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Street Kings (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=116038&d=1216991306
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 Minutes
Genre: Crime Thriller/Action

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


Audio Format(s): DTS-HD Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Forrest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Jay Mohr
Directed by: David Ayer
Music by: Graeme Revell
Written by: James Ellroy, Kurt Wimmer, and Jamie Moss
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 19, 2008







"Their city. Their rules. No prisoners.."



Film Synopsis:

On the streets of Los Angeles, every cop wants justice. But how they get it is what sets them apart. Fox Home Entertainment presents a gripping and pulse-pounding look at police corruption where no one can be trusted. Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Trilogy, Speed) and OscarĀ® winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Vantage Point), follows veteran LAPD Detective Tom Ludlow (Reeves), a disillusioned cop who sets out on a quest to solve the murder of his former partner. With the help of his boss and mentor Captain Jack Wander (Whitaker), Ludlow begins a crusade to serve his own form of justice, breaking the rules of conduct on a regular basis and avoiding the watchful eye of Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie; House). In the end Ludlow will be forced to question the loyalties of everyone involved and the truth will finally come to pass.



My Take:

Street Kings looks at what can happen when one man puts himself in position of supreme authority. How he obtained that position and the consequences of his actions is really what this film is about. Tom Ludlow (Reeves) is an LAPD detective who is part of an elite squad that is under the sole command of Captain Wander. This squad handles the cases that demand that extra special touch that ensures that justice is served and body bags are filled with bad guys. Ludlow is his right hand man and always seems to win no matter the cost. The activities of the squad are never questioned by the department and any potential problems are headed off by Wander. After Ludlow single handedly rescues twin' Asian girls who have been missing, from the clutches of a ruthless gang of Korean porn lords problems begin to arise. First, the other members of the unit resent Ludlow going in by himself and grabbing the glory (even though he was directed by Wander to do so). Second, there is an altercation at the scene between Ludlow and his ex-partner Washington (played by Terry Crews) after Washington alleges wrong doing in the handling of the rescue. Ludlow is temporarily reassigned to desk duty until things cool down and subsequently learns that his ex-partner Washington has been talking to internal affairs. He is instructed by Wander and the members of his unit to stay away from Washington and to let things play out. Ludlow decides to follow Washington and attempts to confront him while he is in a liquor store. As Ludlow enters he notices two masked gang bangers coming in with automatic weapons. He approaches Washington and tries to tell him that the store is about to be robbed when Washington attacks him thinking that Ludlow is there to kill him. The two men are approached by the gang members who open fire on Washington and riddle him with bullets. He dies in Ludlow arms at the scene. This sets off a series of events that take the film in multiple directions that all lead Ludlow to distrust almost everyone wearing blue. He eventually learns the truth about what happened to Washington and why. He also had to contend with the persistent Captain Biggs (Hugh Laurie) from internal affairs who has suspicions about Wander and Ludlow and seeks answers. All of this will lead him into a fight for his very life.

This film opened really strong and had some excellent action based moments. The ending didn't live up to the rest of the film and left me feeling a little disappointed. I mean the outcome was inevitable but how they arrived at it was what I thought was weak. The remainder of the film was good enough that I could live with that though. Reeves was good in the lead role and pulled it off with a fairly strong performance. Whitaker is a fine actor but I am not so sure that he was right for Captain Wander. He didn't seem believable when he exerted authority and in light of his later involvement he didn't have the hard edge needed to elicit audience reaction to him. It was good to see Jay Mohr and Chris Evans playing roles outside of their usual archetypes. There is plenty of gun play and fight sequences to keep boredom levels low and adrenaline high.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong pervasive language and violence. This is not one for younger audiences.






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=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

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



Video: 86


(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=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

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

Street Kings comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio that has an average rate of 3.7 mbps.

This was an impressive audio presentation that delivered well articulated and dynamic sound. This was not a highly active surround mix but it did make good use of the entire surround platform to elevate the film's level of tension and anticipation. The front three channels carried the bulk of the soundtracks dynamic elements and they hit hard with ostensible potency. The hip hop music used to drive some of these scenes had excellent low bass presence and tactility. Sound effects were realistic sounding with diverse characteristics and powerful impact. Dialogue was crystal clear with affirming intonation that made even subtle changes in pitch detectable. The video had a distinctly (and intentional) hard edged and gritty look to it. The nature of the photography didn't lend itself to vivid and high glossy visuals which at times made it appear less vibrant and eye catching. Colors were kept to basic tones and avoided the use of bright and deeply saturated hues. Contrast was boosted which gave the video a very dynamic overtone. Black levels were excellent which gave dark scenes as well as lighter ones containing mixed content plenty of depth and punchy contrast. Shadow delineation was every bit as good which provided the dark and murky interior and dimly lit nighttime exterior sequences with superb depth of field and visible background detail. Images on screen looked detailed, crisp and sharp with well defined structure and resolution. Fine detail in the clothing, and physical makeup of people and objects had realistic texture and discernible quality. The long distant and panning shots of the LA Cityscapes looked exceptionally transparent with three dimensional perspective and an unimpeded point of view. This was an excellent overall audio/video presentation.



Bonus Features:



Fox has gone above and beyond to deliver a plethora of bonus supplements on this Blu-ray disc. The features cover the production from concept to implementation and offers a broad swath of interviews from the cast and crew as well as extensive behind the scenes footage and trivia. Some of it is overkill and repetitive but the content is informative none the less. The deleted and alternate scenes are probably the weak links here. The only features offered in high definition are the Blu-ray disc previews and Fox's Inside Look piece. Fox has included a standard definition Digital Copy of the film which can be loaded onto a portable playback device from a PC or MAC.




  • Director audio commentary track

  • Under surveillance: inside the world of Street Kings - PiP Mode (Bonus view)

  • 15 Deleted scenes with optional Director commentary

  • 9 alternate scenes

  • Street rules: Rolling with Director David Ayer and Tech. Advisor Jamie Fitzsimmons - featurette

  • L.A Bete Noir: Writing Street Kings featurette

  • HBO: First Look - Street Kings

  • Behind the scenes clips

  • Street Cred: featurette

  • City of fallen angels: Making Street Kings - featurette

  • (HD) Inside Look: Inside look at upcoming projects from Fox - Mirrors The Movie

  • (HD) Blu-ray Disc previews

  • Theatrical Trailers - Trailer A and B

  • SD Digital Copy bonus disc




Final Thoughts:



Street Kings is a film that broaches a thought provoking subject regarding law enforcement. The idea of corrupt police officers is scary especially as they are depicted here. This is of course a movie and its intent is to entertain by creating untouchable and ruthless characters. Things are probably not quite so sinister in the real world. I liked the pacing, direction, special effects, and action sequences. The ending wasn't all that I was hoping for but the film didn't hinge upon it either. Fox has brought Street Kings to high definition Blu-ray Disc featuring good quality audio/video and comprehensive bonus supplements. If this type of film is your cup of tea its worth the price of admission.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 70
Hey Ralph,

I just finished watching this and I think you nailed the review. I viewed this via an RS1 and 119 HP screen. There was noticeable HF info, good fine object detail, light grain, and great facial detail. The image depth was impressive as well.

You could almost use some of the scenes as HT demo material if it weren't for all of the expletives. I'll probably pick this one up when I can find it south of the $20 price border.
post #3 of 70
I watched this last night. At the end of the film, I turned to my wife and we both said "Shield ripoff, but not near as good".

Aren't there any new ideas in Hollywood?

The actors were wasted in this mess of a plot. The cops were the only real bad guys, and end up knocking each other off. The end doesn't do anything that indicates an improvement is anywhere in sight.

At least watching this film will leave you with the knowledge that the Shield is an example of how this theme can be done right. Save your $ and just rent the DVDs of the Shield.

Forrest and Keanu must have just looked at the salary dollars being paid for this one and neglected to even read the script before signing on. Forrest was much better in his guest stint on ER. At least he didn't overact in every scene. Keanu, well, at least he didn't say "whoa".
post #4 of 70
I really enjoyed this. Of course, I am a big James Elroy fan and this attracted me to the film. I liked Reeves in his role but agree with Ralph that Whitaker possibly was a wrong choice for his role. The style of this film was similiar to L.A. Confidential which is also an Elroy story. I also saw similiarities between Street Kings and Dark Blue, another favorite of mine. I bought it and look forward to future viewings.
post #5 of 70
Thanks Ralph will be looking forward in watching mine very soon(when they decide to ship)
post #6 of 70
Just bought this movie on Blu-ray, and there seems to be some crackling going on in the center speaker, especially during dialogue. I know it's not my surround system, because I just did plenty of tests... going to Dolby and back (same issues), trying other movies (no issues)... I even checked the previews of this movie, and there aren't any issues. It's only when the movie starts that I hear it.

