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(aka 'Stephen King's The Mist')

Directed by Frank Darabont
USA 2007

 

The Mist is what a horror film should be - dark, tense, and punctuated by just enough gore to keep the viewer's flinch reflex intact. In fact, that movie's ending is so uncompromising that one must assume director Frank Darabont had final cut so the studio couldn't interfere. (It's worth noting that the ending is not the same as that of Stephen King's novella, but I won't mention how it has changed.) Darabont has fashioned a tense motion pictures that's ultimately more about paranoia, religious fanaticism, and the price of hopelessness than it is about monsters. But the creatures are present and accounted for, lurking in the white-out that is the mist. Someone has finally succeeded where John Carpenter failed with The Fog.

Darabont, who was an established screenwriter before trying his hand at directing with 1994's The Shawshank Redemption, has made four motion pictures. The Mist is the third one that uses a Stephen King story as source material. Before The Mist, Darabont stuck to King's "straight" stories, but this time he takes a turn for the horrific. What he does right, however, is to focus more on the interplay between the characters than on the monsters. By the end, one wonders which group is more savage: us or them. Darabont's theme in some ways echoes a sentiment voiced by Ellen Ripley in Aliens: that human beings can be as bad or worse than the nightmares that sometimes hunt them. (The movie borrows other things from the Alien series, including the expulsion of creatures from the body and the cocooning of victims.)

Excerpt from ReelViews (James Berardinelli) review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 21st, 2007

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Comparison:

Genius Products (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Genius Products (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) - Region A - Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Genius Products - Region 1 - NTSC Genius Products - Region A Blu-ray
Runtime 2:05:44  2:05:59
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.22 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Blu-ray VC-1 , 1.85:1

Disc 1 - 25.9 (feature) Gig Dual-layered

Disc 2 - 21.9 Gig Single-layered

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

Bitrate:  SD-DVD

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1). DUB: (not found on BW version) French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  English (Dolby TRUEHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1). DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English (SDH), Spanish, None English (SDH), Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont
• Eight Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (14:47)
• 
Featurette: Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of an Artist (7:28)

• Three Behind the Scenes Webisodes (10:16)

• Trailer Gallery (3 of The Mist)
Disc 2

• Frank Darabont introduces the black and white version (3:17)
• Featurette: When Darkness Comes: The Making of The Mist (37:24)

• Taming the Beast - The Making of Scene 35 (12:11)

• Featurette: Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX (12:46)

• Featurette: The Horror of it All: The Visual FX of The Mist (16:04)

DVD Release Date: March 25th, 200
8
Keep Case inside cardboard sleeve
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont
• Eight Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (14:47) in HD!

Conversation between King and Darabont (12:17) in HD!
• Featurette: Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of an Artist (7:28) in HD!

• Featurette: When Darkness Comes: The Making of The Mist (37:24) in HD!

• Taming the Beast - The Making of Scene 35 (12:11) in HD!

• Featurette: Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX (12:46) in HD!

• Featurette: The Horror of it All: The Visual FX of The Mist (16:04) in HD!


Disc 2 Black and White version

• Frank Darabont introduces the black and white version (3:17) in HD!


DVD Release Date: September 16th, 200
8
Standard
Blu-ray case (holds 2-discs)
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Weinstein gives us another two-disc'er for 'The Mist' but this time everything (even the extras as well as the B/W edition) are in 1080P resolution (one color dual-layered disc and one single-layered for the B/W.) It, expectantly shows improvement with some stunning scenes in the color Blu-ray - but the black and white version of the film (in the new format) seems to have the most improvement and looks just wonderful. I can't do more than refer you to the expandable high-definition captures below to identify how strong it is. Minor noise exists - I see no DNR impairment. Unfortunately the CGI based scenes seem to show the least betterment in terms of detail on the Blu-ray color version - probably more because of the nature of those digital effects that never seem to produce pristinely tight imagery. It looks superior - especially in terms of color and detail - certainly the outdoor scenes are impressive. The 2nd disc looks vastly improved in contrast showing the SD-DVD to be overly greenish/blue impinging on the purity and crispiness of the 'nostalgically styled' visuals.

Audio has a TrueHD option now and Mark Isham's creepy score is that much more effective. I wouldn't say I noticed a immense improvement over the 5.1 (on the SD-DVD and as an option on the Blu-ray) but it seemed a bit more dynamic and with audio this engaging - a little can be a lot.

Extras seem the same as listed below on the SD (commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes etc.) but in this Blu-ray they are all in HD (1080P) and we do get one 'bonus' that isn't present on the original release; a 12 minute conversation between King and Darabont who seem genuine friends and it was a nice addition although doesn't impart too much more - information-wise.

I still love how critics attack this film for its shallow nature and invisible characterizations... HELLO! - it's meant to be a cheesy horror folks!  And it succeeds in that regard with top honors. I'd say for those keen on the black and white version (I raise my hand) you may see the most improvement in the new Blu-ray. Although everything is improved to varying degrees - the image is no contest - audio is a bump and there is a new extra - tack on to this that all the supplements, save one - the B/W introduction, are all on one disc now.

Hunker down for the evening and give this spirited runaway sci-fi/horror flic a spin - just don't expect perfection - it's meant to be flawed - resonating with weakness to essentially what it is playfully paying homage to.

Gary W. Tooze

*****

ON THE SD-DVD: Genius Products have brought us a stacked 2-disc standard definition package of Frank Darabont's The Mist (in the theatres as recent in November of last year!). The color theatrical version is on disc one and a black and white 'Director's Vision' complete version is on disc 2. It is the exact same film but we have compared some frames below to give you an idea of how the b+w image is represented. 

Image quality is strong but not pristine (I may be getting spoiled by Blu-ray). I have no obvious complaints but colors can be a shade dull yet detail is quite adept. I wouldn't expect any strong disappointment, from most, in how this transfer looks. The black and white might have showed a smidgeon more noise - but anyway it is minimal through the film. Not enough to deter viewing. Both discs are dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic in the film's original 1.85:1 ratio. Both discs are coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. One difference between the two versions are that the black and white doesn't offer the same French 5.1 DUB found on the color theatrical. Both have optional English (SDH) or Spanish subtitles.  

Extras on disc one include a Darabont commentary for the theatrical color release. He has a relaxed tone but can talk fairly quickly - like a restrained enthusiasm. He describes what are many of the digital enhancements (things I would not have guessed - like parts of the crashed tree into the house). He pauses for both effect and to let important scenes run a bit - he pats the cast and crew on the back, shows his admiration etc. - typical stuff but enjoyable enough to be worth a listen in my opinion. There are 15 minutes of eight deleted scenes with optional commentary by Darabont, a featurette on a very interesting artist entitled Drew Struzan: An Appreciation of an Artist. It runs only 8 minutes but I enjoyed learning about this individual and his compositions and style. There are three Behind the Scenes Webisodes, with Darabont as kind of 'host', running about 10 minutes and a trailer gallery of three different adverts for The Mist.

Disc 2 has Darabont introduce the black and white version for about 3 minutes. There are also some featurettes - When Darkness Comes: The Making of The Mist goes into some good detail of production and development with input from many - and it runs almost 40 minutes. Taming the Beast - The Making of Scene 35 is interesting in that it dissects one pivotal scene from the film with focus on the incredible detail involved. Two more featurettes: Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX is exactly what you might expect and runs 12 minutes while The Horror of it All: The Visual FX of The Mist is 15 minutes more on the extensive FX. Whewww. You have to appreciate the director getting involved in so many of the supplements - he is all over the place giving, commentaries (feature and deleted scenes), explanations and generally being a part what's going on.

The film? I am usually not overly partial to the modern Horror genre, but this has so much of the cheesy 50's intent (that I love!) I'll admit I was quite thrilled with my two viewings (theatrical and BW). I *think* I may have enjoyed the black and white version more (I actually watched that first - them did the color with the commentary running) but it's more an aura transposition than effecting the guts of the film. Scary?... D-uh, yeah! I suspect many who approach this with a shade of playfulness, disregarding any strokes of attempted depth, may get the most out of the movie. I'd love to watch something just like this again - Darabont positively knows how to make films (great pace, extracts excellent performances etc.) but don't get your hopes up for more than a simple thrill and adrenaline ride - which I believe was the main intent. It's extreme (definitely NOT for family viewing - R-rated!) and dives right into the horror element quickly with dynamic energy. Best Horror film in while? - yep. If this sounds like your cup-of-tea I don't anticipate you will be disappointed. The single-disc edition is only $3 cheaper so, it's my opinion to go for this one and reap the benefits.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus (SD-DVD)


Extras

 


Subtitle Sample (can't obtain Blu-ray subs capture yet)

 

1) Theatrical color SD-DVD version TOP

2) Blu-ray Disc 1 SECOND 

3) Second SD-DVD disc black + white version THIRD

2) Blu-ray Disc 2 - black and white version BOTTOM 

 

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

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Theatrical color SD-DVD version TOP

2) Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Theatrical color SD-DVD version TOP

2) Blu-ray Disc 1 SECOND 

3) Second SD-DVD disc black + white version THIRD

2) Blu-ray Disc 2 - black and white version BOTTOM 

 

 


 

1) Theatrical color SD-DVD version TOP

2) Blu-ray Disc 1 SECOND 

3) Second SD-DVD disc black + white version THIRD

2) Blu-ray Disc 2 - black and white version BOTTOM 

 

 

 


 

1) Theatrical color SD-DVD version TOP

2) Blu-ray Disc 1 SECOND 

3) Second SD-DVD disc black + white version THIRD

2) Blu-ray Disc 2 - black and white version BOTTOM 

 

 

More Blu-ray Color captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Genius Products - Region 1 - NTSC Genius Products - Region A Blu-ray




 

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