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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Michael Bay
USA 1996

 

A highly decorated, retired U.S. Marine general (Ed Harris) seizes a stockpile of chemical weapons and takes over Alcatraz, with 81 tourists as hostages on the San Francisco Bay isle. His demand: Restitution to families of soldiers who died in covert operations. The response: An elite Navy SEAL team, with support from an FBI chemical-warfare expert (Nicolas Cage) and a former Alcatraz escapee (Sean Connery), is assembled to penetrate the terrorists’ defenses on the island and neutralize the threat before time runs out. The result: A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller with a first-rate cast, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer.

 

 Poster

Theatrical Release: June 7th, 1996 - North America

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Comparison:

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

   

 

    

 

    

 

  

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 108 - Region 1 - NTSC Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:16:30 2:17:22.678
Video 2.31:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.0 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,803,470,820 bytes

Feature: 32,932,030,464 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.45 Mbps

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

Bitrate: DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), English (Dolby Digital 5.1) , English (DTS)  Commentary in English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, None English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:  2.31:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Michael Bay, stars Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, technical advisor Harry Humphries, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer
Disc Two:
• Analysis of the dive sequence by Hoyt Yeatman of Dream Quest Images
• "Movie Magic" episode on the film's special effects
• Outtakes selected by Michael Bay
• Production Stills
• Storyboards
• Production design drawings
• Do's and Don'ts of Hollywood gunplay with Harry Humphries and Marshall Teague
• Interview with Jerry Bruckheimer
• Excerpts from "Secrets of Alcatraz" documentary
• "The Rock" world premiere on Alcatraz

DVD Release Date: March 13th, 2001

Double think Keep Case
Chapters: 32

Release Information:
Studio:
Disney

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,803,470,820 bytes

Feature: 32,932,030,464 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.45 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with the Director, Producer, Technical Advisor and Actors Cage and Harris

Behind the Scenes Docu-featurettes:

The Rock World Premiere

Navy SEALs On The Range

Hollywood Humphries & Teague

Special Effects & Action Effects

Secrets of Alcatraz

Jerry Bruckheimer Interview

Outtakes

TV Spots

Theatrical Trailers

Blu-ray Release Date: January 8th, 2008
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray - June 11': Leonard had already reviewed the Blu-ray HERE but I thought a comparison to the Criterion would perhaps show some discrepancies. And actually it doesn't. Colors match up well - the Criterion may be a shade darker and the 1080P has more detail but generally Bay's blockbuster differentiates in the expected ways with the scope factor attaining some level of superiority. This dual-layered Blu-ray has about 3X the bitrate of the Criterion but, as always, those with more discerning systems (and eyes) will benefit the most from the  visual improvement. There is a bit more noise in the SD, but I wouldn't rate it as a huge factor.

Audio seems a more demonstrative jump forward with a healthy lossless track sending the aggressive effect noises throughout the room. This is way back from January 08' and its a linear PCM surround track at a whopping 4608 Kbps. For those really keen on the audio - and how it supports the action of this film - will be pleased with the rendering. The Disney offers English, French and Spanish subtitles and, unlike the Criterion, is region FREE.

The 2-disc DVD supplements match up well with the Blu-ray having them all accessible on one disc but the biggest factor here is the price difference with the Criterion which is 2.5X more than the Disney hi-def package. Double-dipping may not be necessary but for those wishing to own and re-watch The Rock - the Blu-ray is definitely the way to go.

***

ON THE DVD: Well, being honest I bought this because... it was a Criterion. I did succumb to the collection-ist bug for a while and this was one of the gaps, but after watching it - I didn't mind it at all. Segments surprisingly stayed with my memory where many, ex. Arnold flicks or similar action Hollywood genre, are forgotten almost immediately. Do I think it is out of place in the Criterion Collection? - absolutely. I seem to recall reading something, the non-existent, Jon Mulvaney said in his defense of this for the Criterion label. It stated that Michael Bay would be recognized decades later for his contribution to cinema... or something to that effect. I guess only time will prove this right or wrong.

As far as the image goes it looks a strong large-studio production with very deep contrast.  Colors are great as are subtitles and the 2 (of 3) big audio options are exceptional. I don't know how this compares visually with the Hollywood Pictures NTSC very inexpensive DVD release, but I do know that this Criterion edition is stacked with extras. More than most people would care to venture through.

Yes - this is an unusual choice for Criterion - a testosterone infused extravaganza complete with mega-stars hoisting the protagonists roles - but it is kind of fun, if you ever get in the mood for something of this mindless nature. I admittedly do when in full bachelor-mode with my buddies. Shirt discarded, I serve them a trough of baked beans garnished with a couple of dead dogs... and we watch The Rock. The only saving grace for my egoist culture-pride - it is a Criterion DVD.... I know cause it has one of their #'s on the box spine.

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

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Subtitle Sample

 

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


DVD Box Cover

   

 

    

 

    

 

  

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 108 - Region 1 - NTSC Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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