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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > History > Dictatorship > Genocide > Thriller > Counterfeiting > The Last King Of Scotland (2006/Fox Blu-ray) + To Live & Die In L.A. (1985/Fox/MGM Blu-ray)

The Last King Of Scotland (2006/Fox Blu-ray) + To Live & Die In L.A. (1985/Fox/MGM Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B/B+     Sound: B     Extras: B     Film: B/A-

 

 

At the same time, Fox has issued two of the more underrated films they handle on Blu-ray and both are improvements over their DVD counterparts.  One is a great drama, the other an ever-stunning action thriller.  You can read our original DVD coverage at the following links:

 

The Last King Of Scotland

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/5345/The+Last+King+Of+Scotland+(DVD-Vi

 

To Live & Die In L.A.

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/571/To+Live+&+Die+In+L.A.

 

 

In both cases, I hoped the Blu-rays would be fine upgrades and though there are some limits in each case, the new Blus deliver.  Scotland offers a 1080p AVC @ 30 MBPS 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition transfer that shows how weak the DVD really was with fine color, solid shots and other impressive moments throughout.  A few shots are soft and others show the grain of the shoot, but they are all minor problems.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix shows how much of dialogue-based film this is, but it does have some good sound design and this is a warm mix throughout that delivers well, including some surprising sonics.  Extras repeat the DVD’s offerings.

 

To Live & Die In L.A. actually included the previously reviewed DVD so MGM and Fox did not have to include all the extras on the Blu-ray.  That is fine, as the DVD is not bad and the extras hold up well.  The Blu-ray does include trailers for the film and a few other Fox releases.  As for the 1080p 1.85 X 1 MPEG-2 @ 18 MBPS digital High Definition image, the film may show some age here and there, but as Freidkin notes on the commentary (again on the DVD only) as he watches the new HD master, there are some truly stunning, demo-quality shots throughout that will still amaze those with even the best home theater HD playback.  Color can be exceptional, as can detail and depth.  No longer do reds surfer in the credits or throughout, though the opening sunrise has banding like the Blu-ray of Training Day (what is it with those sunrises?) but that is low point and not that bad.  Night scenes also shine as well as daytime scenes, fleshtones are solid, you get some great depth and detail more often than you’d expect for a film this old and it even passes the impressive Blue Thunder Blu-ray in surprising playback consistency, older catalog title or not.

 

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix does its best to expand the old Dolby A-type analog sound and I wished the Wang Chung score was more in the surrounds instead of towards the front speakers.  It is also too bad we do not get an isolated DTS-MA music-only score track because the recent CD reissue had sound this DTS-MA mix does not, but it is still pretty good music-wise and does sound better than the DVD.  The Dolby on the DVD hid the limits of the mix.

 

Both are musts for any serious collection.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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