4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Review: “Speed”

  • Starring: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper
  • Directed by: Jan de Bont
  • Rated: R
  • Running time: 1 hr 56 mins
  • 20th Century Fox

“Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?”

That’s pretty much the story in this intense action film that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat! After seeing this, you’ll never look at buses the same (much less ride one). LAPD officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) was just doing his job when he and his partner (Jeff Daniels) rescued an elevator full of hostages from a mad bomber (Dennis Hopper). They were true heroes of the hour but when the bomber sets another trap on a commuter bus – if the speed of the bus in question drops below 50 MPH it will explode – it’s game on. The bomber demands millions of dollars in ransom. Now Jack must find a way to get on board the bus, rescue the hostages and stop the maniac bomber once and for all.

The story is a combination of thrills that, when added up,equals nerve-wrecking tension. The bus cannot stop whatsoever and there are times when you think “okay how in the world are they going to survive this?” Former cinematographer Jan de Bont’s (“Cujo,” “Ruthless People”) directorial debut comes through a true winner.

For action fans, there’s plenty of it here. Narrative moves at a suspenseful pace where the speedometer on the bus is a factor. I had the privilege of watching Speed on a 4K Blu Ray copy and for a 1994 film, it shines with a great picture and sound, even though the disc does not have a Dolby Atmos track. Still, this film is a great time.


Disc One (4K)

  •  Audio Commentary by Jan de bont
  •  Audio Commentary – by screenwriter Graham Yost and producer Mark Gordon.

Disc Two (Blu-ray)

  •  Action Sequences 
  •  Inside Speed
  •  Extended Scenes 
  •  Music Video – “Speed” by Billy Idol.

Blu-ray Review “Speed Racer: The Complete Series – Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Corinne Orr, Peter Fernandez, Jack Curtis
Language: Japanese/English
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 26
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Run Time: 3450 minutes

Overall Score: 3 out of 5 stars

READY SET, GO! GO! GO! I have always loved “Speed Racer” since I was young kid! The show is also probably one of the first Japanese cartoons at the time that I watched, followed closely second by “Dragon Ball” series. Have the complete series on Blu-ray is totally an awesome thing but having a huge Collector’s Edition is even better. With the show celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this Collector’s Edition will come complete with Speed Racer, Mach Go Go Go, and Mach Go Go Go: Restart in the first-ever official U.S. release of the Japanese audio.

Official Premise: Speed Racer dreams of becoming a professional racer. When meddling crooks keep him from the finish line, he finds a way to make it through. An endearing classic since 1967, Speed Racer has captivated audiences from every corner of the globe. Preserve one of the most beloved racing shows of all time and share it with generations to come.

I have to admit though, I wasn’t all happy with this release. The Collectible Speed Racer Bust comes with Sound Effects, which is cool but honestly you can barely hear it. If you are breathing loud its so slow. I think this is a fail because you could have easily juiced up the sound board a bit. Hopefully mine is just defective and they are all not like this. Second is the price, this product was original retailing for near $300 bucks, which is A LOT! Even for a collectible.

Funimation has delivers the technical specs here. The 1080p transfer is solid for the includes episodes. The aspect ratio is includes is the original 1.33:1, which is going to make fans happy. Also both the English dub and original Japanese tracks come stocked with Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track. This are impressive tracks and since, this is the first time for the US to receive the Japanese audio, it is a real treat for sure!

As mentioned above, this is set includes the complete 1967 Speed Racer Collection and the 1967 Mach Go Go Go Collection on both DVD and Blu-ray. The 1997 Mach Go Go Go Restart Collection is only featured on DVD here. Also included here is a collectible Speed Racer Key Chain and a bonus 2017 Interview with Trixie, voice actor Connie Orr. So overall, I am excited every time I walk in my office and see this bust sticking out on my shelf, so in that sense, I am one happy Speed Racer fan!

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Blu-ray Review “Need for Speed”

Actors: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Ramon Rodriguez, Michael Keaton
Directors: Scott Waugh
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Run Time: 130 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Movies basked on video game series always are a risk. Don’t know why but they usually never pan out. “Need for Speed” is no different here. What the film does have is an great cast including Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Dominic Cooper (“Mamma Mia!”) and Michael Keaton (“Batman”) and some amazing stunt driving work…other than that this runs out of gas very quickly. There is no shortage of action and some great stunts for sure, I have to give it that. But every racing movie is trying to be the next “Fast and the Furious” franchise and this again is no different. You can tell that they were hoping for that in this film. Unless you are a huge fan of anything racing, steer clear…get it 😉 (no good?) Did I just get a flat there?

Official Premise: Buckle up with Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul, BREAKING BAD) as he sets out on a mission of revenge against wealthy and arrogant Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), who framed him for a crime he didn’t commit. Tobey pushes his limits to the max in a high-octane race across America, hitting the road with the world’s most exotic supercars — delivering real speed, real danger and real action. Adapted from the top-selling video game franchise — and complete with never-before-seen bonus features — NEED FOR SPEED is the ultimate thrill ride.

Despite the film being good for not, what the Need for Speed does have though is a phenomenal Blu-ray AV presentation. The 1080p transfer is really solid and showcases the practical stunt effects very well. The colors are also very crisp. Match that with an even better DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which is absolutely perfect here. I just wish Disney wouldn’t have abandoned releasing 3D Blu-rays. First it was “Frozen”, now this and next “Maleficent”. Really bummed. Even though, this was post-converted into 3D, I heard it was pretty decent and I would have loved to see it with that added third dimension. This combo pack release from Disney includes the film on Blu-ray and with a Digital HD Ultraviolet digital copy.

The special features are quite impressive. There is an solid audio commentary track with both the Director Scott Waugh and actor Aaron Paul chatting about the film every which way but Sunday. “Capturing Speed: Making an Authentic Car Movie” is a short but solid behind-the-scenes look. “Ties that Bind”  talks about how making this film was a family affair with the crew. “The Circus Is in Town” talks about getting cars together for a multi-location shoot. “The Sound of Need for Speed” focuses on composer Nathan Furst. Lastly there are four deleted scenes, an outtake and a trailer for the new video game “Need for Speed: Rivals”.

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Win a Blu-ray of “Speed” & “Speed 2” Dual Action Pack [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of the “Speed” & “Speed 2” Combo Pack” on Blu-ray on May 6th, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway two (2) combo packs on Blu-ray. Since “Speed” started the careers of both Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, if you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite film of theirs since “Speed“. This giveaway will remain open until May 16 at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Synopsis: Hold on tight for a rush of pulse-pounding thrills, breathtaking stunts and unexpected romance in a film you’ll want to see again and again. KEANU REEVES stars as Jack Traven, an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to defuse a bomb that a revenge-driven extortionist (DENNIS HOPPER) has planted on a bus. But until he does, Jack and one of the passengers (SANDRA BULLOCK) must keep the bus speeding through the streets of Los Angeles at more than 50 miles per hour –– or the bomb will explode. A high-octane chase of suspense, nonstop action and surprise twists, Speed is a joyride sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Hold on to your life jacket as the rip-roaring sequel to Speed hits the high seas. Sandra Bullock reprises her star-making role as Annie Porter, a young woman expecting to enjoy a Caribbean vacation with her boyfriend (Jason Patric) on board the world’s most luxurious cruise liner. But their trip to paradise turns deadly when a lunatic computer genius (Willem Dafoe) takes over the boat and sets it on a course for destruction. An explosive voyage helmed by daredevil director Jan De Bont (Speed, Twister), Speed 2: Cruise Control rides the wild waves at maximum velocity.

Actors: Keanu Reeves, Jeff Daniels, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, Dennis Hopper, Daniel Villarreal, Natsuko Ohama, David Kriegel, Hawthorne James, Beth Grant, Richard Lineback, Glenn Plummer, Alan Ruck,
Directors: Jan De Bont,
Synopsis: Hold on tight for a rush of pulse-pounding thrills, breathtaking stunts and unexpected romance in a film you’ll want to see again and again. KEANU REEVES stars as Jack Traven, an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to defuse a bomb that a revenge-driven extortionist (DENNIS HOPPER) has planted on a bus. But until he does, Jack and one of the passengers (SANDRA BULLOCK) must keep the bus speeding through the streets of Los Angeles at more than 50 miles per hour –– or the bomb will explode. A high-octane chase of suspense, nonstop action and surprise twists, Speed is a joyride sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Specs: Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French Dolby Surround
Language: Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1
Bonus Features: **Theatrical Feature Blu-ray**Commentary by Director Jan De Bont
**Commentary by Screenwriter Graham Yost and Producer Mark Gordon
**Trivia Track
**SPEED:Takedown Game
**Theatrical Trailer in High Definition

Film Review “Need for Speed”

Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Imogen Poots
Directed By: Scott Waugh
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 130 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Story? Dumb. Characters? Dumb. Motivations? Dumb. Stunts? Yeah…those were pretty cool, but still dumb. Dumb is the word that best describes this movie. There is some dumb fun to be had, but not enough fun to cover the dumb that induces eye rolling boredom. “Need for Speed” is the latest in a long line of attempts by the studios to peddle street racing smut to teenagers and young adults. For this go around, they base the premise off a video game franchise, but even video games have better writers than this.

Tobey Marshall (Paul) is a grease monkey who moonlights as a street racer in small town USA. He’s in a bit of financial trouble and unlucky for him, an old nemesis of his, Dino Brewster (Cooper), offers him a chance to refurbish an aged mustang. Once it’s spruced up and ready, they make a cool 2.7 million dollars on it. Tobey could walk off with a quarter of that money…or he could risk it all on a pissing contest…I mean street car race. Also, you know a movie’s boring when I think doing the math on 25% of 2.7 million is more entertaining. By the way it’s $675,000. So what a shock, someone dies in their over 200 mph race. It’s Marshall’s best friend Pete (Harrison Gilbertson). Dino clips him in an attempt to win the race. So what an even bigger shock when Dino, the multi-millionaire entrepreneur gets away with it and the scruffy and haggard looking Tobey is thrown in jail for two years. Considering all his years of putting pedestrian’s lives in danger for his races, this doesn’t seem like enough time in jail.

