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A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze

Carrie [Blu-ray]

 

(Brian De Palma, 1976)

 

 

MGM are coming out with a UK version in 2013

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio:

Video: 20th Century Fox / MGM

 

Discs:

Region: 'A'

Feature Runtime: 1:38:10

Chapters: 34

Feature film disc size: 19.3 Gig

One single-layered Blu-ray

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 7th, 2008

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-2

 

Audio:
English: DTS HD Master (lossless), English (mono), French (5.1), Spanish (mono)

Subtitles:
Feature: English, French, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Korean and none
 

Supplements:

trailers

 

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!...

 

 

 

The Film:

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.

 

 


There is a difference, though. She has telekenesis, the ability to manipulate things without touching them. It's a power that came upon her gradually, and was released in response to the shrill religious fanaticism of her mother. It manifests itself in small ways. She looks in a mirror, and it breaks. Then it mends itself. Her mother tries to touch her and is hurled back against a couch. But then, on prom night...

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE

 

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

The film Carrie is 32 years old now but on Blu-ray looks mighty impressive. The transfer itself seems competent and the only visual weaknesses are probably more inherent in the original source. There is noise/grain in some shots (see the split-screen capture below as one example) - detail is significantly superior to SD (ditto for colors) but 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. 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. In fact I'd have to say the MPEG-2 image is fairly flawless and I have no strong complaints. The film is fairly dark (Carrie's house and the Prom gymnasium). Expectations for the image should be tempered a bit with its age but overall the film looks about what I was expecting - maybe even a notch higher.  The Blu-ray image transfer shouldn't deter anyone from indulging.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
The
lossless DTS HD Master option has some surprising kick to it, but expectations should be tempered with knowing the mix is artificially derived from a fairly flat original track. It exports Pino Donaggio's suspenseful score quite adeptly. There is an option for mono and two DUBs. The frenzy of the Prom night (screams, electrocutions etc.) will bring some exercise to your rear speakers. There are optional subtitles offered in English, French, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified) or Korean.

 

Extras:
Nutt'in really... trailers for Carrie and The Amityville Horror but no featurettes or commentary. No unique
Blu-ray bells or whistles. The bare-bones status is a shame because I think the film deserves some discussion. Oh well...

 

Bottom line:
Once again
Blu-ray has pushed me to watch a film that I was fairly indifferent about. I can appreciate it much more now - a simply crafted King horror with De Palma's patented slow motion scene. It works pretty well as a revenge tale too. The price is a bit high considering the bare-bones status but the
Blu-ray transfer, audio and video, is quite strong and accentuates the horrifying aspects - bringing them to another level - one which this genre's fans should crave.

Gary Tooze

October 2nd, 2008

 

 

 

MGM are coming out with a UK version in 2013

 

Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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