Arts 374-1

Published on May 4th, 2009 | by Greg


Dogs and Crime Scenes on Blu-ray

We don’t always review the obscure here- sometimes we get interesting if mainstream items as well. With that, we bring you our thoughts on the recent releases of Hotel for Dogs and CSI.

Hotel for Dogs doesn’t get many points for the name, even though it is based off of the book of the same title, and is appropriate if not particularly inventive. But it does get points for Don Cheadle, and then loses them immediately for having him out-acted by both the kids and the dogs. This is a family movie, unabashedly, though it starts off a bit surprisingly with the kids stealing, scamming, and being generally intolerant of authority. A promising beginning, to be sure, but then it turns out to all be for a good cause, and the expected hijinks ensure, with plenty of great scenes with canines of all kinds… and the eponymous hotel. It’s rated PG, but there was very little of anything to be concerned about, and would be suitable for pretty much all ages. The Blu-ray version does feature a good, clean transfer and Dolby TrueHD 5.1, which we appreciated. The bonus features are varied (eight deleted scenes, commentary, and four bonus features) even if they aren’t particularly exciting or engaging. $26, $17 for standard DVD.

Next up is the upcoming Blu-ray release of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations. 23 episodes. 5 discs. 1025 minutes of Las Vegas crime, with a Jerry Bruckheimer touch, and presented in widescreen for the first time. There are several exclusive extras to be had as well, including a gag reel and deleted scenes that are worth watching, and an extended unaired pilot. We would’ve liked a more varied commentary (or more of them, only one is included), but for all but the most devoted fan, this is a package to please. Sure, it’s been 9 years since it originally aired, and the show may feel a bit dated, but the action and episodes are as tight and well-strung as ever. We hear great things about the 7.1 audio(!), but weren’t able to test it- however the show sounded great in 5.1. Available May 12th, for around $65- a pretty good deal for a great season of a pretty good TV show in HD, and in a much better package than on standard definition.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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