Movie: Picture: Sound: Extras:
What, then, are we to make of the 7.4 scored by this belated fourth entry?
The story isn't a patch on the first, but it isn't completely ludicrous. And the film-making sensibilities are more in accord with modern tastes. It's a decent action watch with the right guys getting their come-uppance, and with a somewhat unfashionable comment on the limits of pacifism. Be warned, though, .50 calibre firearms are widely deployed in this movie. It is one of the few movies of recent years, even though completely devoid of erotic content, to score an 'R' rating.
This is the complete Blu-ray. It has bookmarks (press the green key to store). It has a BonusView PIP commentary. It has BD-Live. In fact, the last half dozen Sony Pictures Blu-ray releases I've looked at have BD-Live content.
How could Sony develop BD-Live content for such forgettable titles as 1996's Maximum Risk? Well, it doesn't. Instead you get the much the same on all of them: eight or nine movie previews that you can download in HD or SD, a 'Spotlight' section with information, advertising and survey, and a 'My Profile' in which you can enter your own information. The available previews and the 'Spotlight' vary a little from disc to disc, but that's about it.
Even on the Playstation 3, BD-Live took 79 seconds to start up the first time, and 47 seconds thereafter.
Apparently on the American version there is a 'MovieLog' BD-Live feature which lets you participate in an on-line discussion. No such luck here. Likewise, the second 'Digital Copy' disc is not provided in Australia. These omissions lose this disc an 'Extras' star.
The picture quality was superb. The sound was pretty good for war-type stuff, but the Dolby TrueHD track had a major problem: it was recorded at too low a level. For a really involving experience I had to wind the volume up to -4.0 on the receiver, and the menu sounds threatened at this level to do damage to my loudspeakers. There is an option in the disc's Setup menu to adjust the effects level, but this would not work on any of three different players I tried.
This is the video bitrate graph for this movie, viewed normally, generated by BDInfo 0.5.2:
This is the video bitrate graph for the 'BonusView Commentary with Extended Exploration' version of the movie:
And here is the bitrate for the PIP stream, as appearing in the 'Extended Exploration' version. This is useful to help find when the PIP appears: