SOLOMON KANE blu-ray review

UK Region B blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 2.35:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1


MOVIE: 8.5





This movie is awesome! One of the best action films of 2010! I first bought the dvd, and then I was so satisfied with the movie that I decided to upgrade to this UK blu-ray. It’s definitely Region B. I had to switch regions on my multi-region blu-ray player.

Solomon Kane is like an old-school hard R-rated film. There are some seriously messed-up deaths in this film! The filmmaking was sort of like a cross between Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, and Guillermo Del Toro. And i’m going to be looking out for James Purefoy now – he’s sort of a cross between Gerard Butler and David Wenham. He seriously kicks ass as an action-hero leading man!

It’s too bad that Marvel couldn’t buy the rights to this film and just slap their production label on this film. If this was a Marvel film, it would have been one of the best Marvel comic book-to-film adaptations.

The video quality is excellent – the 2.35:1 aspect ratio looks really nice, much better than the DVD. I would like to note that the aspect ratio is incorrect on the back of this blu-ray. It says 1.85:1 on the back which is not true. The DTS-HD audio is pretty damn amazing as well. I felt like I was listening to a Lord of the Rings movie. And the extras are pretty generous as well: an intro by the director talking about how good the film looks on blu-ray, 2 commentaries, some making of featurettes, a great deleted scene which was unfortunately cut from the film (it’s an action scene of Solomon taking out a whole group of bad guys in a cave, which is in widescreen HD as well), a trailer, and some art images. This is a very generous blu-ray package and a fantasy film that is totally worth buying!

PERHAPS LOVE dvd review

Hong Kong Region 3 NTSC dvd

Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1

Mandarin DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1

Subtitles: English








Wow, Christopher Doyle has done it again. Every scene of his cinematography of PERHAPS LOVE can be cut up into photos and posted in a gallery. Excellent job! Christopher Doyle may not be a total magician though. Although he tried, he couldn’t save the movie from being good. All he could do was make PERHAPS LOVE into a fair movie. But that’s not his responsiblity. He has turned a piece of poo into a shiny gold-covered, sugar-coated turd. Unfortunately, PERHAPS LOVE is still a piece of crap and all the superb cinematography and its professionally-made look cannot disguise the stench of this movie. Speaking of Christopher Doyle, I realized while watching this movie that he has done the cinematography of the majority of Wong Kar Wai’s masterpieces, except for AS TEARS GO BY and the upcoming THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI. I’m not a fan of Wong Kar Wai, but his imagery in his films are nice – but that’s all thanks to Christopher Doyle. I wonder what would Wong Kar Wai be without Christopher Doyle. His films may not be the masterpieces without Doyle. I have a gut feeling that Doyle should be getting more credit for Wong Kar Wai films than Wong Kar Wai himself.

So with the massive help of Christopher Doyle, PERHAPS LOVE is a fair movie. I felt like I was watching a bad Alan Parker musical. Besides the amazing cinematography of this miserable musical, it had a dreamy feel to it that I liked. But once again, that’s all Christopher Doyle. The combination of the cinematography, sets, minimalism during many scenes, costumes all combined to give this film memorable imagery.

PERHAPS A STORY NEEDED, I mean, PERHAPS LOVE is not even a movie about love – all it shows is shallowness, mind games, hatred, and no chemistry between the lovers. If the main focus of the story is about love, then write about love! The writers of PERHAPS LOVE wrote good screenplays for PURPLE STORM and PEKING OPERA BLUES, but their teamwork together in this movie was awful. The poor writing screwed this movie up big time. I felt sort of bad for Jackie Cheung’s character, but the Takeshi and Xun characters had no love or chemistry when they were together in the past and none in the present (the movie jumps around from the past and present). The pseudo love displayed by the three main actors in this movie seemed to be written by a 15-year old boy. I’ve just about had it with that prepubescent writing style of relationships in Asian movies and anime movies.

There were a couple good scenes in the movie. Out of all the songs, which are mainly performed by the two male leads, there are about two rewatchable songs. Disappointingly, Farah Khan – one of the best Bollywood directors and best dance choreographers – did not get to show off her talents in this movie. The dancers in the movie were underused and overshadowed by the weepy, sad faces of the lead actors. I had a better musical fix in Jackie Chan’s THE MYTH. But even in the two decent songs, they are just okay – nothing spectacular. I love musicals, but PERHAPS LOVE was a pretty weak musical. It’s okay that the movie is dark and dreary, but you still have to have some uplifting spectacular musical scenes thrown in there.

The acting was okay. Everyone got to do some crying scenes. But they just didn’t fit in the film. You could tell that they prepared themselves to cry and they just shot it. I have no idea why any of the characters were even crying.

The Media Asia Region 3 NTSC DVD is good quality at least. There are two versions though – One version has one disc and the other version is has two discs with photos and maybe other trinkets added. So both DVDs are the same and have the same DVD content.
The anamorphic 1:85 video looked really nice and sharp. There were a couple white spots that flashed up, but overall it’s got such nice video quality that you can watch it even if the movie sucks. For audio, there is Mandarin DTS 96/24 and DD 5.1. Both sounded amazing. I don’t have a high-end home theater so the DTS 96/24 sounded as good as a normal DTS to my ears. The English subtitles were clear. I found only a couple grammar mistakes, but nothing that noticable. Included in the extras were a trailer, teaser, making-of featturettes, two music videos, and a boring Bollywood male dance scene in the rain. All extras did not have English subtitles.

