Con Air Blu-ray Review
PictureThis transfer is a real curate's egg - stunning in parts and quite disappointing in others. At all times it is streets ahead of its SD counterpart though.
The film is presented in a 1080P M-PEG 4 transfer, and is here in the cinematically correct ratio of 2.35:1. Throughout the transfer, the first thing you notice is the colour. The colour is vibrant and the black level is deep and dense. The contrast level is superb.
There are two scenes that truly show off this encode to the best, and the first of those occur when Poe kills the lout near the beginning of the film. This scene takes place at night, in a rainstorm under neon light. The SD release makes this scene look great, but just compare it alongside the HD version to see the improvement. Every drop of rain can clearly be seen falling, and the level of detail present even in the distance of the frame is amazing.
The original SD transfer had some noticeable flaws but these have all been eradicated on the HD version leaving the film looking as if it was shot yesterday. Facial detail, although not up to the best the format has to offer, is still noticeably Hi Def.
The second scene is the cumulative scene, which I will not mention here for fear of spoilers - but anyone who knows this scene well will see just how much better it looks on HD.
All is not perfect with this transfer though, unfortunately. There are a few problems, most notably some awful edge enhancement in places. However, this is a vast improvement over the SD version and is definitely worth the upgrade.
SoundThis is the first true uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack I have been able to listen to, and boy what an experience this is. The sound field is fully realised, even though there are some placement problems.
The first thing to be clear about is that the sub gets an excellent workout, and the dialogue is beautifully placed in the front centre, always being clear and precise.
The problem lies with the lack of directionality in the mix. When something explodes, for example, it will fill the whole field rather than coming from the direction it should do compared with the action on the screen. This does mean that the mix can sound a little muddy during effects heavy passages.
It should be made clear that the sound IS a vast improvement over the SD release, and the flaws are likely to be the fault of the original sound designers than the producers of this disk, but it does rather detract from the overall experience.
ExtrasVery disappointing. Yet another back catalogue Blu ray arrives with very little thought or effort into the whole package. All we get here are the meagre efforts from the SD release. These consist of a 4 minute featurette A View from Above which just about starts when it stops again, and an even worse, 2 minute featurette The Destruction of Las Vegas which is quite frankly pants.
Finally to atone for these terrible extras we are presented with......a trailer. For Con Air. Be still my beating heart.
VerdictCon Air is a very enjoyable film filled to the brim with top acting talent, a sharp script, and lots of stuff being blown up. If you have never seen the film, then this is a highly recommended purchase, if you already own it - is it worth an upgrade?
Well, the picture and the sound are both vast improvements over the SD disc, but both areas do display flaws that are a little disappointing. The less said about the truly appalling extras the better. At the end of the day, though, if you are at all interested in having the very best version of the film in your collection then I can thoroughly recommend this disc.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99
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