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post #1 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=110451&d=1210878775
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

92






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 84 Minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, Odette Yustman, T. J. Miller
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Music by: Michael Bonvillian
Written by: Drew Goodard
Region Code: Not indicated

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 3, 2008







"An original and frightening video documentary"



Film Synopsis:


Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.



My Take:

I had seen the trailer for Cloverfield while at the movies last year and I was intrigued. Unfortunately I never got the chance to get it at the theater. I did hear some feedback from those who had. Most claimed the film was good but that the way it was shot from the handheld video cam perspective made it hard to watch. I heard of some more extreme cases where people were suffering headaches and nausea (similar to motion sickness) due to the camera motion. I reviewed the DVD earlier this year and I can’t speak for everyone but I watched it with my family and none of us had any problems. I will admit that you never get used to the constant movement of the camera but after a while it becomes less bothersome. I think that it helps drive the suspense filled story line.

attachment.php?attachmentid=111630&d=1212157623

Personally I liked Cloverfield. I mean conceptually its nothing new but I enjoyed the characters, the slow build up, the action and even the abrupt ending. This was definitely a throwback to a bygone era when monsters like Godzilla and Mothra attacked Tokyo Japan. This works really well in that it is told from a much more personal perspective which focuses on a select group of individuals. These are strong characters that are reasonably believable and in one case laugh out loud funny. TJ Miller’s character “Hud” is one of the reasons why I liked this film. He is the “cameraman” and his comments as things unfold around him is hilarious. I think that humor/levity in moments of tension helps to ease stress levels a bit. At 84 minutes this is not a long film and once it gets underway things move quickly. There is really never any explanation regarding the mysterious creature (s) and its origin but the story isn’t dependent on that. The entire film is told through the video cam which kind of leaves you feeling like there is something missing in the end. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable film that offered some good cinematic moments.




Parental Guide:

Cloverfield is rated PG-13 for violence, terror, and disturbing images. The rating is accurate as there are elements present here that could traumatize younger viewers.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 98



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

attachment.php?attachmentid=111628&d=1212157614

Cloverfield comes to Blu-ray from Paramount featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Lossless audio that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.

I reviewed Cloverfield on DVD in early April and was impressed with the quality of the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Well after watching it again on Blu-ray with lossless Dolby TrueHD surround I was treated to a truly theatrical experience that left blew me away (literally). As you can see by the scoring this was a first rate presentation that simply rocked. I just love the film’s opening moments. It starts with a black screen accompanied by deep low bass thumps which are later identified as the footsteps of the invading entity. These sounded good on the DVD but here they sounded great. It was easy to note a discernible difference in the depth, tightness, and palpability of the bass here versus the DVD. This was definitely the case throughout the film. Bass heads will have a new demonstration disc to show off the capabilities of their subwoofers. The bass response in my room during several sequences in this film was literally skin tingling. The opening salvo at 18:20 (the rooftop during the party) got things started quite nicely. The attack at the Brooklyn Bridge and shortly after as they enter the subway station was awesome. This soundtrack will test not only the limits of your subwoofer but how well it reproduces bass frequencies within the lower sub levels. Watch the scene down in the subway station as the battle rages on above them. There is a plenty of deep bass energy at various frequencies included in this sequence. It is contained within the background but should be clearly detectable and tactile in nature.

This in an aggressive and invigorating surround mix that incorporates a plethora of aurally stimulating effects to create a captivating and sometimes frightening listening experience. Dialogue sounded superb and well defined through the center channel. I loved the perception of hearing variable volume changes in voices as subjects moved closer to the camera. The same was true of flying objects and other sounds within the frame. This created an immersive and symmetrical sound field that bombarded the sweet spot. The scene were Hud is attacked by the creature in the film’s finale pretty much sums up all the positive elements contained in this audio presentation. It sounded really cool.

I felt that the video quality on the DVD was less than ideal. Here are my comments from that review:


” The video presentation was a little difficult to judge as the entire film is seen through the “video cam”. This limited apparent resolution which caused the image to look less detailed. It didn’t inhibit the ability to see onscreen events but made images lack sharpness and depth. Add to that the fact that the camera is in motion quite a bit and things just looked blurry sometimes. The idea was to created the feeling of catching glimpses of what was going on and it was done to excellent effect. The majority of what you see takes place at night or in dim or no light. You have to really focus of making out what is happening so that you don’t miss anything. I didn’t make out any extraneous video noise. If there was any I would say that it might be hard to discern it. This is not a film that is designed to be technically proficient in terms of video quality. The more important issue is that the viewer be able to determine what they are seeing and that was never a problem.”


Right off the bat it was obvious that the higher resolution made a noticeable improvement in image perception. Detail was much improved which provided a better sense of visual depth and focus during the rapid camera pans and movement. To me this made a big difference in making out what was occurring. Elevated contrast levels made whites appear too hot which washed them out. Colors were oversaturated with exaggerated primary colors and overcooked secondary colors. I can’t say that it translated negatively to image quality as a whole but it was noticeable. Blacks were good but not the best that I have seen. Shadow detail was inconsistent from sequence to sequence but I think it was good more often than not. Grain appeared well preserved and unobtrusive with only a few exceptions. The beginning of chapter 5 as they enter the apartment building rooftop, and later as they ascend the stairs in route to rescue Beth from her apartment grain was not only visible but fairly heavy. I saw no signs of compression related video anomalies or noise. I was pleased with the quality of this encoding and felt that it greatly improved upon the film’s experience.


My scoring for the DVD’s audio was an 86 and my scoring for its video was a 76. I would say that this Blu-ray Disc yields a marked improvement.



Bonus Features:

The bonus set offered here is decent and provides good background on the film both in pre-production and during shooting. These are ported over from the DVD release. The Making Of features interviews with the cast, director and production staff. It delves into the conceptual background on the film and reveals that not even the cast knew what was going to happen in story even as they began shooting. This was all kept very close to the vest to prevent it from getting out before the release of Cloverfield. The Visual Effects piece looked at how the camera work was done and the reason for it. Clover Fun was an adlib piece done by a few of the cast members using the camera which was actually pretty funny. The I Saw It, Its Alive, Its Huge feature looked at the design of the creature and the special effects used in the film. The Alternate Endings were all similar and offered nothing different to the theatrical ending. The Deleted Scenes and Commentary tracks were the same ole same ole. I enjoyed the featurettes and found them to be interesting for the most part. The addition of the Special Investigation feature on Blu-ray adds a fun element by playing back the feature in an interface that provides interesting background on the films locations and characters. It has the appearance and feel of a government database that has been setup to catalog the events that transpired at Cloverfield.




  • (HD)Special Investigation Mode: Enhanced viewing

  • Director Commentary

  • (HD)Document 01.18.08: The making of Cloverfield feature

  • (HD)I saw I ! Its alive ! Its huge ! feature

  • (HD)Clover fun feature

  • (HD)4 deleted scenes

  • (HD)3 alternate endings
attachment.php?attachmentid=111627&d=1212157614




Final Thoughts:



Cloverfield is a quick paced thrill ride that excites your senses (literally). It is not your run of the mill monster attack type film due in large part to the way the story is told. This presentation offers superlative high resolution sound and excellent video quality that will put you right in the action. Paramount Blu-ray has delivered the goods on what is sure to become a favorite among audio enthusiasts. Prepare yourselves to be entertained! I would like to point out that those who are susceptible to motion sickness may want to keep in mind that this film has the potential to aggravate it. It didn’t bother me or anyone in my family. Recommended.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 07:55 AM
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Two words Ralph. Nailed It

Pleasing to hear that the PQ was good and the SQ was excellent. Looks like Paramount is on a roll and determined to gain the top spot.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #3 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 08:32 AM
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Oh hell yeah. Ralph is usually more critical of audio than other reviewers. I knew the audio was going to be a standout. But enough for a 98.

I am so amped for this. It really is worth $20 for the audio alone.

I will definitely crank this until my ears bleed. So glad that I held out for the BD.

"Colors were oversaturated with exaggerated primary colors and overcooked secondary colors." that's how it looked when I saw it on the DLP in theaters, everything was oversaturated, which made explosions look a little more 'alive'. I remember that, because the colors do standout a bit more than they should. So it sounds like it's a very faithful transfer.

Ridiculous codec tier sig gone. Still AVC/24bit lossless fanboy.

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Most Major studios>Small Studios>dogs>cats>Warner(the guys that do new movies)
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post #4 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 12:42 PM
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Can't wait for Tuesday! Great review Ralph!

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post #5 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 01:36 PM
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I intend to purchase this and I don't even have a Blu player yet!
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post #6 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 01:55 PM
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Well done Ralph! I'm not sure I will like the movie, but with an audio rating of 98 I have to at least "hear" the movie once!
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post #7 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 02:00 PM
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There's has been report of a low audio rumbling, that appears to be distortion through some subs at the very beginning, or around of BAD ROBOT scene on sd dvd version!

I wonder if this was fixed on the Bluray copy?


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post #8 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 04:01 PM
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I'd have to comment that to those who get motion sickness - be prepared for the worst. I am that way in some situations - and this movie, in the theater, was just literally sickening. I had to close my eyes for at least a third of the movie. It took me hours to recover. And as we know, I am not alone here. With the other comments, I also have friends and family who suffered the same.

BUT, that is an incredible testimony to this movie that it is engaging and powerful enough to fight through, and just so true to its concept. It never, ever, wavers from what it is, a replay of a video camera tape during a long fight for survival. A great piece of work, conceptually and in delivery.

(Just have a plastic bag handy.)
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post #9 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 04:40 PM
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Great review as always, Ralph.

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post #10 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts...


Cheers,

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post #11 of 46 Old 05-30-2008, 09:14 PM
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Wow, that's a hell of a well done review. Thanks! I was gonna get this anyway, but thats just about the best kind of BluRay review I've seen yet. Quite thorough.

If I wasn't into home theater, I'd have a whole lotta money.
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post #12 of 46 Old 05-31-2008, 05:37 AM
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The only time I'll be able to watch this is during the day when adjoining apartment dwellers aren't home. I suppose that is unfortunate cause I much prefer a dark room but I would not be able to get the full thrill and effect for the sound any other time. I knew with my experience in the theater this had all the makings of unfortunately disturbing the peace!

Thanks Ralph. As always, much appreciated!
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post #13 of 46 Old 06-02-2008, 04:07 PM
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THX for the review! Gonna get this as soon as I see it
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post #14 of 46 Old 06-07-2008, 12:06 AM
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Picked this up tonight, and it is indeed a very nice BD package.
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post #15 of 46 Old 06-07-2008, 05:29 PM
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Have to agree 101% with the review.

Didn't know what to expect from this, but watched it tonight and thought it was excellent.

The soundtrack is simply, to summarize in one word.... "outstanding".
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post #16 of 46 Old 06-10-2008, 11:44 AM
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the audio on this disc is simply stunning. great review
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post #17 of 46 Old 06-12-2008, 07:49 PM
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Hi Ralph,

I just flat out enjoy reading your reviews.

Ralph, you wrote, "This in an aggressive and invigorating surround mix that incorporates a plethora of aurally stimulating effects to create a captivating and sometimes frightening listening experience."

Spot on, as always Ralph. This has replaced Master & Commander as my demo BR for new attendees to our home theater.

Larry
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post #18 of 46 Old 06-13-2008, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laugsbach View Post

Hi Ralph,

I just flat out enjoy reading your reviews.

Ralph, you wrote, "This in an aggressive and invigorating surround mix that incorporates a plethora of aurally stimulating effects to create a captivating and sometimes frightening listening experience."

Spot on, as always Ralph. This has replaced Master & Commander as my demo BR for new attendees to our home theater.

Larry

Greetings,

Thanks Larry. I am glad that you enjoyed Cloverfield..!

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post #19 of 46 Old 06-19-2008, 09:11 AM
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I finally got a chance to watch this last night and as many have said your review is spot on. The motion did not make me sick but there were a couple of times in the movie where I felt like it was a bit much. I don't know that this will be a buy for me as it does not have a great deal of re-watch value IMO but the audio could be used for some serious demo material. The movie itself was better than I expected and it certainly felt more real being filmed the way it was. Good stuff!

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post #20 of 46 Old 06-28-2008, 07:50 PM
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Strange. I couldn't get the DolbyHD track to work. Had TrueHD checked on the audio options, but when I brought up the info on my PS3 it was at 48 khz, 640bps. It was track 1, 2 was french, and three was Spanish. Audio track 4 was 192khz, 3.2 meg, but had the directors comentary on it and it was only 2 channel.
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post #21 of 46 Old 06-28-2008, 08:45 PM
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Just finished watching it and I really enjoyed! Not my typical type of movie but I have to give alot of credit to Matt Reeves for filming it from the perspective of the camera person. Very daring filmaking!

Now I actually loved the video, it was perfect for this presentation. I know it looks a bit rough but it's supposed to.

As for the audio, what can I say? If there's ever an argument for Dolby TrueHD to be made, this is it!! I found the dialogue quite intelligible and the surround field VERY active, however with this film it's all about the BASS!!

One word: INCREDIBLE

I don't think i've heard bass this intense before. I was impressed by how cleanly the TrueHD delivered it. Probably the tightest bass i've heard!!

It's funny, just when I crown MASTER AND COMMANDER and then THE ORPHANAGE as the best lossless mixes out there, here comes CLOVERFIELD that just might exceed both of them!
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post #22 of 46 Old 06-29-2008, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjcruiser View Post

Strange. I couldn't get the DolbyHD track to work. Had TrueHD checked on the audio options, but when I brought up the info on my PS3 it was at 48 khz, 640bps. It was track 1, 2 was french, and three was Spanish. Audio track 4 was 192khz, 3.2 meg, but had the directors comentary on it and it was only 2 channel.

