The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Weinstein Company - 2007
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 121 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, William Forsyth, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Dee Wallace
Written & Directed by: Rob Zombie
Music by: Tyler Bates
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 21, 2008
"The face behind the mask"
Rob Zombie's terrifying vision of American horror classic Halloween is back and more chilling than ever. This brand-new edition contains the unrated feature film with director's commentary, thrilling bonus features including deleted scenes and an alternate ending, and an all-new second disc containing an exclusive 4 1/2 hour documentary giving a behind the scenes look at how Zombie created the film.
I reviewed the original Halloween on Blu-ray just under a year ago. I thought I would include some of my comments from that review here: "On a black and unholy Halloween night years ago, little Michael Myers brutally slaughtered his sister in cold blood. But for the last fifteen years, town residents have rested easy, knowing that he was safely locked away in a mental hospital... until tonight. Tonight Michael returns to the same quiet neighborhood to relive his grisly murder again... and again... and again. For this is a night of evil. Tonight is Halloween! I remember when Halloween was released and scared the pants off of people. It has since become quite a cult classic which spun off seven sequels and this Rob Zombie remake. I don't think I saw any of the original releases past Halloween 4: The return of Michael Myers, as I felt that the series was becoming redundant. The original John Carpenter film holds a special place for many."
I went into this review with an open mind trying to ignore any preconceived notions based upon what I had heard about this remake. It is tough to look at this film and not compare it to the original especially when it makes the comparison itself in many ways. Initially I thought the idea of provided a more detailed background on Michael Myers was an interesting approach. As the film progressed and moved into the second act I changed my mind. One of the things that made Michael so menacing in the original film was that you really never knew who or what was behind the mask. This made his physical and mental invulnerability somehow seem more plausible. The added information provided in Rob Zombie's telling made him not only feel human but actually pretty sympathetic when you see where he came from. This Director's cut represents my first viewing of this film so I am not sure what was added etc. There were many aspects of the story that remained faithful to the original, especially when Michael returns home. The explicit sexuality contained in the screenplay was unnecessary in my opinion. This was also inherent in the dialogue. I realize that the first film was made 30 years ago but its use of sexuality was enough that it appropriately fit into the story without becoming a focal point.
Other than young Michael and his mother Deborah none of the character featured in the 1st act were likeable which made it tough to empathize with them. Of course in a movie like this character development, outside of the main players, isn't especially definitive due to the fact that they don't last long. The story dragged and a number of the murder sequences just lasted too long. I thought that Daeg Farech did a good job portraying 10 year old Michael. Malcolm McDowell was just fine as Dr. Loomis and I felt that Scout Taylor-Compton played Laurie with just the right amount of innocence/sincerity. There was a multitude of cameo's that included Danny Treo, Mickey Dolenz, William Forsyth, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, Richard Lynch, Dee Wallace, and Sid Haig.
The film had a few good moments and I can't say that I thought it was awful. It just doesn't have the built in suspense and underlying terror of the boogeyman that the original film holds.
The film contains bloody, brutal violence, graphic nudity, sexual content and language. Nuff said.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Halloween comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.8 mbps.
This was a solid video presentation that featured high level detail and naturally delineated colors. Images were rich in delicate texture and multi-dimensional definition that brought out subtle nuance in close up and long range visuals. The video was reliably resolute with excellent sharpness in all but one or two instances that didn't appear to be related to the encoding. The opening act takes place 15 years prior to the second and uses select colors that are cooler in tonality, and muted enough to make them appear less vivid but still natural. I think that this effectively provides the feeling that the events are taking place during earlier time period. As the second act opens 15 years later colors are warmer, with deeper saturation, broader scope, and vibrant hues. Skin tones are tonally consistent with lifelike complexions and perceivable variety. Blacks are stable with ample dynamic range so that dark scenes have good visible depth and contrast. The Rendering of detail in shadows and low lighting was never a problem. This is a high bitrate encoding that had a clean pristine quality that appeared free of video related artifacts/noise.
The lossless audio mix was rich in sonic detail that was highlighted by room filling surround sound and palpable dynamic presence. Being a horror movie the soundtrack plays an intricate role in the telling. Like the original Halloween the music here helps build suspense/tension and this mix rendered its score with well placed and clearly defined instrumentation that sounded excellent. Sound effects were spread throughout the soundfield and generated a believable and immersive soundstage in my room. Bass response was well extended and appropriately balanced within the mix so that it added impact but never drew strict attention to itself. Dialogue was rendered with clarity and discernible intonation which enabled even subtle vocal inflections to be audible.
- Feature length commentary with Writer/Director Rob Zombie
- 17 deleted scenes with optional commentary
- Alternate ending with optional commentary
- Blooper reel
- The many mask of Michael Myers - Featurette
- Re-imagining Halloween - Featurette
- Meet the cast - Featurette
- Casting sessions
- Scout Taylor-Compton screen test (Laurie Strode
- Theatrical trailer
- BD-Live enabled
- (HD) Michael Myers Lives: The making of Halloween - 4 ½ hour documentary of the films making staring with pre-production through wrap.
Halloween is an ambitious re-make that falls rather short of the mark when compared to the original John Carpenter cult classic film of the same name. Its high definition Blu-ray disc presentation from The Weinstein Company succeeds admirably by offering high quality visuals and an excellent Dolby TrueHD lossless audio soundtrack. All the bonus supplements from the recent three disc DVD release are included which make this a strong offering for fans that held out for the Blu-ray Disc.
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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
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Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package