S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Frantic / Presumed Innocent (Thriller Double Feature) [Blu-ray]
(Roman Polanski, 1988 / Alan J. Pakula , 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Frantic Runtime: 1:59:52.018
Presumed Innocent Runtime: 2:06:56.775
Disc Size: 37,677,515,862 bytes
Frantic disc size: 18,089,435,136 bytes
Presumed Innocent disc size: 19,463,983,104 bytes
Frantic Video Bitrate: 16.99 Mbps
Presumed Innocent Video Bitrate: 16.81 Mbps
Chapters: 32 / 35
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 23rd, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2122 / 1681 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2122 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
Frantic - Blu-ray TOP and Presumed Innocent - Blu-ray BOTTOM
Description: Two spellbinding Harrison Ford thrillers mark their hi-def debut together. Harris Ford teams with two supremely gifted filmmakers - Alan J. Pakula and Academy Award winner Roman Polanski - on a pair of suspenseful and involving mysteries. From Scott Turow's bestseller, Pakula directs the twist-filled whodunit Presumed Innocent, in which Ford is pledged to uphold the law yet determined to escape it. He plays an attorney who's both the prosecutor of a murder case...and Suspect #1. Polanski helms the edge-of-your-seat caper Frantic. After his wife suddenly disappears in Paris, American doctor Ford confronts a bewildering web of language, locale and bureaucracy as he scrambles to find her.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK would have appreciated the inexorable process whereby
Dr. Richard Walker (Harrison Ford), a surgeon visiting Paris to address
a convention and enjoy a kind of second honeymoon, is drawn into a web
of intrigue. It is perhaps no accident that Dr. Walker's troubles begin
in the shower. The quiet, brilliantly unremarkable opening sequence of
Roman Polanski's ''Frantic'' follows the doctor and his wife, Sondra
(Betty Buckley), as they take a taxi from the airport, check into their
Paris hotel, call home to say they've arrived and prepare to work off
their jet lag. The only tip-offs that anything may be amiss are the
film's title and the presence of Mr. Polanski at the helm.
A magician deliberately orchestrates his audience's suspicions as a
means of concealing the real tricks of his trade. Scott Turow
accomplished something very similar with ''Presumed Innocent,'' his
spellbinding courtroom novel in which the narrator finds himself accused
of having murdered a seductive co-worker. Mr. Turow's sleight of hand is
so tremendously skillful that his novel is not even diminished by a
knowledge of just where responsibility for this crime ultimately lies.
The book actually improves with a second reading, when the author's
tactics can best be appreciated.
Warner have paired these two films before HERE, (also touted as 'Thriller Double Feature" as opposed to a more common 'Harrison Ford' billing) but on DVD. Unfortunately I believe, just as with their single DVD release from 2004, Frantic was in open-matte 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Both Presumed Innocent and Frantic were shot for 1.85 theatrically so these Blu-ray transfers at 1.78 are certainly more tolerable.
In these transfers - shared on a single dual-layered Blu-ray disc, Frantic shows a lot of grain but is otherwise unremarkable. It look thick at times but I like the texture. It may be a shade dirty as well. It was the best I have seen Polanski's film on digital with contrast, detail and colors a notable improvement from previous DVDs. Bitrate is a shade over double the older format and that is how I would rate the image quality.
Presumed Innocent is much smoother - grain is still visible, but the image detail shows more prominence. Being, essentially only single-layered (feature takes up just shy of 20 Gig) - noise can be seen in some monochromatic darker sequences. There are a few instances of depth and while not a perfect transfer - ala a more modern film to HD - it looks quite pleasing and gives a decent presentation. I don't suspect DNR or similar manipulations and both are free of blemishes or damage marks.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio for both film is offered in strong DTS-Master 2.0 channel tracks with Dolby Spanish DUBs. Scores balance the suspenseful moods and this, like the visuals quality, is supportive of the films without demonstrative blow-the-windows-out appeal. Actually, I don't mind the lack of separations to the rear speaker. These stereo renderings are crisp and clean - they do a good job for the film viewings. There are optional English, French or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
NOTE (June 26th, 2011): James tells us in email - "To make a long, long story short, the BRs of Roman Polanski's FRANTIC that were released last year throughout the world by Warner did not include the original English language track, but a composite French/English track that was intended for exhibition only in France, with subtitles. Not a single BR issue (US, France, Germany, Hong Kong) was correct." (Thanks James!) We should note that the ones sold NOW do have the corrected audio.
Nothing is offered - not even a trailer for either film. I appreciate the lack of 'previews' prior to the features.
February 11th, 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