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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Bound [Blu-ray]

 

(Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, 1996)

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

 

 

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Review by Gary Tooze

 

Studio: Republic Pictures

Video: Cinemart / Summit Entertainment - Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Feature Runtime: 1:48:36.510 / 1:49:07.958 / 1:48:53.193

Chapters: 13 / 8

Disc Size: 34,330,047,152 bytes / 24,342,577,460 bytes

Feature film size: 33,854,054,400 bytes

Un-rated Feature Size: 12,580,442,112 bytes

R-Rated Feature Size: 11,529,603,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.56 Mbps / Unrated: 14.20 Mbps / Rated: 13.00 Mbps

One dual-layered Blu-ray / One single-layered Blu-ray

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 28th, 2009 / August 7th, 2012

 

Bitrate:

1) Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

 2) Olive Films (UNRated) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

 3) Olive Films (R-Rated) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1889 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1889 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / Dolby Surround

Subtitles:
Japanese and none

None
 

Supplements:

 Commentary by director/writers Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, editor Zach Staenberg and technical advisor Susie Bright

• Trailer (2:12)

None

 

Product Description: Destined for cult status, this provocative thriller offers a grab bag of genres (gangster movie, comedy, sexy romance, crime caper) and tops it all off with steamy passion between lesbian ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon) and a not-so-ditzy gun moll named Violet (Jennifer Tilly), who meets Corky and immediately tires of her mobster boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). Desperate to break away from the Mob's influence and live happily ever after, the daring dames hatch a plot to steal $2 million of Mafia money. Their scheme runs into a series of escalating complications, until their very survival depends on split-second timing and criminal ingenuity. Simultaneously violent, funny, and suspenseful, Bound is sure to test your tolerance for bloodshed, but the film is crafted with such undeniable skill that several critics (including Roger Ebert) placed it on their top-ten lists for 1996...

Jeff Shannon from Amazon located HERE

 

 

 

The Film:

"Bound'' is one of those movies that works you up, wrings you out and leaves you gasping. It's pure cinema, spread over several genres. It's a caper movie, a gangster movie, a sex movie and a slapstick comedy. It's not often you think of ``The Last Seduction'' and the Marx Brothers during the same film, but I did during this one--and I also thought about ``Blood Simple'' and Woody Allen. It's amazing to discover all this virtuosity and confidence in two first-time filmmakers, Larry and Andy Wachowski, self-described college dropouts, still in their 20s, from Chicago.


[....]

 

 


The movie is a jubilant comeback for Gina Gershon, whose career now takes a U-turn after the unsuccessful ``Showgirls.'' She brings an edge and intelligence to her character that reminded me a little of Linda Fiorentino in ``The Last Seduction.'' Jennifer Tilly takes the giggly showgirl act she introduced in Woody Allen's ``Bullets Over Broadway'' and uses it to hide a steel will. And Joe Pantoliano has some of the trickiest scenes in the movie, bouncing from paranoia to greed to lust to abject fear like a pinball in the wrong machine.

``Bound'' is shocking and violent, and will offend some audiences. It's that kind of movie. But it's skillful filmmaking, setting a puzzle that involves time, space, money and danger, and seeing how many different ways it can be solved.

Review by Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

 

Image :

Firstly - to clear things up - this Blu-ray is 'region A' which includes North America, Central America, South America, Japan (where this Blu-ray is from), Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. So it plays on North American Blu-ray players. At the writing of this review Bound has no scheduled North American Blu-ray release and the menus are in English.

 

This Blu-ray image is solid. Visually the Wachowski's intended 'highlights' look beautifully blended. Color accents, as in red elevator walls, blood soaked 'everything', produce a nicely muted appreciation. Low-level lighting accentuates decent shadow detail. Overall it is consistent and competent. There is a bit of grain and I suspect this looks quite faithful to the original presentation. Bound is a film that relies heavily on its perceived aura and the high-resolution brings the subtle qualities out strongly befitting the overall 'feel' of the film. The feature takes up over 30 Gig of space on the dual-layered disc with a strong bitrate. There is no manipulation or glaring noise to compromise the appearance. Depth seems limited to a few key scenes.

 

Okay on the Olive Blu-ray: Phew - well instead of using seamless branching to add the UN-Rated additional 14 seconds (I assume during Violet -> Jen Tilly and Corky -> Gina Gershon's hot, naked, love scene) they have done two puny, separate, transfers BUT it must be a different source as it looks superior in many instances over the, more robust, Asian rendering. The US release shows quite a bit more information in the frame (also 1.78:1 like the Japanese disc) and is sharper to some degree. It is also brighter and colors lighter - skin tones cooler - but I don't know if this is accurate. So even though Olive did the technical incorrectly - tiny bitrates on two separate transfers - and a single -layered disc - their source seems the better one and gets the nod for the top image quality. Note: I only did captures of the Un-rated Olive Films 1080P version - not the 'R-rated' as, to my eye, they looked extremely close in quality.  

 

 

Versus the Region 1 DVD (from Leonard Norwitz): "Rarely have I encountered such striking differences between a Blu-ray and its DVD counterpart. The curious thing is that these differences do not derive from the one being letterboxed - not that the advantage in the Blu-ray's image size isn't palpable. The difference is primarily one of mood. I had always felt the DVD was rich in color, clean, tight and artifact-free. What more could ask for? When I popped in the BRD my first response was not a happy one: Gone was the familiar constrained, oppressive feeling of the two apartments, and in their place, one bright, upscale living space in need of repair and another that you could imagine yourself living in if you liked the decor. It isn't just a question of shadow detail in the BRD, though there is that - huge, but the entire frame lets so much light into it that the mood I felt the movie was in danger of losing its noirish feeling.

So the question is: Is the DVD too dark, or the BRD too bright? The answer lies in the dark. We can see that the DVD has virtually no noise in the dark areas, whereas the BRD does show a tight, controlled amount of noise. That's how it works. If you open up the shadows, you see wants going on, but you get noise. If you close them down, the picture turns black. With enough black, the characters are acting quite literally in the dark. They act without choice because they seem to have none. The question should be: do we want a movie where the characters see what they're getting into but take the risk, or are simply out of their depth and swept away by unseen forces? I don't think Bound is a horror movie, so I prefer the former.

The brighter image of the BRD never washes out the image or any part of it - quite the contrary. Flesh tones and textures are entirely natural - even for this most unnatural of stories. The wall that separates the two apartments is lifeless on the DVD. There is no opportunity, merely death. I think that this is one instance where it is useful to watch the movies independently in their entirety, rather than doing a frame by frame comparison. The latter tells us the how and why, but not if either one is correct. Once I get into the Japanese version, I can let the glances and situations lead me into the noir that Bound wants me take me. The textures are alive with possibility
."
(Thanks Leonard)   

 

 

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

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

Audio & Music:  
Bound has a few noteworthy audible cues and it sounds pretty decent in
a DTS-HD Master track. Even some of the music was nicely separated to the rears in a very subtle fashion. Gunshots can surprise with a bang extending with some decent bass response and range. I don't expect this will ever sound much better. It's clean and clear - if a shade on the quiet side. There is a Japanese language DUB and subtitle option. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Olive don't go lossless with a standard Dolby 2.0 channel rendering. Sigh. An opportunity missed as the atmospheric quality transferred through the Asian DTS-Master is clearly superior over the flatter less robust Olive Films audio. There are no optional subtitles on the Olive.

Extras:
C
ommentary by director/writers Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, editor Zach Staenberg and technical advisor Susie Bright and a trailer
with burned-in Japanese subtitles. I should note here that the menus are in English and it's easy navigation (except there is no where to navigate to.) The film automatically starts as soon as you put the disc in.

NOTE: The included commentary initially eluded me! - I sampled it and it does have value - don't miss it like I did!

Olive offer no extras.

 

Summit Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

Bottom line:
Bound seems in direct relation to classic noir - but not as any 'homage' as it has its own agenda. There seems to have been some logical restraint in keeping the story simple enough to easily follow and the gal's performances are so juxtaposed it accentuates both. Tilly especially embodies a classic femme fatale with apparent ease. This
Blu-ray is pretty solid
. As Leonard indicates - it's a giant leap forward from the last DVD release. Bound is highly entertaining 'mood piece' that I am happy to have looking and sounding this strong.

My, My, My... Olive had the opportunity to really advance but they only did so on the video - and, hence, lose on the audio and extras. Where it seems to substantially win though is price being less than 1/2 of the cost of the Summit Entertainment package. This modern-adult-noir film gets better every time I see it and it remains a rousing thumbs skyward. LOL, so take the Olive UN-rated video, the Summit lossless audio and commentary - and you have the definitive package. At least it's great to have the choice now.

Gary Tooze

February 5th, 2009

July 12th, 2012

 

 

 

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

 

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 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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