Star Wars: The Force Awakens (May the 4th Edition) (2016)

     It’s a global phenomenon, either you love it, or know someone who loves it, or know someone who knows someone who loves it. If you don’t, you probably know some really lame people.  STAR WARS IS BACK! Episode VI: The Force Awakens hit Blu Ray about a month ago, and I’ve been saving this review for TODAY… MAY THE FOURTH! I won’t even pretend that this review is impartial; I’m giving this one perfect score across the board… because it’s FUCKING STAR WARS! Check out the review below and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

            The Force Awakens' 1080p transfer inspires from that familiar opening crawl and doesn’t stop until the credits have rolled. The yellow lettering leaps off the screen, supported by a wonderfully deep surrounding star field. Colors just keep shining and jumping for the duration of the film; The sand of Jakku is muted JUST the right amount, and the monochromatic sheen of the Starkiller base is expectedly bright, yet still flat where it needs to be. Lightsabers sparkle with brilliant reds and blues, with bolts and grains flying off in every different direction. The picture is just great. The highest of praise is deserved for this one.

     The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is where the magic of this release REALLY comes through. It’s wonderful; action scenes are filled with plenty of discrete effect, heavier ships rumble through space and shake entire rooms. TIE fighters and X-Wing fighters’ zip, sweep, and swoop around with great clarity. Sounds of battle chaos erupt through every speaker with tangible placement and precision accentuation of on- and off-screen mayhem. Laser blasts fire from all sides, and debris, ricochets, and impacts are heard exactly as they should be. This is a terrific track that, better than most, makes full use of the entire stage, and with a natural ease and precision to it.

    In an earlier review, I covered the severe LACK of bonus content that was on the Steelbook versions of the Original Star Wars films. The supplement package on TFA makes up for that in SPADES and THEN SOME. There’s an absolutely incredible documentary to start off the features called: Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey. Clocking in at a bit over an hour, and split into 4 separate parts, this doc covers it ALL. It’s a blast to watch, and watch again! Coming up next are a few shorter featurettes covering other various aspects of the production that didn’t make it into the big doc: (The Story Awakens: The Table Read, Crafting Creatures, Building BB-8, Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight, ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force, John Williams: The Seventh Symphony, & Force for Change.) Finally, there’s a solid selection of deleted scenes, but nothing that was earth shattering was left on the cutting room floor. As stated above, this is an INCREDIBLY sound bonus package, and should please die-hards and casual fans alike.

            The Force Awakens was an absolute Box Office juggernaut; shattering records around the world, and as a fan, that pleases me; but as a cinephile, it’s pretty easy to see why. This is what a blockbuster should be, and that’s even more evident on Blu Ray. Incredible picture, top notch sound, and a huge assortment of bonus features to hold your interest past the film itself, this one is a can’t miss package! Go out and purchase it today!