes with the following special features:

  • The Visual Element – (18:25) A featurette about the films visual effects.
  • The Visual Element Extras – (6:13) Featuring seven visual element tests.
  • The Star Element: Bruce Willis – (4:19) Featuring an interview with actor Bruce Willis.
  • The Star Element: Mila Jovovich – (12:47) Featuring an interview with actress Mila Jovovich.
  • The Star element: Mila Jovovich Extras – (12:02) Featuring four screen tests with Mila Jovovich.
  • The Star Element: Chris Tucker – (4:17) Featuring an interview with actor Chris Tucker.
  • The Alien Element: Mondoshawans – (8:13) Featuring how they created the Mondoshawans and their movements.
  • The Alien Element: Mondoshawans Extras – (3:23) Featuring six outtakes and screen tests for the Mondoshawans.
  • The Alien Element: Mangalores – (9:47) A featurette about the evil Mangalores and how to bring these aliens to life.
  • The Alien Element: Mangalores Extras – (2:11) Featuring two Mangalores extras.
  • The Alien Element: Picasso – (4:17) A featurette  about Zorg’s pet, Picasso.
  • The Alien Element: Strikers – (3:04) A featurette about the Strikers that did not make the final cut of the film.
  • The Alien Element: Strikers Extras – (1:32) Featuring four Striker extras.
  • The Fashion Element – (7:46) A featurette about the fashion in “The Fifth Element”.
  • The Fashion Element: Extras – (5:17) Featuring four fashion extras.
  • The Diva – (16:16) The actress who brought Diva Plavalaguna to life.
  • The Divas Extras – (8:03) Four outtakes featuring Diva Plavalaguna.
  • The Digital Element – (9:49) A featurette about Digital Domain bringing “The Fifth Element” to life.
  • Imagining The Fifth Element – (5:14) The concept design, visual effects design and imagining of “The Fifth Element”.
  • The Elements of Style – (5:13) A featurette of an interview with Jean-Paul Gaultier and the film’s costume design.
  • Fact Track – Watch “The Fifth Element” with fact tracks.

EXTRAS:

“The Fifth Element” comes with a slipcover and an Ultraviolet Digital HD code.


It has been nearly 20-years since the release of “The Fifth Element” and with each watch, my perception of the film changes overtime.

With my 1999 DVD review of the film, I wrote:

I finally saw this movie and this is what I thought.  I liked it a lot!  This movie is visually stunning and the computer graphics were wonderful.  The storyline is good but it appears that an extra 30 minutes or an hour would have given this movie judgment a much better score because I felt there were some loose ends that were never answered.

Watching this film in 2015, my thoughts that while the film was often considered a reference title for video and audiophiles (back during the DVD days), it’s a popcorn action films with impressive visuals.  With some CG elements that still hold up, while others look its age.

But what I enjoyed about the film at the time was the fact that it introduced us to Mila Jovovich, who would become a much bigger star with the “Resident Evil” films years later, Chris Tucker who would become a big star with his “Rush Hour” films not long after, and for Bruce Willis fans, the film gave us another chance to watch the man who wowed us in the ’90s with his “Die Hard” films to return in a sci-fi action film which we can see his character kicking butt once again.  And of course, watching Bruce Willis as a protagonist (with the similar bravado as his other action characters in previous films) and Gary Oldman as the antagonist, made the film worthwhile.

The film benefits from its visual imagery and imaginative settings, but the CG is well-done and its far-out Jean-Paul Gaultier costume design was also interesting to see.  But how I felt about the film back in 1999, again in 2006-2007 and in 2015 has not changed.  “The Fifth Element” does not have the greatest story but it was no doubt an entertaining film.  But I feel each time I watch it, my appreciation of the film tends to lessen.  The fact is, back in the DVD years, we considered “The Fifth Element” as a reference quality film to showcase our surround sound system.  And while the film sounds impressive on Blu-ray, a lot of sci-fi action films during the later life of Blu-ray releases sound just as great.  And the remastering in 4K and the 7.1 lossless soundtrack makes the film even more enticing.

And with this 2015 Blu-ray release, fans of the film will also get a good number of special features and an Ultraviolet HD code.

Overall, “The Fifth Element” is a fascinating, entertaining Luc Besson sci-fi action film that looks and sounds better with this 2015 Blu-ray release.  While not the best Besson film ever created, nor the best sci-fi action film ever made, but still “The Fifth Element” remains as a popcorn action sci-fi film worth watching.

RUSH HOUR 3 (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“’RUSH HOUR 3′ may simply be the weakest of the trilogy thus far but the Blu-ray release is absolutely wonderful.  Awesome picture and audio quality plus two discs of special features.  Fans of the film will definitely enjoy this High Definition transfer!”

Images courtesy of © 2007 New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: RUSH HOUR 3

DURATION: 86 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:35:1 Widescreen, English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

COMPANY:  New Line Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Sequences of Action Violence, Sexual Content, Nudity and Language)

Release Date:  December 23, 2007

Directed by Brett Ratner

Characters by Ross LaManna

Written by Jeff Nathanson

Executive Producers:  Toby Emmerich

Produced by Roger Birnbaum, Andrew Z. Davis, Jonathan Glickman, Arthur M. Sarkissian, Jay Stern

Co-Producer: Leon Dudevoir, James M. Freitag

Associated Producer: David Gorder, Darryl Jones

Music by Lalo Schifrin

Director of Photography: J. Michael Muro

Edited by Mark Helfrich, Dean Zimmerman, Don Zimmerman

Casting by David Kang, Ronna Kress

Production Design by Ed Verreaux

Art Direction: Chad S. Frey, Grag Papalia

Set Decoration by Kate J. Sullivan

Costume Design by Betsy Heimann

Starring:

Christ Tucker as Carter

Jackie Chan as Lee

Max von Sydow as Reynard

Hiroyuki Sanada as Kenji

Yvan Attal as George

Youki Kudoh as Dragon Lady

Noemie Lenoir as Genevieve

Jingchu Zhang as Soo Yung

Tzi Ma as Ambassador Han

Dana Ivey as Sister Agnes

Henry O as Master Yu

Mingming Sun as Kung Fu Giant

Roman Polansi as the French Police Official

When a Chinese criminal mastermind flees to Paris, there’s only one culture-clashed, crime-fighting duo for the job.  Ready to raise hell in the city of lights, Chief Inspector Lee (Chan) and Detective Carter (Tucker) instead get caught in an explosive battle between the French police, the Triad gang and two gorgeous female fatales!  With everybody kung fu fighting to the top of the Eiffel Tower, this one-two punch of hilarious action doesn’t let up until the final heart-stopping au revoir!

For those who have been fans of the previous two “Rush Hour” films, it had been six years since the second film and many people highly anticipating the reunion of Director Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Red Dragon” and “Money Talks”) and talents Jackie Chan (“Supercop”, “Shanghai Noon” and “The Forbidden Kingdom”) and Chris Tucker (“Jackie Brown”, “Money Talks” and “The Fifth Element”).

Joining Brett is fellow “Rush Hour 2” screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (“The Terminal”, “Catch Me If You Can” and “Speed 2: Cruise Control”), composer Lalo Schifrin (“Mission: Impossible” films, “Money Talks” and “The Sting II”) and cinematographer J. Michael Muro (“Southland”, “Traitor” and “Crash”).

Because six years have passed, the film came out in the Summer of 2007 and with the excitement and comedy of the first two films, many fans were awaiting what would be in store for the third film.

The film was not exactly well-received by critics but “RUSH HOUR 3” is a film that manages to bring people to theaters who want a comedy/action flick to enjoy for the Summer.  The film which cost $140 million to make, grossed over $255 million worldwide and thus, paving way for a new “RUSH HOUR 4” film scheduled anywhere between 2010-2012.

The film revolves around Lee (Jackie Chan) providing the security for Ambassador Han (Tzi Ma) who is addressing the World Criminal Court in regards to the fight against the Triads, he makes the startling announcement that he knows the whereabouts of Shy Shen.

Immediately, a bullet is shot and pierces the windows and hits Han.  Lee sees the assassin climbing down from a building and immediately pursues.  This catches the attention of Lee’s former LAPD partner Carter  (Chris Tucker) who goes out to lend his help to Lee.

When Lee catches up to the assassin, he finds out it is a person he knows from his past, a man named Kenji (Hiroyuki Sanada).  Kenji taunts Lee, knowing that he won’t shoot (because they grew up from the same orphanage and have treated each other as brothers).  When Carter arrives, Kenji escapes and Lee is surprised about his confrontation with Kenji.

When Lee and Carter arrive to the hospital to check on Ambassador Han, his daughter Soo-Yung (Zhang Jingchu, and a character who was seen from the first film) is now grown up and has both Lee and Carter promise to her that they will do what they can to stop the assassin and both make their promise.

Immediately, assassins come to kill Ambassador Han in the hospital but are stopped by Carter and Lee.  Soo-Yung tells them that her father gave her an envelope with important information in regards to the Triad and they must retrieve the letter at the martial arts school that she works at.

After another brush with assassins, the group learn they must go to France to look for whatever Shy Shen may be.  After a failed bombing incident, Soo-Yung is left to the care of the French Ambassador, Reynard (Max bon Sydow), who is the chairman of the World Criminal Court.

While in France, immediately both Lee and Carter are treated badly by the French police commissioner (Roman Polanski) who has them beaten by telephone books and does a cavity search.  Their taxi driver George (Yvan Attal) complains about “Americans always are the most violent on Earth” and gets on their case.

But although their first day in France may not be the best experience, Carter meets the beautiful Genevieve (Noemie Lenoir) and Lee meets a woman (played by Youki Kudoh) who says she can provide him answers to the person he is looking for.

But both men learn that the women they meet are not exactly nice women and Lee will need to confront Kenji once again.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

When “RUSH  HOUR 3” was released on Blu-ray back in December 2007, the Blu-ray release received the highest marks for its picture and audio quality.  With the Blu-ray release now over a year old, I am revisiting the film and seeing how it compares to the current releases of today.

The film sports a 1080p High Definition (2:35:1) transfer.  The film is definitely vibrant with many outdoor shots during the sunny day and detail featured during the Los Angeles and French scenes in the film.  The picture quality is not soft, lighting is definitely featured prominently in this film as its one thing to get vibrant colors during the outdoor scenes but in one nightclub scene, the colors that come through during the choreography screen shows how low-light combined with the various blue and purple lighting are equally vibrant and blacks are a nice and deep.

Even today, “RUSH HOUR 3” is still a vibrant looking film that retains its grain and overall, a great looking film on Blu-ray.

As for audio, I really enjoy these 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless soundtracks and one thing you will notice from “RUSH HOUR 3” is that the soundtrack sounds absolutely nice.  Maybe not as much punch as a “Quantum of Solace” or “Transformers: The Movie” but the film manages to utilize all channels on my 7.2 system setup.  Rear surrounds are used primarily to enhance the music and certain sound effects which were nice.  Surrounds definitely made certain scenes feel immersive but for the most part, dialogue is clear (although some scenes by both Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan may be a bit difficult to understand at times and you may need to rewind the scene to better understand what is going on). Overall, a solid lossless audio soundtrack.

As for subtitles, subtitles are presented in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“RUSH HOUR 3” is definitely a Blu-ray release that deserves attention for picture and audio quality but the film also manages to include hours of special features which were quite enjoyable and all are featured in 1080p HD.

DISC 1:

  • Audio commentary by Director Brett Rather and Jeff Nathanson – People can listen to the commentary throughout the film or by enabling the Enhanced Visual Commentary which features both men in a picture-in-picture screen.  The Enhanced Visual Commentary didn’t need any changing of Blu-ray audio setup like some Blu-rays will need for P-I-P display.  But as far as the commentary is concerned, both men go into the making of the film, working with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker again and the other talents used in the film and much more.  A very entertaining commentary by both men.
  • Trailer – The original theatrical trailer for the film.

DISC 2:

  • Outtakes – (2:33) The outtakes from the film.
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes – (7:12) People can watch seven deleted and alternate scenes including an alternate ending with optional commentary by Director Brett Ratner and Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson.  Here is what is included:  Extended Airplane, Extended Taxi, Extended Elevator, Hotel Hallway, Spotlight Guy: Follies, Extended Eiffel Tower, and Alternate Ending.  For the most part, both are rather humorous when discussing these scenes, scenes they wish they didn’t cut out but most interesting is Ratner and Nathanson’s discussion about the alternative ending and not sure why they created that.
  • Making of “RUSH HOUR 3” – (1:28:10) Literally, the making of “RUSH HOUR 3” from the script to the cast and the music.  Interviews with crew and talent and more.  Very in-depth featurette of what Nathanson wanted to accomplish with the script and what Ratner wanted to accomplish with the casting a worldwide talent of characters and more.  Here is what is included in this segment (can be watched ala “View All” or separately):

– The Story, The Script

– Casting the Rush

– Teaming Up

– Creating the Rush: Scene by Scene

– Cuts, Sound & Music

  • Visual Effects Reel – (2:03) An interesting look at various scenes and using digital characters instead of real life characters and going through scenes that looked real but were in CG.
  • Le Rush Hour Trois Production Diary -(1:05:05) A very candid look at Bret Ratner making “Rush Hour 3” and the challenge the crew faced with the making of this film.  Including behind-the-scenes footage of certain scenes, what happened off camera and more.  Very fun to watch and informative.

