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Bio-Dome (Blu-ray Review)

Bio-DomeRemember that unstoppable comedic force from the 90s by that went by way of “the weasel”.  That MTV personality that you couldn’t get enough of?  You know, John Sencio!  Okay, I’m kidding.  We’re talking about Pauly Shore.  A guy that I don’t think anyone wants to go back and admit they may have laughed about anything to do with him anymore.  His film, Bio-Dome is coming to Blu-ray and I was surprised (Or maybe not surprised) to find that its the first of his major or lead starring films to hit the format.  Considering there was a time where I did enjoy Pauly Shore, I always found this one to be one of the very bottom feeder of his films.  It didn’t help that when I saw it opening weekend in the theater (Yup, I did) that I had a bad wing man experience to go with it.  Well, hopefully this opens the opportunity to get maybe some of his “better” work out on Blu-ray, namely Son-In-Law really.

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Film 

Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin play a couple of stoner dimwits who think they’re girlfriends are two-timing them after they failed to participate is some sort of Earth Day cleanup.  When they pull over to stop at “that mall”, they wind up locking themselves into the Bio-Dome.  The Bio-Dome is a place where an experiment to cultivate living breathing plant life in space is being held for 365 days with no going and no going out.  What better way to win back your environmentally conscious girlfriends than to use this silly mistake as something more.

Here we are at Bi0-Dome.  A movie I’ve really never fancied myself.  For the last pair of decades I’ve pretty much hated this film.  I saw it opening weekend and never ventured back (Really, why would anyone).  But, I must also add that my first viewing of the film was tainted with a pretty bad experience being a wingman for my friend.  Which, looking back at that night, I was kind of a terrible wingman.

Coming back after all these years, I was a bit softer for the legendary team up of Stephen Baldwin and Pauly Shore that America had been clamoring for.  This movie still is no good and stinks, but I found myself snickering in more than a few spots.  It still was so moronic and stupid that it annoyed me, but time and nostalgia was enough to make it tolerable viewing the film in my 30s.  It also made me think…these guys were “cool”?

There are a lot of fun faces from the 90s to show up in this thing and spend time with…aside from, you know, Pauly Shore.  Joey Lauren Adams was still “Joey Adams” at this point, but she’s there.  And she’s everything we expected her to be back then.  I completely had no idea that the insanely gorgeous Rose McGowan showed up here.  She was ready to jump a level later in the year in Scream.  Everybody did the locomotion when Kylie Minogue showed up.  William Atherton is an asshole in it because why else do you cast him?  My favorite person in the movie?  The later comedic genius Taylor Negron.  Holy shit, I think 98% of the stuff I laughed at in this movie, and all that I chucked hard at, came from him.

No, I didn’t have reverse fate with Bio-Dome.  Its still bad.  But, its a tolerable, there’s nothing on and I haven’t seen this is FOREVER type okay-ness with it.  Time and distance made me not so tense with it and a little more free.  It shouldn’t have been the first of Pauly’s “major” movies to jump to Blu-ray…but here we are.  Any more of these down the pike, Olive Films?  Pauly’s fans want to know!

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: This image looks impressive enough for something of Bio-Dome’s stature.  Its not the sharpest knife in the box, but its still solid.  Detail on dirt, gravel and other nature surfaces comes through quite loved.  Littered food, clothing defects and surface texture also looks quite good.

Depth:  Depth is ok.  There is good clean movement.  Backgrounds are blurred, but clear as can be due to the source.

Black Levels: Blacks are accurate to the film.  No real detail is lost that isn’t lost already in the source.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are a bit natural, but greens look really rich and fun.  When the film allows more color, the palette looks gorgeous.  However, this movie is filled with beige, browns and grays.  Luckily its loaded with green.

Flesh Tones:  Natural and consistent.  Close ups get you some good stubble, wrinkles and blemishes.  The further out shows lose the detail and at times can look a tad smooth.

Noise/Artifacts: Grain, specs and dirt.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA Stereo

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  Sound is really good and whole here.  Sound effects are really full and well-rounded sounding.  All the loud music in the mix is blended in well.  There is a fine balance of voice, effects and score.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is clear and clean.  Good and accurate volume placement as well.

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Extras 

Bio-Dome contains no bonus material.

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Summary 

So, this time around, almost 20 years later, I “guess” I enjoyed Bi0-Dome more than I did before.  If you call getting a 1.5 star (or dog) rating favorable.  This Blu-ray from Olive Films really looks good and sounds pretty nice too.  As is par for the course, it doesn’t come with any extras to keep the party going.  Those interested in upgrading their DVD copy of Bio-Dome should make the leap, but maybe wait for a sale in order to snag it at a better price.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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