|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze
(Brian De Palma, 1976)
Review by Gary Tooze
Production: Red Bank Films
Video: MGM / Shout! Factory/ Arrow (UK)
Region: FREE / Region 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Feature Runtime: 1:38:10 / 1:38:09.884 / 1:38:09.884
Chapters: 34 / 12 / 12
Disc size: 32,973,866,939 bytes / 48,717,824,125 bytes
Feature film disc size: 19.3 Gig / 30,785,206,272 bytes / 31,095,389,568 bytes
Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps / 34.87 Mbps
One single-layered Blu-ray / Two Dual-layered Blu-rays
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray case in cardboard slipcase
Release date: October 7th, 2008 / October 11th, 2016 / December 11th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 / 1.85:1 / 1.85:1
Video codec: MPEG-2 /MPEG-4 AVC Video / 23.976 fps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2693
kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2693 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 /
48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192
English, French, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean and none
English (SDH), none /
• Original Theatrical Trailer (HD
• NEW Writing Carrie an interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen (29:07)
• NEW Cutting Carrie an interview with editor Paul Hirsch (25:09)
• NEW Shooting Carrie an interview with director of photography Mario Tosi (15:22)
• NEW Casting Carrie an interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg (16:03)
• NEW Bucket of Blood a new interview with composer Pino Donaggio (23:53)
• NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds Revisiting The Film's Original Locations (11:25)
• Acting Carrie Interviews With Actors Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer and P.J. Soles And Art Director Jack Fisk And Director Brian De Palma (42:42)
• Visualizing Carrie Interviews With Brian De Palma, Jack Fisk, Lawrence D. Cohen, Paul Hirsch (41:33)
• A Look At "Carrie: The Musical" (6:23)
• TV Spots (3:05)
• Radio Spots (1:29)
• Still Gallery Rare Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards
• Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie Text Gallery (17:03)
Commentary by Lee Gambin, author of
Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The
Making of Cujo, and Alexandra
Heller-Nicholas, author of
Cultographies: Ms. 45
Devil's Advocates: Suspiria, recorded exclusively for
Product Description: "Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, Carrie "catches the mind, shakes it and refuses to let it go" (Time)! Starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie (in Oscar nominated* performances), John Travolta and Amy Irving, this ultimate revenge fantasy is "absolutely spellbinding" (Roger Ebert), "outrageously witty" (Los Angeles Times) and one of the all-time great horror classics! At the center of the terror is Carrie (Spacek), a tortured high-school misfit with no confidence, no friends...and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. But when her psychotic mother and sadistic classmates finally go too far, the once-shy teen becomes an unrestrained, vengeance-seeking powerhouse who, with the help of her 'special gift,' causes all hell to break loose in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire and brimstone!...
Brian De Palma's "Carrie" is an absolutely spellbinding horror movie, with a shock at the end that's the best thing along those lines since the shark leaped aboard in "Jaws." It's also (and this is what makes it so good) an observant human portrait. This girl Carrie isn't another stereotyped product of the horror production line; she's a shy, pretty, and complicated high school senior who's a lot like kids we once knew.
Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The filmCarrie is 32 years old now and the Blu-ray looks improved beyond SD. The transfer itself is incompetent as they are using MPEG-2 as opposed to AVC or VC-1. There is noise/grain in some shots (see the split-screen capture below as one example) - and not up to par with many 2007-2008 high-definition offerings. It is consistent and the 1080P brings up a crispness that I had never noted before. It's very bright with a few artifacts. Technically it is single-layered with the feature size being a reasonable 19.3 Gig. I don't see evidence of DNR or edge enhancements. The film is fairly dark (Carrie's house and the Prom gymnasium). Expectations for the image should be tempered.
Shout! Factory's transfer is cited as a 4K Scan of the original negativeand boy does it advance over the 2008 MPEG-2 transferred MGM using an AVC encode. It looks darker (a very good sign) - the MGM had a tendency to look overly bright. Shout! Factory's release is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate - it probably can't look much more accurate to the theatrical appearance unless it goes 4K and we can't say how much improved that would be. It balances nicely between supporting the grain and maintaining the film's integrity showcasing some depth. It show quite a bit more information in the frame from the MGM, skin tones cool and appear more natural and it looks significant superior in-motion. Nothing but positives for the new transfer - a significant leap beyond the 8-year old, bare-bones Blu-ray.
The Arrow is also "Restored in 4K from the original negative" and the running time being the exact to the 1/1000th of a second is a clue of the transfer's similarity. The Arrow may have slightly richer color, warmer skin tones and be marginally darker. You'd have to be quite discerning to notice but I'll probably give a small edge to the Arrow - although, depending on your system - both would be considered to the same for the majority of consumers.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
Shout! Factory likewise do a solid job with the audio transfer - we get the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2693 kbps or a similar 2.0 channel encode at 1784 kbps - both in 24-bit. Effects, of course, exist but seem to take a backseat to the score by Pino Donaggio (Dressed to Kill, Don't Look Now, Blow Out, Raising Cain, Body Double), adds an ominous flavor to the film experience and supporting the subtle pacing of De Palma's direction. It sounds flawless - crisp, even, tight and rich. This has optional English (SDH) subtitles and it a region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.
Arrow's DTS-HD Master surround option is the exact same as the 4K Shout! Factory to my ears, but their linear PCM mono track is flat as a pancake and has a tinnier high-end that is probably more authentic, to the original, than the US edition. This is more noticeable on the Donaggio score but, like the video - it would be dependant on how discerning you, or your system, is. The Arrow also offers optional English (SDH) subtitles - slightly different font (see samples above) - and their Blu-ray is Region 'B;-locked.
On the feature disc Shout! Factory add an original theatrical trailer (in 1080P) and a Carrie Franchise Trailer gallery with some of the promotions of spin-offs of the original film including 1999's The Rage: Carrie 2, the 2002 TV movie with Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson, and the 2013 re-make. There is a second dual-layered Blu-ray stacked with over 4 hours of supplementary material including 7 new video pieces (alone totally 2.5 hours). These include More Acting Carrie 20-minutes worth of interviews with Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles. Writing Carrie is also new and a 1/2 hour interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen. Cutting Carrie spends 25-minutes with editor Paul Hirsch and Shooting Carrie is a 1/4 hour interview with director of photography Mario Tosi. Wait there is more - Casting Carrie gets input from with casting director Harriet B. Helberg for over 15-minutes. Bucket of Blood features a new, 24-minute, interview with composer Pino Donaggio and Horror's Hallowed Grounds revisits the film's original locations for an interesting 11-minutes. We also get some of the old featurettes - Acting Carrie essentially 3/4 of an hour of interviews with Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer and P.J. Soles as well as Art Director Jack Fisk and Director Brian De Palma. Visualizing Carrie represents another 41-minutes of interviews with De Palma, Fisk, Lawrence D. Cohen, Paul Hirsch while we also get 6-minutes of A Look At "Carrie: The Musical", some TV and radio Spots, an extensive stills gallery with behind-the-scenes photos, posters and lobby cards and lastly a Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie text comments/essays.
Arrow nudge ahead here as well with all the same extras of the Shout! Factory (interviews, gallery's, featurettes etc. minus the Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie Text Gallery) but add a new commentary by Lee Gambin, author of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Cultographies: Ms. 45 and Devil's Advocates: Suspiria, recorded exclusively for this release and plenty of details are revealed, examined and fleshed-out about the production, De Palma, differences from the book, and so much more. Loved their Australian accents. There is also a brand-new, 20-minute, visual essay comparing the various versions and adaptations of Carrie across the years which is more historically relevant but also interesting - rather than germane to the De Palma film. The Arrow package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork by Laz Marquez and a limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell, author of Devil's Advocates: Carrie, a reprint of the Final Girls 40th anniversary Carrie zine, and an archive interview with Brian De Palma.
Shout! Factory Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Shout! Factory (Disc 2) Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Arrow Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Wow, almost 8-years to do justice to poor Carrie. But you might say that Shout! Factory have certainly made it worth the wait. I've spent the day indulging in this fabulous double Blu-ray set. Another solid package as is their The Thing (CE). This is such great news - not only for Carrie but all the neglected or Blu-ray-insufficient, films of directors like De Palma and Carpenter. It's appropriate that the studios are clearing the way for a new generation of more serious BD production where the true fans are the beneficiaries. This package is another must-own for horror fans. I am pleased with the result.
Arrow have, again, created the definitive Blu-ray edition of a classic horror - and on one lone-disc instead of two - but it is already sold-out before the release date. Kudos to those who pre-ordered their copy. They will be very pleased. The additional extras, packaging and a/v are desirable in the extreme. It's the best digital version - love that cover!
October 2nd, 2008
September 30th, 2016
December 3rd, 2017