H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze
Standard Operating Procedure [Blu-ray]
(Errol Morris, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Feature Runtime: 1:55:51
Feature film disc size: 31.8 Gig
One dual-layered Blu-ray
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 14th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Commentary by director
Diplomacy in the
Age of Terror: The Impact of Diminished Rule of Law on
International Relations (45:14
Product Description: Roger Ebert has said, "After twenty years of reviewing
films, I haven't found another filmmaker who intrigues me more…Errol Morris is
like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini."
Recently, the Guardian listed him as one of the ten most important film
directors in the world.
Errol Morris' "Standard Operating Procedure," based on the infamous prison torture photographs from Abu Ghraib, is completely unlike anything I was expecting from such a film -- more disturbing, analytical and morose. This is not a "political" film nor yet another screed about the Bush administration or the war in Iraq. It is driven simply, powerfully, by the desire to understand those photographs.
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.
TheBlu-ray transfer probably looks a lot like the original source. It is not especially sharp, defined or colorful. But this is akin to the theatrical presentation - this is the way it was shot. If not for the valuable extra features (only exclusively as part of the Blu-ray) I'd quickly advise picking up the SD-DVD release. The Blu-ray does impart a superior image - more depth, better contrast, tighter overall, better skin-tones - but the intent of the documentary would seem to be equally as impacting even in the lower resolution of SD-DVD. Aside from quibbling over the minutia of the high-definition visual improvement - I think it's much more important just to see the film. Technically it is dual-layered with the feature size being a healthy 30.9 Gig. I don't see evidence of DNR or edge enhancements. In fact I'd have to say the MPEG-4 AVC encoded image does a great job of representing the HDCAM 'look'. I have no strong complaints. I'll wager this is as good as Standard Operating Procedure will look for your home theater. Hopefully, the screen captures below will give you an idea of what it will look like on your system.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
October 21st, 2008
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
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze