SRP $28.95 2.40:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY


SRP $38.95 2.40:1 DOLBY TrueHD 5.1 SONY

Steven Chow, responsible for the overlooked gem, "KUNG FU HUSTLE," stars as the father and directed/wrote "CJ7," now available on dvd and blu-ray from SONY.  A poor  father, feeling bad he can't afford to buy his son the newest electronic dog gadget, finds something much more fantastic at the garbage dump he frequents.  Stumbling upon an unusual, colorful sphere, he takes it home for his boy. Soon enough, the son realizes it's actually an alien, left behind from other visiting aliens before they took off to wherever they were adventuring.  The alien metamorphs into a loveable, cuddly pet, and some magical bond begins. There are some of the bizarre, kinetic, humorous moments within this story, akin to what Chow has created in his earlier films, but, more surprisingly, the story takes a sudden and serious turn when least expected. This surprise benefits the film by allowing it to become much more of a poignant and deeper film than viewers could anticipate.

SONY has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for both the dvd(16:9 enhanced)and the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray.  While colors are intentionally restrained at times, due to an often somber atmosphere, the depth and detail found on the blu-ray, make this one of the best looking high-def transfers of the past year.  The contrast of the blu-ray is also flawless! Depth is impressive regardless of how dark the particular scene is. Colors on the dvd are less consistent, with tints veering towards a less natural state. Grain is also problematic at times on dvd, whereas it's never intrusive on blu-ray. The blu-ray offers imagery that frequently jumps off the screen in terms of depth, and seldom looks flat.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blu-ray and Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd.  The TrueHD mixes are offered in original Mandarin and English Dubbing, and both are great! While front-heavy, there are some great surround moments, and the frequent separation effects targeted to the front soundstage, enhance the film's atmosphere with surprising impact. The dolby digital mix is adequate, but lacks the dynamic range and immersive environment of the blu-ray. It pales in comparison!

SONY has included some great featurettes, but only the trailer is offered in hd on the blu-ray.