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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Cast:
Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Writing Credits:
Jeff Buhler

Synopsis:
After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

Box Office:
Budget:
$21 million.
Opening Weekend:
$24,502,775 on 3585 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$54,724,696.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English Audio Description
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Latin American Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
French Canadian Dolby 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Italian Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Latin American Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
French
Danish
German
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Latin American Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
French
Danish
German
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 7/9/2019

Bonus:
• Alternate Ending
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Night Terrors” Shorts
• “The Tale of Timmy Baterman” Short
• “Beyond the Deadfall” Featurettes
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Pet Sematary [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 2, 2019)

30 years after the original 1989 version scared up a moderate audience, Pet Sematary returns via this 2019 reworking. I can’t wait to review the 2049 remake of Pet Sematary on my 2000-inch 64K holographic TV!

Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) moves his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz), eight-year-old daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) and toddler son Gage (Hugo and Louis Lavoie) to a small town in Maine. They live perilously close to a busy road, and this proximity leads to Ellie’s death via a truck accident.

The Creeds live near a mystical burial ground that can bring dead animals back to life, though not always with the most pleasant results. A grief-stricken Louis decides to see if this will work with humans.

Even after 20 years of reviewing, when I confront a remake/re-adaptation like this, I find myself unsure of what approach to take. Should I examine the 2019 Sematary as though the 1989 edition doesn’t exist, or should I compare the two?

If I’d not seen the 1989 film recently, I’d probably opt for the former choice. However, with the original Sematary fresh in mind, the latter feels like the way to go.

While not wholly satisfying, the 2019 Sematary tops the original in most possible ways. Whatever flaws it displays, the 2019 film provides a substantial improvement over its predecessor.

In terms of problems, most of the dicey choices occur during the third act. For its first 70 minutes or so, Sematary works pretty well, as it offers a fairly subtle, creepy horror experience, one that feels like a throwback to the more subdued films of the 1970s.

And then the producers remembered it was 2019 and they threw caution to the wind. The third act embraces a slew of modern-day horror clichés and tropes, and these choices tend to make the finale feel like it comes from a completely different movie.

This becomes the biggest disappointment I encounter with the 2019 <>Sematary. After a good build-up and a number of spooky scares, the movie suddenly shifts gears in a radical manner, and the changes don’t work.

Again, this occurs mainly because the story alters tone in such a sudden, disconcerting manner. Throw in an ending that gives us obvious sequel-bait and Sematary satisfies less than it should.

At least the 2019 film succeeds for that first 70 minutes, though, which is more than I can say for the generally silly and forgettable 1989 version. A superior cast helps, as the 2019 actors improve on their predecessors across the board.

In terms of the 1989 movie, only Fred Gwynne as neighbor Jud Crandall managed to offer a decent performance. The rest lacked depth or talent on the feature film level, and they gave the whole project a “made for TV” feel.

While I liked Gwynne, John Lithgow becomes a clear step up as Jud. No offense to the former Herman Munster, but Lithgow manages dramatic range that Gwynne simply lacked. He gives Jud a dark, haunted quality absent in Gwynne’s performance.

Clarke and Seimetz bring us a less pretty couple than the 1989 film’s Dale Midkiff and Denise Crosby, but they act rings around those two. Also, the shift from Gage as the dead child to Ellie allows for a more emotional impact, as we simply get more range from an 11-year-old like Laurence than from toddlers like the Lavoie boys.

In the novel, the use of Gage worked because it didn’t rely on the capabilities of a young actor. In print, King could do whatever he wanted with the character and didn’t need to deal with the realities of a toddler’s limited acting skills.

On screen, though, the focus on an older kid simply works better. Laurence offers an emotional presence that couldn’t occur with the Lavoie boys, and the movie benefits from this shift.

In the negative vein, the subplot related to Rachel’s sister still doesn’t work – at least not in the cinematic realm. This element may function well on the printed page, but the elements with Rachel’s family felt extraneous in the 1989 movie and they continue to appear semi-pointless in the 2019 version.

