xXx: State Of The Union (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-11-2008, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=116041&d=1216991315
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Ice Cube, Willem DaFoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Written by: Simon Kinberg
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 12, 2008







"From convict to hero"



Film Synopsis:

In this action-packed sequel to the box-office smash xXx, Ice Cube stars as Darius Stone, a thrill-seeking troublemaker whose criminal record and extreme sports obsession make him the perfect candidate to be the newest xXx agent. He must save the U.S. government from a deadly conspiracy led by five-star general and Secretary of Defense George Deckert (played by Willem Dafoe). Only a renegade xXx agent like Stone has the Xtreme skills to stop Deckert's dangerous military splinter group from taking over the government in America's capital.



My Take:

I liked the first xXx and while I like Ice Cube I just didn't see him filling Vin Diesel's shoes in this sequel. My suspicions were verified after watching xXx: State of the Union. Where the first film had over the top stunts and action sequences this one just didn't have the same appeal and felt more like it was simply trying to one up the original. The topper being when Cube launches the speed boat up onto a bridge to take out a Police car. Afterward he strolls over and gets into a pick up truck while the police stand there like morons waiting for the Police car to explode. His escape from the Federal penitentiary in the film's opening was just as ridiculous. The plot was weak and not nearly as much fun as the original where xXx has to go undercover to infiltrate the Russian mob. Ice Cube does fine as part of an ensemble but with him as the center piece he lacks the same charismatic appeal. The casting was quite good and featured some big names but that wasn't enough to help drive the sub par screenplay. Some of the action based set pieces played out pretty well and I liked a few of the characters which made the film a bit more palatable.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of action violence and some language.




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: 88



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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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

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



Video: 88


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


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

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

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

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

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

xXx: State of the Union comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 1.5 mbps.

The soundtrack for this film is the type that most big budget action based movies provides. There are explosions, car chases, varying types of gunfire, helicopters and even a tank battle. The mix is pretty aggressive and it showcases the track's bombastic nature rather well. Bass is well extended with a solid bottom end that aptly delivered the film's heavier action sequences. This is an active surround mix that provides an immersive atmosphere that was engaging at times. The sound field had a 360 degree aura as sound effects emanated from multiple directions to envelop the sweet spot. Dialogue was crystalline so that intelligibility even during intense sequences was excellent. Good tonal balance and lossless audio's higher resolution ensured that distinction between the various weapons and vehicle sound effects was apparent.

The video presentation was on par with the audio and looked great overall. The image was quite sharp with high level detail and vibrant deep color saturation. Edge enhancement was visible here and there if I looked for it but images were not adversely affected. Blacks were dynamic with excellent depth and quiet solidity. Skin tones had ample delineation and lifelike tonality that left them looking natural and quite pleasing. Grain was present and in fine layers that appeared well preserved and unobtrusive. I didn't notice any video related anomalies.



Bonus Features:



The bonus supplements were ported over from the 2005 DVD release and feature commentary tracks, a making of feature that is broken into two segments, and three short documentary pieces two of which offer a look at some of the film's special effects. 3 deleted scenes with optional Director's commentary and BD-Live options round out the package. Access to BD-Live will be available by release date.




  • Filmmakers commentary

  • 3 Deleted scenes with optional Director's commentary

  • Visual effects commentary

  • From convict to hero: Making of xXx SOTU- Part I Boot camp - Part II Special Ops

  • Bullet Train Breakdown featurette

  • Top secret military warehouse featurette

  • xXx: according to Ice Cube featurette

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=116548&d=1218474133



Final Thoughts:



xXx: State of the Union is a typical action film sequel that offers a few thrills but doesn't live up to the original. Its debut on high definition Blu-ray Disc is a good one and its high quality audio/video presentation is sure to please fans. If you have never seen it than a rental is the place to start.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-21-2008, 09:00 PM
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I just watched this movie and it is fun... The aq was nice... But the video sometimes is kind of inconsistent.... It is not reference material but it is ok...

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-22-2008, 09:24 AM
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Ralph, do you have the Japanese HD DVD of this movie to compare to this Blu-Ray?
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-22-2008, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allargon View Post

Ralph, do you have the Japanese HD DVD of this movie to compare to this Blu-Ray?

Greetings,

Sorry allargon I don't have it..


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post #5 of 5 Old 08-22-2008, 11:21 AM
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I thought only the first xXx was available on HD DVD? I have it but never heard anything about the sequel on HD DVD.
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