H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Wolf [Blu-ray]

 

(Mike Nichols, 1994)

 

 

Wolf / Dracula / Frankenstein are available together at a significant savings in the Horror Classics Collection out on Blu-ray October 6th, 2009.

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Tri-Star

Video: Sony Pictures

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:05:20.513

Disc Size: 38,880,217,082 bytes

Feature Size: 36,812,040,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.74 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 6th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2939 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2939 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: DTS-HD Master Audio French 3227 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3227 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Portuguese 2740 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2740 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

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

 

Extras:

Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: When a mild-mannered, middle-aged book editor (Jack Nicholson) gets bitten by a wolf, it gives him a shot of confidence over younger colleagues, highly tuned senses and a few new lycanthropic appetites. Like a clever New Yorker cartoon, this urbane horror film satirizes middle age in New York's cutthroat social and business worlds.

 

 

The Film:

"Wolf" stars Jack Nicholson as a top editor for a New York publishing house, who is bitten by a wolf and begins to turn into a werewolf, just as a billionaire tycoon buys the company and replaces Nicholson with a back-stabbing yuppie. Nicholson, snarling with rage, bites the yuppie, who also begins to grow hair and fangs. The result is a canny portrait of the emotional climate in the New York publishing industry.

The movie contains most of the materials of traditional werewolf movies. Much significance is attached to the full moon, and horses shy away when Nicholson comes near, and his sense of smell develops to the point where he can tell that a man had tequila for his breakfast. There is of course the obligatory eccentric old scientist with the foreign accent, who explains werewolves to Nicholson. And beautiful women to be his lovers and/or victims.

But "Wolf" is both more and less than a traditional werewolf movie. Less, because it doesn't provide the frankly vulgar thrills and excesses some audience members are going to be hoping for. And more, because Nicholson and his director, Mike Nichols, are halfway serious about exploring what might happen if a New York book editor did become a werewolf.

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.
 

Some films don't always transfer well to digital - and I believe Wolf is one of them. With the dual-layering and adequate HD bitrate I'd like to think what I see is heavy grain - but it honestly looks more like clunky noise in the background. The image is thick and detail is rarely impressive. I have no doubt that the Blu-ray surpasses the last DVD edition is visual quality but fans expecting a pristine and glossy sharpness will be left wanting. Colors seem realistic, for the most part, but as the film is so dark when they are exposed - they can seem less-naturally brilliant. It doesn't appear as though any excessive digital tinkering has taken place  - which would have given it a more modern-pleasing appearance to those with expectations of such. Wolf probably looks this way - excessively grainy to a fault - in hopes of homage to the older werewolf flicks it harkens to. From that standpoint the 1080P Blu-ray transfer from Sony is probably quite authentic.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

It's a reasonably competent DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2939 kbps although the film doesn't rely on the effects to an excessive degree. There isn't memorable depth or range but there are some deep bass'ed earthy growls that can transport a shiver or two. There are some optional foreign language DUBs and subtitle options in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

 

Extras :

No supplements save some trailer Blu-ray adverts.

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm not a big fan of this film despite the appeal of Nicholson, Pfeiffer and the modernizing concept of a cool Horror. The Blu-ray is will underwhelm for some but it's probably as good as it will ever look for your home theater! 

Gary Tooze

September 29th, 2009

 

 

Wolf / Dracula / Frankenstein are available together at a significant savings in the Horror Classics Collection out on Blu-ray October 6th, 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 HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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