S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Mira Nair, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twenty Century Fox Studios
Video: 20th Century Fox
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,822,925,091 bytes
Feature Size: 31,369,949,184 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 2nd, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3561 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3561 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
Whip It, AFI PSA
• Making Amelia (23:06 in HD!)
• The Power of Amelia Earhart (10:45 in HD!)
• The Plane Behind the Legend (3:40 in HD!)
• Reconstructing the Planes of Amelia (6:38 in HD!)
• 7 MovieTone News Reels (6:41)
Description: Two-time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank delivers an unforgettable performance as Amelia Earhart, the legendary American aviatrix who boldly flew into the annals of history. Richard Gere co-stars as her charismatic business partner and adoring husband George Putnam. Bound by ambition and love, their enduring marriage could not be broken by Amelia's determination to fly -- nor her passionate affair with Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor). Equal parts gripping drama, stirring romance and epic adventure, Amelia will take your breath away and send your spirit soaring!
Hilary Swank uncannily embodies my ideas about Earhart in Mira Nair's "Amelia."
She looks like her, smiles like here, evokes her. Swank is an actress
who doesn't fit in many roles, but when she's right, she's right. The
tousled hair, the freckles, the slim figure, the fitness, the physical
carriage that says, "I know precisely who I am and I like it -- and if
you don't, bail out." Not only was she the first person after Lindbergh
to fly solo across the Atlantic, she even looked like him.
There is nothing wrong with the way Amelia looks on this Fox Blu-ray. It continuously impresses with the bright colors and tight detail. The camera spends a lot of time on Swank's beaming smiles - her face always full of character. It's surprising how much she resembles the famous aviatrix. There are plenty of aeronautical sequences that can look outstanding with vast blue skies, endless clouds, and shots over vast areas of land and sea. There is some pastel in the art direction giving a good sense of the time period - grain is not very abundant, nor is noise. There is some infrequent depth. The visuals are very bright with some interesting vintage footage in HD. This Blu-ray looks fairly flawless to me but it may have had some boosting as there is some infrequent 'plasticity' to the skin tones - regardless, it will visually impress most who indulge.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Not only is the DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio track at 3561 kbps as brilliant as the image, it, Predictably, produces some intense bass from the frequent airplane engines. Separation has frequent divisions from the aggressive to the subtle. There is another great score from Gabriel Yared (The English Patient, Cold Mountain among others). It is quite beautiful and sounds wonderful in the lossless track. There are English, French and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Short of a commentary this is a standard selection of supplements. The disc precedes the feature film menu with a trailer for the super-fun Whip It and a glorious AFI service announcement that I've re-watched 10 times now (I love it!). Extras consist of 10 deleted scenes with titles like "A Social Worker in Boston", "Amelia's FiancÚ Before the Friendship Flight", "The Queen of Diamonds", "Mabel Boll", "Arrival in Wales", "Dorothy Putnam". They run less than 15-minutes in HD (everything is in HD!). The 23-minute 'Making Amelia' has input from Swank, Nair, Geer and others but doesn't go into any depth on the glorious and lavish production. The Power of Amelia Earhart focuses more on the portrait with Swank and The Plane Behind the Legend gives a brief overview on that plane in the storyline. Reconstructing the Planes of Amelia may be more for those keen on that aspect and we also get 7 MovieTone News Reels with cool vintage footage of Earhart. You also get a second disc Digital Copy in the package.
January 26th, 2010
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
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