Some thoughts on this exclusive Blu-ray from Canada...Boiler Room (Canadian Import)
recommendation: Tier 3.75
For the moment, this import edition is currently a worldwide exclusive on Blu-ray from Alliance. The 2000 movie was released on April 07 of 2009 in Canada as a BD-25. Running 119-minutes in length, the video is encoded using AVC. Without the accuracy of a BDInfo scan, the average video bitrate is likely in the upper teens going off personal observations. Nothing is majorly wrong with the picture quality, but the disc looks sourced from a flat, dull transfer that proves obsolete upon close scrutiny.
Compression looks a little more polished than on Alliance's other Blu-rays, even if the bitrate parameters are not substantially different. Authoring and encoding are both credited to http://www.juiceproductionsinc.com/
, a firm who has done a number of Canadian BDs for Alliance and others. There are still minor bouts of macroblocking and noise in the grainiest passages, but nothing that looks too bad. It would still be nice if Alliance's BDs were maximized to the limits of a BD-25 to minimize these compression problems.
The BD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, slightly opened up from the film's proper aspect ratio of 1.85:1. I would not point this out if not for Alliance's suspect history on Blu-ray, but Boiler Room
is shown at 1080p resolution. Whatever master was dug up to produce this BD clearly looks old and outdated compared to recent efforts. The New Line Cinema logo still precedes the film, being the original distributors in the U.S., a company that exists in name only now, as a subsidiary of Warner Bros.
Given the lack of fine detail in the unprocessed transfer, it looks like it was minted from a telecined master possibly using a second-generation print from the early years of the dvd format. Colors are flat and a touch washed out, with just the slightest quantity of shadow detail rolled off. Fleshtones are noticeably pasty and definitely look incorrect. Vin Diesel has never looked so pale on film. Sharpness is hit-or-miss and depends on the scene, varying from nice-looking outdoor shots to clear but softer interior-scenes.
General picture quality is on that cusp where occasionally it looks no better than a high-quality upscaled dvd in its blandness. There is nothing inherently wrong in the transfer, as absolutely no use of digital noise reduction is apparent and halos are nothing but an afterthought. But this is not a BD that could be used as a demo, as there just is not enough separation from the best dvds to produce any moments of wow.
A firm placement in tier 3.75 is satisfactory for a competent BD produced from a high-definition master that is showing its age. Boiler Room
does look better than the Blu-rays located in tier four or below. It would not be crime if placed a quarter higher.