Top positive review
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Great movie collection. Amazing commentaries from Danny Boyle!
on 10 April 2014
A great collection of films for a great price (relative of course, as the price fluctuates, it worked out at £3 per blu-ray for me).
Just to say; someone else stated that only three of the films had extras, all of the Blu-rays in my collection had the extras you'd normally expect (Directors commentary - more on that in a second, deleted scenes, alternate endings, interviews, trailers, etc, etc).
All 4 films are great, and (I would imagine) have wide appeal. Sunshine is the highlight for me, I gain something every time I watch it, and the commentary gave me a different perspective of the film; one where science and faith collide. Still, this remains very much a pure science-fiction film; except perhaps the final few minutes which I won't spoil. Boyle's explanation of the final scene(s), and the character, and why he is presented to the viewer in the way in which he is, certainly made the ending much more acceptable to me than when I first saw the film and, perhaps more importantly, it continues with the sci-fi theme rather than the deus ex machina/genre change it first appears to be. This is certainly a movie with grows with repeated viewings (and with great commentary tracks from both Boyle and also Professor Brian Cox (!), there are certainly enough reasons for repeat viewings!).
For reasons of brevity I won't mention to much about 127 hours/Slumdog. They are both fantastic films, and look absolutely amazing on Blu-ray. Boyle's recent films tend to be beautifully shot (with colour used thematically; on one director's commentary he explains how he starves the viewer of one colour so when it appears on screen it dazzles, to great effect when you're aware) and these films (127/Slumdog/Sunshine) certainly make you appreciate both the HD format, and the skill of those involved in shooting the films.
Much has been said about the 28 Days Later Blu-ray (here and elsewhere). As others have said, unfortunately the film was shot on a DV camcorder, and on blu-ray it looks like (poorly) up-scaled video. The haziness (which is the best word I can think to describe it) is jarring when you first see it. A real shame, as the movie is of such high quality.
Bluray.com gave the film a 4.5/5 star score for video quality. Which, it has to be said, is an absolute joke. I get the point they are trying to make, that this movie can't look any better, because the source material can't be enhanced like standard film could be. This isn't a transfer issue (but it still remains AN ISSUE for the end viewer).
The result (a pretty muddy, messy, murky picture - no way deserving of 4 1/2 stars!) is still the same, and people are going to gauge the picture in front of them on their expectations and experience of other HD movies. To put it politely; you should have low expectations for the video quality of this film. The film itself is fantastic of course (I love zombie movies, so may be bias). The scenes of an empty London are still spooky and amazing to look at, even though the idea has been copied so often it has lost some of the originality it first had on release. You can't do anything but forgive the picture, it's likely as good as it will ever be, sadly.
I have to mention Danny Boyle. I think perhaps only Tarantino comes close in his enthusiasm for movie making (yes, that's right; I said Tarantino comes close to Boyle, not the other way around!!).
The commentary tracks across all these films are fantastic, he shows genuine respect and warmth towards people he's worked with and a humility you rarely see in "showbiz" (even mentioning during one scene, perhaps half-joking, that he frequently jogs in one park location if you'd like to go and meet him!).
Danny does sometimes focus on the technical aspects of movie making, but it is rare (some directors talk endlessly about the technical details, which may be interesting to budding directors, but can turn off the mainstream audience). The majority of the commentary is filled with amazing back stories, how and why changes were made, stories about cast members and why parts of the film are important. He also frequently gives away some of his ideas behind scenes (often stating it replaced another scene - usually included on the blu-ray, with further commentary available on the extras! Phew!). For example, you'll get a whole 2 or 3 minute dialogue of why the change of scene was important, what effect it had on the characters, how it changed the film, etc. He talks endlessly, yet never gets boring! His enthusiasm is infectious.
If you just like movies, this is a great buy, but if you're a big fan of "all the other stuff included on Blu-ray" (as well) then you'll be absolutely delighted with the extras on offer here. A bargain all round!