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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Mike Nichols, 1994)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Tri-Star
Video:Sony Pictures / Indicator (Powerhouse)
Region: FREE! (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 2:05:20.513 / 2:05:18.511
Disc Size: 38,880,217,082 bytes / 48,554,005,596 bytes
Feature Size: 36,812,040,192 bytes / 40,137,238,080 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.74 Mbps / 34.46 Mbps
Chapters: 16 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray Case
Release date: October 6th, 2009 / November 20th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
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)
Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
English (SDH), none
Beast Inside: Creating Wolf (2017, 55:14): a new
documentary on the making of the film with new interviews
from SFX legend Rick Baker, screenwriter Wesley Strick and
producer Douglas Wick
Description: Director Mike Nichols thrilling modern-day werewolf movie boasts a stellar cast, including Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, and presents itself as a witty and inventive hybrid of horror film, romantic thriller and biting satire about male anxiety and office politics, where the real monster is corporate greed.
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.
"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
The image is thick and has a natural softness. 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. It doesn't appear as though any excessive digital tinkering has taken place. Wolf probably looks this way - grainy, heavy - 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.
Not much difference at all, but I will give a slight edge to the Indicator which looks marginally crisper and better layered contrast via the max'ed out bitrate. Colors, framing are the same as the Sony.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
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.
Indicator offer both a linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo track at 2304 kbps (24-bit) along with a more robust DTS-HD Master surround track at a healthy 3866 kbps (also 24-bit). The surround technically advances on the Sony and the score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (The Mercenary, La Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) adds some creature-feature-esque intensity suitable to the genre. Indicator offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.
No supplements save some trailer Blu-ray adverts.
No commentary but The Beast Inside: Creating Wolf is a new Fiction Factory documentary by Robert Fischer on the making of the film with new interviews from SFX legend Rick Baker, screenwriter Wesley Strick and producer Douglas Wick. It sheds a lot of light on the production evolution and runs shy of an hour. There are also some 'never-before-seen' archival interviews with director Mike Nichols (8:39), actors Michelle Pfeiffer (0:51), James Spader (2:03) and Kate Nelligan (1:43), producer Douglas Wick (3:03), writer Jim Harrison (2:53), SFX maestro Rick Baker (1:34) and production designer Bo Welch (2:04). Included is non-consequential B-roll footage, an original theatrical trailer and an image gallery: on-set and promotional photography. The Indicator package has a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Brad Stevens, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film. It is a limited edition of 3,000 copies.
Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Indicator advance upon the Sony with the superior a/v and extensive extras. I wasn't crazy about Wolf the first time I saw it but it has grown very favourably on me over the years. I appreciate the modern homage of Jacques Tourneur and Universal horrors of the 30's and 40's. Another complete and thorough Blu-ray package from Indicator - the best the film will likely ever get.
September 29th, 2009
November 18th, 2017
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