Dead format + cheap-ass discs = a fun night at the movies
Ever since the demise of HD DVD, the price of standalone players as sky-rocketed, while, at the same time, the exact opposite has happened to the media they play. Over at HMV’s UK web site, a number of HD DVD titles, some of them very good, are being pawned off for silly amounts of money, starting at £2.99 per title. Always on the look-out for a bargain, I picked up Disturbia, an extremely derivative but actually rather enjoyable rip-off of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, starring that annoying kid with the stupid name from Transformers and the new Indiana Jones film. I also grabbed A Mighty Heart (Angelina Jolie in blackface FTW!!!) and The Frighteners (a sort of half-way point between Peter Jackson’s earlier adventures with over the top exploitation romps and his later obsession with poorly edited, overly long CGI reels).
Disturbia features a rather good transfer taken from a decent master, albeit one that has been excessively grain reduced. The grain can’t have been that heavy to begin with, as facial features are, for the most part, still there, but it does mean that the image has a somewhat synthetic appearance, particularly in the opening sequence in which LaBeouf and his pops mash some fish and then, in a curious Karmic twist, get mashed themselves while on the road. Still, not bad at all for under three quid.
(Paramount, UK, AVC, 19 GB)