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54 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 93 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio:  Lionsgate/Miramax
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • List Price: $19.99

[amazon-product]B006N8GNVI[/amazon-product]

Purchase 54 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

What a disappointing film 54 is. What could have been a hypnotic guide through the halcyon days of disco and a gritty biopic on the late owner of Studio 54 Steve Rubell is instead reduced to a pathetic Saturday Night Fever wannabe for the 90s with pretty young faces stuck up front with a barely there story and Rubell, played here rather well by Mike Meyers, relegated to a supporting role.

54, then, becomes the so-called story of late 70s disco as told by woking class New Jersey stiff Shane (Ryan Phillippe) who gets a job inside the famous nightclub Studio 54 working for Steve Rubell and experiences the wild side of life for the first time in his life – drugs, sex, and hip disco – only to discover the veneer quickly wears off.

The cast also includes Neve Campbell, Salma Hayek and Breckin Meyer. Apart from the compelling and often dizzying camerawork of the insides of the famous disco plus a walk down memory lane with some of the biggest hits of the era, 54 misses its target completely and leaves much to be desired.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

I haven’t been very impressed at all with these Miramax releases on Blu-ray distributed by Lionsgate and I’ve been even less impressed by their UK counterparts distributed by StudioCanal. This latest crop of releases, which includes the previously reviewed Reindeer Games, and this, 54, doesn’t break the trend. Another middling release at best, there are varying degrees of detectable source damage throughout, grain levels are uneven and blacks often look faded at best, noisy at worst. Overall detail is rather soft as well.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack has a decent dynamic range with clean dialogue, but activity is rather limited and there isn’t much going on in the surround channels beyond some very low level ambience.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

This is a barebones release coming only with the music video in SD for “If I Could Read Your Mind” by Stars on 45.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

A straight-up biopic about the drug dealing, nightclub tycoon Steve Rubell would have made far more sense and probably resulted in a much better film than this version of 54. Sadly, what we have here is something that feels half-cocked, derivative, and, in the case of this Blu-ray release, middling at best.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006N8GNVI[/amazon-product]

Purchase 54 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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