See Ralph Potts' review of the seventh installment in the global blockbuster franchise that delivers the biggest adrenaline rush yet.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Universal - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Chris Bridges, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsu, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
September 15, 2015
"One crew. One final ride…"
I would like to begin my comments by expressing my sorrow at the untimely death of Paul Walker who has been not only a large component in this film franchise but has appeared in many films. Seeing him here reminded me what a charming and charismatic presence he had onscreen.
Targeted by a cold-blooded black-ops assassin with a score to settle (Jason Statham), their only hope is to get behind the wheel again and secure an ingenious prototype tracking device. Facing their greatest threat yet in places as far away as Abu Dhabi and as familiar as the Los Angeles streets they call home, the crew must come together once again as a team, and as a family, to protect their own.
I haven’t be a devout fan when it comes to the Fast & Furious films. I haven’t seen them all but have definitely enjoyed those that I have. Furious 7 is essentially no different and is an adrenaline rush that grabs on early and doesn’t let go. Chris Morgan’s script revolves around two plot points, one involving revenge against Dom and company by the brother of Owen Shaw and the other involving securing a computer hacker with a connection to a sought after prototype of a global tracking device known as God’s Eye”. There is little here that we haven’t seen from a conceptual standpoint but I didn’t have a problem with it. The truth is that we really don’t watch this film franchise seeking well rounded narratives with deep meaning, we are in it for the high octane action and brother, there is plenty to go around. There are several big ticket set pieces fueled by superb driving, frenetic pacing, high flying stunt work (literally) and the requisite number of muscle cars that up the ante. Yes, it’s insanely over the top and a little campy, but who cares!?
The returning members of the core cast clearly share close bonds and that comes through onscreen. The new faces, in my man Jason Statham and Nathalie Emmanuel, compliment the proceedings quite nicely, although Kurt Russell, a personal favorite, wasn’t a good fit. Furious 7
also takes the time to bid a touching farewell to Paul Walker, an integral member of the Fast family.
Delivering exactly what it promises Furious 7
is an unabashedly entertaining and bittersweet thrill ride that ratchet’s up the adrenaline and is just plain fun to watch.
Universal has included both the theatrical, which I watched during my evaluation, as well as a 2 minute longer, extended edition. I feel comfortable saying that fans probably can’t go wrong either way.
The rating is for prolonged sequences of frenetic violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong 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)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
Furious 7 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film. Resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera’s lens during close ups. The level of sharpness fluctuates some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and it doesn’t adversely affect the quality of the video. The color palette isn’t particularly extensive as grays and other neutral colors are heavily utilized.
Primary colors come in various shades that when coupled along with sequences containing bright/dynamic highlights gives images enriching tonal warmth. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are inky and noise free with discernibly deep gradations that enhance the films many dark sequences. The deep shadows, multi-staged grays, delineated colors, and inky blacks looked terrific on my large screen. I didn’t see any overt signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise.
This 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is aggressive and features an active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that positively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in the recording. The action based sequences transform the listening area into a three dimensional sound field filled via immersive surround activity that mates perfectly with the events unfolding onscreen. Low frequency effects produce deep resonating bass that rumbles with tactile authority that occasionally pressurizes the room. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that imparts just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is a wonderfully involving and dynamically rewarding sound design that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation and rhythmically charged bass extension. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.
- *Exclusive*(HD) Extended and Theatrical versions of Furious 7
- *Exclusive*(HD) 4 deleted scenes
- *Exclusive*(HD) The cars of Furious – 10 minute featurette
- *Exclusive*(HD) Flying cars – 5 minute featurette
- *Exclusive*(HD) Tower jumps – 7 minute featurette
- *Exclusive*(HD) Inside the fight – A look inside the fierce hand-to-hand fights in the film - 4 segments
- *Exclusive*(HD) Talking fast - 31 minute feature hosted by director James Wan
- *Exclusive*(HD) “See you again” music videi
- (HD) Back to the starting line – 12 minute featurette
- (HD) Race Wars: Furious 7 – 6 minute featurette
- (HD) Snatch and grab – 7 minute featurette
- (HD) Making of Fast & Furious Supercharged Ride – 8 minutes
- Bonus DVD
- Digital HD Copy
successfully adds another entertaining layer to this popular franchise that continues to prove that in some cases more is better. The untimely and tragic death of star Paul Walker was a terrible loss for his family and the series. The Fast & Furious franchise stands as a testament to his legacy and provides fans with a great way to remember him. Furious 7
comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring a terrific audio/video presentation that is highlighted by a reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The supplemental package is equally deserving of praise and provides a great look behind the scenes at the film’s production. If you’re a genre fan this one deserves a place in your Blu-ray collection.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package