or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Days Of Thunder (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Days Of Thunder (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=127558&d=1230136360
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

80






Studio and Year: Paramount - 1990
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 107 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Randy Quiad, Michael Rooker, Nicole Kidman, John C. Reilly, Cary Elwes
Directed by: Tony Scott
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by: Robert Towne
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 30, 2008







"You can’t stop the thunder"



Film Synopsis:

Tom Cruise plays race driver Cole Trickle, whose talent and ambition are surpassed only by his burning need to win. Discovered by businessman Tim Daland (Randy Quaid), Cole is teamed with legendary crew chief and car-builder Harry Hogge (Academy Award. winner Robert Duvall) to race for the Winston Cup at the Daytona 500. A fiery crash nearly ends Cole's career and he must turn to a beautiful doctor (Nicole Kidman) to regain his nerve and the true courage needed to race, to win and to live.




My Take:

Some may find this hard to believe but I had never seen Days of thunder prior to this viewing. It’s one of those movies I just never got around to. Anyway, now that I have seen it I have to say that I thought it was pretty good. I don’t go out of my way to see every Tom Cruse film but predominantly I find his movies to my liking. Robert Duvall lends good credibility to the cast but actors like Randy Quaid, Nicole Kidman, John C. Reilly, and Michael Rooker need no introduction and are of course solid in their respective places in this film. Overall it felt just a little dated but that didn’t keep me from thoroughly enjoying the racing segments. I am not a Nascar fan but I would imagine those who are would probably enjoy this film at least at some level. The story followed the pattern of many other films but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. I really liked the performances by Robert Duvall and Michael Rooker in this one. The pacing and establishment of the characters was notable as well. The foundation of the relationships between Rowdy and Cole, and Cole and Harry are essential to the story which is one of the reasons it works in my opinion. In the end it isn’t great cinema but then again it really doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be fun, a little believable, and exciting which I think it is.





Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material and 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: 82



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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 78


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

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

Days of thunder roars on to Blu-ray from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.

This being my experience with this film I had no frame of reference for what it might look like. I found colors to be punchy, vivid and warm which highlighted the variable and well saturated tones used during the racing segments making them eye catching. Complexions were naturally depicted with visible texture and defining tonality. Blacks weren’t inky but had appreciable depth which was noticeable during scenes containing mixed content. Detail in dark backgrounds and low lighting was distinguishable enough to provide a good sense of depth. Detail was adequate so that images had discernible structure and definitive resolution that brought out perceivable nuance in the objects and people onscreen. The problem is that this wasn’t always the case. There were many shots that looked soft, less resolute and lacking in depth. This was more the case with long range visuals but occasionally affected close ups and mid level camera shots as well. Grain was intact but in uneven layers that, depending on the camera’s perspective, drew attention to it. Like the Truman Show on Blu-ray, I could easily see dirt, speckles and debris on the print that was distracting at times. I suspect that even with these rather minor issues that this film has never looked this good on home video.

Even though this is an older soundtrack I am positive that it benefited from this lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding. Dynamics were excellent which gave the demanding racing scenes strong presence and potent impact. Clarity and detail were just as good which lent subtle articulation to dialogue and determining description to the recorded elements present in the soundtrack. The front and rear speakers combined to create a seamless blend as the roar of the powerful engines illuminated the soundfield. Imaging in the front and rear of the room was estimable. This allowed panning sequences and directional cues to perfectly match the events as they transpired onscreen. Low frequency effects were used sparingly but in accordance with the demands of the source material. While it never reached deep low bass frequencies I never felt as though the mix was lacking bass energy or momentum. I thought it sounded great.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Theatrical trailer




Final Thoughts:

Days of thunder is a film that its fans have been looking forward to seeing and hearing in high definition. This was my first experience with it and seeing it on Blu-ray Disc only made it all the better. While not perfect I think that this will represent a definitive improvement over the non-anamorphic 1999 DVD release. Unfortunately like that version this one only includes the theatrical trailer bonus feature. If you are a fan of this film I recommend that you pick this one up.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 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-BD55K 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
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 11
I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan nor racing movies in general especially once the story leaves the track. Now Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - now there was a racing movie!
post #3 of 11
I'll pick this one up in a bargain bin, wouldn't mind seeing it again for a second time. I hope to never see Talladega Nights ever again, I'll watch Driven again before that one. To each their own as they say.

Nice to hear that the soundtrack is good on the BD of this. I've gotta hear the "Droppin' the hammer" scene in my set-up.
post #4 of 11
I've seen this movie at least 9 times, it'll be nice to finally see it without zooming in on the terrible non-anamorphic DVD or cringing through the compressed Comcast HD version.

I'm not a NASCAR fan, but this is definitely one of those "guy" movies that actually does have a story once it leaves the track. It's a movie that other racing movies draw heavily form (Cars, Driven, Talladega), or at least pay homage to when they poke fun at it. Talladega goes so far as to even have John C. Reilly!

It's definitely not oscar caliber, but it's a fun movie that I've never gotten bored of. It's also one of Hans Zimmer's more sought after scores, I've seen it go for $100 on ebay. Obviously no bargain bin for me....$19.99 off Amazon sounds like a bargain.
post #5 of 11
How can you say this:
Quote:


While not perfect I think that this represents a definitive improvement over the non-anamorphic 1999 DVD release.

After saying this:
Quote:


This being my experience with this film I had no frame of reference for what it might look like.



post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

How can you say this:


After saying this:





Greetings,

It's really not so confusing. I have seen and own enough of the early non-anamorphic DVD releases to know how bad they can look and I have read many comments from others regarding the quality of it as well. This is definitively. I have made a small edit to my final thoughts so that there need not be any further question.


Regards,
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

How can you say this:


After saying this:





Because it's a given. Even an anamorphic SD DVD would be better than a non anamorphic DVD. Even without seeing the original DVD Ralph's on safe ground making the assumption.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnj1958 View Post

Because it's a given. Even an anamorphic SD DVD would be better than a non anamorphic DVD. Even without seeing the original DVD Ralph's on safe ground making the assumption.

It is still an
Quote:
assumption

even tho stated as fact...That is all I am saying...He could have said that being a HD transfer it will certainly be better than the SDVD and omitted the part about not having seen the SDVD to be able to compare it...Still would have been the truth without admitting to have never seen it before...
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

It is still an even tho stated as fact...That is all I am saying...He could have said that being a HD transfer it will certainly be better than the SDVD and omitted the part about not having seen the SDVD to be able to compare it...Still would have been the truth without admitting to have never seen it before...

Seriously man, can't you find something more interesting to pick apart?

Of course its a given that the 08' Bluray of Days of Thunder is better in every way imaginable than the 99' non-anamorphic DVD.

I would convey that message as concretely and strongly as I possibly could without seeing either version.

And it wouldn't be an assumption, it'd be a fact.

and yes, sometimes someone can know something as a fact without having seen it.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike171979 View Post

Seriously man, can't you find something more interesting to pick apart?

Of course its a given that the 08' Bluray of Days of Thunder is better in every way imaginable than the 99' non-anamorphic DVD.

I would convey that message as concretely and strongly as I possibly could without seeing either version.

And it wouldn't be an assumption, it'd be a fact.

and yes, sometimes someone can know something as a fact without having seen it.

Damn...Incredible that you want to pick apart my posts but then turn around and whine that I did it - with good reason - and then claim I said it was an assumption...Look to gnj1958 for saying it was still an assumption...Ralph and I already have this closed and people like you keep dragging it up...
post #11 of 11
Very few good split-surround moments as the race car pans off the left front after belting over LCR onto left-sidewall surround arrays gives awesome depth then as it meets with phantom centre, then crossing over to right-sidewall surround arrays. Also performs well with centre back surround. LFE.1 discrete track is frequently used most of the low end is over LCR. I believe this film played in THX sound system at the Empire in 70mm six-track Dolby stereo SR type, damn, should have gone along to the Empire, for the Empire JBL 13KW THX experience.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Days Of Thunder (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review