Welcome to moviemarbles!

We do things a little differently here than you may be used to, so here is a quick tutorial of how our Blu-ray scorecards work.

Most review sites use a 1-5 star scoring system when reviewing Blu-ray releases. Due to the amount of detail contained in a review scorecard, we had to re-think the way to display our review ratings. Gone is the standardized “star” rating structure, replaced with a simple + or -.

So how do these + and - relate to the old-school star ratings? In our world, a + would be the equivalent to a 4 or 5 rating while a - would equate to a 1, 2 or 3 rating. So if a disc gets a + rating in one of the categories, you know it is top quality.

These +’s and -’s are then weighted (35% film, 25% audio, 25% video, 15% extras) to create an overall verdict of the disc, back in the common five-star rating system... it is quite a science.

Here are the terms used in our Blu-ray scorecard so you can get a better understanding of what each of our ratings mean...


  • plot (story, flow)
  • acting (dialogue/believability)
  • sound (score/soundtrack/sound mixing)
  • visuals (special effects/costumes/set design/vibrancy/cinematography)
  • entertainment value (replay value, watchability)


  • fidelity (degree of accuracy with which sound is recorded or reproduced)
  • dynamic range (difference between the max level of distortion-free signal and the minimum limit)
  • dialogue (clarity and placement of voice activity)
  • bass (LFE) (low in pitch; of the lowest pitch or range)
  • soundstage (surround activity, sound movement through the different channels)


  • transfer (lack of digital artifacts/noise/edge enhancements/compression artifacts)
  • image depth (dimension, 3D feel)
  • sharpness (lack of film grain, clarity of image, image detail)
  • color levels (color accuracy, vibrancy)
  • contrast (accurate deep black levels, range of brightness between the darkest/lightest elements)


We have taken a very simplified approach to the this section by informing which extras add value to a release and which are not worth your time. We have listed the most commonly valuable extras found on Blu-ray releases - featurettes, commentaries, deleted scenes (including outtakes and alternate endings), documentaries & digital extras (digital copy, bonus view, bd-live) - and if the extra is worth watching you will see a +, if the disc does not contain the extra or it is not worth watching you will see a -.

We are really changing the game here, so this new review format may take some getting used to... but I am sure you will come to realize that this new game is the way it should be played.

The Hidden Fortress (Criterion Collection) | reviewed by: Lee Weber | April 17, 2014
  plot acting sound visuals entertainment value
  fidelity dynamic range dialogue bass soundstage
  transfer image depth sharpness color levels contrast
  featurettes commentaries deleted scenes documentaries digital extras
#Criterion gives a new 2k transfer keeping grain & natural artifacts still intact while showing off finer details. No tinkering detected.
genre Adventure | Drama
synopsis Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.
lead actors Toshirō Mifune | Takashi Shimura | Minoru Chiaki | Misa Uehara | Kamatari Fujiwara | Susumu Fujita | Eiko Miyoshi | Toshiko Higuchi | Yû Fujiki | Yoshio Tsuchiya | Kokuten Kôdô | Takeshi Katô | Kôji Mitsui | Toranosuke Ogawa | Kichijirô Ueda | Nakajirô Tomita | Yoshifumi Tajima | Ikio Sawamura | Senkichi Ômura | Sachio Sakai | Makoto Satô | Yoshio Kosugi | Akira Tani | Yutaka Sada | Takeo Oikawa | Tadao Nakamaru | Takuzô Kumagai | Shôichi Hirose | Etsurô Saijô | Masayoshi Nagashima | Fuminori Ôhashi | Shin Ôtomo | Minoru Itô | Haruo Suzuki | Shigekatsu Kanazawa | Kazuo Higata | Haruo Nakajima | Ryû Kuze | Ichirô Chiba | Shigemi Sunagawa | Rinsaku Ogata | Hiroyoshi Yamaguchi | Haruya Sakamoto
director Akira Kurosawa