Wider than its original 2.35:1 ratio Anaconda comes to Blu-ray presented at 2.40:1 widescreen using the MPEG-4/AVC codec at 1080p.
Colours are bright and vivid, the jungle scenes bursting out with some beautiful lush greens. There's good depth to the frame, heightened by terrific detail both up close and further afield. Characters in the foreground have good skin tones offering up good pore detail which leads me to believe that DNR has not been applied to this transfer. The boat they travel on has excellent detail, looking all the worse for the multiple journeys it must have undertaken up and down the Amazon river. The deck looks splintered, the iron bars rusting with flaked paint, the windows dirty at the edges.
The transfer does exhibit some enhancement in the brighter scenes and that's pretty much across the board. It's never excessive but always there as a constant reminder. Other transfer errors have not crept in though with those saturated colours perfectly contained with no hint of bleed or smear when the action speeds up a little. The print is 12 years old now, but that's not old enough for any real hint of damage to have crept in. A subtle, but noticeable, level of grain permeates the screen but there's no brightness or contrast fluctuations or other such damage.
Whites are blindingly pristine whilst blacks are a little crushed and some night-time scenes in the jungle the image does flatten somewhat; some of the details can be lost in the rear of the frame. A very good presentation and one to enjoy (rather than the movie itself) but still eclipsed by a few other transfers out there.
The usual Sony preferred Dolby Digital TrueHD track is the flavour of the month here and much like the video before it, it is an enjoyable affair.
From the offset you know that all speakers are going to get a firm workout. The surrounds are in almost constant use adding ambiance to the picture by providing those all important jungle sounds: birds, hisses, screeching apes and more permeate your surrounds. Initially this seems to be a slight distraction but as the film progresses it actually envelops the viewing position and helps the viewer believe that they are taking that sweaty, humid journey along the Amazon.
The frontal array is wide and spacious, with the score adding some depth to the proceedings. The not so important dialogue is rooted in the centre channel and is more than distinguished against the effects laden Foley track. When the anaconda makes its way on screen the score deepens somewhat and the surrounds kick in with a vengeance depending on the mayhem the creature is creating at the time. LFE usage is strong and tight producing some excellent chest thumps as the action moves up a gear or, on the one occasion, when some explosives enter the mix.
There is a trailer for the main feature and a BD-Live option which failed to connect. A God send really that I never had to wade through mind numbing extras I suppose.
Overall Anaconda is a throw away movie and a throw away disc. The video and audio are up there, worthy of a watch and listen respectively, but unless you're really having a bad day it's difficult not to do a good presentation of a recent release on Blu-ray. The story and actors though leave a lot to be desired and as such I cannot really recommend this on any level.
It perhaps does have some enjoyment factor on a rental but that is for all the wrong reasons, laughing at the parts you should be shocked at, grimacing at the scenes which are trying to introduce some level of suspense. As for John Voight, well for shame... for shame.
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