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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

( aka 'M. Night Shyamalan's Signs' )

directed by M. Night Shyamalan
USA 2002

Taking cues from classic films of the past including Hitchcock's 'The Birds', George Romero's 'Night of the Living Dead' and Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, M. Night Shyamalan has written produced and directed and old fashioned intriguing sci-fi suspense story. I fully enjoyed his previous film, 'Unbreakable', and his slight diversion from standard Hollywood formula has proven a big success with most, although his detractors are growing. 'Signs' is slick, smart, and keeps you on the edge of your seat with fine performances, subtle humor and slight references to faith and conviction. I won't go overboard and say 'masterpiece' but Shyamalan's style is certainly captivating and is also apocalyptic in the same vein as Spielberg's 2005 War of the Worlds. Night seems driven more by instinct and belief in his ideas of the film's creation and even if his goal is still sale-ability at least his methodology is not fraught with the complexities of over-production. His efforts to avoiding the obvious vein of CGI and special effects are likewise admirable.

***

Following the smash hit The Sixth Sense (1999) and the under-performing follow-up Unbreakable (2000), directing phenom M. Night Shyamalan returns to the summer box office landscape that served as the backdrop for his cinematic breakthrough. In Signs, another paranormal outing for the writer-director, Shyamalan explores the eerie implications of a 500-foot crop circle that mysteriously appears on the Bucks County, PA farm of reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As Hess and his family (Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin) try to take stock of what the sign means, and how its message incorporates into their faith, they start to get the feeling they are not alone in the fields behind their house.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters (Click to enlarge)

Theatrical Release Date: August 2, 2002

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Comparison:

Buena Vista Series  Region 1 NTSC vs. Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC vs. Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC LEFT

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

  

Blu-ray

 

  

Also available in a Blu-ray Steelbook

Distribution Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC Buena Vista - Region 2 - NTSC Touchstone / Disney
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:20  1:46:20 1:46:30.759
Video 1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 6.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / anamorphic
Average Bitrate: 6.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,909,174,642 bytes

Feature: 30,361,669,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate: Buena Vista

Bitrate: Buena Vista (Japan)

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)  , THX Certified English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)  , THX Certified LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital EX Audio French 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / Dolby Surround
LPCM Audio Japanese 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital EX Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Subtitles English Close-captioned for the hearing impaired, None English, Japanese, None English (SDH), French, Spanish, Japanese, none
Features

Release Information:
Production Company: Buena Vista

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
The Making of Signs - Exclusive six-part documentary exploring the movie from idea to marketing . Divided into six parts - "Looking for Signs" (6:11), "Building Signs" (8:02), "Making Signs" (22:33), "Effects of Signs" (8:31), "Last Voices: The Music of Signs" (8:26) and "Full Circle" (4:48)
• 5 Deleted Scenes (7 minutes in total): "Graham and Merrill," "Flashbacks #1 & #2," "Dead Bird," and "Alien in the Attic."
• Storyboards: Multi-Angle Feature
• M.Night Shyamalan's First Alien Film

DVD Release Date:  January 7th 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 21

Release Information:
Production Company: Buena Vista

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
The Making of Signs - Exclusive six-part documentary exploring the movie from idea to marketing . Divided into six parts - "Looking for Signs" (6:11), "Building Signs" (8:02), "Making Signs" (22:33), "Effects of Signs" (8:31), "Last Voices: The Music of Signs" (8:26) and "Full Circle" (4:48)
• 5 Deleted Scenes (7 minutes in total): "Graham and Merrill," "Flashbacks #1 & #2," "Dead Bird," and "Alien in the Attic."
• Storyboards: Multi-Angle Feature
• M.Night Shyamalan's First Alien Film

DVD Release Date:  Martch 7th 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 21

Release Information:
Studio: T
ouchstone

 

Aspect Ratio: 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,909,174,642 bytes

Feature: 30,361,669,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• The Making of Signs - Exclusive six-part documentary exploring the movie from idea to marketing . Divided into six parts - "Looking for Signs" (6:11), "Building Signs" (8:02), "Making Signs" (22:33), "Effects of Signs" (8:31), "Last Voices: The Music of Signs" (8:26) and "Full Circle" (4:48)
• 5 Deleted Scenes (7 minutes in total): "Graham and Merrill," "Flashbacks #1 & #2," "Dead Bird," and "Alien in the Attic."
• Storyboards: Multi-Angle Feature
• M.Night Shyamalan's First Alien Film
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 3rd, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 21

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Touchstone - Region FREE Blu-ray September 2017': Touchstone's new Blu-ray was at the earlier edge of the format's production - notice it takes awhile to  load. It's dual-layered with a supportive bitrate and does advance over the SDs. The orange-ness of the flesh tones on the DVD convert to warmer, more realistic flesh tones on the 1080P. So colors take a positive shift - there is more information in the frame as compared to the Region 1, North American DVD. There is a shade more depth - it's not a dynamic upgrade but it is an upgrade, although it has imperfections and could look sharper. I'd love to see a 4K transfer.

I don't believe I've ever seen a linear PCM 5.1 surround before - it is transferred very robustly at 4608 kbps - but only16-bit. As I've said the fledgling days of Blu-ray production. There is also a lossy Dolby Digital EX 5.1 that does sound quite different - not as  bass heavy - in fact a shade more hollow beside the LPCM but the separation might be more noticeable. The, many, effects are well supported and it's good to have an interesting choice of track selection. James Newton Howard (8 Millions Ways to Die,, 2005's King Kong, Batman Begins, The Bourne Legacy, I Am Legend, The Lookout etc.) did the excellent score and it's one of his most memorable methodically building tension and mystery. There are also some lossy foreign-language DUBs. There are optional subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Supplements are duplicated from the SD edition (and in 480) - The Making of Signs - is an exclusive six-part documentary exploring the movie from idea to marketing . Divided as follows - "Looking for Signs" (6:11), "Building Signs" (8:02), "Making Signs" (22:33), "Effects of Signs" (8:31), "Last Voices: The Music of Signs" (8:26) and "Full Circle" (4:48). There are 5 Deleted Scenes (7 minutes in total): "Graham and Merrill," "Flashbacks #1 & #2," "Dead Bird," and "Alien in the Attic." A Storyboards: Multi-Angle Feature and M. Night Shyamalan's First 'Alien' Film.

I'm very glad to have this title as part of my Blu-ray library and it will get it's fair share of replay. I've watched it with my sons at least 1/2 a dozen times. Shyamalan even hides the violence (of Merrill's most viscious bat swings) as it is masked through an empty water glass.

As I stated in the old DVD review - I feel very alone in extolling this film, and Shyamalan in general, but his cinema isn't derived from a 'fluke' - he knows exactly what he is doing and I always feel transported back to the fantasy/adventure/thriller/sci-fi films that had me riveted to a Saturday or Sunday matinee. Hopefully he will continue this trend for the next 30 years. I'm keen to see this
Blu-ray re-issued - it may be my favorite from this director. I've contemplated owning the steelbook too...

***

ON THE DVDs: Although the Region 1 DVD is called 'Vista Series' and the Japanese Region 2 is labeled 'Collector's Edition' - they are virtually identical - sharpness, colors - both anamorphic and progressive. The extras, as far as I can tell, are duplicated. The only differences I see in the two DVDs are:

1) The Region 2 is brighter.

2) The Region 1 has bright yellow optional English subtitles and the Region 2 are white (offering both Japanese and English).

3) The Region 1 is slightly cropped on both side edges.

4) The Region 1 offers a French DUB option, the Region 2 - a Japanese one.

I feel very alone in extolling this film, and Shyamalan in general. As he matures he continues to veer further away from creating mass-market Hollywood blockbusters - this is strongly to his credit because it is my belief that he already is fully aware of that process. He is approaching narrative structure cinema and as he is such an accomplished plot/script writer that his abilities can only sharpen. Trust me folks - this guy is one of the futures of modern cinema as we know it. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village are just scratching the surface of his potential.

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

(Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC LEFT vs. Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC RIGHT)

 

Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Samples

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Buena Vista Series - Region 1 NTSC TOP

2) Buena Vista 'Collector's Edition' - Region 2- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Touchstone - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Hit Counter


Box Covers

  

  

Blu-ray

 

  

Also available in a Blu-ray Steelbook

Distribution Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC Buena Vista - Region 2 - NTSC Touchstone / Disney
Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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