Not meaning to ask the obvious, but I assume you are using PCM multichannel over HDMI for audio? If you're using optical then you will only get 640kbps.
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post #23 of 46 Old 06-29-2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob100 View Post

Not meaning to ask the obvious, but I assume you are using PCM multichannel over HDMI for audio? If you're using optical then you will only get 640kbps.

Aye....LPCM on all stuff. Watched Michael Clyaton just before that and it worked fine, as did every other movie I've watched. Strange....
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post #24 of 46 Old 07-01-2008, 08:20 AM
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Watched this last night for the first time. I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie that put a completely different spin on the typical monster movie. I was surprised at good the video was and was completely blown away by the audio. Great review Ralph, keep up the good work.
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post #25 of 46 Old 07-01-2008, 08:23 PM
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Wow, I hate to be the turd in the punchbowl here but...

I would like to warn some members about this movie, I didn't know anything about it and rented it from blockbuster. I've seen just about every blu-ray in the store and I have movie-pass so I gave it a whirl.

Possibly one of the worst movies I've ever seen, all it lacked was...everything. The first 30 minutes of the pointless ramblings of the young and hip, maybe if you like Dawson's Creek or something this will appeal to you.

This movie looks like a freshman film student was given a CGI budget and this is the result, please rent first as this movie will NOT appeal to all tastes. This movie was almost as annoying as Dr. T and the Women.
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post #26 of 46 Old 07-01-2008, 08:42 PM
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I sort of agree that this wasn't the greatest movie, but the True HD sound on the blu-ray is amazing...esp the bass!
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post #27 of 46 Old 07-02-2008, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120 inch lcd View Post

Wow, I hate to be the turd in the punchbowl here but...

I would like to warn some members about this movie, I didn't know anything about it and rented it from blockbuster. I've seen just about every blu-ray in the store and I have movie-pass so I gave it a whirl.

Possibly one of the worst movies I've ever seen, all it lacked was...everything. The first 30 minutes of the pointless ramblings of the young and hip, maybe if you like Dawson's Creek or something this will appeal to you.

This movie looks like a freshman film student was given a CGI budget and this is the result, please rent first as this movie will NOT appeal to all tastes. This movie was almost as annoying as Dr. T and the Women.

I agree. This movie was definitely not my thing. I haven't looked at my watch and the timer on my PS3 that much in quite some time. I was in pain trying to stay awake it was so boring. Even the audio didn't save this one for me. I'll probably be unloading this title soon.

Have an Onkyo 805 receiver and having trouble setting up Audyssey? HERE is a mini how-to.Click HERE to check out my comparison review of 5 different projection screen fabrics.
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post #28 of 46 Old 07-02-2008, 04:39 PM
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Watched this last night for the first time. I thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie that put a completely different spin on the typical monster movie. I was surprised at good the video was and was completely blown away by the audio. Great review Ralph, keep up the good work.

My sentiments exactly. This was a great movie with a creative spin on monster movies. The sound was reference quality in all frequencies. My sub goes down to 15hz so the bass had my whole foundation shaking with a convincing and immersive sound creating the illusion a monster was, in fact, attacking.
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post #29 of 46 Old 07-02-2008, 04:51 PM
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Just finished watching it and I really enjoyed! Not my typical type of movie but I have to give alot of credit to Matt Reeves for filming it from the perspective of the camera person. Very daring filmaking!

Now I actually loved the video, it was perfect for this presentation. I know it looks a bit rough but it's supposed to.

As for the audio, what can I say? If there's ever an argument for Dolby TrueHD to be made, this is it!! I found the dialogue quite intelligible and the surround field VERY active, however with this film it's all about the BASS!!

One word: INCREDIBLE

I don't think i've heard bass this intense before. I was impressed by how cleanly the TrueHD delivered it. Probably the tightest bass i've heard!!

It's funny, just when I crown MASTER AND COMMANDER and then THE ORPHANAGE as the best lossless mixes out there, here comes CLOVERFIELD that just might exceed both of them!

This review describes this Bu-ray perfectly. For me, it was one of the FEW, any format disc, that allowed me to hear my system sound at new heights by tapping those frequencies at the extreme of the frequency range, and allow you to hear a (bass) frequency with authority, distortion fee.
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post #30 of 46 Old 07-08-2008, 11:37 PM
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This review describes this Bu-ray perfectly. For me, it was one of the FEW, any format disc, that allowed me to hear my system sound at new heights by tapping those frequencies at the extreme of the frequency range, and allow you to hear a (bass) frequency with authority, distortion fee.

I agree with you 100%. I watched this movie on SD and thought the bass was good but was to boomy and distorted. When I watched the Blu ray version it was a totally different experience. Bass was there but, it was tighter and with no distortion unlike the SD version..
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