Tag Archives: Blu-ray

Steve Vai Blu-ray – is it worth it?

I’ve always been a big Steve Vai fan, in my eyes (should that be ears?) he’s the greatest guitarist in the world. Seeing him live on stage with Whitesnake at Donnington Monsters of Rock in 1990 was one of the musical highlights of my life. Vai’s latest album, Where the Wild Things Are is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Vai on Blu-ray

Vai on Blu-ray

I’m now left with the decision of what format, or formats, I should buy? My immediate instinct is to go with the CD and nothing else, but as I have a Blu-ray player (PS3) and a full surround audio set-up at home, am I missing out on a fantastic audio/visual experience by ignoring the Blu-ray? What most people probably either don’t know, or forget, is that Blu-ray not only offers a better quality high picture but also a far better sound. For a budding (wanabee?) guitarist and Steve Vai fan I’d no doubt enjoy watching the master at work, but with my son only being 18 months old, am I ever going to get an opportunity to get the most out of this Blu-ray – the volume would surely have to be set at 11?

Has anyone out in there experienced a concert on Blu-ray, was it worth it?

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Film Review: WALL-E

I know this came out a year ago, and as a self confessed Disney geek I really should have watched WALL-E by now, but the arrival of our son threw our world off kilter, in a good way. My wife got the Blu-ray for her birthday last month and tonight we sat down to watch it, at last.

WALL-E

WALL-E

The Film
It took only a few short moments until I connected with WALL-E, as his solitary plight to clean up Earth tugged on my heart strings. His only friend at that time was a cockroach, who lived up to the myth that they can survive anything a few times during the film. The emotion portrayed by WALL-E was quite spectacular for a computer generated robot, though if anyone was going to get that right it would be Disney Pixar.

The arrival of EVE saw WALL-E go into courting mode which was as equally charming as it was funny, especially WALL-E’s attempts to hold EVE’s hand, something that would become the main crux of the film.

Once in space on one of the escape ships and we actually encountered some humans. Almost strange that the humans in WALL-E’s favourite film and in archived footage were actual real humans, but the humans on the ship were computer generated. The characterisation of all the different robots was once again superb and I’m sure I’m not the only one who had an I Robot moment when the auto-pilot turned on the Captain.

Great seeing the Captain walk for what I assume was the first time, baby steps en route to his victory over the auto-pilot! Once back on Earth it was heart-breaking when it appeared WALL-E’s consciousness was gone, despite EVE’s best efforts to mend him. Fantastic moment when the hand holding came full circle and led to the return of WALL-E.

My only complaint is that once Wall-E and EVE were together, the film ended a little bit abruptly. While we saw what happened next, briefly, in the credits – I’d have liked to seen a bit more of this as part of the actual film, even just 5 minutes would have done.

Blu-ray Quality
This will be a short section, the picture was just absolutely stunning and is the best example of high definition I have seen to date. In particular the part where WALL-E and EVE are flying around in space, WALL-E aided by a fire extinguisher, was breath-taking. The sound was perfect when it needed to be but by the nature of the film was more subtle throughout, rather than a room shaking experience like that of Bolt.

Verdict
I think it was very brave of Disney Pixar to put out a film with such little dialogue but it worked. I’m not sure if it works as well for kids as previous Disney Pixar films but I really enjoyed it and even want to watch the making of features which is very rare for me! Back in July I rated the Disney Pixar films and right now I’ll sleep on it before seeing where WALL-E slots in, but I’m thinking around the Cars / Finding Nemo level at the moment. WALL-E was well worth the wait and comes with a huge recommendation – go watch it of you haven’t already.

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The one we’ve been waiting for – Snow White on DVD & Blu-ray

Any fan of Disney DVDs will know all about the Disney Vault and how some titles come out for a short while and are then locked away in the aforementioned vault. We have every one of the Walt Disney Animated Classics on DVD, well every one except Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. We’ve been waiting for this to come out for quite a few years now. In October it comes out on Blu-ray, 6 weeks before the DVD release. However, the Blu-ray version comes packaged with a DVD copy too, as seems to be the Walt Disney way these days. Even if you don’t have a Blu-ray player surely it’s worth getting the Blu-ray version for just a few pounds (or dollars!) more and future proofing yourself for that possible Blu-ray player or PS3 purchase?

Snow White on Blu-ray and DVD

Snow White on Blu-ray and DVD

I have heard that the Blu-ray transfers of already released Walt Disney Animated Classics is absolutely top notch. If we didn’t own them all on DVD we’d have the Blu-rays too – one day! In other Disney and Pixar Blu-ray news, the awesome Monsters, Inc. is released on Blu-ray on July 27th – just 2 days before my birthday!

Scary!

Scary!

With the release of Toy Story 1 and 2 on 3D very soon, and the much anticipated Toy Story 3 being released next year, it can only be a matter of time until we see the awesome Woody and Buzz in all their high definition glory.

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Clone Wars Blu-ray

So, over half a year since it appeared in the cinema I finally got to see the Star Wars: Clone Wars film after buying the Blu-ray. As a PS3 owner the choice between Blu-ray and DVD was a no-brainer – not only was there little difference in price, but the Blu-ray has a ton of extras, most in high definition too.

Going into this film I knew it was targeted it kids and that it had bombed in the box office. However, that didn’t stop me enjoying was an enjoyable romp with a fun story and some interesting characters, old and new.

At first I wasn’t sure about the voices of Obi Wan and Anakin but as the film progressed they became ‘their voices’ and even started to think they sounded like McGregor and Christianson respectively. Speaking of voices (see what I did there?), anyone spot the guy who looked like a young John Cleese and sounded just like him?

The addition of the new Padawan Learner, Ahsoka Tano, under Anakin was a nice touch and the relationship between the two started to develop nicely and provided us with some humourous moments. It’ll be interesting to see how that progresses, and how she inevitably dies – well, she wasn’t in Revenge of the Sith, was she?

The animation was top class and the video and audio quality were superb – a great example of Blu-ray quality. I look to forward to watching the extras and the TV series too. Out of 5 stars, Clone Wars gets a pretty damn good 4.

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What’s your unpoened game?

According to Entertainment Merchants Association, 11% of gamers have at least one unopened game, as in still in the shrink-wrap. Mine is Cars Mater National, and considering I bought my PS3 just before my son was born I am surprised the other 3 have been opened and played!

More worrying is the stack of 10 Blu-rays that remain unwatched – I haven’t watched one all the way through yet and the Blu-ray functionality was the main reason I bought the PS3!

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Disney does Blu-ray right!

Do I want the 50th Anniversary Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray?
Of course, high def all the way!

Do I want the 50th Anniversary Sleeping Beauty DVD?
Sure do, I don’t have Blu-ray in every room!

Do I want to pay for both?
NO!

In their infinite wisdom Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment have released Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray with a special bonus 3rd disc, the DVD! We just need more studios to follow suit, if Paramount Home Entertainment had done that with Iron Man I’d have been over the moon!

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