EASTER EGGS:

There are two Easter Eggs.  The first is on Disc 2 and pressing up on “Visual Effects Reel” in the main menu.  You will see a logo show up and when you click on it, you will get a short video with Jackie Chan and Hiroyuki Sanada’s characters fighting with light sabers.  The other is on subtitles and selecting the New Line Cinema logo to access credits for the film.

I really enjoyed “RUSH HOUR” and “RUSH HOUR 2”.  Both films manage to showcase a good amount of humor and action and this odd couple manage to successfully bring in people to the theaters because you know that it’s a fun film to watch.  Both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are so unlike and they are the ultimate odd couple on screen but they manage to make it work.

But “RUSH HOUR” films are not films to expect a deep storyline.  If anything, there are many racial jokes on both sides of the film and as evident from the special features, there are lines that Jackie Chan has no idea what he’s saying, nor does he know what they mean.

“RUSH HOUR 3” is simply a film that you just don’t want to expect anything more from.  The laughs, the actions, the camaraderie are enough.

But with the Ratner and crew trying to come up with a new story six years later, I felt the movie felt as if it was rushed.  I felt that the duo dynamic was subdued. Similar to the “Odd Couple”, these two are quite the opposites and both Lee and Carter who have now become good friends, like brothers was fine but it’s been far too long since these Ratner, Chan and Tucker have worked with each other.

Chris Tucker did a fine role as Carter but for some reason, as much as I know Jackie Chan is a popular singer in Asia, I suppose that I wanted to see more action-based scenes with him rather than many singing scenes. It just seemed out of place. But knowing that Chan who was 53-years-old at the time, is not going to be doing a lot of action scenes as he did back in 1998 when the first film was released in theaters.  And if the fourth film is released in 2012, I’m not sure how much we can expect from, especially now as he wants to focus on serious films in Asia.

Also, I felt the character of George (The taxi driver) was a bit overused.  Fine for the first time but seeing him evolve as a character, again, with the film focused on Lee and Carter, seeing the character George being so prominent seemed a bit off.

Max von Sydow has always managed to have this mysterious allure to him.  From the 1975 film “Three Days of the Condor” to “RUSH HOUR 3”, the roles that he tends to play makes those familiar with his work automatically know where his character as Reynard is going to go.   But I felt there could have been much more potential with his character.

I really enjoyed Hiroyuki Sanada as Kenji.  His role as an action star in Japan was definitely showcased in “RUSH HOUR 3”.   It was also great to see Ratner utilizing other worldwide talents such as Jingchu Zhang, Youki Kudoh and Noemie Lenoir.

But in the end, I was entertained by “RUSH HOUR 3”.  There are some major laughs and action sequences in the film that manage to capture the soul of the “RUSH HOUR” films and on Blu-ray, you get a wonderful transfer with outstanding picture and audio quality and hours of special features which were enjoyable to watch.

For fans of the film or the trilogy, “RUSH HOUR 3” is a wonderful Blu-ray release.  Unfortunately, the film’s storyline doesn’t quite match the awesomeness of the Blu-ray release but nevertheless, it’s a very entertaining, solid Blu-ray!  Definitely worth checking out!

The Fifth Element (A J!-ENT DVD Review)

September 27, 2003 by · Leave a Comment 

Netflix, Inc.

BUY THIS DVD

MOVIE COMPANY: Columbia Pictures
CAST: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Luke Perry and more.
DIRECTED BY: Luc Besson
PRODUCED BY: Patrice Ledoux
RATING: PG-13
INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0119116
TYPE OF TV SHOW: Action, Sci-Fi

Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world.  All aboard for “A Futuristic , Eye Popping Adventure!” – Bill Diehl, ABC Radio Network.

DVD EXTRAS:

• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby, HiFi Sound, Surround Sound, Digital Sound, DTS Stereo
• Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats

KNOWN DVD SECRET:  None that I know of at this time.

DVD REVIEW:

When I heard that this DVD is known as one of the best reference DVD’s out there.  I must admit that it was a decision that was hard for me to decided if I wanted to buy this or not because #1) It’s known that there is no extra’s on this DVD and I heard this movie is so-so.  Also, the label on the DVD is on the wrong sides, so you need to put it on the side that says full screen to access the wide screen segment.  Then again, this problem maybe my DVD.

I finally saw this movie and this is what I thought.  I liked it a lot!  This movie is visually stunning and the computer graphics were wonderful.  The storyline is good but it appeared an extra 30 minutes or an hour would have given this movie judgment because I felt there were some loose ends.

But people are not buying this DVD much for the extra’s and looking for a good story, they are buying this DVD because it’s the definitive reference DVD.

Now, what makes this DVD so much of a reference DVD?  It’s the sound.  I watched this movie twice now.  The first just to listen to it in regular dolby surround.   Then I watched it again in digital 5.1 and all I can say….oh my!

For those who are contemplating if they should upgrade their old home theater receivers for a digital 5.1 system, I have two words for you…”Heck yeah!”  You don’t understand that they utilize the sound to the utmost best.  I thought “Godzilla” was one hell of a reference DVD but “The Fifth Element” is definitely a reference DVD.  The sounds are coming from everywhere…I  mean everywhere.  Very awesome!

Ah…but although the audio is the main superb highlight, the video is also pretty awesome.  Check this out… the colors on the DVD are truly awesome!  The colors really do come out on this DVD.

So, all in all this DVD sucks in terms for extras because there are hardly any.  The movie is slightly above average because they did one hell of a job on the graphics and colors.  The story for me had loose ends and was rushed.  I wish they could of added deleted scenes but knowing how much DVD fanatics consider this DVD among the best, I hope a special edition DVD comes out.

I can’t give this DVD a great grade for overall because of the extra’s but as for a reference DVD, this DVD earns the highest of highest of marks.

THE MOVIE:  B
THE DVD EXTRAS:  D-
THE DVD OVERALL:  C

RUSH HOUR (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

October 1, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

BUY THIS DVD

MOVIE COMPANY: New Line Cinema
CAST: Starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Penn and Elizabeth Pena
DIRECTED BY: Directed by Brett Ratner
PRODUCED BY: Roger Birnbaum
RATING: Rated PG-13
INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120812
TYPE OF MOVIE: Action, Comedy


One’s all talk…the other’s all action!…Jackie Chan (Rumble in the Bronx, First Strike) and Chris Tucker (Money Talks, Friday) mix punches with punchlines in this hilarious action-comedy!

Culture’s clash and tempers flare as these two cops from different worlds quickly discover one thing in common: they can’t stand each other.  With time running out, they must join forces to catch the criminals — if they don’t kill each other first.

DVD EXTRAS:

• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby
• Commentary by director Brett Ratner
• Isolated musical score with commentary by composer Lalo Schifrin
• Theatrical trailer
• Deleted scenes
• Original featurette “A Piece of the Action: Behind the scenes of Rush Hour”
• Short movie Whatever Happened to Mason Reese (1990) by director Brett Ratner
• Music video: “Nuttin’ But Love” by Heavy D
• Music video: “How Deep Is Your Love” by Dru Hill
• Widescreen anamorphic format

KNOWN DVD SECRET(S): None that I could find.

DVD REVIEW:

I really enjoyed this movie when it first came out and when I found out that this DVD was going to be jam packed, I couldn’t wait!

All I can say is this movie is definitely worth the wait because not only do you get a cool movie with pretty good colors and good sound, you get a DVD that’s fully packed and this is what I mean.

First, let’s talk about the music videos.  You get the two music videos but you get director’s commentary on the music videos.  You don’t see that too much.  Also, you get Brett Ratner’s short movie that he did back in college.  The featurette is pretty long and full of information. Especially how Tucker improvises a lot and you get to see how Jackie suggests and feels about certain action scenes.  Very cool!

There is so much more to this DVD and if you love Jackie Chan and Christ Tucker, you can’t go wrong with this DVD.  Also, you start to gain respect for Brett Ratner because you get to see how how this director really cares for his two actors.  Very cool!

This DVD is highly recommended!

THE MOVIE:  A
THE DVD EXTRAS:  A+
THE DVD OVERALL:  A

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