Aliens & SDF
Staff of Toho
| Gamera: Guardian of the Universe / Attack of the Legion
| Gamera: Guardian of the Universe / Gamera 2: Advent of Legion
||Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
|Company: Mill Creek Entertainment
| || |
|Japanese (5.1 Surround + DTS),
English (5.1 Surround)
- Menus (English)
- Chapters (15/15)
Two movies on one disc for a price that's lower than $10? That single statement should, in any normal person, have all the alarm bells going off that they are in for some very poorly packaged and sold media, if the slightly cheesy front cover didn't. Despite all logic, though, Mill Creek Entertainment actually delivers a competent and well done Blu-ray featuring the two beloved 1990's entries in the Gamera series. The disc is a middle of the road effort at best, featuring decent video and audio, but manages to earn some credit for its basement level pricing of the release.
If one is comparing this disc to the earlier DVD releases by ADV, such as their first one for Gamera: Guardian of the Universe from 2003, it will seem like a godsend as its a vast improvement in just about every way. If one is comparing it to other Blu-rays, however, its going to come short although still fares better than one would expect for a bargain bin release.
Starting from the top, the video track for
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is notably compressed for what the format is capable of. It opts not to use noise reduction which results in a faint layer of grain that sadly causes minor havoc due to the artifcating found here. This means the image is not anywhere as sharp as it could be, but all the same still looks much better than comparable DVD releases. The color scape feels a little muted, however. Its certainly not vibrant, although its not over saturated like the ADV DVD releases were either. The best way to demonstrate this is with a comparison, ADV vs. Mill Creek Entertainment. The ADV release certainly looks to have a lush array of colors, but it comes off as very unnatural while the Mill Creek one is, again, more muted than it needed to be.
Next up, the video track for
Gamera 2: Advent of Legion is about on the same level as the other film in this release. One thing that should be noted is that the black levels aren't that great for either film, with neither reaching a true deep contrast. In terms of detail, the movie suffers about the same although in general I was more impressed with the overall quality. Oddly, though, the close ups, especially on the human cast, don't present the same degree of details that they did on the 1995 production. So the two trade off strengths and weaknesses there, and that might explain why Advent of Legion is almost 500 MB smaller in contrast despite being the longer film. In terms of colors, they are generally much improved on this release, although still lacking what could be considered vibrant outside of a few segments such as this one.
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and Gamera 2: Advent of Legion are presented in their
original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
The disc is present with two audio tracks for each movie, so four tracks in total. Each film has the original Japanese language track and also an English dub. For those familiar with the ADV releases on DVD, they know what to expect with the dub quality (or lack there of) as its unchanged. In terms of the audio presentation, all four of the tracks are presented in 5.1 surround with the two Japanese tracks also featuring DTS. The tracks themselves do a good job of juggling between placing the dialogue or sound effect heavy material in the front channels, so even those with a stereo setup can enjoy the movie. This also means a slightly lackluster surround presentation, although there are a few impressive moments such as when the tanks are tracked as they drive across the screen.
The disc comes with optional
English subtitles. These aren't as complete as ADV's release for either film, with text and a few lines going unsubtitled, but are serviceable.
Well... the disc has menus and chapters, so that's something. In terms of genuine supplemental content, the disc has none outside of its nature as a double feature Blu-ray. Oddly, the menus and setups for each film can only be accessed while that particular movie is playing.
For the actual quality of this disc, its get a middle of the road score which is still being generous. Factoring in its price, though, it probably merits something higher in the three range. While I can't honestly say that this is a great or even really good Blu-ray release, I can say that for the price the quality is far greater than one would probably ever expect and the low cost investment afford it a pretty solid recommendation as something that should belong in most every fan's collection.
This release is also found in the Gamera Trilogy box set.
|This website is for noncommercial use only and is not
affiliated with, or authorized or endorsed by Toho Co. Ltd. Toho is the
owner of all copyrights and trademarks in its respective films and characters,
and all of its rights are expressly reserved. © 1943-2013 Toho Co.
Ltd. and its related entities. All rights reserved. Godzilla, Gojira, the character designs and King of the Monsters are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. Any reproduction,
duplication or distribution of these materials is expressly prohibited.|