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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by David Lynch
U.S. 1999

David Lynch offers an uncharacteristically straightforward and warmly sentimental approach to his material in this film, based on a true story, about an elderly man's journey to reconcile with his brother. Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) is an ailing widower in his early 70's who lives in Laurens, Iowa with his daughter, Rose (Sissy Spacek), who is mildly retarded and has a speech defect. Alvin doesn't trust doctors, despite suffering from emphysema and a bad hip. Alvin learns that his brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke and may not have long to live. Alvin and Lyle haven't spoken in 10 years, which Alvin says is mainly a matter of pride and alcohol; Alvin wants to clear his slate with his brother before it's too late. However, Lyle lives in Wisconsin, and Alvin has little money, no car, and no driver's license. He does, however, have a riding lawn mower, and so Alvin hops on board and heads northeast to Wisconsin, hoping to make it while there's still time. Along the way, Alvin makes new friends and refuses to give up on his journey, despite frequent mechanical breakdowns. Richard Farnsworth's performance as Alvin earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor; it would prove to be his final screen appearance, as he died a year after the film's release.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 21st, 1999 - Cannes Film Festival, France

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 Comparison:

Cinema Club - Region 2- PAL vs. Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC (WS version)  vs. Disney - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Marc Colella for the  Alliance and Disney Screen Captures and Pavel Borodin for the Cinema Club captures!!

1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -LEFT

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

FilmFour / Cinema Club, UK

Region 2 PAL

Alliance Atlantis

Region 1  - NTSC

Disney 
Region 1 - NTSC
Comstock
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:56 (4% PAL speedup) 1:46:48 (4% PAL speedup... they used PAL source) 1:51:52 1:52:09.723
Video 2.25:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.10 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.25:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.37 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.25:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.72
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,178,078,567 bytes

Feature: 37,343,803,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Cinema Club

 

Bitrate:

Alliance

 

Bitrate:

Disney

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

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

English (Dolby Digital 5.1)

LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Japanese 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English (not mentioned on back cover) English, French and none English (yellow font with black outline) and none Japanese and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: FilmFour / Cinema Club, UK

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Special Feature:
Trailer

DVD Release: August 12th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters - 17

Release Information:
Studio:
Alliance Atlantis

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• None
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: July 3rd, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters - 24

Release Information:
Studio: Disney Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Film-themed menu screen
• Non-anamorphic widescreen theatrical trailer - 2:10
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: January 14, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters - 0

Release Information:
Studio: Comstock

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,178,078,567 bytes

Feature: 37,343,803,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Trailer (1:50 in 1080i)
DVD with

Interview with David Lynch (10:02)

Interview with Richard Farnsworth (10:25)

Japanese Press Conference with Farnsworth (29:55)

4 TV Spots

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 24

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (July 2012): Comstock out of Japan have transferred David Lynch's The Straight Story to dual-layered Blu-ray and it looks pretty sweet. Colors mellow but tighten and are more layered, detail and contrast rise and there is more information in the frame than any of the DVDs. There is a sense of depth and the 1080P image with very high bitrate is quite pleasing.

Audio comes in the form of a linear PCM 5.1 track at 4608 kbps in original English. The lonesome guitar plucks of Angelo Badalamenti's score sound wonderfully crisp in lossless. The track easily handles the films effects sound that are devoid of much aggression. There are optional Japanese subtitles (and a Japanese DUB is optional) on the Region 'A' Blu-ray disc. It should be noted that the, animated, menu has choices that are all in English.

The Blu-ray has only a 1080i trailer but there is a second disc DVD with more supplements. There are separate 10-minute interviews with David Lynch and Richard Farnsworth about The Straight Story as well as a 1/2 hour Japanese Press Conference with Farnsworth. There are also 4 short Japanese TV Spots. These extras are really appreciated as there was nothing to speak of on the past DVDs.

I love The Straight Story - an ode to small town people and lifestyles with a subtly dark theme (did Alvin, or Rose, cause the fire?). Pure brilliance and this Comstock Blu-ray offers super value of a beautifully gentle film. Strongly recommended!   

***

ON THE DVDs: The Alliance Atlantis and Cinema Club DVDs are not as sharp as the Disney DVD. All are anamorphic. The haziness of the r2 and Alliance is noticeable in every screen capture sample below compared to the Disney. The Alliance disc is also negligibly cropped. Director David Lynch wanted no chapter stops on this particular film on DVD and Disney adhered to his wishes. Alliance, on he other hand have divided the story into 24 chapters, Cinema Club - 17. Alliance transfer actually had a few black specks throughout the film... not a lot, and not too distracting - but they were there nonetheless, whereas the Disney transfer didn't have any.  It was too hard to get a good screenshot that shows it, but in regular playback - you definitely notice it (both on the DVD-Rom player and on my DVD player hooked up to an HDTV). Alliance had an opportunity to recover from their initial release (a pan and scan atrocity) of this same film by improving on Disney's image quality and offering more than just a trailer as an Extra feature. They did neither. The image quality is inferior to Disney's and they offered nothing in the way of Extras. Alliance Atlantis have shown their true colors again with a lack of respect for the artistic nature of this film and the directors wishes and their own presentation that seems intent on making a fast buck rather than put some time, money and effort into their work. they used a telecine'd PAL source and it shows with the inherent problems that exist.  I will continue to boycott their products until such time as they have proven they have improved. This is one of the best films of the 90's. Buy the Disney.  

- Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: The Alliance release clocks in as 5 minutes shorter than the Disney. This would represent approximately 4% of the running time which adheres to normal PAL speedup. Looking at the bit-rate, I suspect that these DVD transfers were not taken from the same print. The Alliance credits Studio Canal on their DVD packaging. I suspect that they ported the PAL transfer and did not bother with adjusting the timing.

NOTE 2: The Cinema Club R2 DVD is quite red (see Sissy Spacek's face in the 2nd large capture), but otherwise just as hazy as the Alliance.

 


Menus

(Cinema Club - Region 2- PAL -LEFT vs.Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -TOP

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -TOP

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -TOP

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -TOP

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Cinema Club - Region 2 - PAL -TOP

2) Alliance Atlantis - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Disney - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Comstock - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

FilmFour / Cinema Club, UK

Region 2 PAL

Alliance Atlantis

Region 1  - NTSC

Disney 
Region 1 - NTSC
Comstock
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray