Pompeii (Blu-ray 3D) (2014)

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Released 23-Jul-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Disaster Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Multiple
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 104:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up ?
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul W.S. Anderson
Janet Scott Batchler
Lee Batchler
Michael Robert Johnson
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Kit Harrington
Keifer Sutherland
Emily Browning
Jared Harris
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The story of Pompeii, a resort town in Italy near Naples which was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79AD is certainly a famous one and it is mildly surprising that it hasn't been made into a major motion picture previously. There have been movies, mostly in the sword and sandals tradition but even the most recent of these is the Sergio Leone version of The Last Days of Pompeii in 1959. Now in 2014, along comes Pompeii, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Kit Harrington, one of the buff young starlets from Game of Thrones. Personally, I have long been fascinated with this story and love the novel called Pompeii by Robert Harris who has a real knack for building fictional stories around real events. It should be noted that this film is not an adaptation of the novel. There was also a good documentary a few years ago on the topic and I am very glad to say that I had the chance to visit the ruins of Pompeii when I was in Europe.

    This version of the Pompeii takes the obvious disaster story and adds on the story of a young Celt, Milo (Kit Harrington) whose family and whole tribe are killed at the beginning of the film by Corvus, later Senator Corvus (Keifer Sutherland) and his evil henchman, Proculus (Sacha Roiz, who some may recognise from Caprica). He is taken into slavery and eventually becomes a successful gladiator in the Roman colony of Brittania. One promoter decides that they should take him to Italy and so, he turns up in Pompeii but not until after he has assisted a lady in distress, young noblewoman Cassia (Emily Browning). Of course, they fall madly in love but naturally they are divided by him being a slave and she being the daughter of Roman citizen and resort developer, Severus (Jared Harris). Severus is looking for support from Rome to fund his grand plans to develop Pompeii and who should be on hand to offer to invest but the dastardly Corvus, who wants Cassia for himself, despite her objections and those of her mother, Aurelia (Carrie Anne Moss). Meanwhile, hunky Milo has arrived at the Pompeii gladiator dormitory only to discover that he must fight the local champion, Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Atticus is due to be freed under Roman law if he wins one more battle to the death. Can Milo and Cassia be together? Will Corvus get his evil way? Will Milo be able to defeat Atticus? Will any of them escape the hot rocks and gasses coming from the mountain?

    This movie is really an excuse to throw (admittedly mostly impressive) 3D effects at the screen and add in some quality gladiator fight action sequences for good measure. The plot is very formulaic and the romance is not overly believable. However, if you turn off your brain and go along with the premise, this is a reasonably entertaining way to spend an hour and a half or so. The film is certainly spectacular and the explosions, tidal waves, collapsing buildings and arenas, shooting rocks, clouds of poisonous gas etc are all done well. Some of the non-volcanic explosion visual effects look a little fake. The acting is passable without setting the world on fire, despite Keifer offering the worst accent I have heard in some time, which I presume is meant to be dastardly but just comes across as silly. The music is suitably grand and heroic without being a great score and the film is generally well shot. Let's face it the star here is the special effects and those who are 3D capable will certainly get a thrill from this production. This version contains both 3D and 2D version on one Blu-ray. If you have a 2D player it will just offer you the 2D version however in a 3D player you can choose which version you would like to watch. There is also available a 2D only Blu-ray and a DVD version.

    Silly but spectacular!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p HD encoded using the AVC codec.

    The detail and clarity is excellent with lots of sharpness and depth on display. The visual effects of the volcano looks great as does the scene of the villa falling into the sea.

    The colour is awesome throughout, with the fires, clouds of gas, explosions etc all looking fantastic.

    There are no obvious artefacts.

    There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

    


Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is fantastic.

    This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 and a commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout.

    The score is suitably grand and heroic and sounds good on this soundtrack.

    The surround speakers are in constant action with especially during the gladiatorial battles and the huge explosions, the enveloping clouds of gas, rain and the tidal wave. Awesome stuff.

    The subwoofer was also used constantly for music, explosions, the mountain, collapsing buildings and more.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are plentiful but a bit samey.

Menu

    The menu includes music from the film and action sequences.

Audio Commentary - Filmmakers

    A quality commentary by the director, Paul W.S. Anderson and the main Producer Jeremy Bolt. The chat and provide lots of interesting information about the film, development, casting, locations, set and effects. Well worth a look.

Deleted Scenes (21:58)

    Copious amounts of deleted scenes including a new subplot involving a priestess. Some are complete others do not have all the effects. Nothing too exciting but worth a look.

The Assembly (6:53)

    Featurette about the cast and characters. Cast discuss why they wanted to be involved.

The Journey (7:21)

    Featurette on the production design including sets, props and behind the scenes footage at various locations.

The Costume Shop (6:23)

    Featurette on costumes, dresses and armour made for the film.

The Volcanic Eruption (6:45)

    A featurette on the visual effects and the pains they went to to recreate what was recorded to have occurred at Pompeii.

The Gladiators (6:07)

    Featurette on the cast fight training, choreography, stunt work and the actors involvement in their stunts.

The Weapons of Pompeii (4:04)

    Featurette on the props including swords and shields.

Pompeii : Buried in Time (23:07)

    Initially, I got interested thinking this was an actual documentary of Pompeii itself however mostly it is interviews with the actors about their roles and other behind the scenes footage. OK

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region A release is the same. You can buy locally without missing out on anything.

Summary

    A silly but spectacular take on the Pompeii disaster.

    Excellent Video and Audio

    Lots of extras that are quite similar to each other.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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2D disc - Anonymous