The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/3D Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French/Spanish
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Marissa Miller, James Hong
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 29, 2013
Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges), works for the otherworldly police force R.I.P.D. tracking monstrous souls disguised among the living as ordinary people, and is assigned new recruit Nick Walker (Reynolds) as his partner. Upon uncovering a humanity threatening plot, the new duo have to work together to thwart it thereby restoring cosmic balance.
Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline this supernatural action-adventure as two cops dispatched by the “on high” Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of judgment escaping souls (known as “Deados”) who refuse to move peacefully to the other side. Veteran sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Bridges) has spent his career with the R.I.P.D. tracking down and bringing to justice these monstrous spirits who are cleverly disguised as and living among the ordinary people of Earth. Once the wise-cracking Roy is assigned former rising-star and new R.I.P.D detective Nick Walker (Reynolds) as his junior officer, the new partners have to turn grudging respect into top-notch teamwork. When they uncover a plot that could end life as we know it, two of R.I.P.D.'s finest must miraculously restore the cosmic balance...or watch the tunnel to the afterlife begin sending angry souls the very wrong way.
Based on Dark Horse comic by Peter M. Lenkov R.I.P.D borrows heavily from films like Ghostbusters and Men in Black, but suffers from a patchy, paint by the numbers script that fails to blend quality laughs with engagingly fun action/adventure. It’s not all bad though. I am a fan of both Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds who do well together at handling the goofy situational moments and conventional antics. The remaining members of the cast are just fine in their respective supporting roles also. The production elements are what you would expect from a newer film and are decent. R.I.P.D was converted to 3D for its theatrical release. I didn’t initially receive it in 3D for review and reviewed the 2D version. You can read that review here:
R.I.P.D Official AVS Forum Blu-ray Review
As I watched it in 2D I couldn’t help but feel that there were aspects of the film that might be fun if done in 3D. I went ahead and requested the 3D version and while it didn’t transform it into a better film it enhanced the experience. At the end of the day R.I.P.D. is a derivative and lackluster buddy/sci-fi/action-adventure flick that probably won’t make it into the favorites list of genre fans but isn’t completely without merit especially if expectations are kept low and you happen to like the headliners in the cast.
The rating is for violence, sci-fi fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references.
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:
3D Presentation: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Depth (Onscreen):
- Dimension (Beyond the screen):
- Color reproduction:
R.I.P.D 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mpbs.
This film wasn’t shot natively in 3D and was converted in post-production. 3D conversions have shown discernible improvement since the format’s inception but can still be hit or miss. I have found that the subject matter can sometimes have an effect on what I am willing to accept from 3D in terms of how zealous its implementation is. A film like R.I.P.D. seems like a good choice for a more “active” 3D presentation. That isn’t to say that natural depth and proportionate dimension should take a back seat. I found this to be a decent 2D to 3D conversion that while not overtly active or always proportionately natural kept me engaged without regular distraction. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp.
Depth is appreciable as evidenced by a predominantly natural sense of dimension as objects or people are layered in the foreground/background. Occasionally near field placement of people standing or moving through the frame had a bit of the cardboard cutout effect but it wasn’t a big deal. There are a variety of sequences that provide a fun reach out and touch level of dimension as well as a bit of screen popping wizardry. This primarily revolves around the action based sequences and features flying objects, exploding debris, protruding weapons or floating particles in the air. The first and probably the best example of this occurs in the exploding slow motion warehouse sequence right before Nick ascends toward the Heavens. Comparing contrast, color, skin tone reproduction and detail reproduction to the 2D presentation I think that they appear identical. I didn’t observe any overt instances of crosstalk/ghosting. Overall R.I.P.D makes for a mildly hokey but fun 3D experience.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does a superb job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well balanced audio presentation that engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Rear channel activity is abundant as the film’s active elements provide an enriching level of immersion which is generated by a seamless sound field. The action is empowered by near field sound effects, and robust dynamics that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces extended lower bass frequencies that hit hard and reward with palpably rich extension.
- 3D Blu-ray – R.I.P.D
- 2D Blu-ray – R.I.P.D (plus the following bonus features)
- Exclusive (HD) 2 alternate opening sequences
- Exclusive (HD) R.I.P.D. Motion Comics: Bringing the Avatars to life – 6 minute feature
- Exclusive (HD) Nick’s new Avatars – 1 minute run through of the other Avatars considered for Nick
- Exclusive (HD) Filming the other side – 6 minute featurette
- Exclusive (HD) Walking among us: Deados and Avatars – 7 minute featureette
- Exclusive (HD) Anatomy of a shootout – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) 4 deleted/alternate scenes
- (HD) Gag reel – 3 minutes
- (HD) Transferring R.I.P.D. – 8 minute making of featurette
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Based on Dark Horse comic of the same name by Peter M. Lenkov R.I.P.D is a derivative and lackluster buddy/sci-fi/action-adventure flick that misses the mark. It’s not all bad and depending on your tolerance for stagy humor and conventional storytelling might just prove mildly entertaining. It comes to Blu-ray from in this 3D Combo Pack from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring solid 3D converted high definition video, excellent high def 2D audio/video quality, and worthwhile supplemental material. If R.I.P.D. has caught your eye and you’re set up for 3D toss it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.
Here is the trailer:
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 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 AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package