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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Amelia [Blu-ray]


(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)

Runtime: 1:51:20.674

Disc Size: 44,822,925,091 bytes

Feature Size: 31,369,949,184 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.98 Mbps

Chapters: 24

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



• Trailers: Whip It, AFI PSA
• 10 Deleted Scenes ; "A Social Worker in Boston", "Amelia's FiancÚ Before the Friendship Flight", "The Queen of Diamonds", "Mabel Boll", "Arrival in Wales", "Dorothy Putnam" etc. (13:51 in total - in HD!)

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)

Digital Copy





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!



The Film:

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.

"Amelia" tells this story with sound performances and impeccable period detail. It deals with her final flight so accurately that many of the radio transmissions between her and the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, stationed off Howland Island, are repeated verbatim. (They could hear her but she couldn't hear them.) It ends on exactly the correct note.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE



Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

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.





















Audio :

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.



Extras :

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.



This is a fairly surface bio-pic. I couldn't help but think how the modern generation of movie-goers who see this may be totally clueless as to the woman and her eventual fate. I think this could have been better - it's superficialities can be annoying but it looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray  - plus it is well acted. I don't think there are any demo scenes here but overall it gives a super presentation. Your call.  

Gary Tooze

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 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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