– The Movie Itself (has an average rating of 6.2 on IMDb)
– Video Quality (1080p in VC-1 on a 50gb disc)
– Audio Quality (PCM 5.1 @4.6Mbps & Dolby Digital 5.1)
– Bonus Materials (only includes the Theatrical Trailer)
– 101 minutes
Buy it for $19.95 @ Amazon.com
The Movie Itself is a film adaptation of the old 50′s Television Series that was created and hosted by Rod Serling. This film is Directed by four different Directors. The project was organized by John Landis who Directs the “Prologue” and “First Segment” of the film. Which leads me to explaining how things worked out as far as the Directing went. As I stated Landis did those, next Steven Spielberg Directs the “Second Segment” of the film. Then Joe Dante Directs the “Third Segment” and lastly George Miller Directs the “Fourth Segment” which is a remake of an old episode of the original Television series. William Shatner played the part that John Lithgow is playing in this remake. It honestly is much better but this one does still give me the creeps.
This is probably one that’s only going to be bought by the real fans of the film and/or Franchise (which started with the original Television series) of “The Twilight Zone.” I do recommend it to anyone that’s in for some PG horror from amazing Directors though. If you’re a fan of shows now like “Masters of Horror” I think you’ll definitely like this film as it’s a similar idea to what that show is doing and even a couple of the same Directors (Dante & Landis have done episodes of “Masters of Horror“). This might be worth watching this Halloween for some of the real psychological horror fans and not gore fans.
Video Quality on this release is 1080p in VC-1 on a 50 gigabyte Dual-Layered Blu-ray Disc. First off this film is from 1983 so it’s really no surprise that there’s film grain present throughout a majority of the video transfer. Overall blacks on the other hand tend to be solid and at times helps the picture quality. Not really the most vibrant color palette used in most of the film so at times it does seem a bit dull. As if that’s not enough there are some problems with artifacts and pixilation in the darker scenes.
In fact speaking of which the last “part” (the scene on the airplane) is where the transfer is plagued with most of it’s artifact and pixilation problems. It’s a shame because that’s a really good part of the film. Overall the video quality at times is watchable but in cases like the just mentioned it seems like you’re watching an upconverted DVD. I’m not going to merit giving it anything above a “3 Star Rating.” It’s really confusing to me why they used a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Dual-Layered) Blu-ray Disc for this and only achieved this “average” video quality as a result.
Audio Quality on this release is in Uncompressed Linear PCM 5.1 @4.6Mbps as well as Dolby Digital 5.1 @640kbps. I’m honestly surprised Warner opted to give this a PCM track (as well as the HD DVD version a Dolby TrueHD track). This really does pay off and gets the job done but isn’t quite “demo material” as we’ve been Reviewing as of lately. Anyway things start us off in the film with first the Introduction scene which features the song “Midnight Special” by Creedance Clearwater Revival. The song comes across great through the front channels and just a tad bit of rear presence can be heard once the song really starts “rocking.” Dialogue between Dan Akyroyd and Albert Brooks can be heard distinctly over the background car noises. In fact dialogue throughout the film is driven perfectly through the center channel very clearly and I had no problems with it.
Next we’re treated to what really impressed me, the introduction to “The Twilight Zone.” Narration is being done by Actor Burgess Meredith who actually appeared in many episodes of the original Television series and replaces the voice of the show’s creator Rod Serling. This feels almost like a DTS or THX “demo” introduction or something with the pan of sound through the LFE presence. I’m almost certain there was at least a 180 degree sound wave that started in the front channel in this. Very cool but sadly the rest of the film is pretty much dialogue driven and we don’t get a lot more material like this. We do get some cool sound effects like the gunshot echoes, sound of glass breaking or the environment type sound of being in a pressurized chamber of an airplane which all come across very lifelike. This isn’t the best 5.1 mix I’ve ever heard in PCM but it gets the job done.
- Theatrical Trailer (1 minute) presented in 16:9 (Widescreen) MPEG-2 video and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. Wow, talk about retro! This has horrible video and sound quality to even be in widescreen but somehow it still has this cool feel to it in that “retro” way. Kudos to that but no kudos for the lack of other bonus material.
The only bonus material included is:
— Review written by Justin Sluss