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Feature


Peter Hyams directs The Relic. A 90s monster movie that has a giant beast running wild in a Chicago museum on the very day the institution is holding a glitzy reception. As is usually the case in these situations, the museum bosses want to go ahead with their party even as the creature is decapitating victims. Penelope Ann Miller and Tom Sizemore star and fight to survive against this rampaging beast as its brings some excitement to a stuffy museum.re

Video


The DVD I recently looked at was quite dark and the standard definition was sorely missing a strong light source. Initially nothing is all that different here and those flickering flames in the opening credits still look too dark, gritty and entirely bland. Edges are of course noticeably sharper, especially on the font of the credits and black levels are more pleasing and even though those flickering flames struggle to impress, the lighting on all those around them looks fantastic, offering a much richer look to the film.

Cutting to the harbour, it's still a bit of a grimy mess of grain and dirt in the wider shots but the daytime setting feels much brighter and alive. The darker shadowing of the film looks alot more done on purpose in HD and presents the film in a more stylised way, rather than in a grubby mess of way like was the case on the DVD and even though a lot of finer detail seems to be lost because of it, the image holds much better here.

Once again the image is soft and gritty and once again the it fairs better in the internal scenes than it does in the external ones. That overbearing level of darkness works much better in HD and hides the softer image in much more enjoyable ways than the DVD did.

This rather typical looking 90s film winds up working much better visually on Blu-ray. The image is dark and sometimes seems to have a purplish look to it but it has some good depth within the frame, some warm colours and a much better use of light than was over on the DVD. The more stylised coloured lighting works wonders to give the film a more modern look and while this isnt the best presentation ever it shows the chasm between DVD and Blu-ray and boy is it huge.

Audio


From the get go this track has a fair bit of power and the score hits all the right jumps because of it. Dialogue is clear and centrally placed and the ambient sounds of vehicles passing or chains rattling or whatever else is going on fills everything out as it did on the DVD but with a much crisper and weighty feel to it.

The creepy ambience of the museum sits very well in the rears and fill the room when they intend to really creep you out and despite the age of the film , this track still ends up being a solid all round balanced surround sound experience with that extra boost in HD power making it a much wider and more impactful experience than the basic DVD managed. Hell, i jumped on bits I'd literally seem a week or soe ago and its was entirely because the track hammered the jumps home.

Extras


Nothing. Not even the trailer which the DVD held.

Overall


The Relic is silly monster mayhem in a prime location to run around in and that’s really it it has going for it. Sure it borrows from plenty of other (better) films but there’s just not enough life in this monster flick for it to be remembered amongst other 90s monster movies like From Dusk Till Dawn or Species or to a lesser extent The Mimic, which I was always getting this muddled up within the late 90s.

The Blu-ray is a vast improvement over the DVD (no surprises there) it looks way less grubby and even though it is dark film, the deeper blacks make it far more pleasant to look at here. The audio is steps up an already solid turn on DVD but with no extras The Relic still isnt exactly a must buy.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Relic, The
 Relic, The
 Relic, The
 Relic, The
 Relic, The
 Relic, The


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