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Seabiscuit

The little horse that could debuts on Blu-ray with a fantastic VC-1 encode and an encompassing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. It was difficult to pick only three scenes to highlight here, since virtually the entire film is filled with worthy scenes. For example, any of the racing sequences will give you the illusion of riding a horse in the middle of a high-stakes race with the animals' labored breathing and pounding hooves. The same can be said of the video and its impeccable attention to detail. Each of the three scenes below will give you a general idea of why this disc deserves the title of "Ultimate Demo."

Tom Smith (Chris Cooper) sitting by the fire.

  • Chapter 8, 00:40:26
  • Shadow detail, detail, surround imaging, dynamic range
  • Look for the shadows dancing across his face from the fire, the reflection of the flames in his eyes, and the distinct stubble on his chin.
  • Although this is a very quiet scene, listen to the crackling of the fire and the crystal-clear dialog between Chris Cooper and Jeff Bridges.

Seabiscuit debuts at Santa Anita Raceway.

  • Chapter 13, 01:03:11
  • Color saturation, frequency response
  • Look at the jockey's uniform worn by Red (Tobey Maguire)—in particular, the vivid red and the lack of bleeding into the surrounding white. Also notice the individual tracks on the dirt infield.
  • Listen for the thunderous pounding of the hooves, placing you in the race with the echo of the announcer reverberating through the surround speakers.

Seabiscuit's historic race against War Admiral with a close-up of Marcela Howard (Elizabeth Banks).

  • Chapter 22, 01:42:21
  • Detail, color, surround imaging
  • Look for the minute freckles hidden behind Banks' makeup, her vibrant red lipstick, and the detail in her multi-colored silk scarf.
  • Listen for the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

Click here for a complete review of this title.

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