H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Revolutionary Road [Blu-ray]


(Sam Mendes, 2008)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Paramount Home Video



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

Runtime: 1:59:01.175

Disc Size: 44,183,614,915 bytes

Feature Size: 30,771,013,632 bytes

Average Bitrate: 34.47 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 2nd, 2009



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2934 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2934 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none



• Commentary by director Sam Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe

• Lives of Quiet Desperation: The Making of Revolutionary Road (29:03 in HD!)

• Richard Yates: The Wages of Truth (26:04 in HD!)

• Eight Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from Sam Mendes and Justin Haythe (25:14)

• Theatrical trailer (2:14 in HD!)





Description: Frank and April, a married couple in the 1950s, have always seen themselves as special, different, ready and willing to live their lives based on higher ideals. So, as soon as they move into their new house on Revolutionary Road, they proudly declare their independence from the suburban inertia that surrounds them and determine never to be trapped by the social confines of their era. Yet for all their charm, beauty and irreverence, the Wheelers find themselves becoming exactly what they didn't expect: a good man with a routine job whose nerve has gone missing; a less-than-happy homemaker starving for fulfillment and passion; an American family with lost dreams, like any other. Driven to change their fates, April hatches an audacious plan to start all over again, to leave the comforts of Connecticut behind for the great unknown of Paris. But when the plan is put in motion, each spouse is pushed to extremes--one to escape whatever the cost, the other to save all that they have, no matter the compromises.



The Film:

"Revolutionary Road" shows the American Dream awakened by a nightmare. It takes place in the 1950s, the decade not only of Elvis but of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. It shows a young couple who meet at a party, get married and create a suburban life with a nice house, a manicured lawn, "modern" furniture, two kids, a job in the city for him, housework for her, and martinis, cigarettes, boredom and desperation for both of them.

The Wheelers, Frank and April, are blinded by love into believing life together will allow them to fulfill their fantasies. Their problem is, they have no fantasies. Instead, they have yearnings -- a hunger for something more than a weary slog into middle age. Billy Wilder made a movie in 1955 called "The Seven Year Itch" about a restlessness that comes into some marriages when the partners realize the honeymoon is over and they're married for good and there's an empty space at the center.

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.

Revolutionary Road looks exquisite on Blu-ray showcasing Roger Deakins' brilliant cinematography with a fine textured saturation incorporating colors (a lot of pastel turquoise blue) and a style that deftly supports the films represented era. The feature takes up over 30 Gig of the dual-layered disc total of 50. Detail and depth are apparent in decent, and sometimes surprising, proportions. Flesh tones seem true, there is no gloss and contrast is very strong. This is an excellent transfer - looking accurate and film-like - grain is not overwhelming but produces a fine consistent feel. No complaints - thumbs definitely up!















Audio :

It appears to be an above-average True HD track. It is 5.1 at almost 3000 kpbs although, aside from the loud marital disputes, the film doesn't carry a lot of aggression in the track. For period music the score has crisp sound and even some depth. I really had no complaints and the mix doesn't appear to have a ton of extraneous effect noise cues. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this is definitely REGION FREE!




Extras :

I like director Sam Mendes and all of his films. I find him intelligent and highly interesting and I enjoyed this dual commentary (Mendes definitely takes the lead) with screenwriter Justin Haythe as they muse on some of the decisions that were made in adapting Richard Yates story to the screen. Mendes' British accent to pleasurable and the commentary covers many areas beyond simple production staging and lighting. There is a 1/2 hour Making of... in HD. It is entitled Lives of Quiet Desperation: The Making of Revolutionary Road and has input from DiCaprio, Winslet, Mendes and others. I liked the piece on the American novelist - Richard Yates: The Wages of Truth running 26:04, and also in HD. It is pretty thorough about his life with interview segments from friends and relatives. There are 8, not necessarily easily dismissible, deleted scenes with optional commentary from Sam Mendes and Justin Haythe. These run less than 1/2 an hour and finally we have a theatrical trailer in HD.



It's Paramount and we have no reason to gripe. They are producing some of the most consistently complete Blu-rays available.  The film borders on a masterwork study of discontented marriage. It has an incredible attention to detail and the performances are expectantly, top notch. Although set in a specific period - it could be 'anytime' as the emotions, desires, and diappointments are universal. This is a memorable film and the Blu-ray covers all the bases so well from pristine transfer to viable extras. There is no reason not to fully recommend this package.  

Gary Tooze

May 16th, 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 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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