Aliens & SDF
Staff of Toho
| Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
| Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
||Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
|Company: Mill Creek Entertainment
| || |
|Japanese (5.1 Surround + DTS),
English (5.1 Surround)
Mill Creek Entertainment's release for the much anticipated Blu-ray for the third and final Gamera film in the 1990's trilogy. The company still produces a budget disc with production levels far beyond what someone would expect for the price. This time, though, while not including a second movie the firm has instead opted to bundle in a wealth of extras, which somewhat offset the video quality being "okay" at best for the format although don't counteract the awful subtitling job on the main feature for which the company issued a replacement program to address.
Since the earlier Blu-ray from the company, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe / Attack of the Legion, had to contend with placing two films on the same disc, one could figure that this one would benefit from having a single disc all to the third film. Despite this luxury, though, the quality here is on par with the previous two films on the format. On the plus side, colors look much more rich and vibrant on this release, and without signs of over saturation as well. On the down side, the video track doesn't look nearly as sharp as the earlier two did and detail, especially in the faces, seems lacking. Thankfully the version of the movie on display here is in great condition, with minimal grain and no overt print damage to speak of.
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris is presented in its
original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
The Blu-ray contains three audio tracks for the movie. Two of them are the original Japanese audio, both in surround with one in DTS. The directionality, while not great for a 5.1 track, is good. It offers enough variety, though, where stereo users might be a bit miffed as the special effects sequences will be notably louder due to the channel distribution. The English track, which features the same horrendous dub job that was present on the earlier ADV DVD, is still very poor in terms of execution but at least the quality of the track here is acceptable although not as well maintained as the Japanese tracks.
The disc comes with optional
English subtitles. Sadly, the subtitles are awful, with many lines either not done at all or out of sync in the film. This issue was so bad that Mill Creek Entertainment has begun a replacement program aimed at tackling this aspect of the disc. So expect an update to this review later once those have been released.
While their first Blu-ray release for the 1990's series was devoid of supplemental content, this second disc packs a ton on for the whole trilogy, so lets hit it extra by extra:
- The first extra on the
disc is called "behind the scenes" for Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995). This extra actually starts off with a frame test using the 1999 Gamera suit from the third film, where an actor in the suit struggles with a man in order to make sure they don't drift out of frame. This lasts for two minutes, with no audio and a very small video window, before it finally gets to the behind the scenes feature for the 1995 movie. It shows how various scenes are done and also has a brief interview with special effects director Shinji Higuchi. The behind the scenes look is pretty cool, offering a perspective at how some special effects were done but also giving a close up of the very detailed model work that went into the cities. The feature is standard definition with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and lasts for 18 minutes, with English subtitles. For reference, it wasn't on the ADV release.
- This second extra is incorrectly labeled as belonging to the first film, when it actually details tank footage from Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996). Its not really an interesting feature, there is no dialogue and it just shows the real tanks driving by for three minutes. Frankly, its a feature I could have done without. The bonus is standard definition with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio and lasts for 3 minutes. For reference, it wasn't on the ADV release.
- Next is more bonus material for
Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996), which shows the actual tanks firing, the helicopter scene, the Symbiotic Legion dissection scene and many more. There is nothing too riveting about the pacing of this, but it does provide a closer look into the making of the non-special effects shots for the film. It lasts almost an hour at 57 minutes, and is a 1.33:1 aspect ratio supplement with English subtitles. This also wasn't on the ADV releases.
- Feature four is pay dirt, as it shows a 40 minute look at how the Legion suit was made. From the simple costume, to the various moving parts such as the center legs to make the mammoth "prop" come to life.
As a bonus, it also details the Gamera suit a little, including the mana beam scene, although the focus here is on the adversary of the production. This one is also standard definition with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and also wasn't on the ADV release.
- The fifth extra finally focuses on the third movie and is a behind the scenes look at primarily creating the special effects shots for the production. This feature lasts 43 minutes and has English subtitles that are sadly very out of sync. Its a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and this was not on the ADV release.
- Next are a large collection of deleted scenes for the third movie, making up 10 minutes in total. They are probably the most important of all the extras, as they actually explain a lot of details that were left vague in the final production, in particular more details about the game desinger-psychic and their connection and past efforts. This feature is English subtitled, but utterly out of sync to the point its hard to follow. Its standard definition, 1.33:1 aspect ratio and also wasn't included on the earlier ADV DVD.
the disc contains four trailers all for Gamera 3.
Considering the rock bottom price tag, one would be hard pressed to argue with the amount of effort Mill Creek Entertainment placed in this release, with the notable exception of the poor subtitling. The company really packed this disc with bonus material that hadn't already been seen in the US. However, the downside is that the wealth of bonus material present on the ADV discs aren't reproduced here, so there is a trade off to everything.
This release is also found in the Gamera Trilogy box set.