Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Horror
New Line || R - 98 minutes - $28.99 || September 29, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-10-19


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Marcus Nispel
Writer(s): Scott Kosar (screenplay)
Cast: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, Eric Balfour, R. Lee Ermey


Theatrical Release Date: October 17, 2003


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 3 Feature Commentaries
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Alternate Opening and Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Screen Tests
  • Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Look, if I have to tell you about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre then you seriously must either be like two-years-old or have never seen a horror movie before. Back in the day, the original was one of the scariest films to date and the remake is no different. Granted itís not as scary as when I saw it six-years-ago since cinema has developed and changed course in terms of horror, but this remake is still an amazing flick.

Five stupid teenagers are coming back from a trip to Mexico to buy drugs, wait I mean spend time with each other. Erin (Jessica Biel), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), Andy (Mike Vogel), and Kemper (Eric Balfour) are trying to get home when they decide to pick up a random hitchhiker (Lauren German). The girl says that they are driving the wrong way, and exclaims that soon they will all die too. She then blows her brains out and leaves their van covered in guts and brain matter. The stupid teenagers decide to pull over and call the cops, and thatís when the trouble begins.

The sheriff (R. Lee Ermey) turns out to be someone who isnít who he seems to be, and is behind the whole mess that is happening in the town. Upon searching the area for a phone, Kemper and Erin find a rundown house inhabited by supposedly an old man. The man only lets Kemper go in by himself, who is then knocked unconscious by Leatherhead and promptly disposes off. Erin returns to the group, but wonders what happened to her boyfriend. Is he really dead? Will any of them make it out alive?

This remake is tons better than the original one for several reasons. Well, not really several, but the character changes were a must. I hated the kid in the wheelchair in the original, as his character was stale and boring. Instead we get Morgan, a lame hippy who does nothing but whine the entire time who meets an incredibly gruesome and bone-cringing death. Thatís what is so much better about this one: the violence. The film was produced by (now much more famous, then not so much) Michael Bay, so even though the movie had a supposedly low $10 million budget, we still get tons of great death sequences and great violence scenes.

That being said, if you have yet to see the remake of the original, then by all means you seriously need to see this one. There are tons of violence death scenes, a great ending, and I meanÖ come on. Itís Jessica Biel running around for like the last forty-five minutes of the film. Who doesnít want to see that?



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Production Commentary by Marcus Nispel, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Robert Shaye: The commentators talk about everything to do with how the movie came to be, how it was marketed, and just why they made the film. Bay is great in this commentary but he is a bit quiet throughout, as Nispel and the others seem to take charge. If you are into how movies are made or why they are, then this is the track to listen to.

Technical Commentary by Marcus Nispel, Daniel pearl, Greg Blair, Scott Gallagher, Trevor Jolly, Steve Jablonsky: This track talks way more about the look of the film than the other two. The discussion revolves around how the characters were put into the story, and then how they were developed in terms of their looks and the van they drive around in. The track is slow at the start and talks about (to be honest) nothing that interesting until about halfway through once the action begins.

Story Commentary by Marcus Nispel, Michael Bay, Scott Kosar, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Jessica Biel, Erica Leerhsen, Eric Balfour, Jonathan Tucker, Mike Vogel, and Andrew Brymiarski: It sort of bothers me that Nispel directs who talks when, but it may just be who he is introducing before they talk. This final and best track of the three deals with the story behind the kids and how their characters were made for the film itself. The cast themselves donít talk as much as the others, which is disappointing though. This is overall though the best track to listen to although they are all equally entertaining so to each his or her own.

Making a Massacre (76 minutes): Kicking off the actual special features package is an excellent feature that dives you right into tons of interviews. The crew talks about the history of the movie and many, many other things involved with shooting it. This is the best making of special feature that Iíve seen in quite some time, so I urge you to watch this when you get more than an hour of free time.

The Ghoul of Plainfield (24 minutes): This takes a look at Ed Geinís life, including his house and his history. Itís an incredibly weird and creepy extra that is probably only going to interest those who liked the film or want to know more about its vast back story.

Severed Parts (16 minutes): The script is talked about in length, mainly about the movie being a bit too short and having to cut out certain parts to avoid the dreaded X rating. The quality of this though is somewhat poor and thereís nothing here to really warrant watching so Iíd recommend passing on this.

Screen Tests (7 minutes): Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, and Erica Leerhsenís casting tapes can be viewed if you so choose. They just read lines from the script, so no humor or entertainment value odds are can be found here.

Music Video (3 minutes): Suffocate is performed by the band Motograter in an incredibly weird and demented video that isnít for kids. The song isnít that catchy, and the video is just too odd even for my tastes.

Finally, there are a vast number of TV Spots and Trailers.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

For some odd reason I happened to have the steelbook edition of this movie laying around in my collection, so for fun I decided to pop it in to see how the two compared. I must say that in all honesty the DVD from years ago looks better up-converted than the Blu-Ray does. Colors on the Blu-Ray are outdated and somewhat pale, with flesh tones being completely off the entire film. I also noticed many scenes riddled with grain and distortion, which was a huge problem for me. Thereís not that many if any good things I can say about this transfer, other than the fact some major work needs to be done for future catalog transfers.

The audio compared to the DVD isnít any better either. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is lackluster and just plain boring. Sure, the track is loud as it should be, but thatís really all there is. Dialogue is loud although I had several instances where I couldnít hear it properly due to surround usage being too loud and overpowering. I also noticed many instances of where the noise just sounded completely dull, mainly whenever Leatherhead appeared on the screen. Whatís going on with the recent catalog transfers?



.::OVERALL::.

I loved The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and there are a plethora of special features to burn through, but the lackluster transfer makes me wonder what is going on with the studio. Warner has put out some amazing catalogs in the past, but this and a few others as of late have been coming out with rather poor quality. Letís hope they fix that sooner than later, and in the meantime feel free to rent this one before making a decision on whether or not to buy it. This is one massacre to definitely check out, but the quality may turn many people away.