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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Italy 2000

 

Picture Sicily, 1941: a beautiful spring day in the sleepy village of Castelcuto. In the wider world, Mussolini has declared war on France and Britain, but for narrator Renato Amoroso (Sulfaro), this was the day he got his first bicycle, caught sight of the irresistible Malèna (Bellucci) and fell in love. He was 13. Deposited in the village by her new husband (away fighting for the Fascists), the sultry siren becomes an object of desire for the local men - and scorn for the women - as she takes her daily strolls across the square in outfits designed to highlight every curve. Renato's lust and youthful imagination allow his cinematic fantasies to take over, and he secretly nominates himself as her protector, who will wreak vengeance on detractors. Tornatore's film resorts to shameless sentimentality even as it paints an unsympathetic portrait of small town cruelty and hypocrisy. But the voyeuristic fetishisation of Malèna - who hardly speaks, whether to defend herself or to offer a glimmer of personality - makes for uncomfortable viewing. On the plus side, the cinematography is beautifully executed.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 27th, 2000 - Italy

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Comparison:

Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Medusa (Italy) - LE - Region 2 - PAL vs. GreenNarae Media (UnCut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Markus Mathis for the Medusa R2 screen captures and big thanks to Ole of DVDBasen for the Spectrum Screen Caps!

1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Within North America:

Outside North America:

Distribution

Spectrum ( Korea )

Region 0 - NTSC

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Entertainment 
Region 2 - PAL

GreenNarae Media

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:43:12 1:31:48 1:43:24 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:48:04.978 (UnCut version)
Video 240:1 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.23 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.28 :1 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.56 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.38
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,698,233,246 bytes

Feature Size: 28,305,076,224 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.56 Mbps

MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Spectrum

 

Bitrate:

Miramax

 

Bitrate:

Medusa

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio

Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (DTS 5.1)

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (DTS 5.1)

DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 3561 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3561 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Korean and none English, Spanish and none Italian and none English, Korean and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Spectrum Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1



Edition Details:
• Extras (Only subtitled in Korean):
Life & dream of Giuseppe Torantore (52:53)
Behind the scenes (46:00)
Making of (in English langauge) (12:31)
Interview with Guiseppe Tornatore (9:14)
Interview with Guiseppe Tornatore & Ennio Morricone (22:28)
In Studio (From the recording of the music) (21:51)
Italian and US trailer
3 US TV spots

DVD Release Date: August 2003
SlipCase (digi-pak)

Chapters 30

 

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2:28:1



Edition Details:
• Widescreen
• Theatrical trailers - 5 Italian films
• The Making of Malena (10:00)
• TV Spots
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: July 10th, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1



Edition Details:
• Disc 1:
Film with anamorphic picture


Disc 2:
Backstage: La casa di malena
Interview with Guiseppe Tornatore
Da Nuovo cinema Paradiso a Malena (Tornatore e Ennio Morricone)
Prove Orchestra (Ennio Morricone)
Trailer Italiano
Filmografie e note biografiche

Disc 3:
Ennio Morricone's Soundtrack CD

DVD Release Date: ?
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
GreenNarae Media

 

Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,698,233,246 bytes

Feature Size: 28,305,076,224 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.56 Mbps

MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Life & Dream of Giuseppe Tornatore (52:56 - Italian and only Korean subs)
• Making Of (35:25 - 'B' roll)

• Backstage (12:32 - English with Korean subs)
• Interviews (Tornatore - 9:14 and Morricone - 22:29 - no English)
• TV Spot (1:36)
• Music Featurette
(21:53)
• Trailers (4:18)

DVD of the UnCut Feature

Blu-ray Release Date: August 29th, 2013
Digipak with a bonus Amaray Blu-ray case

Chapters 16

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - GreenNarae Media - Region FREE Blu-ray - September 2013: Firstly, this 'GreenNarae Media' Blu-ray is from Korea and is the 'UnCut' 108 minute version. I have some issues with this new Blu-ray transfer. I'm not familiar with how Malèna looked theatrically but a few things on this 1080P just don't feel right to me. Aside from the saturation and high level of brightness, I felt, especially in the first 20-minutes of so that I could see some moiring although I couldn't pin it down when doing the screen captures - I also felt that about every 3rd frame was unnaturally hazy (not interlaced - a different issue). The software doesn't support this so it is only my feeling - more notable when doing the screen grabs. It's hard to believe that the film was this bright (see capture 2 - the horizon ocean or capture #1 - the, supposedly, pink flowers on Malèna's dress) where detail is lost in the 'flaring'. I could be wrong but you can judge the captures for yourself. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate. It DID look superior to the SD renderings that I have seen. Like the Korean Spectrum transfer it is quite yellow.

The audio sounds solid via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a resounding 3561 kbps. Morricone's score is beautiful and certainly benefits from the lossless - as does the overall presentation. There are some subtle separations and the film's bass never really tests the healthy audio transfer. There are Korean or English subtitle options and both the Blu-ray disc and the included DVD are region FREE and, both, the 'UnCut' version.

Supplements are either Italian with only Korean subtitles or briefly in English (TV Spots, Trailers). The package is a funny one, a transparent standard Blu-ray case is included - attached on top of the slipcase enclosed Digipak. But, strangely, it is empty but satisfying those who prefer the order of a regular Amaray on their shelf. See my photo below.

I'm hesitant on this GreenNarae Media Blu-ray - the issues are there, but the lack of a more competent (reputable) production transferring - the 'Uncut' reaching 1080P anytime soon seems less likely. This may be the best we get.    

***

ON THE DVDs: Well, what we learn from this comparison is that the R1 version has been shortened (see times above) by almost 15 minutes, and from what I have been able to determine is that  it is mostly some nudity and sexual content in Malèna and the young boy that have been cut. My advice to the censors would have been keep the sex and nudity and remove the extensive graphic violence of the towns-women beating Malena publicly.

No real reason to get the Medusa R2 PAL version unless you are over-the-moon about the film and speak Italian. The extras and film on the R2 Medusa DVD have no English subtitles. The inclusion of the Morricone CD is a nice touch, but the limitation of 3000 copies smells like a bit of a scam to me. All glitz in the packaging as this edition certainly does not deliver on the image quality front. Very hazy and poorly transferred make the Region 1 look extremely sharp in comparison. The Medusa version has fiddled with the contrast in some parts and the colors in others, hence we have a hazy, dark and over saturated look at times. Yeah, we all wouldn't mind seeing more of Monica Belluci nude, but stick with the cut R1 until the full version with a decent image comes out... which may be never.  

ADDITION (Spectrum) - The new Spectrum disc looks like a direct port from the Limited Edition Region 2. In fact I think the picture may be slightly inferior. It has the same darkness and saturation with slim faced characters. We are still recommending the cut ( censored ) Region 1 release from Miramax. Again, those huge fans of the film may wish to pick this up as opposed to the Region 2 which has no subs.

 - Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: The Miramax is cropped substantially on the vertical and slightly on the horizontal.


GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Package

 

 

Menus

(Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample -  Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Spectrum - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Medusa - LE - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) GreenNarae Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

One of the scenes missing on the 'Cut' Region 1 MiraMax DVD (mouse over to see)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Within North America:

Outside North America:

Distribution

Spectrum ( Korea )

Region 0 - NTSC

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Medusa Entertainment 
Region 2 - PAL

GreenNarae Media

Region FREE - Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze