Birthdays have to be good for something, so why not for adding more movies to my collection?
So, in honor of my having surivied another year on this planet, I picked up five more Bluray movies: the Hulk, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, and James Bond Set 1. I was originally just going to get Dr.No on Bluray, but then I saw the 3 disc set, and as I did not have any of the three in the set, I picked that up instead. Now on to the individual stuff….
The Hulk: This is the second attempt at bringing the Hulk to the big screen. This is not a sequel to the previous Ang Lee version, but an attempt to reimagine the character, and bring it in line with the Marvel cineverse that being formed. This version is no better and no worse than the Ang Lee version, it’s just different. I’m still not buying Ed Norton as Bruce Banner, and I didn’t like William Hurt as Tunderbolt Ross or how that character was handled. I also did not like how Abomination looked. It was too Resident Evil for me. All I could think of when I saw Abomination on screen was “Heck I took him out with three rockets,” as he just looked so much like the Tyrants in RE (the video game). I did enjoy the use of the old TV series musical cues (ncluding the theme music), the references to the TV origin, how the Hulk was rendered on screen (he no longer looks plastic), and several other “fan boy” references.
As for watching this on Bluray, it’s worth while. Between the sharpened image, the digital sound, and the extras, this is a worthy pick up. The extras have some interesting documentaries and behind the scenes stuff, and anyone interested in digital animation will have a field day. I must say though, I no longer sit through anything where Joe Quesada or Tom Breervoort have anything to say. Their prattlings just annoy the crap out of me, and I will skip over anything with them in it for more than 0.000000000001 seconds. I get enough of their patting themselves on the back elsewhere, I don’t need it or want it here. These shorts on the comics need to focus more on the original creative teams, and less on the pompous jackalopes that currently run thinsg at Marvel.
Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crsytal Skull: First off, this movie is not as bad as it has been made out to be. Yes, it gets somewhat ridiculous, even for an Indiana Jones movie, but it’s still far better than Temple of Doom. It could have been handled better, but there was a time factor at work here.
Harrsion Ford is still great as Indiana. It was good that the role took into account his age, matching the character’s to it roughly. It was nice to see Karen Allen return as Marion Ravenwood as well. The way Shia LaBouef’s character, “Mutt,” was handled is questionable. His first appearance was just way too reminiscient of Marlon Brando in the Wild Ones for me. And even though the story line was extremely hokey, even for an Indy movie, it did work in an Indy kind of way. I just wish the ending was different.
I have not gone through all the extras as yet. There are the usual shorts on making the film, the casting, etc. I’m sure that once I do, I will have yet another reason to want to smack George Lucas around like a red headed step child.
The movie itself is superb to watch in HD. The effects and cinematography really get a chance to shine through. The sound is solid, as it’s done in Dolby Digital, and is impressive with surround sound. As with just about any movie made in the past three years, watching it in an HD format is the preferable way to do so.
James Bond Set 1: This three disc set includes Dr.No, Live and Let Die, and Die Another Day. It could be renamed as the “Bond debut set,” as each movie is the first appearance of three actors who play Bond (Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan). I really wanted a copy of Dr.No, and as I didn;t have the other two movis in this set already, I went with this for $89 rather than Dr.No alone for $35.
Bond fans should rejoice at this set, and the other set which has Goldfinger, Thunderball, and For Your Eyes Only. The prints have been digitally restored and cleaned up, the sound remastered, and in a few occasions, errors corrected. The colors are now bright and vibrant, the details, even on the 1964 release Dr.No , are impressive. Much like with The Fifth Element, these are now probably “better than in the theater.” All three are more than enjoyable to watch in the new HD Bluray format.
The extras here though are wat really makes this set shine. The documentaries on how the franchised got started, the back story of Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, how Sean Connery got the role, etc are all very well done, and enjoyable to watch. You also get bonuses like Roger Moore as Bond on the UK TV show “Mainly Millicent,” as well as “lost” documentaries and footage. There are also select scenes tied to specific characters you can access, where you get just the scene that features that character. The breakdowns are by Bond, Allies, Women, Enemies, Combat, and Q.
anyone who claims to be a Bond fan, and has a Bluray player would be remiss in not getting this set, even if you already own them on some other format.