There is also a Hong Kong region-free blu-ray available.

Overall, PERHAPS LOVE is just a dreary, emotionless half-assed musical. It’s not that bad, but it could have been a really good movie if the story was interesting and if there were some spectacular musical numbers. It’s only worth watching to see the genius of Christopher Doyle.

JUMP blu-ray review

Hong Kong Region-free blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 1.85:1

Mandarin: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (original)

Cantonese: DTS 5.1 (dub)

Thai: DTS 5.1 (dub)








I really enjoyed this film and I usually don’t like contemporary Hong Kong comedy films. Jump moves along at a great pace, has no filler, and is a totally entertaining popcorn flick. It’s a great rags to riches / dance film as well. If you really liked Strictly Ballroom, Step Up 3, Bring It On and other dance-type competition mainstream flicks, then you should enjoy Jump.

The main highlight of the film is Kitty Zhang. I think she believes in the Audrey Tautou school of acting, since she’s very Amelie-ish acting really funny and attractive at the same time. I look forward to her other upcoming films, since she seems like she has a wide range of acting skills.

The dance competition at the end of the film was very well choreographed with some quick editing but not to a point where it was annoying. This movie had no where the level of dance choreography of Step Up 3 (my “Matrix” of dance films), but it was impressive enough.

This Hong Kong All-Region Sony/Columbia blu-ray is good, but not great or excellent as should be expected. The video quality is slightly better than DVD quality. The video quality is a bit smudgy and soft, which is a bit disappointing for a new Hong Kong film but it’s not that distracting. For a high priced Hong Kong blu-ray, it should have received better video quality. But other than that, it’s overall solid with eye-popping colors. And there is no reason to buy the DVD instead because Kitty Zhang is a very attractive actress. Attractive actresses are required to be viewed on blu-ray. The DTS-HD Mandarin audio is really nice and active – no problems in that department. And thankfully, the English subtitles are perfect. No extras on this blu-ray.

This movie was surprisingly good after reading negative to mixed reviews of this film. It’s just a popcorn rags-to-riches dance film done perfectly. If you expect something more, then you’ll be disappointed. And I recommend this film if you want to see a really charming young Chinese actress, Kitty Zhang, do her thing and see why she’s the next up-and-coming actress in Hong Kong.

THE HOLY MOUNTAIN blu-ray review

USA Region A blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 2.35:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0

Spanish: LPCM 2.0

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese





EXTRAS:  8.5


The Holy Mountain blu-ray is one of those holy grail blu-rays. I waited for many years of a decent home video version of this film – from the bootleg dvd to the Italian PAL dvd to the excellent remastered NTSC DVD and now I can finally be satisfied with the blu-ray of the Holy Mountain.

I thought that the remastered DVD was amazing, but wait till you see the blu-ray. If you have seen the remastered DVD, you should be pretty impressed with this blu-ray.

The video quality is a huge upgrade, HUGE! Everything from close-ups to long shots are all crisp and clear and shining with detail. There’s a scene where the thief first tries to attack the Alchemist where you see the majority of the Alchemist’s hat covering the top of his face. On the DVD, I thought it was totally covering his eyes, but on the blu-ray you can see his eyes peaking out..staring at the thief as he takes the slow cat steps. The blu-ray is slightly grainy, but it’s good grain. This is a film from 1973 and it’s a film that has been through tough times. Don’t expect The Sound of Music, but if you have seen the previous home video versions of this film, the blu-ray video quality is phenomenal! This is a totally colorful film as well – all the colors finally pop out with life on this blu-ray. The blu-ray video quality really stands out once the team heads out to the mountain. All those outdoorsy nature shots look amazing. The only negative that I noticed with the video quality is if the camera pans to the left or right to quickly, then you get that wierd flickering effect. But this only happens once or twice in those big crowd scenes at the beginning.

The DTS-HD 5.1 really sounds great – the sounds and the music fill up your room…and there’s a great use of bass that’s used to enhance the experience a lot more than how it sounded on the remastered DVD. For a 1970s film, this audio option is pretty damn impressive. And the audio comes across very natural too.

The extras are the same as on the remastered DVD. The coolest extra is how they showed the restoration from the Italian DVD (or was it the Jodorowsky-supported bootleg DVD?) to the remastered USA DVD. But the best and most important extra is the audio commentary. This is no ordinary audio commentary. If you can figure out this movie without listening to the commentary, you are a genius, but I find it necessary and even improves upon the movie by listening to the director’s commentary. He’s a genius and an artist. He explains all the scenes and its symbolism. Jodorowsky isn’t just some obnoxious pretentious director – he has a reason for creating every scene in the film, and he explains it simply and clearly. This is one of those films that should be played in schools.

The Holy Mountain is a masterpiece – no other obscure/underground/wierd film even comes close to the epic scope of this film. The blu-ray is now in my top five blu-rays that I own. Anchor Bay did a spectacular job of remastering this movie onto blu-ray. So far, this is the best blu-ray of 2011!