Does anybody else have this problem?



UPDATE:


I tried to exchange this for another copy at F.Y.E. but they didn't have anymore.

So I went to Best Buy to ask them what they thought the issue was. They even had a set-up with a Blu-ray player and a Samsung HT-AS720S surround system like mine, so I tested it out there. The first guy I talked to said he only heard it once, but the second guy heard it just as much as I did. That means it's a high-frequency issue, but it still could be a poor transfer deal.

Like I said, there's no issue in the previews, switching to French, etc. But there still is the issue in the movie, even when I downgrade to 5.1 Dolby Digital. Still the same thing... even on the Best Buy display. So I know for a fact that it's not my speakers.

Now I'm just wondering if anybody else notices the same sound issue. If you don't, then either I just have a bad disc, or I just have really good ears.
post #7 of 70
yup, on my sony dg720 and ps3 I got the cracking noise with dialog.
post #8 of 70
Yeah I just rented this from Netflix and noticed the cracking noise in the center speaker as well. I was afraid my speakers were damaged until I played another movie. I am using a PS3 with an onkyo 606.
post #9 of 70
So no review seemed to catch this? It's very annoying, and F.Y.E. won't refund it or exchange it for another title. I don't want this movie if it's like this.

This is my first 20th Century Fox Blu-ray movie. Are a lot of their transfers like this?
post #10 of 70
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

I didn't detect this bitstreaming the DTS-HD MA audio from my Panasonic BD-30 to my Denon 5308. Are there are any specific instances where you are hearing it or is it throughout? I will double check later and post back.


Cheers,
post #11 of 70
BTW, the DTS core seem to crackle also.
post #12 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse View Post

BTW, the DTS core seem to crackle also.

Greetings,

Thanks. I am bitstreaming the DTS HD MA via HDMI but I am not sure if that is possibly the difference or not. I will check later...


Regards,
post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

I didn't detect this bitstreaming the DTS-HD MA audio from my Panasonic BD-30 to my Denon 5308. Are there are any specific instances where you are hearing it or is it throughout? I will double check later and post back.


Cheers,

I'm hearing it throughout. Normally it's through the regular dialogue, but it seems that it happens more often through louder or heavier vocals. But even in the first bit when Keanu is driving to the liquor store and you get the bass in the music, you can hear clicks of the crackle every time as well.

I have a Samsung HT-AS720S and I'm using a PS3 as my Blu-ray player. I'm set to 5.1 Linear PCM @ 96 kHz and am using HDMI cables throughout. As you can see, I'm not the only one that has experienced the problem. Even Best Buy's system had the same issue, but one of the two employees did not notice it as much, which leads me to believe it's a high-frequency sound.
post #14 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinmcfluffin View Post

I'm hearing it throughout. Normally it's through the regular dialogue, but it seems that it happens more often through louder or heavier vocals. But even in the first bit when Keanu is driving to the liquor store and you get the bass in the music, you can hear clicks of the crackle every time as well.

I have a Samsung HT-AS720S and I'm using a PS3 as my Blu-ray player. I'm set to 5.1 Linear PCM @ 96 kHz and am using HDMI cables throughout. As you can see, I'm not the only one that has experienced the problem. Even Best Buy's system had the same issue, but one of the two employees did not notice it as much, which leads me to believe it's a high-frequency sound.

Greetings,

Okay, I will double check and post back. Thanks.


Regards,
post #15 of 70
Maybe its something to do with the ps3 decoding the DTS tracks on this disk??
post #16 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse View Post

Maybe its something to do with the ps3 decoding the DTS tracks on this disk??

Greetings,

I have the PS3 as well and will try that also. Thanks.

Regards,
post #17 of 70
I forgot to add that I am using Linear PCM through HDMI as well.
post #18 of 70
I did not hear any crackling and had it cranked pretty loud. I was using SPDIF DTS from my Sharp Blu-ray to my Rotel RSX-1057.
post #19 of 70
I was able to watch this during the day so I had it playing considerably louder than the volume level that I normally use at night. In bitstreaming DTS-HD MA from my BD30 to my Onkyo 805 there were no clicks/crackling.

I would check with my PS3 as well, but I have already returned my copy of SK to Netflix.
post #20 of 70
Thread Starter 
Greetings,

I ran through several scenes including the opening where Reeve is driving enroute to the liquor store and there are no signs of any unusual clicks/crackling etc. This was the case using either the PS3 internally decoding or Panasonic bitstreaming via HDMI. No idea what the problem might be for those who are experiencing this problem.

