Short Circuit falls into the category of a cult classic. I watched it with my kids and some of their friends, and they were belly-laughing on numerous occasions. As a parent, there are a few too many colorful metaphors for my liking, but what 1980s PG movie wasn't loaded with potty language?
The AVC encode does an admirable job of taking a 22-year-old film into the next century. Colors lack the pop and vibrancy of a "new" release, and the black levels are a bit inconsistent from scene to scene. The print is in decent condition, but the occasional nick and scratch sneaks in. Grain is present, yet never obtrusive. This is a definite upgrade over the DVD, but don't expect to be visually stunned. One interesting note: The movie is stored on disc at 1080i, not 1080p/24 as with most Blu-ray movies. This should not be a problem if your display performs inverse telecine properly.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is nothing to write home about. Dialog is intelligible, but dynamics are strained with little depth or impact. In fact, prepare for some harsh sound effects, especially with explosions and gunshots. Surround ambience is minimal given the soundtrack's stereo roots, but that’s to be expected.
The bonus features are ported over from the previously released DVD and include an audio commentary, an isolated music and effects track, the theatrical trailer, behind-the-scenes footage, and some interviews with the cast and crew. Rounding out the features are some still photos and cast bios, all presented in standard definition.
This is not a best-in-class presentation, but I wasn't disappointed with what I saw considering the original budget and the age of the film. I watch movies for the stories, and this one resonates with my family. If you have kids and want to share a piece of 80s cinema with them, be sure to check this one out.
Release Date: May 20, 2008
Film: 7 out of 10
Picture: 6 out of 10
Sound: 6 out of 10
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector