SRP $34.95 2.35:1 PCM 5.1 BUENA VISTA

"REIGN OF FIRE" is an unusual film, in that it's hard to label. It's got sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, but also a real sense of drama, making it less accessible for most mainstream audiences. But, Director Rob Bowman crafts this unusual tale with real skill and makes it worth seeking out.

Set in the near future, dragons erupting from the earth's core, have wiped out much of the known world. The survivors live in makeshift habitats(ala "ROAD WARRIOR" or an abandoned castle.  An Englishman and an American, with different strategies,  must put aside their disdain for one another in order to defeat the monsters bent on destroying all mankind.

The sets, special effects, acting and script, are all decent. Bowman treats the material as serious drama, making its sillier moments work somehow.  There's a menacing atmosphere pervading the film, and the gritty atmosphere really makes this one far better than any dragon film this critic can recall.

BUENA VISTA has provided a 1080p/MPEG-4 transfer with the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  Colors are intentionally dulled down, presenting a gritty look to the film from beginning to end. This also prevents the image from having that "pop off the screen effect," however, detail is excellent and darker scenes retain their clarity flawlessly.  This is one of the sharpest, "dark" films we've seen in high definition so far.

BUENA VISTA has provided a PCM 5.1 mix.  It's one of the most aggressive mixes available on blu-ray!  Surrounds, discrete effects and bass are virtually non-stop. Even within layers upon layers of effects and music, the dialogue is always intelligible. There are plenty of bass effects for those wanting to show off their woofer! A terrific mix!!!

All of the trailers, save for the theatrical trailer, from the dvd, have been carried over in 480i.