Dead Calm [Blu-ray]
(Phillip Noyce, 1989)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,239,959,849 bytes
Feature Size: 19,095,631,872 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 8th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 711 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 711 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, English (SDH), French, Japanese, none
•Trailer SD 1:28
Description: Take an ocean voyage of full-masted fright with
Dead Calm, "a spare, smart, seductive piece of movie-making
with enough tension to keep us all hyperventilating for
Recuperating from a family tragedy, a seasoned seaman (Neill) and his young wife (Kidman) sail their yacht, the Saracen, off the coast of Australia. Spotting a stricken boat, the Orpheus, they are amazed when a terrified young man (Zane) rows towards them, climbs aboard, and tells a horrifying story about an attack of food poisoning which he alone survived.
But when Neill rows to the Orpheus to investigate, he is astonished to see his yacht, complete with wife and dog, sail off in the opposite direction with Zane at the wheel. Aboard the sinking Orpheus, Neill finds evidence of the marine hitchiker's lunacy; meanwhile, on the Saracen, Kidman is learning the hard way. A classic piece of pared-down genre film-making is lent extra depth by an emotional subtext stressing Kidman's transition from dependent wife to resourceful individual. Director Noyce's bravura camerawork conspires with Terry Hayes' spare script (adapted from the novel by Charles Williams) and some edgy cutting to exploit every ounce of tension, right down to a killer ending.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Once again a surprisingly strong single-layered effort from Warner. Depending on how large you are projecting - noise isn't much of a factor. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically over 20 years ago. Almost exclusively natural daylight sequences - the image is consistently bright outdoors with rich colors and acceptable contrast. This Blu-ray shows some strong detail in close-ups. It's smooth, clear, blemish-free but maybe slightly glossy. There is definitely some grain in the backgrounds - but it's not a lot. Along with the excellent cinematography this makes for a good, if not pristine, presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No 'surround' boost - it's a Dolby TrueHD 2.0 channel at a weak 711 kbps. This is a bit disappointing as the film carries some wonderfully subtle cues in the score. The music where Rae is sailing to save John seems as if it should have more depth, bass... and impact. I don't see why this particular title wasn't given the option of a more robust mix. There are plenty of instances the track would have benefited from some separation but as it stands - it sounds surprisingly potent for it's limitations. There is a Japanese DUB and optional English, French and Japanese subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The supplements consist of only a trailer in SD. That's all folks.
August 25th, 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
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze