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Customer Review

179 of 200 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine release with a few wrinkles, April 15, 2010
This review is from: Apollo 13 (15th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First off, this is easily a five-star film. It's handsome, taut, and thoroughly engaging.

For picture and audio quality, this Blu-ray is obviously superior to prior releases. There is moderate film grain to the transfer, giving it a natural feel. The special effects (i.e. the launch sequence) receive the greatest benefit and the clearest visuals, but on the whole the film is beautifully rendered and, for these benefits, the Blu-ray is worth picking up.

I do concur, however, that this disc has some slight issues. It takes too long to load -- I timed it at roughly two minutes on my slim PS3. This is mildly annoying but comparable to other Universal and Disney releases. I was more annoyed that after waiting for the BD-Java to load, selecting "English," waiting for more loading, waiting for the menu to animate, and selecting the film that I was treated to a "social BLU" splash page asking me if I wanted my Facebook status updated. What aggravated me was that this admittedly brief interruption occurred after I had already selected to play the film, and it would seem that it will occur every time I choose to do so; it was an unwanted and, in my opinion, rather lame attempt to add "interactivity," if having your Blu-ray player post that you're watching a film on your Facebook wall can be considered as such. I would rather that this option could be turned off BEFORE I select to watch the film, and that this setting could be saved. Additionally, advertisements for other Universal products pop-up in the background of the menus, presumably for "shopping convenience" but really an irritating marketing gimmick. These so-called bonuses serve to make the general experience of navigating this disc feel very clunky.

Overall, the content in this package (which carries over most of the content from the last two-disc DVD) is fantastic, but the design of the disc's menus and bonuses suffers from baffling and annoying gimmicks that are mildly aggravating but hardly ruin the experience; you'll forget about the hiccups once the film starts and you're engrossed. If you are a fan of the film and have the necessary equipment to benefit from the technical improvements in this release, it is highly recommended.

But, Universal? In the future, either streamline your gimmicks or leave them off the disc. We purchase these to watch the films, not to update our social networks.

EDIT 3/15/12: If possible, disable your player's internet connection when playing this disc. Without streaming trailers and that other crap, this disc loads right up. HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you do so. Makes the experience much less bile-inducing.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 18, 2010 12:24:57 AM PDT
J S. I says:
I think I will wait until they make a more sensible version of this movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2010 1:44:34 PM PDT

Posted on Apr 21, 2010 2:13:19 AM PDT
BS says:
Thanks for the info on all the interface and load problems. I was almost going to pull the trigger. I have an old DVD copy somewhere that may have the extras you mention. I do have on my DVR what sounds like the same pretty excellent HD transfer from when it was on one of the movie channels in the past year (HDNET Movies maybe). So until it drops some more, I will wait.

Posted on May 3, 2010 4:51:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 3, 2010 4:52:44 PM PDT
Bill says:
One of my favorite movies and one of only a few that left me speechless with emotion by the end the first time I saw it in the theater.

I've seen it many times and it shows up frequently on TV in "HD" so I can wait until they correct, what I hope they will discover to be an egregious error in judgment by trying to milk a captive audience. Thanks to the reviewers here, the trap is exposed and can be avoided.

Posted on May 19, 2010 2:36:54 PM PDT
Steve Sun says:
Hi I am also like the previous gentleman to pull the trigger on thi BD movie, however, is it possible to use "top manu" to jump to the beginning of the movie??

Posted on Dec 1, 2010 3:26:30 PM PST
P. M. Bego says:
Thanks for the useful info. I really *hate* it when I pay for something and then I'm subjected to ads and promotions as part of the "experience" I paid for -- As they say "Hello!..." I paid to see the movie. Not to sign up for other marketing and "upsells"

This is happening all around us. My satellite TV service now started putting ads in my program grid. For years, Quicken has been trying to promote their own credit cards and loans in their financial software. It's sad that Blu-ray seems to have (1) pump their ads/products, and (2) done away with the good ol' printed booklets. Don't you remember getting booklets with DVDs -- now, it seems that the average BD comes with nothing at all.

Posted on Dec 4, 2010 5:56:42 AM PST
Jose Muniz says:
Thanks for this information. I have emailed Universal 3 times with no response about the problem. I have a blu-ray player that does not have a network connector so connecting to the internet is not an option with me. If this disc will not play because I'm not connected to the internet, then Universal is in the wrong and should fix this. There is no indication on the package when it was sold that even hinted that an internet connection was required. All of the extra stuff and social networking garbage looks like Universal is using a round about means of trying to invade the consumer's privacy.

Posted on Jun 28, 2011 7:02:23 PM PDT
A terrific review -- informed, informative and a joy to read. Deservedly "top of the spotlight." (Don'tcha love it when Amazon does that?) Tried to leave "helpful" No. 69; hope my vote 'takes.' Keep writing, A. J. Thomas.

Mark B of the (usually-frozen) North

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2011 10:19:25 PM PDT
Super review. I'll stick with my DVD version for awhile longer...

Posted on Jan 6, 2012 2:35:17 PM PST
S. Larson says:
I concur with the remarks about the aggravating experience of suffering through all the initial load up. When I selected "Top Menu" in an attempt to move past this nonsense so I could actually watch the movie, I found myself suffering through the load up garbage all over again. Advertising and "interactivity" stunts like this are a major turn off.
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