My Bloody Valentine 3D Blu-ray Review
The disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 1.85:1 1080p transfer in both 2D and 3D; the disc itself is Region locked to B.
Filmed natively in 3D, this was quite an early adopter for the technology and thus is more likely to push elements out of the frame rather than the preferred usage of pushing depth into the picture; though there are signs that some attention to framing was evident, even if there were plenty of instances of ‘lazy’ 3D. First up, layering is pretty well seen, shots moving through the trees in the woods, or low down using the floor to hold the foreground while the frame stretches way back are the best uses, though some careful two shots show decent, and tangible, distance between the characters. What is also evident is the ‘roundness’ of each successive layer that gives that real sense of solidity; this when combined with thoughtful framing does give some nice immersion into the frame – look at the mineshafts which at times do stretch way back into the frame, or the store isles which look good enough to step into and walk down. However, when it gets ‘lazy’ it is very obvious, such as filming through a wire fence to bring out the foreground. Though simple shots such as looking at the reflection from a mirror with writing on it do hold the frame and give an excellent idea of depth. And, being an 80’s throwback, there are, obviously, plenty of opportunities taken to push the frame outwards, that pick-axe spends an inordinate amount of time ‘out of’ the screen, pointing into our faces, as do gun barrels, or various bits of offal and brain matter. For my money the best gag was when the pick-axe hit some poor unfortunate on the back of the head pushing his eye out of his head, holding it there, though the shovel that points out of the frame as that poor girl's severed head slowly moves towards you, is a close second.
As for the rest of the picture, it’s pretty good if a little drab in places due to the colour pallet. Detail wise there is plenty to see, from skin defects to clothing weaves, and mineshaft lighting to bar room wood grain; it may not have the absolute clarity that the very best titles do but there is no softness anywhere to be seen. Colour wise, as already noted, is a little drab, but this is due to the earthy tones that predominate, though there is no wash or bleed to any of the primaries.
Contrast and brightness are set well, black is a little grey for my liking, though there is plenty going on in the shadows, particularly in the mines, where it really matters. No detailing lost from clipping whites.
Digitally there were no compression problems, nor was there any edge enhancement, no banding or posterization either. Using passive technology lead to absolutely no cross-talk, even the very many ‘pointy’ bits were completely free, which is a huge bonus, although the same technology did reveal a little aliasing but that, itself, is not a print defect. On the whole this was a very pleasing 3D image, a little too ‘in your face’ and obvious and that detracts from the natural feel of the picture and on that note I award a very healthy 8.
Only the one track to choose from, an English dts-HD Master Audio 7.1. First thing to note – bass. This is one bass heavy track, from Michael Wandmacher’s non-descript score, his stingers, the rock tracks that accompany it, to the various L.F. ‘thunk’s’ of pick-axe splitting skull; bass-hounds will have a ball with this track. Dialogue is very natural sounding, firmly routed to the frontal array and is never in any danger of being drowned out. The surrounds make good use of ambient effects, and really come into their own when ramping up the creep factor with thumps and bang as our manic menaces those in darkened mineshafts or shopping isles. It’s not particularly immersive being that it is rather dominated by the front, save those effects already mentioned, but what it lacks in detail it more than makes up for in gusto. On the whole, it’s not as refined as the best out there but it is certainly no slouch.
- Audio Commentary – with director Patrick Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer who form a reasonably decent chat track that varies from over sappy back-slapping to informative discussion on the filming in 3D. Technical detail is hard to come by though as the pair are mostly frivolous in their descriptions, though it's not without its charm, it can be a chore to sit through in one sitting.
- Deep inside My Bloody Valentine (07.18, SD) – is EPK infomercial for the film that is even more back slappy than the commentary with even more gushing for the mine location, so awful that even seven minutes is too long.
- Sex, Blood And Screams (05.47, SD) – Brit FX guru Gary J. Tunnicliffe talks us through some of the prosthetics used to gory effect in the film, for once this is a genuine piece with Tunnicliffe coming across as a dedicated, but down to earth enthusiast for his craft.
- Deleted and extended scenes (18.00, SD) – some fourteen scenes that are mostly extensions of dialogue cut to increase the pace of the film, sometimes these little extra beats can add much to a character, but not in this case. Also an alternate ending is shown, but it’s essentially the same.
- Gag reel (02.16, SD) – fluffed lines and failing props and little else.
- 2D Version – the film but this time in 2D.
Rather a lousy selection of extras and those that are presented are of lousy quality, now I know this is not a ‘big’ film, but surely there is more than sappy moments to draw on for behind the scenes material?
My Bloody Valentine is Patrick Lussier’s remake of the eighties slasher of the same name. He perfectly captures the essence the eighties slasher genre with plenty of blood and a smattering of sex, but gives the characters some back-story and motivations while throwing enough red-herrings to keep you guessing who the killer is right to the end. The first 3D R-rated movie pushes a lot out of the screen and tries valiantly to remain horrific and scary, and whilst it does score on the gore front it unfortunately fails to be particularly frightening, which, for this type of film could spell disaster, though it just manages to come out on top with is unashamed throwback attitude towards the material. In the right frame of mind My Bloody Valentine can be a great laugh, but expect anything more than frivolous teen pandering and you will be sorely disappointed.
As a Region B locked 3D Blu-ray set, Lionsgate has provided a rather ordinary package, the picture is excellent and this is backed up by a powerful 7.1 surround track, but is let down by a rather lacklustre extras package. With a limited audience for this type of film couple with the limited amount of 3D makes this a difficult disc to recommend.
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