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Category:    Home > Reviews > Adventure > Children > Dogs > Eight Below (Blu-ray)

Eight Below (Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C-



I am no fan of Paul Walker and Eight Below is one of the reasons why.  Since I already express why I disliked the actual film in the link below, we’ll skip to the technical aspects of this Blu-ray.  But first, that review:





A remake of The Deep called Into The Blue (also on Blu-ray) and the would be thriller Running Scarred continue his losing streak, but at least children do not have to be subjected to his really, really, really, really bad script and film choices.  Poor Bruce Greenwood and Jason Biggs, who give better performances by default.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm film by Don Burgess, a talented cinematographer who has more than proved he can shoot commercials films that look good and are memorable, like the 1994 Macaulay Culkin Richie Rich,  Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man and the underappreciated Terminator 3.  So why even in an upgraded format like Blu-ray does this film still look generic?  Because of the Super 35mm limits and any digital work, there is still a look here with washed out detail, bleaching white and bad form.  That does not make this fun to watch, though at least the dogs look better.  I don’t know what Director Frank Marshall had in mind, but it is a mistake.


The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is repeated here form the standard DVD, which was fair at best, and is now joined by a PCM 5.1 16bit/48kHz that is not too much better, but is still an improvement in simply not being as flat and compressed.  It too has some surround moments, but they are not that good either, while the slightly improved fidelity shows new sonic limits to the film’s mix.  Still, PCM is the preferred way to go, though no matter what, Mark Isham’s score is even more obnoxious than I remembered.


Besides the slightest improvements in playback, two full-length audio commentaries from the DVD are repeated, but deleted scenes and a making-of featurette have been supplanted by a showcase option to show the higher fidelity picture highlights and Louie Schwartzberg’s HD short Ice is here in 1080p as well.  Strange switch, but did those other extras just take up too much room in the 25GB version of Blu-ray?  Well, here it is.


I just hope Disney puts out the Miramax supernatural thriller Below, a much better film that would get great new exposure and be a great Blu-ray demo.  Putting out titles like that, early in the launch of Blu-ray while holding back on certain blockbusters, is the best way to improve this format’s success.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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