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A Mighty Heart [Blu-ray]
(Michael Winterbottom, 2007)
Review by Gary Tooze
Disc Size: 37,133,390,052 bytes
Feature Size: 33,814,315,008 bytes
Average Bitrate: 41.80 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 24th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3303 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3303 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Journey of Passion: The Making of A Mighty Heart
• Trailer in HD (2:23)
Description: Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie (The
Good Shepherd) "gives one of the most commanding and
moving performances of her career" (Richard Roeper, Ebert &
Roeper) in this shocking true story based on Mariane Pearl's
"A Mighty Heart" begins with shots of the teeming streets of Karachi, Pakistan, a city with a population that seems jammed in, shoulder to shoulder. Terrorists will emerge from this sea of humanity, kidnap the American journalist Daniel Pearl and disappear. The film is about the desperate search for Pearl (Dan Futterman) before the release of the appalling video showing him being beheaded. It is told largely through the eyes of and based on a memoir by his widow, Mariane.
What is most fascinating about Mariane Pearl, in life and in this movie, is that she is not a stereotyped hysterical wife, weeping on camera, but a cool, courageous woman who behaves in a way best calculated to save her husband's life. Listen to her speak and sense how her mind works. While you experience the fear and tension that Winterbottom records, see also how she tries to use it and not merely be its victim. (In the same sense, the statements of the parents of Blair Holt, the boy who died in a senseless shooting on a Chicago bus, have glowed with intelligence and sanity, despite their grief.)
This came out in HD October 2007 - and while this probably improves by taking up more space than the single-disc capacity of that format - it may not be readily noticeable. The Blu-ray offers a healthy bitrate on the dual-layered disc and supports the film's rougher textures with visuals of the streets of India and Pakistan looking gritty, dusty and grim. There is reasonably heavy grain and if you are a fan of this style this Blu-ray will result in an impressive and theatrically accurate image. It doesn't, however, have any type of glossy, highly-detailed, appearance for most of the film but the style changes at times and this only goes to showcase versatility of the 1080P transfer. I have no complaints whatsoever but fans expecting pristine will be left wanting as the film itself did not export that look. It appears to excel over the SD-DVD (reviewed HERE) in terms of a brighter, more stable and tighter image.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Blu-ray offers TrueHD in 3303 kbps as well as 2 foreign language DUBs in standard 5.1. There are very few aggressive moments - with minimal gunplay and the majority of the audio being dialogue. Extraneous sounds of crowds and marketplaces subtly separate. While the TrueHD sounds adequately crisp it may take a trained ear to distinguish it from the DVD's 5.1. Technically though - this is the best offered for home theater and there are optional subtitles.
Duplicated from the previous SD-DVD with a quasi 'making of...' in the guise of Journey of Passion: The Making of A Mighty Heart which runs 1/2 an hour. It has input from many and gives more of a background to production etc. There is a very brief Public Service Announcement from Pearl Foundation for just over 2 minutes and a piece on a Committee to Protect Journalists for less than 10. The only think in HD is a trailer for 2.5 minutes.
March 16th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze