5.1 Audio on DVD’s – Part 2

3-20-12          5.1 Audio on DVD’s – Part 2

C&W Singer / Songwriter Jerry Reed born 1937, reggae guy Lee “Scratch” Perry born 1936; I own music by both.

Silly me – I’ve been trying to find feature films on DVD that have nice 5.1 audio.  I started with a basic list made with the help of my friend Warren – who recommended a few websites to look at.  I made my list, and went out into the stores…

…and ended up with a Paul Verhoeven festival in 5.1!  “Robocop” and “Total Recall” – two films I did not see upon their original release.

“Robocop” had quite a bit of “80’s Excess” – lots of ultra-violence, unrealistic bad guys, big crunchy machines, hookers and blow.  It read like a comic book; it was easy to watch – and there was a lot of 5.1 amusement to be had.  The $3 DVD of it that I found has a 3-D cover on it!

“Total Recall” was made a scant 4 years after “Robocop”, but Verhoeven had his dystopian shoes sharpened:  more unrealistic villans and a science fiction plot that was difficult to keep track of.  Is this real?  Or?  Dear old Arnold made his moves as only he can, with that charming Austrian accent.  However, the vehicles in this film – not that “Robocop” was slouch with their futuristic vehicles – deserve a special mention. Nice ‘n’ futuristic, unrealistic…and I am a sucker for machines that look like they will grind everything down to the center of the inner-core of whatever planet you’re on!  I read that this was considered an expensive movie, at the time of it’s release.

Ugh!  I tried to watch “Lethal Weapon 2” for it’s 5.1 kicks, but…couldn’t get very far with Mel Gibson’s mid-Pacific accent and fairly juvenile humor throughout.  I don’t even think I will keep this one for the 5.1 collection!

But it does give rise to my interest in the films of Paul Verhoeven.  I guess he had some slightly more mainstream / popular films, too?  I like this dark science fiction stuff, I must confess.  Any fans want to tell me what’s the next Verhoeven film to search out, in the cheap-o DVD’s?  5.1 audio is a plus, but not 100% necessary.  Just good, solid dystopian mayhem.

Also must rummage through my DVD’s of films – and see if there’s any fun 5.1 entertainment still lurking in my already-obtained titles.  I hate it when I remember buying a film, then – when I am all done – it ain’t in my list.  How did that happen?  Did I put my $2 copies of “The Matrix” and “The Abyss” in a special carton somewhere, where I can no longer locate them?

And, of course, the films I really want to watch again and again won’t have any kind of special audio at all.  “I’m All Right Jack” remains in mono.

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3 Responses to 5.1 Audio on DVD’s – Part 2

  1. Misterbee says:

    Not really a Verhoeven fan, but the pictures after “Total Recall” probably have pretty good sound: “Basic Instinct”, “Showgirls”, “Starship Troopers”, and “Hollow Man”. I doubt I could sit through any of them, but “Starship Troopers” at least has those unrealistic vehicles going for it.

    For some nice-sounding movies, you might want to look into some of the work By Danny Boyle and David Fincher. Two directors that seem to pay attention to sound. For Boyle, I would go with “28 Days Later…” and “Sunshine” (which has echoes of Silent Running). For Fincher, I would look at “The Game” (San Francisco!), Zodiac (California 60’s Zeitgeist!) and “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” (Scandinavian violence!). I hear good things about the mix in “Fight Club”, but I never saw it.

    I don’t think that any of the earlier Peter Jackson films would be in 5.1. I would rather not discuss the more recent ones.

    Any of the Tim Burton stuff? Maybe “Mars Attacks, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory”?

    Most of the Christopher Nolan movies sound pretty good, although I prefer “Memento” (memory loss) and “Insomnia” (Pacino in Alaska), to his “Batman” movies. Probably the best for sound is “Inception” (a dream within a dream).

    For more interesting vehicular hardware, check out “District 9” (space aliens in South Africa).

    I expect that the more recent editions of “Blade Runner” are nice and purty. Remember watching it for the first time in Beta HiFi? Might be some other good sound in the Ridley Scott bin.

    “Being John Malkovich” has nice atmospherics.

    “The Transporter”. Lots of cars, the south of France, and a score by Stanley Clarke.

    I hear they mixed the shit out of the “Transformers” movies, but….

    Other safe bets for sound: Master & Commander, Perfect Storm, any of the Mission Impossible movies, U571, Twister, Saving Private Ryan, any of the “Alien” series, Terminator 3, Blackhawk Down, The Bourne Identity, Das Boot, Man on Fire

    If you don’t want to sit though a whole move, you could always try snagging a DTS demo disk. They pop up on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_pppn=v3&_kw=DTS&_kw=Demo

  2. postpunkmonk says:

    “Robocop” was a virulently anti-American film embraced by Americans. What fun. Can’t say I enjoyed “Total Recall” at all though. They absolutely destroyed the original short story when I read it years later, to boot. After that I was giving Verhoeven a wide pass. I have not really cared too much about films in 5.1 since moving into that space. I don’t spend much time watching movies. One thing I did do was play a few minutes of the big fat THX Star Wars CAV LP box that retailed for $250 in 1993-ish. They had extensively remixed the audio for those and even when I watched them in 2.0 many years ago, I noted the incredible mix. Well, in 5.1 those puppies are nuts. Not just sound FX and dialogue but music cues mixed generously in AC-3/DTS surround.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    I’ll p/u an inexpensive Star Wars DVD to see what the 5.1 has going for it, most likely. If Starship Troopers has some unrealistic vehicles in it, it might just be right up my alley.

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