A Perfect World: Blu-Ray Review

A Perfect World (1993)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Kevin Costner, Laura Dern, T.J. Lowther and Clint Eastwood

Film – 5/5: Butch Haynes (Kevin Costner) and Terry Pugh escape from prison and steal a prison officials car. While looking for a new car specifically a Ford, Terry invades the home of Gladys Perry and tries to get rough with her but Butch prevents him from doing so. A neighbour sees the commotion and tries to stop them but they are able to get away with a hostage, Gladys’ son Philip (T.J. Lowther). Early on Butch gets rid of Terry and carries on alone with Philip who he nicknames Buzz. It’s not long before a state wide manhunt is put in motion led by Chief Red Garnett (Clint Eastwood) who is accompanied by state criminologist Sally Gerber (Laura Dern) who has insight into the mind of Haynes. While on the road Butch and Buzz develop a close bond with Haynes acting as a sort of father figure to the young boy. This all leads to an eventual confrontation between Haynes and Garnett who have a history together.

Video – 4/5: I used to own this movie on DVD and I can confidently say that this is the best this movie has ever looked. The detail is strong throughout and there does not appear to be much DNR. The grain is very natural and looks just like the movie was meant too.

Audio – 4/5: While the Audio is not perfect for this film it like the video transfer and is the best it has ever sounded. You can clearly hear the background noises and the dialogue is very clear too. Some of the car chases are not as loud as some of you standard action fare but it is still very good.

Overall Score and Recommendation – 4.5/5: I remember watching this movie a few years ago when I was on an Eastwood kick and I stumbled onto one of his best directorial efforts. This is my personal favourite of Kevin Costner’s performances and the bond that grows between his Butch and the young boy is so tender and sweet it alone is the price of admission. Clint is good and so is Laura Dern but the real focus is on Butch and Buzz. Like Unforgiven this film is a great example of why violence doesn’t actually solve anything. I love this movie and am very pleased with Warner Bros. for their incredibly faithful Audio and Video transfers. This is a wonderful film that comes highly recommended.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Blu-Ray Review

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace

Film – 4.5 /5: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) is investigating a seemingly unrelated series of crimes around Europe, believing them all connected to Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), a criminal mastermind just as smart as Holmes. Meanwhile, Holmes takes Dr. Watson (Jude Law) out with his brother Mycroft for Watson’s stag party, and saves another intended victim of Moriarty’s, a fortune telling gypsy named Sim (Noomi Rapace). Holmes meets with Moriarty, who warns Holmes that if he persists in investigating him, Watson will become a target. Holmes stows away on the train taking Watson and his new wife Mary to their honeymoon destination, knocking Mary off the train to the safe hands of Mycroft while he and Watson battle Moriarty’s men. When the duo arrive in France, Holmes tells Sim that Moriarty targeted her due to her brother Rene’s work with him, and she was a loose end. Holmes surmises Moriarty’s next target is a peace summit, where he will create an incident between world leaders to spark war.

Video – 5/5: A Game of Shadows hits the ground running with a fit and faithful 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer that, stylistic quirks aside, rarely falters. As was the case with the first Sherlock Holmes, Oscar-winning cinematographer Philippe Rousselot’s photography has been subjected to dramatic color-grading but remains perfectly suited to Ritchie’s at-times almost monochromatic, late 19th century newsprint palette. The detail is spectacular throughout and in my opinion this film has a perfect video presentation.

Audio – 5/5: Warner’s tightly tuned DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track takes its shot and hits its target dead center, delivering an exacting, punch-for-punch, sternum-thumping lossless experience that doesn’t let up or relent. The LFE channel is bold, bombastic and discriminating, throwing its full weight behind every meaty thunk, explosive thoom and heavy boom Ritchie unleashes, all while imbuing weighty elements with convincing heft and presence. This is as good as it gets in the sound department.

Overall Score and Recommendation – 5/5: I loved the first Sherlock Holmes in 2009 it was one of my favourite films that year and it solidified the return of Robert Downey Jr. one of the most talented actors out there. Casting Jude Law as Watson was pure genious giving Downey Jr.’s Holmes a suitable partner. Going into this film I was a little wary because usually sequels to movies like Sherlock Holmes fall flat but this film was just as enjoyable as the first with Jared Harris providing the perfect nemesis as Moriarty. I am super excited for a third one even if it means waiting until 2014 it should still be really fun. The audio and video presentation for this blu-ray are reference quality and there are more than enough special features to keep everyone happy. Just another great release from Warner Bros., this blu-ray earns my highest recommendation.