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Tuesday
Mar252014

Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Blu-ray Review #74

4.8 Stars (out of 5) - Rated PG-13

 

Synopsis

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. (Buy Now $19.99)

Starring:

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Director:

Francis Lawrence

Blu-ray Release Date:

March 7, 2014

Subtitles:

English, English SDH, Spanish

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

  • Subwoofer – 4.5 Stars
  • Dialog – 5.0 Stars
  • Surround Effects – 5.0 Stars
  • Dynamic Range – 5.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

By far the best audio feature of this Blu-ray is the surround effects. Not only are they active for most of the film, but they also have so much precision it seems like you can pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from and where it’s moving to. It was a joy to be enveloped in cheering crowds, voices on intercom, chirping birds, insects, screaming baboons, rushing water, screaming voices, and flapping wings. Dialog never gets lost in the action, and the range of sounds are well balanced and forceful.  I found the subwoofer to be a little light however you do notice it when you hear gunshots, thunder, rumbling music, falling debris, and of course the booming cannons of doom.

Video  4.9 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

  • Color Accuracy  - 4.5 Stars
  • Shadow Detail – 4.8 Stars
  • Clarity – 5.0 Stars
  • Skin Tones – 5.0 Stars
  • Compression – 5.0 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, 1.78:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1, 1.43:1

There are two different aspect ratios and color pallets used to present the film. At the beginning colors are so cold some scenes almost look black and white. As soon as the actual Hunger Games start, the screen uses the full 16x9 and colors become warmer. There are several scenes that feature bright colors such as the party at the presidential palace, and all the scenes set in the forest. You also are treated to the outlandish outfits and makeup on men and women. There are several scenes that take place in the dark, it the Blu-ray mostly does a good job keeping the darkness at bay, but a few details get lost in the darkness. The clarity is great and makes it easy to see moles on skin, textures on clothing, graphics on computer screens, beard stubble, loose hairs that float in the wind, fire embers, and  beads of sweat.

Bonus Features 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

  • Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson.
  • Surviving the Game: Making The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (1080p; 2:24:55) nine featurettes of incredibly in depth and informative package that addresses virtually every aspect of the film.
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p; 4:35)
  • Divergent - Sneak Peek (1080p; 6:43)

Movie – 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

Review

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has such rich and mature subject matter that it teeters between being a teen action film and a commentary on the misuse of political power. This is the adolescent franchise my teen daughters and I both agree on, the Hunger Games movies have been on an escalating scale of goodness so far. It has just enough of a sappy love story and angst to address the young ones and political satire and darkness to satisfy adults. In fact, I will be bold enough to say that Katniss Everdeen is the Rosa Parks of the Hunger Games. She stood up against the odds at the prefect time, and it sparked a fire of revolt in everyone who were fed up with injustice. Unfortunately the movie is not perfect, since it is part of a series, it does not complete the story or satisfy you with conclusions of major story arcs. The film ends on a dark twist. Which changes things but it only makes me anticipate seeing the next film instead of ending a chapter for the characters in the film.

 

 

Reader Comments (1)

Please remind listeners and readers who rent from Redbox or Netflix that They will only experience the a lossy soundtrack. Lionsgate home video releases don't include lossless soundtracks.

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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