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  1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - 8/10 Well I really enjoyed the movie. I went in with reasonably tempered expectations, having heard a bunch of conflicting opinions. I enjoyed TFA and TLJ as well, for reference. The biggest problem with the movie was that it felt rushed. Like JJ Abrams needed to do a bunch of setup to get to the place where he wanted to be to start the third movie from, so he rushed through establishing a bunch of important stuff at a breakneck pace. Like he tried to cram 2 movies' worth of stuff into one. The other big problem
  2. Aladdin (2019) – 8/10 – 4K UHD Blu-ray I, personally, really enjoyed this one. I will probably go back and watch it in equal measure with the original animated classic. Will Smith doing his own thing instead of trying to do Robin Williams was a good call. Hi genie is great. The music – after listening to these tracks back-to-back with the originals several times in YouTube, I actually give the nod to the new versions. They are richer tracks and I like the subtle hip hop spice that Will Smith brings to the offerings. The feminist empowerment angle was a little too heavy-handed for it
  3. Brightburn - 6/10 - watched on 4K UHD Blu-ray It felt like the first 2 acts of a movie. Great setup, but the ending felt abrupt and unresolved. It was not as creepy as it wanted to be, I don't think, but some convincingly disturbing gore at times. Pretty picture (Sony puts out some of the best looking 4K releases). Overall, can't give it a resounding recommendation, but it was an ok watch.
  4. FINALLY got around to watching The Revenant. I see why people often talk about it as a demo-worthy disc. While it isn't the very pinnacle of the format, IMO, it certainly does consistently impress. What I never really hear people talk about with this movie is the excellent immersive soundtrack. While this is not in Dolby Atmos or DTS-X, the DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track puts a lot of Atmos and DTS-X tracks to shame. The surround use and and immersion are en pointe here. All-around great disc.
  5. I upgraded my blu-ray player this weekend from a Panasonic UB900 to a Panasonic UB820. While the UB900 is a fantastic machine, it came out before Dolby Vision was a thing. The UB820 performs just as well with HDR10 content, but is also compatible with Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HLG. My TV does not do HDR10+, but that content is pretty limited at this point anyway, while Dolby Vision is on a ton of disks I already own.
  6. Alita - I felt the same way about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The movie feels like the first two acts of a complete film. The Little Mermaid. I found the 4K HDR version of the film felt much more filmic and less like a little kids' show. The blu-ray has an overall brighter average picture level. The 4K disc has a lot of scenes that are darkened in general while adding more punch to the bright elements within a frame. Some screen comparisons I took are below. 4K versions are on the top and left. Note that my phone camera can't capture the full dynamic ran
  7. For anyone that has the setup to enjoy good HDR on 4K UHD Blu-ray: the 40th Anniversary release of Alien on the format is well worth the upgrade. Holy cow, they did a great job with this restoration! Aside from 1979 special effects and 1979 fashion/hair, you could tell me that this movie released last year and I'd believe it based on what my eyes are looking at. HDR is put to great use with lots of dark scenes with specific light sources and specular highlights everywhere. Heck even the space shots make me smile with the way the stars light up as bright pin-pricks in the black of space. This i
  8. The most annoying thing with the Matrix movies on 4K UHD is a problem that seems prevalent with Warner Bros. releases. The disc defaults to a DTS 5.1 mix and you have to go into the audio options to select the Atmos mix. I hate that they do this. An Atmos mix will automatically downscale itself to a 5.1 mix if you only have a 5.1 system connected, anyway.
  9. I have pulled out the opening 5 minutes of Matrix Reloaded to demo the Atmos track a few times. Deepwater Horizon is an amazing Atmos demo too. When the crap hits the fan, it's really impressive.
  10. Reasonable, sure, but it fundamentally changes the character in ways that I really do not care for, as a life-long Spider-Man fan. It's like if they did a Batman origin story and he becomes Batman because he's a thrill-seeker who realized he loved violence after watching his parents being gunned down.
  11. I'd rather a slightly messy story than a Spider-man that is driven by revenge for his Uncle's death, rather than learning that with great power comes great responsibility.
  12. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is so much better than Amazing Spider-Man 1, IMHO, for one reason - the characterization of Peter/Spider-Man. It's just all wrong in the first one, but they move to a better characterization in the second. I would personally flip those scores.
  13. Oh, wow, I already had this preordered, but this really seals the deal. Strider is a definite win. Virtual Fighter 2... nah, I'll just pull out the Saturn. Alicia Dragoon I had totally forgotten about ever existing, but this reminded me that I rented this game once as a kid and enjoyed it. Columns I sunk many hours into in the early days of Genesis. Kid Chameleon is one of THE BEST 16-bit era games ever made. Monster World IV and Light Crusader were games I wanted to play as a kid, but never did. Eternal Champions was a fun fighter that I played a bunch of back in the day.
  14. picked it up, but haven't watched it yet. For reference, have you seen Hotel Transylvania 3 on 4K UHD Blu-ray? That's the one I'd currently give the crown to.
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