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Super 8 (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Super 8 (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
Studio: Paramount Pictures
List Price: $44.99
Street Price:
Amazon.com: $17.40
Release Date: Nov 22, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Running Time: 112 minutes

5.0 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

This exhilarating story follows a group of friends in a small Ohio town who witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie. When they realize that it was no accident, they set out to find the truth - something more shocking than any of them could have imagined. Combining action, humor and heart, the film features outstanding performances from a fresh young cast.

Starring:

Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Jessica Tuck, Joel McKinnon Miller, Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Gabriel Basso

Director:

J.J. Abrams

Blu-ray Release Date:

November 22, 2011

Subtitles:

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 5.0 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer - 5.0 Stars

● Dialog - 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects - 5.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range - 5.0 Stars

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Wow, Super 8's audio performance is far beyond super, it's spectacular. There's always something interesting happening in the sound space. Sometimes children can be heard playing behind you, typewriters and phone rings seem as if they come from another room of your house, and cars race by from all directions. Rear speakers also get a workout from helicopters that fly by and sharp chirping crickets in the distance. Low end sounds get lots of attention with heavy punches, deep resonating footsteps, gunshots, and of course lots of wide sounding explosions. However, the train crash scene is without a doubt the best sounding spectacle I have ever heard on my home theater system. That scene is worth the price of this Blu-ray alone. I found myself ducking from the sound of the train careening out of control from behind me. The explosions were so deep and loud I thought my neighbors were going to complain, and it utilized the speakers so well it seemed like my room was bigger than it was. I have to tip my hat to Dolby for doing such an awesome job on this TrueHD 7.1 mix.

Video 5.0 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars

● Shadow detail - 5.0 Stars

● Clarity - 5.0 Stars

● Skin tones - 5.0 Stars

● Compression - 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Super 8 looks luscious and cinematic. The warm colors pop on screen and help feature the stylish clothing of the 70's with including crazy multi-colored shirts and all of their plentiful patterns. The film grain is light, but it does not impend on the clarity, you're able to see every loose hair, pre-teen pimple, and even the shine on braces. I was quite impressed by the shadow detail. Even though a good amount of this film happens in the dark, very little details are lost to the night.

Bonus Features 5.0 Stars (out of 5)

These are some of the best produced extra features I have ever seen. It almost seams as if you're watching a documentary on how Super 8 was made.

● Commentary by writer/director J.J. Abrams, producer Bryan Burk and cinematographer Larry Fong

● Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes

○ The Dream Behind Super 8 (16:28)

○ The Search for New Faces (17:46)

○ Meet Joel Courtney (14:35)

○ Rediscovering Steel Town (18:24)

○ The Visitor Lives (12:22)

○ Scoring Super 8 (5:29)

○ Do You Believe in Magic? (4:29)

○ The 8mm Revolution (8:15)

● Deconstructing the Train Crash (Interactive Presentation)

● Deleted Scenes (12:47)

Movie - 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

Review

Do you remember how you jumped when you first saw Jaws? What about the magic and emotional impact of E.T.? Now add those two movies together and you have Super 8. It's easy to see that J.J. Abrams was inspired by Steven Spielberg, and this movie is pays homage to Spielberg's amazing body of work. While still maintaining it's own voice, this film's tone and direction rekindles the enchantment of my childhood movie going experiences. Which made this a great treat to watch it with my kids.

Speaking of kids, all of the child actors in this film were amazing. Their onscreen chemistry is undeniable and believable. Joel Courtney is the star of the film and it's hard to believe that this is the first time he's ever been in a movie. His performance is the heart of the film and I hope to see in more movies. The film does a good job of capturing the complicated feelings of being a pre-teen and even accomplishes a cute little love story in the process.

There are several action beats, that are unique and suspenseful. It is truly entertaining to watch. Don't watch this film expecting to see a creature attacking everyone. It's mostly about the kids, their friendships, and how life and the situation effects them. However, if you are hungry for action, the train crash sequence alone should satisfy your appetite. It's way over the top, but so fun to watch and hear. If you want to show of your home theater, you should definitely consider Super 8.

Posted by The HT Guys, November 16, 2011 7:42 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.