directed by Roger Donaldson
New Zealand 1981

 

Premiering at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, Smash Palace was Roger Donaldson's second feature following the success of Sleeping Dogs, a film which had heralded the arrival of the New Zealand New Wave.

Smash Palace concerns itself with the marriage of former racing driver Al (Bruno Lawrence, The Quiet Earth) and French-born Jacqui (Anna Jemison, Nomads). The pair had met when she nursed him back to health following a career-ending injury. They married, returned to Al s native New Zealand to take over his late father s wrecking yard business the Smash Palace of the title and had a child. But over time stagnation has set in, Jacqui s resentment of Al has grown, and things are threatening to spill over...

Playing out as a darker, more haunting New Zealand variation on such US separation movies asKramer vs. Kramer or Shoot the Moon, Smash Palace offers a brilliant, vivid messy portrait of masculinity in crisis, driven by Lawrence's immense central performance once again confirming his status as one of New Zealand s finest actors.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 April 1982 (USA)

Reviews                                                                                     More Reviews                                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

    

 

     

 

    

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow Academy
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:56 1:47:12.425
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced 
Average Bitrate: 6.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,272,301,039 bytes

Feature: 32,105,205,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Arrow AcademyBlu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4319 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4319 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
 Audio Commentary by director Roger Donaldson and 'special driver' Steve Millen
The Making of 'Smash Palace' (50:52) 
Behind The Scenes (24 min) 
Production Stills
Poster Art
Biography

DVD Release Date: 8 June 2004
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Academy

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,272,301,039 bytes

Feature: 32,105,205,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Commentary by writer-director Roger Donaldson and stunt driver Steve Millen
The Making of Smash Palace (53:05)
Theatrical Trailer (2:25)

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ian Barr, a contemporary review by Pauline Kael and the original press book

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 28th-29th 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 12

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray (May 2018):  Firstly,Smash Palace is a brilliant, powerful and memorable film experience. Arrow are releasing their Blu-ray package in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook about Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup. The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.'Smash Palace is the same salutation.

 

The 2004 DVD had dirt and noise, lacking depth, where Arrow's new 1080P improves in color separation, detail and contrast but has moments where it can look slightly waxy. I don't suspect digitization. With some variance there is more information in the 1.85:1 frame. Overall it looks quite good in-motion.

 

Arrow give the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel or a, very robust, DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround option. The surround has impressive depth although the aggression is limited. The score is by Sharon O'Neill (her only feature film composition) and it does a fine job of supporting the narrative sounding tight and clean in the lossless choices. Arrow add optional English subtitles on their Region FREEBlu-ray.

 

Arrow include the same audio commentary by writer-director Roger Donaldson and stunt driver Steve Millen as found on the 2004 Anchor Bay DVD as well as the lengthy The Making of Smash Palace piece with director, cast and crew giving input. The only way the New Zealand Film Commission would fund the film (rejected on first proposal) was that it be completed in time to screen at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. This tight production schedule left only four months before it's premiere. Arrow also add a theatrical trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips. The first pressing purchases get an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ian Barr, a contemporary review by Pauline Kael and the original press book.

 

 

 -Gary Tooze

 


Menus
Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC
 

 

Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

Subtitle Sample - Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Anchor Bay (The Roger Donaldson Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Arrow Academy - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: DVD has 'Behind the Scenes' / Blu-ray has Booklet

 
Box Covers

 

    

 

     

 

    

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 1 - NTSC

Arrow Academy
Region FREE - Blu-ray

 



 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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