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A view on Blu-ray and DVD video by Leonard Norwitz

No Country for Old Men (Collectors Edition) [Blu-ray]

 

(Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)

 

 

 

Review by Leonard Norwitz

 

Studio:

Theatrical: Miramax Films & Paramount Vantage

Blu-ray: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: (probably region free like the first Blu-ray)

Runtime: 122 min

Chapters: 16

Size: 50 GB

Case: Locking Blu-ray case with Slipcover

Release date: April 7, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: AVC

 

Audio:

English 5.1 DTS-HD (48 kHz/24-bit). Spanish DD 5.1 Surround

 

Subtitles:

Feature & Bonus: English SDH, French, Spanish

 

Extras:

• The Making of No Country for Old Men (24:29)

• Working with the Coens (8:07)

• Diary of a Country Sheriff (6:44)

NEW:

• Josh Brolin's Unauthorized Behind-the-Scenes (9:19)

• 16 Interviews & Conversations featuring the Coens (5 hrs.)

Digital Copy Disc

 

 

Image and Audio:

It was only 13 months ago that Miramax/Disney released this movie on Blu-ray, so what's different about this new edition? While there are nominal differences in respect to the audio mix: 5.1 DTS-HD (48 kHz/24-bit) - which, for some reason, my PS3 reads as DTS HD-MA - vs. the earlier 5.1 Uncompressed (48 kHz/24-bit), the new edition offers a 5.1 dub in Spanish – a nice touch considering where the events take place. The AVC codec remains the same with slightly higher bit rates. It appears to have been subtly remastered for "better" contrast control, even though I see little difference in my comparative caps. Much the same can be said for the audio, which I cannot confirm is perceptibly better. In any case, it's the uniquely disposed extra features that make this release a true "Collector's Edition."

Excerpt of review from LensView: DVDBeaver.com located HERE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK the BELOW 3 CAPTURES TO SEE COMPARISONS OF 2008 Blu-ray vs. 2009 Blu-ray

 

 

 

 

Extras: 9
In addition to the three Bonus Features included in last year's Blu-ray release (The Making of No Country for Old Men, Working with the Coens and Diary of a Country Sheriff, the Collector's Edition has two new features: Josh Brolin's Unauthorized Behind-the Scenes video is a deadpan Coenesque parody of such featurettes in which the actors relate their "true" feelings about working with each other and the Coens. The other is a collection of some 16 interviews and conversations from October 26, 2007, five months after Cannes, but a couple weeks before general U.S. distribution, to February 9, 2008, just a couple weeks before the Oscars, which bestowed Best Picture, Director and Writing honors. These segments are of various lengths (from 3 minutes to an hour) with the press and the Coens or members of the cast (Josh & Javier, mostly), or both, originating on TV, the radio and other venues.

 

 


After watching or listening to a few of these I came to realize that the hardest part of an actor's job is the press conference. It must test one's patience and creativity to field the same question repeatedly in ways that seem fresh to each audience. After all, how many different answers can there be to: "So what was it like working for two directors?" or "Javier, how did you prepare for the role of a psycho-killer?" Partly out of respect for the actors and the Coens, I imagine, some interviewers find new ways to explore these and other more fascinating aspects of movie-making. For these we can rely on the likes of Charlie Rose, Spike Jonze and Elvis Mitchell, but others have their moments as well. There's something to be said for the earlier interviews since the buzz about the movie was just getting started and everyone involved was still fresh. As Oscar time approached, you could sense the cautious optimism the room.

I am tempted to summarize each of these many interviews, but it seems this would defeat the purpose or at least dilute the experience. You all know what these sorts of conversations are like: simply add the Coens into the mix – with one important advisory. Depending on the venue, they can be as forthcoming as they are always intriguing. And, yes, both of them can speak.

 

 

Bottom line: 9
In my review of last year's Blu-ray edition I wrote: "Only the med-fi Extra Features preclude a Highest Recommendation". But I would urge picking up anyhow, unless you're gambling on a future double dip. And to my surprise, here it is, sooner than I would have expected. Clearly there is nothing about the image or sound that spells "upgrade," so it's all a matter of bonus features that, though still in standard definition, are remarkable for their novelty. This edition certainly gets a thumbs up for first-timers, but for those who already have the previous edition, I would recommend it for serious cinephiles.

Leonard Norwitz
April 5th, 2009

 

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.


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