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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Vadim Perelman
USA 2003

I read a few negative reviews on this film calling it 'heavy-handed', 'manipulative' or the 'direction was inept'. I was personally blown away by 'House of Sand and Fog'. I rate it right up there with some of the best American films I have seen in the last  five years - In the Bedroom and 25th Hour among them.

***

 

For those unfamiliar with Andre Dubus III's heartbreaking novel House of Sand and Fog, it is probably hard to imagine how the fate of a modest house can be riveting. But the conceit is ineluctably compelling, centering on the stubborn determination of a man and a woman from vastly different backgrounds, both dead set on owning the same humble ranch-style house with a partial ocean view.

The movie adaptation's most indelible character is a former colonel in the Iranian army, Massoud Behrani, played brilliantly by Ben Kingsley. Almost as unforgettable are two actors largely unknown to American audiences. Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo plays Nadi Behrani, Kingsley's wife, with so much dignity and heart that she deserves to be among this year's quintet of Oscar-nominated actresses. (Kingsley is a shoo-in for Oscar consideration.) Almost as moving is the performance of teenage Jonathan Ahdout, who plays their good-hearted, Americanized son.

Excerpt from Claudia Puig;s review at USA TODAY located HERE!

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 19th, 2003 - USA (limited)

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

UMVD - Region 1- NTSC vs.  Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B'  - Blu-ray

Box Cover

    

Distribution UMVD - Region 1- NTSC Studio Hamburg Enterprises (DE) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:06:00 2:06:00
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.44 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1.78:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,337,965,763 bytes

Feature: 22,123,524,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby) 

Dolby Digital Audio English 384 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps

DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio German 384 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps

Subtitles English (hearing impaired), French, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: UMVD

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Vadim Perelman, actor Ben Kingsley, novelist Andre Dubus III, costume designer Hala Bahmet, and production designer Maia Javan (optional subtitles)
• 5 Deleted Scenes with commentary
• Behind the Scenes featurette (4:3 - 16:01)

• Photo Gallery (75 images) in static slideshow or automatic with audio
• Shohreh Aghdashloo Audition (6:05)
• Cast / Filmmaker (static screens)
• Production Notes (static screens)

DVD Release Date: August 24th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Studio Hamburg Enterprises (DE)

 

1.78:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,337,965,763 bytes

Feature: 22,123,524,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

None


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 23rd, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Studio Hamburg Enterprises Blu-ray (June 2019): Studio Hamburg Enterprises in Germany have transferred Vadim Perelman's House of Sand and Fog to Blu-ray. Short story, this is bare-bones with lossy audio (English and a German DUB), no subtitles, but is an advancement over SD (1080P resolution). I just love this film so I though I'd take a chance and, to be fair, the price reflects the editions limitations. Obviously the DVD with commentary is the way to go - but I was pleased with the image on my HD system. Anyway, now you know too...

NOTE: We have added 24 more large resolution Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.  

***

ON THE DVD: This is a very good DVD. The image shows a bit of softness at times but I gather it was a process of the filmmaking - not the transfer. Contrast is superb and colors vibrant.

The 5.1 audio track as well is right up to par with the image and there are optional 2 channel and a 5.1 French DUB, even if it is never tested. Subtitles are very well done with a non-obtrusive font. I love the commentary and the optional subtitles (like BFI do) on the commentary and I think everyone should be doing this!. The audition tape and behind-the-scenes extras are insightful as well. Pretty much a perfect DVD and not excessive with 2nd and 3rd discs of bloated Features.

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) UMVD - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Studio Hamburg Enterprises - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

Box Cover     

Distribution UMVD - Region 1- NTSC Studio Hamburg Enterprises (DE) - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

 

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Gary Tooze