Les Miserables (2012) and Life of Pi Blurays my impressions

Les Mis Blu ray

I recently acquired the Blu Ray of Les Miserables. I am not going to go into the film as such as that has been covered elsewhere but what I can say is the transfer is very pretty. It was shot on film but retains that warmth and grain film presents without being soft. The detail is wonderful you can see pours in the actors skin finite hairs in beards. The transfer has a wonderful three dimensional quality to it. I would definitely describe this as a near reference disk . The disc also comes with some great extra material not seen before. These are basically documentaries covering the history of the piece . Life of Victor Hugo and various behind the scenes short features.

Life of Pi blu ray

Life of Pi took out best director and best film at this years Academy awards. Its different ,its deep and highly spiritual. Described as one of the best uses of 3D I was let down when I saw it at the cinema. The picture was flat and lifeless . Fast forward to the Blu Ray and the story is a whole different kettle of fish “excuse the pun” set on ocean moving on. Start the disk and immediately you are struck with a gorgeous 3d menu and from there it only gets better. As the viewer you feel like your in the picture. Gimmickry is rarely used and the effect is wonderful. This film was shot digitally with plenty of CG work in the ocean scenes . I actually feel here that the 3d helps to sell the fact the kid is on a real ocean. Note the whole thing was shot in a tank. The effects have life and depth. I dont know what was going on when I saw it at the cinema . Maybe it was not set up properly. The Blu ray presents an absolute reference quality transfer. As it was shot digitally its absolutely pristine and crisp. Detail is plentiful and black levels are fantastic.
The Disk comes with a documentary which runs over an hour going into innate detail about how it was made the process of casting the boy and the process of preparing him for the role.

Incase anyone was wondering I loved this film. I thought it deserved best picture . I saw all the other nominees and just felt there was a bit of daring in the film which made it stand out. As much as I loved Les Mis life of pi really connected with me. Lincoln was a so so film with a great performance that fact was recognised on Oscars night.

3d Movies what the cinemas never tell you.

So you are going to a new 3D movie. Exciting hey?
What the cinemas never tell is how the 3D effect drops of the more off axis you are from the screen.
I recently went to see the Life Of PI as it was the first day of the film seating was limited.
We sat on the side aisle . So the film starts I could barely see any 3D depth.
Just consider for a second the theatres told you this was the case they would have to sell you the side tickets more cheaply.

I for one love 3D , but I am also a realist the technology is far from perfect. It doesn’t work for anyone with eye tracking problems.
It can hurt and even make you feel sick if your eyes are not rite. Yes you have to sit straight in front of it.
My 3D tv at home works in a very similar way the effect drops off when off axis. But when I am viewing from straight ahead its very strong.

My other tip is this. When deciding where to sit in a theatre for a 3d presentation , make sure that your field of view is covered by the screen.
Visual distractions can also ruin the 3D effects . Put simply sit back and not to far forward as being to far forward can induce motion sickness.

A big week of movies. Les Miserables and LIfe of PI

I love this time of year. Not for the reasons you might think.
I am not a christmas person and hey I dont even subscribe to new years.
What I enjoy and look forward to is movies lots of movies.
This time of year is the lead up to the oscars, all the contenders tend to come out in December through March. There tends to be so many films that come I have to list them and plan out my viewings.

So this week I went to my first couple of big contenders. The first was on new years eve Les Miserables.
LES-MISERABLES-Poster1

The film was everything I had hoped for,grand powerful and sweeping. It enlarged on the world the stage show presented and changed elements that bought it closer to the story presented in the book. The opening sequence of Jean Valjean in the chain gang pulling in a french ship into dock was amazing, and so well done. The way it was directed was truly daring and different. There were no rapid cuts , the camera would sit on the actors faces . At times it would feel like you could see into there souls . Also I must mention that all the signing was recorded live on the set. This tended to give it a realism that has sorely lacked from other movie musicals. I remember seeing Phantom of the Opera which was completely mimed . You could hear the audio cut from the pre record back to the location sound. It didnt work.

The next day I went to see Life Of PI.
life-of-pi2

The story of an indian family ship wrecked at sea on there way to canada . The ship sinks and the son being the only surviver along with his tiger funnily named Richard Parker. He goes on a fantastical adventure on the seas where many wild and wonderful things occur. The film starts with the boy now a man recounting his story to someone who is writing a book about his adventure. The adventure on the sea and his relationship to the tiger is very well done. You feel for the pain of the boy who has lost his family. This film was shot in 3d but it wasnt the best example of the 3d I have seen. It was incredibly subtle maybe to subtle to make it worth while. The acting was superb and the lesson in this film is about holding onto ones faith when it is surely tested. Also note the twist at the end is a doozy .

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