S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Whatever Works [Blu-ray]
(Woody Allen, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Sony Pictures Classics
Video: Sony Pictures / Maple Pictures (Canada)
Region: US Edition is Region FREE! and theCanadian disc is region 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 18,035,371,975 bytes
Feature Size: 17,853,075,456 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 27th, 2009 /November 3rd, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: US disc is 1080P / 23.976 fps -Canadian is 1080i / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
The US disc is DTS-HD Master Audio English 2478 kbps 5.1
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2286 kbps 3.0
English on US - Canadian hasnone
US has 2 HD Trailers andis BD-LIVE enabled
Canadian has none
Description: After the failure of his career, his marriage, and his suicide attempt, world-class grouch Boris Yellnikoff, spends his days insulting the small children unfortunate enough to study chess with him and irritating his still-loyal friends with his never-ending tirades about the worthlessness of absolutely everything. A former Columbia Professor and self-proclaimed genius who came close to winning a Nobel Prize for Quantum Mechanics, Boris fancies himself the only one who fully comprehends the meaningless of all human aspirations, and the pitch-black chaos of the universe. As he readily admits, Boris is not a "feel-good person".
Woody Allen said in “Manhattan” that Groucho Marx was first on his list
of reasons to keep on living. His new film, “Whatever Works,” opens with
Groucho singing “Hello, I Must Be Going” from “Animal Crackers.” It
serves as the movie’s theme song, summarizing in five words the world
view of his hero, Boris Yellnikoff.
I've considered writing much of this is information in an article. Canadian manufacturers Alliance, TVA and Maple (whose name is on the spine of one of these disc packages) are the worst producers of Blu-rays in the entire world. There are multiple examples I can give for their interlacing, incorrect aspect ratios and sloppy transfers that are disrespectful to the films they are releasing. This was true in DVD and it is now true in high-definition. I'm only thankful that their output is minimal.
The US edition of Whatever Works in hi-def is different from the Canadian edition - released one week later - in a few ways. Firstly, the Canuck Blu-ray is interlaced - where the American one is progressive. This makes the US Sony edition better in the image department although there is little difference in the image captures that do not exhibit the combing artifact - so I won't be including in direct comparisons. This is most notable, though, in motion. Otherwise both editions are fairly unremarkable in regards to image quality - both are single-layered and decent detail is exhibited with a fine sheen of nominal grain.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Combing from the 1080i (interlacing) Maple Edition
Being a solely dialogue driven film the audio differences are negligible - both being lossless - but the US sporting a 5.1 track (with minimal separation anyway) and the Canadian being 3.0 - Allen often favoring these less-used 3 channel track choices. What is unusual is that the Sony release is region FREE and the Canadian one is Region 'A'-locked - as verified by my Momitsu.
Nothing on the US disc but two HD trailers and it is BD-LIVE enabled. Nothing at all on the Canadian. That's all folks. Menus on both disc are similar but not exactly the same.
October 29th, 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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze