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(aka 'Reviens-moi')

Directed by Joe Wright
UK / France 2007

 

Adapted from Ian McEwan's prizewinning novel, Atonement opens in 1935 on a British country estate, where Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and her sister Briony (Saoirse Ronan, and later Romola Garai) live along with Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), a servant’s son. After witnessing something she doesn't understand, Briony makes some unfounded accusations; the fallout from those charges extends through WWII and beyond.

The hat trick of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement, was spinning a typical English country-estate melodrama while simultaneously deconstructing trad Brit lit and equating the writing process with divine providence. Successfully translating these ideas to the screen, however, seemed as likely as Heathcliff coming to a happy ending. Which makes Joe Wright’s big-screen version all the more impressive: He’s produced a gripping, romantic yarn without sacrificing the source’s meta-examination of fiction’s power. Not even the director’s swooning take on Pride & Prejudice (2005) could have prepared folks for this.
 

[....]


Yet Atonement’s extraordinary qualities outweigh any quibbles. Both Knightley and McAvoy finally justify the ink spilled declaring them movie stars, and even virtuosic flourishes like Wright’s Dunkirk-by-Bosch steadicam shot avoid devolving into flashy self-indulgence. The film balances its intimate moments and epic gestures so beautifully that you’d think this stellar adaptation was single-handedly repenting for the rest of the season’s overblown, empty Oscar bait.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 29th, 2007 - Venice Film Festival

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Comparison:

Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC Universal Studio Canal Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:02:36  2:02:48.257 2:02:49.403
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,973,037,900 bytes

Feature: 20,552,552,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.02 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,284,262,732 bytes

Feature: 39,588,556,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  DVD

Bitrate:  French Blu-ray

Bitrate: 

US Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 1889 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1889 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit) Forced English subtitles
DTS-HD Audio French 2046 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS Audio English 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3848 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3848 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None French (mandatory when English audio is chosen), None English, French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Joe Wright
• 7 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary (7:33)
• Featurette: Bringing the Past to Life - The Making of Atonement (26:52)
• Featurette: From Novel to Screen: Adapting a Classic (5:03)

DVD Release Date: March 18th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios / Studio Canal

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,973,037,900 bytes

Feature: 20,552,552,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.02 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Joe Wright

• Featurette: From Novel to Screen: Adapting a Classic (5:03)

• Featurette: Bringing the Past to Life - The Making of Atonement (26:52)

• Jean-Yves Thibaudt, un virtuose au Cinema (15 minutes)

Blu-ray Release Date: August 5th, 200
8
Standard
Blu-ray  Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,284,262,732 bytes

Feature: 39,588,556,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.07 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Joe Wright
• 7 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary (7:33)
• Featurette: Bringing the Past to Life - The Making of Atonement (26:52)
• Featurette: From Novel to Screen: Adapting a Classic (5:03)

BD-LIve, My Scenes

Blu-ray Release Date: January 26th, 20
10
Standard
Blu-ray Case with cardboard slipcase
Chapters: 20

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Universal Studios Blu-ray January 2010':

Bravo Universal!!

Firstly, while my caps are not exact frame matches - we need only look at the technical statistics of the disc to see that Universal have come through with a notably superior transfer than is found on the French - Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

This is definitely NOT the exact same as the HD and single-layered French - Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray VC-1 encode. This is a dual-layered AVC rendering with almost double the disc space for the feature and more than double the bitrate than the previous Blu-ray! I can definitely state that Atonement looks the best it ever has for your home theater enjoyment. There is dramatically more depth, sharper detail and even slightly improved colors.

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 likewise has almost double the kbps and it sounds fabulous - crisp, tight and immersive with the film's wonderful soundtrack that I also on on CD. This sounds much cleaner with healthier bass.

Extras are duplicated from the 2008 DVD with Wright commentary and the seven deleted scenes, with optional commentary, and two featurettes. This Blu-ray also has BD-LIVE and a My Scenes function. There are English, French or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu also identified it as being region free playable on Blu-ray machines world-wide.

This was one of the very last Universal studio production HD-DVDs before abandoning that format altogether but they still have finally issued on Blu-ray in North America. This is one of my favorite films of the past 10-years.  Obviously, we strongly recommend this Universal Region FREE Blu-ray - which has finally been justly treated with a strong transfer. Another encouraging factor is the price - for less than $20 - it is a must-own.

 

ADDITION: Universal / Studio Canal Blu-ray July 09': Unfortunately this is another in a slew of French Blu-rays of English language films that do not allow original English audio without the enforcement of French subtitles. It appears to be a contractual thing but I surely wish this would come to English-friendly Blu-ray ASAP.

A bit about the image - it wouldn't surprise me if it was the exact same as the HD with the same VC-1 encode. It's somewhat superior than the screen caps below indicate. The 1080P visuals look stunning but more credit to the film's deft cinematography. The DVD was really not too shabby in its own right but the Blu-ray (and HD) versions improve upon it fairly dramatically depending on the scene.

This was one of the very last Universal studio production HD-DVDs before abandoning that format altogether but they still have not issued on Blu-ray yet in Region 'A'. This is one of my favorite films of the past 10-years and I hope it surfaces soon. Extras seem duplicate with French subs but there is additional 15-minute piece Jean-Yves Thibaudt, un virtuose au Cinema in French with no English subtitles.

I can watch this via my computer with the English audio while avoiding the French subtitles and some with a 'Macro Blocker' may be able to avoid the enforcement. Obviously, we suggest waiting on this title which my Momitsu also identifies as region 'B'-locked.    

 

NOTE: The HD version (combo) is reviewed HERE.

I view far too many films consecutively to have any worth as a critic. Often when I see something that deeply moves me - I am hesitant to try to express that joy as I know my ineffective words can never do it justice. Atonement is such a film. A perfectly realized cinematic experience. It is magnificent... as good as any film released in 2007.

The standard definition DVD looks very strong. Aside from some minor noise it produces a stellar appearance. Contrast and detail are at high levels and colors look balanced and true.  I look forward to seeing it in 1080 as I imagine everything will be slightly improved. Atonement is a visual masterpiece with inspirational and deeply moving cinematography and this SD DVD seems to represent it very well. I can't see anyone having complaints about this disc's image quality. 

The audio is in a 5.1 track (with similar DUBs in French and Spanish). To my ears it sounded buoyant without excess. It does have moments of being tested and pass those trials adequately. The soundtrack from Debussy to Puccini blossoms subtly.  In short, I have no complaints with the film's audio transfer to DVD.

There are some fabulous supplements including an interesting and telling commentary by director Joe Wright. He has an easily decipherable accent - there are some appropriate gaps and he talks a lot on the blocking and detailing information to the actors. With the shots of animals he does mention Laughton's Night of the Hunter. There are also 7 deleted scenes with optional commentary. They run about 1 minute each and although interesting I believe the choices of removing them was correct. Finally two featurettes - Bringing the Past to Life - The Making of Atonement runs almost 30 minutes and includes input from Redgrave and Knightley as well as others. There is a shorter one as well - From Novel to Screen: Adapting a Classic that has Wright input some of the adaptation process - it runs only 5 minutes. 

I've already extolled the film to the hilt and for only $16 this may have the best value of any DVD I have purchased this year. Buy... now. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Brief French dialogue

 

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Screen Captures

 

1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal /Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More US, (Region FREE) Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC Universal Studio Canal Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Universal Studios - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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