Directed by Ed Harris
USA 2008

 

Ed Harris rides tall in the saddle as director, co-writer, co-producer and star of this terrific Western, a potently acted powerhouse that sticks in the mind and the heart. The source material is a 2005 book by Robert B. Parker, best known for his Spenser crime novels. Harris is best known for being a reliably superb actor (four Oscar nominations) and for scoring an acclaimed 2000 debut as a director with Pollock, in which he played the abstract painter Jackson Pollock. There is nothing abstract about Harris' approach to Appaloosa. Every frame of the movie indicates his bone-deep respect for classic film Westerns, notably 1946's My Darling Clementine, in which director John Ford took a low-key, almost lyrical approach to the gunfight at the OK Corral. Though Appaloosa is shot through with thunderous action and nail-biting suspense, the movie finds its soul in its main characters, in the friendship between Harris' marshal, Virgil Cole, and Viggo Mortensen's deputy, Everett Hitch. The two men have a history, and you can feel it in their every sly move and telling gesture, in their easy banter, in their hard-won mutual respect. Having signed up to bring rough justice to Appaloosa, an 1880s town in the control of despotic rancher Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), Virgil and Everett do everything that's expected, except show off or show fear. "Feelings get you killed," says Virgil.   

Except from Peter Travers at Rolling Stone located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 5th, 2008 - Toronto Film Festival

Reviews       More Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

New Line Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

DVD Box Cover

Distribution New Line Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:55:16  1:55:25.168
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 3.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 22,529,514,590 bytes

Feature Size: 20,055,435,264 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.17 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 DVD

Bitrate:

 Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1)  Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1271 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1271 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: New Line Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Option for 4:3 version adn widescreen

• Commentary with Ed Harris and Robert Knott
• Additional Scenes with optional commentary
Four Featurettes

• Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life

• Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa

• The Town of Appaloosa

• Dean Semler's Return to the Western

DVD Release Date:
January 13th, 2009
Standard Keep Case

Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio: New Line Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Disc Size: 22,529,514,590 bytes

Feature Size: 20,055,435,264 bytes

Average Bitrate: 23.17 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Ed Harris and Robert Knott
• Additional Scenes in HD! with optional commentary
Four Featurettes

• Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life

• Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa

• The Town of Appaloosa

• Dean Semler's Return to the Western

Disc2

• Digital Copy

Blu-ray  Release Date: January 13th, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray  Case inside cardboard box
Chapters: 27

 

Comments:

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

NOTE: We are making an educated guess that the New Line Blu-ray is Region FREE. We don't know for sure yet.

While I wouldn't say either transfer is stellar the Blu-ray shows improvement far beyond the standard-def in all the expected areas. New Line have become suspicious to digital home-theater fans who are more discerning about image quality as their releases all seem marginally weaker than some of their contemporary distributors. The DVD image in Appaloosa can appear hazy at times but the 1080P tightens it up - perhaps not to pristine standards but acceptable enough to enjoy the presentation and fine performances. Detail, contrast and colors are all a significantly improved on the single-layered Blu-ray release.

Audio-wise the Blu-ray again advances with a TrueHD track offered over a standard 5.1. It's not an overly-obvious superiority but it seems to spread the sound effects to a slightly more distinct range. I really noticed it more in the subtle areas as opposed to the gunplay. The film has a fairly passive track with a few notable outbursts beyond dialogue. Both mixes suit the film well and may even advance a bit beyond the image quality. Audio here is quite strong.              

 

 

Extras are pretty much duplicated on both releases. Harris takes the reigns in the commentary with producer/writer Robert Knott. Overall pretty standard stuff - I like listening to Harris and he explores a few, lesser, production details/characters but he doesn't seem to go into great depth. There are 6 deleted scenes (about 12 minutes worth) in HD on the Blu-ray. These are mildly interesting - more so in the reasoning behind their exclusion. There are 4 shortish featurettes with input from cast and crew, behind the scenes and some clips from the film added in. Of the 4, Deam Semler's Return to the Western is probably the most enjoyable and informative. On the Blu-ray you get the physical Digital Copy disc but on the DVD you get the code and location to download it. Ohh.. on the SD-DVD you get the option to view the widescreen or 4:3 version and this may have been what absorbed the data - worsening the standard-def release's compression. With educated viewers and widescreen TV's I'd say it was a blunder to include this pan and scan option (especially on the same side of the disc.)

Great film - pure western - solid performances - all 4 leads are fantastic. I really enjoyed it and the much-improved Blu-ray is definitely the best way to go for a home viewing. It is quite an improvement for another $7 more. I wouldn't bother with the DVD if you have embraced the new format.    

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus/ Extras


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample (can't get sub sample for Blu-ray yet)

 

New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


New Line Home Video  - Region 1, 4 - NTSC TOP vs. New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution New Line Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC New Line Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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