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post #1 of 4 Old 10-01-2019, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Child's Play Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of Child’s Play, a re-imagining of the 1988 horror classic, from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

91



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Mark Hamill
Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Music by: Bear McCreary
Written by:Tyler Burton Smith
Region Code: A

Release Date: September 24, 2019


"Playtime is Over"


Synopsis:

“Get ready for childhood dreams of talking toys to go completely sideways when Chucky, the sinister killer doll, comes home in Child’s Play - a re-imagining of the 1988 horror classic sure to elicit screams from a whole new generation.” – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

My Take:

Realizing that her son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) is lonely, Karen (Aubrey Plaza) buys him a seemingly innocent, AI-enhanced Buddi doll that he names Chucky. But Chucky’s safety restrictions have been disabled, and soon, a gruesome series of events unfolds. Unable to convince his mom that the doll is responsible for the carnage, Andy becomes the target of the bloodthirsty Chucky!

Wow! It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the release of the original Child’s Play. That film spurned a host of sequels and is considered a bit of a classic among fans of horror films from that generation. I remember going to see it in the theater and yeah, it’s a fun movie that works almost exclusively due to Brad Dourif’s handling of the voice for Chucky and young Alex Vincent’s portrayal of “Andy.

I really didn’t have high hopes for this re-imagining of the film but, as a fan, had to give it a shot. I think one of the biggest problems I had right at the onset was the decision to make Chucky a synthetic creation that had its safety restrictions disabled by a disgruntled worker in the toy factory. From there the plot revolves around the relationship between Chucky and Andy as the doll violently responds to its perception of anyone or thing that could come between them.

As the storyline plays out it’s all pretty much run of the mill with a contemporary spin on what makes Chucky tick and how far that reaches. There are little if any surprises/palpable elements of fright and once things arrive at the finale it quickly takes a nose dive. Child’s Play fails to deliver the sense of sinister darkness and humor found in the original film. It’s not complete and utter hokum as it serves up a few clever references to today’s world and, our reliance on technology. By the time the credits rolled I was ready to sign off but, admittedly enjoyed a few moments beforehand. I would say that if you’re a fan of the original films Child’s Play should be on your list to see, just keep expectations in check.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for bloody horror violence and language throughout.


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.**



Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Child’s Play comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a high-quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are well saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.

This is a typical horror film that calls for an active surround mix, and it delivers the goods when necessary. The track has balanced perspective with appreciable dimension, good channel separation and crisp, descriptive dialog that is always intelligible. The mix offers good front to rear balance and open atmospherics that create an enveloping sound field. Dynamic range is quite good which helps empower active moments while lending solidity and palpable presence to low frequencies. The result is a stable listening environment where the blend of music, sound effects, and subtle nuance contained in the recording are appreciable.


Bonus Features:
  • • The Making of Child’s Play
    • Bringing Child’s Play’s Chucky to Life
    • Soundtrack Trailer
    • Lee Hardcastle Claymations:
    o Toy Massacre
    o A.I. Mayhem
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Gallery
  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Child’s Play is a middling re-imagining of the 1988 horror film based on the evil doings of Chucky the doll. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent technical merits mated with a lackluster supplemental package. Child’s Play brings nothing new to the story of Chucky but, fans of the original franchise should consider giving it a rent on Blu-ray.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-02-2019, 06:30 AM
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I will definitely rent it because I am a fan of the original. I thought it was a full-blown remake, but it doesn't sound like there is any humans transferring consciousness to the doll here.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-02-2019, 08:42 AM
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Saw it in the theater... review shares my feelings about it. OK film, nothing more. Still, it's a purchase for me because I own the original and sequels.


Thanks Ralph!
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-18-2019, 11:17 PM
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As a fan of the original movie (as is the case with so many franchises, the quality went down with each subsequent installment), I was kind of looking forward to this one, hoping to see an original take on it.

While there is a different reason for Chucky's transformation, I think they missed an opportunity here. Society's increasing dependence on technology, combined with an almost naïve view of the sharing and interconnected nature of all web-based things could have lead the movie along a different and deep path, that they didn't really pursue. I think they made a mistake in this regard, which could have been helped by featuring a more affluent family, rather than the lower-middle class one depicted.

Just as disappointing was Hamill's portrayal of Chucky, although it's hard to tell if this was due to his choice or the director's. I really expected to hear him go much more in the maniacally nasty direction of his Joker work in the spectacular Batman - The Animated Series, but here his portrayal was much more subdued and ultimately lost in the film. There's really no comparison between his work here an the earlier work done by Brad Dourif. It didn't help that the look of the doll was completely changed to be so much less threating (and human) than the original. They certainly got the look right with the bear version, though. That thing was downright creepy.

The other thing that hurt the movie were just how unlikeable some of the characters were, starting with the mother. Yeah, part of that was intentional, to show the audience that Andy could really use some companionship, but it would have helped to have the audience feel something for her. Other than the detective and his mother, so many of the other characters were just jerks, making it hard to care about their fates.

While there were a few chuckles in the movie, the plot was predictable and mundane, and really serves as just another example of how Hollywood continues to remake movies that don't need to be remade, with lackluster results.

(On a side note, 30 year! How could time have flown by that quickly?)

Scott

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