Also, the scenes with Victor Pascow (Obssa Ahmed), a dead college student who haunts Louis, flop in the 2019 film. This becomes the only area where the 2019 edition comes up short compared to the 1989 version.

Not that the 1989 flick used Pascow especially well, but at least he served a purpose. In the 2019 production, we barely see Victor and never really understand why he’s there. Perhaps some of Ahmed’s scenes got cut, but as realized in the final release, Victor becomes a pointless detour.

All these factors mean that I can’t view Sematary as anything other than a mixed bag. While it’s a substantial step up in quality compared to the 1989 version, it remains only sporadically compelling in its own right.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Pet Sematary appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, this seemed like a positive presentation.

My only moderate complaint related to low-light shots, as those could seem a bit dense and murky – and we found a lot of them. However, these remained reasonably accurate, and blacks looked deep and resonant.

Sharpness worked fine overall. A smidgen of softness crept into the presentation at times – usually during those darker shots – but delineation was largely appealing.

Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects impacted the image, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to materialize.

Colors went with a subdued sense of teal much of the time, so don’t expect a lot of oomph from them. Nonetheless, the disc reproduced them as intended, and some gentle pinks/purples added to the mix as well. Don’t expect this image to blow you away, but it worked well in general.

As for the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it provided a pretty impactful affair. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie usually dealt with spooky atmosphere, and it did so well in that regard.

This meant the soundscape filled the speakers with moody, ominous material, and louder scenes used the spectrum well. For instance, when the first truck rumbles by the Creed house, the sonic jolt made me leap from my seat, and other horror elements packed a nice punch.

Audio quality appeared solid, with speech that came across as accurate and concise. Music seemed smooth and full, too.

Effects offered fine reproduction, with clean highs and deep bass. Low-end response boasted a real kick when necessary. This became a well-above-average mix for a horror flick.

In addition to an Alternate Ending (9:16), we find seven Deleted/Extended Scenes. These occupy a total of 16 minutes, 13 seconds of footage.

With the “Alternate Ending”, the film ends up in the same as the theatrical version, but it takes a slightly different path to get there. This “Ending” neither works better nor worse than the existing finale.

As for the other scenes, they tend toward additional character exposition. Some of this seems creepy, some of it adds a little depth, but none of it comes across as particularly memorable or useful.

Under Night Terrors, we get three character-based shorts: “Louis” (1:40), “Rachel” (2:08) and “Ellie” (1:09). These resemble deleted scenes but as implied by the title, they represent scary dreams from the characters’ points of view. They’re moody but not especially interesting.

Another short, The Tale of Timmy Baterman runs three minutes, four seconds and focuses on the fate of the title character. It’s good to see more of Lithgow as Jud and he makes this an interesting tale.

Within Beyond the Deadfall, we locate a four-part documentary that occupies a total of one hour, one minute and 22 seconds. We get comments from directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, screenwriters Matt Greenberg and Jeff Buhler, producers Matt Vahradian and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, director of photography Laurie Rose, production designer Todd Cherniawsky, costume designer Simonette Mariano, lead animal trainer Melissa Millett, animal coordinator Kirk Jarrett, stunt coordinator Jean Frenette, key makeup effects artist Kathy Tse, and actors Amy Seimetz, Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Jeté Laurence.

“Deadfall” looks at the source, its adaptation and comparisons with the 1989 film, story/characters, and the directors’ approach to the material. We also hear about cast and performances, sets and locations, costume and production design, photography, animal performances, stunts and various effects.

While I wish we got a commentary, “Deadfall” acts as a good substitute. It covers a nice variety of topics with reasonable depth, so it becomes a solid examination of the production.

A new adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, the 2019 Pet Sematary offers a much more satisfying tale than its 1989 predecessor. However, when viewed in isolation, the 2019 Sematary fares less well and succeeds on an inconsistent basis. The Blu-ray boasts generally good picture along with impressive audio and a few bonus materials. While much better than the original version, the 2019 Sematary remains only sporadically effective.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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