Directed by Marc Forster
USA 2007

 

The Kite Runner’ is the film of the international bestselling book which tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is haunted by the guilt of betraying his childhood friend Hassan, the son of his father's Hazara servant. It is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.

Adapted from the best-selling novel by Afghan-born American writer Khaled Hosseini, this accessible, deftly-directed and moving tale of childhood regret and adult atonement courses through three decades of war-torn Afghan history in personal terms. In 1978, preceding the Soviet invasion, privileged seven-year-old Kabul boy Amir (Zekeria Ebrahmi) witnesses the rape of his friend and fellow kite-flyer, lower-class Hazara servant Hassan (the expressive and contained Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada) by the malevolent Assef. Confused and angered by his own powerlessness, guilt, and shame, Amir frames his erstwhile companion for theft and is further admonished by the morally pure, loyal and self-abnegating behaviour of his victim, something that troubles the aspirant-writer Amir through his 20-odd years of exile in the US. In the present, a visit to Pakistan to see his dead father’s dying friend, offers news of Hassan’s fate, and prompts the older, now-married Amir (Khalid Abdalla) to a dangerous visit to his now Taliban-controlled home.

Notwithstanding the inevitable tendency of individual stories set against momentous national upheavals to conflate and simplify historical events, Marc ‘Finding Neverland’ Forster’s film achieves minor miracles within the bounds of his broadly conventional narrative. His sober approach allows a surprising level of complexity in his film’s wider interest in themes of guilt, displacement, honour and conflicting traditions, while his sensitivity to the emotional responses of his characters – both adult and child – is never overwhelmed nor upstaged by his incorporation of challenging dramatic scenes (such as a startlingly brutal stoning of an adulterous couple in a Kabul stadium).

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Poster

Theatrical Release: October 5th, 2007 - Scottsdale International Film Festival

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DVD Comparison:

Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:07:40  2:07:55.709
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 41,585,925,311 bytes

Feature Size: 38,825,644,032 bytes

Average Bitrate: 40.47 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English / Dari / Pashtu / Urdu / Russian (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: French and Spanish  Dolby TrueHD Audio English / Dari / Pashtu / Urdu / Russian 3047 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3047 kbps / 24-bit
(AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby
Surround
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None - for English dialogue / Non-English is in mandatory English subtitle (see samples below) English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, None - for English dialogue / Non-English is in mandatory English subtitle (see samples below)
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Dreamworks Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Director Marc Forster, novelist Khaled Hosseini, and screenwriter David Benioff
• “Words from The Kite Runner” (14:25)
• “Images from The Kate Runner” (24:38)
• Public Service Announcement by Khaled Hosseini (1:19)
• Theatrical trailer (1:51)
• Previews

DVD Release Date: March 25th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Dreamworks Video

Disc Size: 41,585,925,311 bytes

Feature Size: 38,825,644,032 bytes

Average Bitrate: 40.47 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Director Marc Forster, novelist Khaled Hosseini, and screenwriter David Benioff
• “Words from The Kite Runner” (14:25)
• “Images from The Kate Runner” (24:38)
• Public Service Announcement by Khaled Hosseini (1:19)
• Theatrical trailer  in HD! (1:51)
• Previews

Blu-ray Release Date: March 24th, 2008
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Blu-ray - March 09': Here we have a textbook example of Blu-ray's image superiority over SD-DVD. The DVD looked good when I first saw it, but the Blu-ray makes it look comparatively quite weaker. I suspected some edge-enhancement on the Blu-ray but couldn't identify any halos with extensive zooming-in. The 1080P dual-layered image quality is very impressive with bright, vibrant colors that don't unnaturally explode on the screen. Contrast and detail are a far superior to the DVD. This film has some scenes that produce a strong 'Wow' factor on Blu-ray

 

Audio gets a bump too with TrueHD and it is that much crisper. It comes into play more with the music soundtrack than any radical effects the film has to offer.

 

Extras are duplicated (as mentioned below) with only the trailer in HD.

 

Well, this is what we want - great films looking and sounding there absolute best for your home theater. Paramount (Dreamworks) does it again as they continue to churn out tremendous high-definition discs maximizing the formats capabilities. This film and Blu-ray are strongly recommended!

 

***

ON THE DVD: Image quality on this Dreamworks dual-layered DVD is strong. Colors are fairly bright but have a warm palette appearance subduing any brilliance to meld with the, often, brownish, sandy backgrounds. Detail is also very adept and as is contrast. Expectantly the image is extremely clean. I have no complaints with this film's appearance aside from the English subtitles (for foreign language) and burned-in to the screen. Optional subtitles (in English, French or Spanish) only appear for English dialogue. Audio supports the various languages of the film (English / Dari / Pashtu / Urdu / Russian), very well - consistent and clear. The 5.1 channel seems mainly unnecessary aside from the score which filters to the rears nicely.

You may start the film with Hosseini's 1 minute PSA or alternately choose it from the Special Features menu afterward. Supplements include a decent commentary with input from director Forster, novelist Khaled Hosseini, and screenwriter David Benioff. Forster seems to take the lead and asks some questions. A healthy amount of production and adaptation information is imparted and is presented in a fairly relaxed fashion with some gaps for occasional scenes to run a few seconds. There is a couple of featurettes “Words from The Kite Runner” runs about 15 minutes and a more in-depth “Images from The Kate Runner” focuses on production preparation and runs 25 minutes. There is also a trailer and previews.

Very strong film, capably presented. Heavy on feelings of loyalty, friendship and betrayal and the price of this DVD seems very reasonable for what you are getting. Recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Optional subtitle sample for English dialogue (can't obtain subtitles on Blu-ray yet!)

 

(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 

More Blu-ray captures

 


DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Dreamworks Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC Dreamworks Video - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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