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A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze
Encounters at the End of the World [Blu-ray]
(Werner Herzog, 2007)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Image Entertainment
Feature Runtime: 1:40:43
Feature film disc size: 22.2 Gig
One dual-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 18th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p , MPEG-4 AVC
Audio commentary by Werner
Herzog, producer Henry Kaiser, and cinematographer Peter
Werner Herzog talks with Rob Robbins + Henry Kaiser
(18:08 in HD!)
Product Description: Welcome to Antarctica – like you’ve never experienced it. You’ve seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog to be the first to explore the South Pole’s most fascinating inhabitants … humans. In this one-of-a-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, “professional dreamers” who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty – perhaps the last frontier on earth.
Herzog's method makes the movie seem like it is happening by chance, although chance has nothing to do with it. He narrates as if we're watching movies of his last vacation -- informal, conversational, engaging. He talks about people he met, sights he saw, thoughts he had. And then a larger picture grows inexorably into view. McMurdo is perched on the frontier of the coming suicide of the planet. Mankind has grown too fast, spent too freely, consumed too much, and the ice cap is melting, and we shall all perish. Herzog doesn't use such language, of course; he is too subtle and visionary. He is nudged toward his conclusions by what he sees. In a sense, his film journeys through time as well as space, and we see what little we may end up leaving behind us. Nor is he depressed by this prospect, but only philosophical. We came, we saw, we conquered, and we left behind a frozen fish.
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.
Pretty spectacular DV-to-Blu-ray image. it is one of the best I have ever seen despite being 1080i. The image even shows some strong depth and magnificent detail and colors. The visual quality is so strong it ends-up being hypnotic and you tend to pay less attention to the narration. Technically it is dual-layered with the feature size being a reasonable 22.2 Gig. There is no evidence of DNR or edge enhancements but there is some minor, and inconsequential, noise. Obviously, being digital - we have no grain. There are no strong, or even subtle, weaknesses. The Blu-ray image is extremely impressive and can be used for demonstration purposes.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
November 15th, 2008
About the Reviewer: 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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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