Regards,
post #21 of 70
Given the pattern of recent trends, so far, if there is an issue with dts-ma, bitstreaming, and the receiver is an Onkyo (of certain model, but certainly the problem could extend beyond that), the receiver should be further investigated.
post #22 of 70
well I'm using a sony avr with ps3 decoding it so its not only onkyos.
post #23 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse View Post

well I'm using a sony avr with ps3 decoding it so its not only onkyos.

Greetings,

Goatse, can you provide a time stamp for one of the events? I would like to listen to an exact instance.


Cheers,
post #24 of 70
I was using bitstreamed DTS HD audio from a Mag player to an Onkyo 606. 7.1 system.

No unusual noise detected.
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Goatse, can you provide a time stamp for one of the events? I would like to listen to an exact instance.


Cheers,

Whole movie has popping and cracking noises, mostly with dialogue.
post #26 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatse View Post

Whole movie has popping and cracking noises, mostly with dialogue.

Greetings,

Okay. I didn't experience it at all during either of my auditions.

Regards,
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinmcfluffin View Post

Just bought this movie on Blu-ray, and there seems to be some crackling going on in the center speaker, especially during dialogue. I know it's not my surround system, because I just did plenty of tests... going to Dolby and back (same issues), trying other movies (no issues)... I even checked the previews of this movie, and there aren't any issues. It's only when the movie starts that I hear it.

Does anybody else have this problem?



UPDATE:


I tried to exchange this for another copy at F.Y.E. but they didn't have anymore.

So I went to Best Buy to ask them what they thought the issue was. They even had a set-up with a Blu-ray player and a Samsung HT-AS720S surround system like mine, so I tested it out there. The first guy I talked to said he only heard it once, but the second guy heard it just as much as I did. That means it's a high-frequency issue, but it still could be a poor transfer deal.

Like I said, there's no issue in the previews, switching to French, etc. But there still is the issue in the movie, even when I downgrade to 5.1 Dolby Digital. Still the same thing... even on the Best Buy display. So I know for a fact that it's not my speakers.

Now I'm just wondering if anybody else notices the same sound issue. If you don't, then either I just have a bad disc, or I just have really good ears.

LOL, this is the EXACT reason I came to this thread. I noticed it too. Especially when Forrest Whittaker has dialouge. I'm gald I wasn't the only one and that my surround sound wasn't the culprit.

EDIT: I'm also using the PS3. It was very apparent so this is kinda odd...
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthagreat1 View Post

LOL, this is the EXACT reason I came to this thread. I noticed it too. Especially when Forrest Whittaker has dialouge. I'm gald I wasn't the only one and that my surround sound wasn't the culprit.

EDIT: I'm also using the PS3. It was very apparent so this is kinda odd...

I just paused the movie to hit the forums to see if others are hearing this too. I was parked at my center channel going "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" and what's wild is I really didn't start noticing it around the liquor store shootout. From there, the "desk job" I heard it and now I can't stop! Popped another disc in and my center channel is safe. Something is fuxxored with this disc. And yeah, Forrest was the one that started it for me. I was like, was the mic in his mouth? It was loud!
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rein View Post

I just paused the movie to hit the forums to see if others are hearing this too. I was parked at my center channel going "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" and what's wild is I really didn't start noticing it around the liquor store shootout. From there, the "desk job" I heard it and now I can't stop! Popped another disc in and my center channel is safe. Something is fuxxored with this disc. And yeah, Forrest was the one that started it for me. I was like, was the mic in his mouth? It was loud!

My thoughts exactly...couldn't have said it better
post #30 of 70
Finally, got to see it on rental. All I got to say is Tropical Thunder gets called to the mat for offensive dialog, but not one peep about anything in this movie?! The PC police have seriously got their priorities f-dup these days, I swear!

Aside from that, I thought it was an interesting movie. Yes, I heard all sorts of clicks throughout the movie, and yes, a lot of the dialog mic'ing seems to be horrendous. One intriguing thing is one of the music tracks seems to have a distinct, recurring click right in the track, itself (like it is part of a looped sample). I swear, it has to be part of the music, itself, because it's perfectly in sync with the music tempo. It is also present in exact same form in the same music track played at the closing credits. Weird, eh?
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