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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Rob Reiner
USA 1992

The role doesn't have to be big, but if it's good, and if the actor playing it is great, the results can be magically transforming. Witness Jack Nicholson's vicious, funny, superbly reptilian turn in Rob Reiner's entertaining "A Few Good Men," adapted by Aaron Sorkin from his hit Broadway courtroom drama.

Mr. Nicholson doesn't steal the film, which would mean that he somehow separates himself from everybody else in it. Rather, in the course of only a handful of scenes, he seems to suffuse the entire production, giving it a weight, density and point that might not otherwise be apparent.

The role, beautifully written, is made to Mr. Nicholson's order. It's that of Col. Nathan R. Jessep of the United States Marine Corps, a tough, bigoted Vietnam veteran, a career officer shaped by decades of cold-war politics. By chance, Jessep is stationed in that last corner of the earth where the cold war goes on as if there were no yesterday.

He's the commander of the marines stationed at the American naval base on the southwestern coast of Cuba at Guantanamo Bay, on a small bit of arid real estate protecting one of the best anchorages in the western Atlantic, a legacy of the Spanish-American War. It's there that the United States and Cuba, separated by barbed wire and command posts, have continued to co-exist through the Bay of Pigs invasion, the great missile crisis and a continuing, crippling economic embargo, in one of the strangest examples of symbiosis to be found in all of international relations.

This geographic fact becomes a central image in the film adaptation, which gracefully opens up the story of a military court-martial without allowing the tension to evaporate. There are times when the movie seems to force-feed the audience essential information, and when the audience might well wonder whether the emotional crises of the defense lawyers really are of more interest than the fates of the two men on trial.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby's review at the NY Times located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: December 9th, 1992

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Comparison: 

Sony Pictures - Blu-ray Disc vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures (SuperBit) - Region 0 - NTSC

(Sony Pictures - Blu-ray Region Free LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Sony Pictures (SuperBit) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures - Blu-ray REGION FREE

Sony Pictures (SE)

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Sony (SuperBit)

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2:17:57 2:17:50 2:17:50

Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

1080p Hi-def

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.48 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate :

 Special Edition

Bitrate:

 SuperBit

Audio English: PCM 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), English: Dolby Digital 5.1, DUBs: German: PCM 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit), German: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish: Dolby Digital 2.0
English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: French, Spanish, Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS)
Subtitles English, English SDH, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish, French, Hungarian, Romanian, Icelandic, Bulgaria, Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, None

Supplements in English, Dutch, French, German, Korean, None

English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, None English, Japanese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

1080p Hi-def, 50 Gig Dual-layered

Edition Details:
• Director Reiner Commentary

• Featurette: Code of Conduct

• Featurette: From Stage to Screen (with Sorkin and Reiner)

DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2007
Blu-ray case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Director Reiner Commentary

• Featurette: Code of Conduct

• Featurette: From Stage to Screen (with Sorkin and Reiner)

• Filmographies

• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: May 29th, 2001
Keep case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• none

 

DVD Release Date: April 23rd, 2003
Keep Case inside cardboard box

Chapters 28

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Blu-ray - Sept 07': NOTE: The Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. Blu-ray images below are linked to their full size by simply clicking on them.

The differences between the Blu-ray and the SDs beyond the sterling new image is that the the Hi-def DVD is loaded with 25 subtitle options for the feature and 5 for the extra features (which duplicate the Special Edition with commentary and two featurettes).

I have always found this an extremely entertaining film, albeit the Hollywood-esq lack of subtleties, and this new Blu-ray DVD is the best home theatre presentation available - also the price is quite reasonable as far as Hi-def discs go at less than $20. 

****

RE the SD's: There is no significant image quality differences - the Special Edition may have slightly redder skin tones but detail and external colors are an fairly exact match. Both DVDs are progressive, anamorphic in the film's original 2.35 ratio and transferred to dual-layered discs.  Both have black borders circumventing the edge of the frame slightly limiting the horizontal resolution. But overall the image is excellent, very few artefcats - clean and sharp.

The differences come in the supplements. In the SuperBit - on the pretext of filtering more data - has none. It offers English and Japanese subtitles and a 5.1 and, largely superfluous, DTS track. The Special Edition has a rather bland commentary from 2001 by director Rob Reiner (lots of gaps) and two featurettes - of the two I preferred 'From Stage to Screen' with input from Sorkin about his original play and Reiner again about the adaptation to film. There are also text screen filmographies and a theatrical trailer. It is coded for regions 1, 3 and 4 with subtitles options making it suitable for sale in alternate locations (parts of Asia and Europe). It loses the DTS track for a 2.0 channel stereo and another 5.1 job with a few offered DUBs. Both are in the NTSC standard.

NOTE: My software states the Japanese SuperBit is region 0 although I would assume it is region 2.

Bottom line - I'm expecting the Blu-ray to look marvelous and hope it contains some new extras (as well as the old). Great film and Jack's performance borders on terrifyingly sobering as an extremely fundamentalist military mind. I look forward to owning the Blu-ray. We will get some comparative shots if possible. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

Sony Pictures - Blu-ray Region Free

 



(Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (SuperBit) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT)

 
 
 
 
 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Sony Pictures - Blu-ray Region Free - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Sony Pictures (SuperBit) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)
Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame

 

 

 


 

(Sony Pictures - Blu-ray Region Free - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Sony Pictures (SuperBit) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 

 


 

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. Blu-ray images below are linked to their full size by simply clicking on them.

 

MORE CAPTURES OF THE Blu-ray

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures - Blu-ray REGION FREE

Sony Pictures (SE)

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Sony (SuperBit)

Region 0 - NTSC


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray / Special Edition
Menu: Blu-ray  / Special Edition

 


 



 

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