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Falling Down [Blu-ray]
(Joel Schumacher, 1993)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,015,043,565 bytes
Feature Size: 21,785,567,232 bytes
Average Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps
Case: Bookstyle Blu-ray case
Release date: May 26th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: VC-1 Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 659 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 659 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
/ Dolby Surround
English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none
• Commentary byMichael Douglas and Joel Schumacher
•'A Conversation With Michael Douglas (10:11 in SD)
• Theatrical trailer
Description: Freeways are clogged. Terror stalks our cities. At shops and restaurants, the customer is seldom right. Pressures of big-city life can anger anyone. But Bill Foster is more than angry. He’s out to get even. Foster abandons his gridlocked car – license plate D-FENS – on the hottest day of the year and walks straight into an urban nightmare both absurdly funny and shatteringly violent. Academy Award winner Michael Douglas is Foster, an ordinary guy at war with the frustrations of daily life. Fellow Oscar winner Robert Duvall is the savvy cop obsessed with stopping Foster’s citywide rampage. This spellbinding thriller is their story, asking “Are we falling apart?”
On the morning the film begins, he is stuck in traffic on the freeway.
Nothing is moving. Exhaust fumes rise all around him.
The man has no name in the film; he becomes known to the police as D-FENS, after his license plate. He is already unhinged when he starts his walk, but eventually the tools of violence fall into his hands, and he uses them. In a grocery store, he asks for change for the telephone, and is refused by the Korean proprietor. He tries to buy a can of pop, but the change from a dollar would not be enough for a phone call. His frustration rages, until he grabs the owner's baseball bat and starts swinging, taking down piles of junk foods, cans of diet soda.Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE
The image on the Blu-ray of Falling Down is a solid leap above the existing DVD although it's obvious that Warner haven't really 'gone-to-town' with the VC-1 transfer residing on single-layered disc taking up 23 Gig. Contrast seems a little light/dull and while flesh tones are probably reasonably accurate they lean towards the warmer end of the spectrum. Detail may be one of the most notable attributes - especially over the existing SD counterparts. There isn't a lot of texture to the image and some scenes have minor noise. Outdoor scenes show some depth. This Blu-ray, while not at the premium end of hi-def renderings, seems to do, only, a fair job although I expect it could have looked even better - but how much more - who knows? Zooming in on the image displays some undesirable blockiness but for standard viewing I expect most people will be content. Those who project may note the deficiencies.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No surround going on here - this is a 2.0 True HD track (in original English) with 6 foreign language DUBs. It's puny too at only 659 kbps. So don't expect any floor rattling experiences - not that the film exports a lot of aggression in the audio (it's more 'pent-up' in the character.) Still, there's some 'popping' gunplay blistering through the front channels and background/effect noises are a definite part of this film experience. But it has no depth or range - it's quite flat - not that it adversely bothered my viewing. Warner have gone low-key with this 'International edition' which has subs and DUBs in multiple language options. Expectantly my Momitsu tells me this is Region FREE!
The supplements appear to duplicate the older DVD with the commentary from Douglas and Schumacher. I am always interested in what Douglas has to say and this extends to the 10-minute conversation in SD where he discusses receiving the script and a bit on production. There is also a trailer but overall the commentary is the most viable supplement and if you were keen on the film it may be much worth indulging.
May 8th, 2009
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
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze