Resident DVD Reviewer
Two MORE New DVD Reviews: Paycheck (Paramount) & The Lost Boys: Special Edition (WB)
Okay friends....here we are again, with ye old faithful Digital Versatile Disc Junkie...."Paycheck" was a rental, and man, was this a blatant duplicate screenplay schematic as "Minority Report"....and JUST AS confusing....the plot centers around Ben "Affliction"'s character who builds secret computer **** for god knows who....yada yada yada....we have heard it all before. Each time he does a secret job, his memory is erased for security purposes. This last job, however, was to build a machine that will destroy the world, and in the interim, he discovers that he forefits something like 27 MILLION DOLLARS before they wiped his memory clean, and when he awakens, he is pissed about this, as anyone would be....but if you are confused about this plot so far, dont worry ---- I was confused twenty minutes into this Jon Woo-directed techno-babble borefest. If these things are YOUR thing, then go ahead and give this disc a spin; personally, Woo's "Mission Impossible 2" I hated, but his "Face/Off" I thought was interesting --- if waaaaay too long.
Paramount presents "Paycheck" in original theatrical aspect at 2:35:1 widescreen, which looked awesome. No problems. The audio was in Dolby 5.1 surround, and suffered from the problems I have been finding with each and every disc I either rent or buy with the Dolby Digital 5.1 logo stamped on them (save for a couple of AWESOME Dolby 5.1 examples like Terminator 3 and the Bad Boys films)......the dialogue was extremely, extremely low compared to the rest of the action, and the action itself could have used some spicing up.
Now, tonight I bought the eagerly-anticipated "Lost Boys: 2 Disc Special Edition" from Warner Bros, as this was simply a cult favorite of mine growing up. I had the original one-disc bare bones snapper case version of this DVD that Warner first put out, but quickly returned it to the store still in the wrapper when I learned that this two disc set would be arriving in August....and here we are. If I have to give you details on the plotting of this timeless vampire flick, you better kick over the rock you've been hiding under since '87.....
First of all, Warner promised an all-new digital widescreen transfer of The Lost Boys, and indeed it looks great. No grain to speak of, no shimmering, no haloing (none that I could detect, anyway). Looks great for a film from 1987. Aspect ratio is 2:35:1.
Now, the audio, well, thats another story....I wish I could say they gave this awesome fun filled film a digital reseasoning as well, but it seems all we get is the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix carried over from the first release of this DVD....and it aint too hot. The main problem I found, aside from an overall LOW volume output, was that the mix sounded flat, hollow.....almost MONO-LIKE when listening to it cranked up. There were bits of distortion --- too much, even, to be considered "tolerable" and thats not good. When dialogue gets too loud, or if you are pushing your receiver's volume up a bit, the sound is distorted and a bit crackly and rough in spots. The surround channels also dont explode with much work; nothing really comes from them except some support for the rock soundtrack or occasional bat flying effects. Explosions dont rumble with deep, low LFE; instead, there is a evident lack of bass on the track and when **** explodes -- including vampires -- it comes across as "tinny" and with some distortion from the front channel(s).
Still, the DVD is PACKED with extras on the second disc, including tons of featurettes on the making of the film, a theatrical trailer, makeup effects and well you know the rest. Wait till you see what some of these guys look like now---especially Corey Haim....man....what happened to this Proverbial Leader of the Closet ***s?
Dissapointing to say the least was lack of commentary from stars Jami Gertz and Jason Patric; but director Schumacher kind of makes up for it with tons of commentary about his experiences with The Lost Boys.
And is it just me......or is Joel Schumacher a little light in the loafers?
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