Regardless, the rest of the movie is a cross country revenge tale, but he doesn’t have a vehicle. So he teams up with a quick witted, blonde British gal by the name of Julia (Poots). She gives gives him the keys to the 2.7 million dollar car that he built and she paid for. I’ll let that sink in.

Just when as I was on the verge of falling asleep from this preposterously dull story, the roar of an engine would awake me up and I’d get to watch another silly chase. Things are made even worse by the fact Michael Keaton is rolled out as the host of a videocast who is putting on a prestigious race, only for underground racers, called the De Leon. How he has the financial means to put this on and how the police haven’t wiretapped him to find these illegal races, I don’t know. The De Leon is Tobey’s one chance at revenge against Dino. This movie could be a great form of escapism if it wasn’t so head shakingly stupid.

Once the well shot chases are done, we’re forced to sit through another dose of bad dialogue and head scratching questions. The biggest one is one of Tobey’s friends, Benny, who has a gig with the military that allows him to “commandeer” any plane or helicopter so he can help Tobey dart through city streets. I could have easily just written a review about all the ludicrous moments in this. It’s a bit maddening why two time Emmy award winning Aaron Paul would jump straight into this after coming off one of the most successful TV series of all time. It makes you wonder what it is he saw in this because I certainly don’t see it.

DVD Review “Kill Speed”

Directed by: Kate Bass
Starring: Nick Carter, Andrew Keegan, Greg Grunberg, Bill Goldberg, Robert Patrick
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Naedomi
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Running Time: 113 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Kill Speed” is a mix of “Fast & Furious” and “Top Gun”, but unfortunately it falls a little short on the delivery. The film runs a long at almost two hours, could have worked a lot better at 90 minutes. There is no shortage on talent (or at least notable names) including Adam Goldberg (Ex WWE Champion), Greg Grunberg (“Heroes”), Robert Patrick (“Terminator 2”), Tom Arnold (True Lies) and the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter.

The film follows group of speed-freak pilots who spend their time transporting crystal meth across the Mexican border with the use of their supersonic planes. They also indulge themselves in the Hollywood lifestyle with their endless cash. Though their luck changes, when they take on their biggest shipment yet, 900 pounds or $2.7million of meth. The FBI catches on their situation and they end up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

The DVD is presented in widescreen and included a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. There is no sign of special features on this DVD, not even a trailer, which is a little disappointing. Honestly, I could recommend this film for the decent action scenes and the cast. I just wish they would have used them more to their full potential.

EA Sets Gamers on a Race for Their Life on October 18 with “Need for Speed: The Run” Demo

EA Sets Gamers on a Race for Their Life on October 18 with “Need for Speed: The Run” Demo

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Do you have what it takes to beat your friends in a high-speed race from the Golden Gate to the Empire State? Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced that gamers will get a chance to test their mettle in an action-packed demo for Need for Speed The Run beginning October 18. Using the Need for Speed franchise’s signature Autolog feature*, gamers will compete to see who will come out on top and who will be left in the dust as they race through the Desert Hills of California and Independence Pass of Colorado.

In the Need for Speed The Run demo, players will have access to two high-powered supercars including the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. The second car, the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S, will be unlocked when gamers refer a friend to download the demo, giving them one of first opportunities to get behind the wheel of this 400HP luxury ride. The Need for Speed The Run demo will be available on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace worldwide and the PlayStation®Network in North America from October 18th to November 1st, and available on the PlayStation Network in Europe from October 19th to November 1st.

Need for Speed The Run takes gamers on a heart-pounding, high-stakes race that will have them surrounded by a constant feeling of danger. The heat is on and lethal action unfolds as gamers take on the role of Jack Rourke and battle 200 of the world’s most notorious racers for a $25M cash prize. Weaving through dense urban traffic, rocketing down icy mountain passes and navigating narrow canyons at breakneck speeds, gamers will be challenged in this illicit race for their life. Powered by Frostbite™ 2, Black Box makes its return and takes the action racing genre to new heights with stunning visuals and car physics that hug the road at insanely fast speeds. In Need for Speed The Run, the cars are hot, the racing is intense and the story will have players at the edge of their seat, delivering this holiday’s hottest action racing game.

Developed by Black Box, an EA studio, Need for Speed The Run will be available November 15, 2011 in North America and November 17, 2011 in Europe for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PC, Wii™ and Nintendo 3DS™. For more information on Need for Speed, visit http://www.needforspeed.com or become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/needforspeed and follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/needforspeed.

* Available in the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Nintendo 3DS versions only

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile, POGO and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Frostbite is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. The names, designs, and logos of all products are the property of their respective owners and used by permission. Microsoft, Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “PlayStation” and “PlayStation Network” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Wii and Nintendo 3DS are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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