(Kevin Reynolds, 2006)
|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze
Tristan + Isolde [Blu-ray]
(Kevin Reynolds, 2006)
Review by Gary W. Tooze
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (Japan) vs. Kino Lorber (USA)
Blu-ray Region Code: A (both)
Released: July 23rd, 2008 / April 11th,
Disc - Single-layered 25 Gig
Disc Size: 31,007,718,753 bytes
Feature Size: 21.9 Gig
Feature Size: 27,223,812,096 bytes
1.85:1 1080p - VC-1 encode
Video Bitrate: 24.63 Mbps
MPEG-4 AVC Video / 1080p / 23.976 fps
English Dolby Digital DTS HD Master, DUB: Japanese DTS 5.1
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1981 kbps 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 1981 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509
kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 /
48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles: English, none
• Trailer for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2:20)
• Trailer for The Day After Tomorrow (1:43)
• Trailer for Tristan + Isolde (2:24)
• Audio Commentary by
Executive Producer Jim Lemley and Co-producer Anne Lai
Kino Bitrate Graph:
Product Description: From executive producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator) comes a sweeping, action-packed saga of epic battles, political intrigue and forbidden passion, set in a time when the lines between heroism and savagery were etched in fire and carved out with broadswords. After the fall of Rome, visionary warlord Marke (Rufus Sewell) seeks to unite the squabbling English tribes to form one strong nation and defeat brutal Irish King Donnchadh. But when Lord Marke?s greatest and most loyal knight, Tristan (James Franco), falls in love with Isolde (Sophia Myles), a beautiful Irish woman, it threatens to destroy the fragile truce and ignite a war. In the spirit of Braveheart and A Knight's Tale, TRISTAN + ISOLDE is a rousing tale of trust and treachery that will leave you breathless!
Dashing and romantic, "Tristan and Isolde" provides a pleasantly old-fashioned spectacle of doomed passion.
"Tristan and Isolde" is not all love; in fact, it features large chunks of professionally done action, including fierce attacks, clandestine ambushes and copious amounts of smiting enemies with mighty swords. And the convincing look of the film, the success of cinematographer Arthur Reinhart and production designer Mark Geraghty in making us feel we're in a reasonable fantasy facsimile of Britain circa AD 500 is also a plus.
Video: NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Secondary NOTE: This is not yet available in North America BUT this Japanese disc will play on 'Region A'Blu-ray equipment which includes the Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). I actually think the disc is region-free (but cannot yet verify) but when I can confirm we will publish that here.
This has Japanese menus but, like a typical 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment'Blu-ray - preceding the film are some trailers (in HD) - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2:20) and The Day After Tomorrow (1:43) - there is also a trailer for Tristan + Isolde (2:24). It's fairly simple with only 2 options for both audio and subtitles and aside from the trailers there are no supplements. I strongly suspect that the transfer will be the same as the eventual U.S. release.
ThisBlu-ray is single-layered with the feature taking up 21.9 Gig of the 2+ hour film in 1.85 aspect ratio. It doesn't look exceptionally strong for a Blu-ray, as evidenced by the large resolution screen captures (clickable below.) Detail and colors all definitely outshine the an SD edition and background noise would be the only major flaw although, dependant on your sensitivity to it, not enough to mar a home theater presentation. Colors are not demonstratively intense and detail shines rather infrequently. It may have been shot in this 'soft' manner but I found Tristan + Isolde didn't impressive me in 1080P. To be fair - it appears consistent (no edge-enhancement or DNR) and some outdoor scenes are striking but in comparison to other Blu-ray's it seemed markedly weak, although, obviously, towering over its SD counterpart.
A tough call, the Kino is brighter - with warmer skin tones - and it may also be a tad sharper, but I don't think it's enough to make issue. However, the US AVC over the Japanese transfer's VC-1 will make a difference in-motion to aficionados. I lean to the Kino, overall - however many systems won't distinguish a huge disparity.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
A decent HD track that comes to life in some of the dramatic fighting scenes. Nothing overlybuoyant and separated... but still fairly even and consistent in the interim with dialogue audio supported by English or Japanese subtitle options. No strong complaints but like the image - a bit unremarkable. There is also a Japanese surround DUB if necessary.
Kino offer the same 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master (16-bit), with the option of a 2.0 channel stereo in lossy Dolby. The surround has some adroit separations that add to the battles/contest with prevalent bass.The score by Anne Dudley (Elle, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Crying Game, American History X) is as beautiful as the film exporting grace, emotion and the hardships of medieval existence expertly in lossless. There are optional English subtitles on the Region 'A'-locked disc.
We don't get the bona-fide extras found on the SD HERE and we don't get anything aside from the above mentioned trailers.
This would be a major reason to get the Kino or even double dip - there are 2 audio commentaries - the first by executive producer Jim Lemley and co-producer Anne Lai and the second by screenwriter Dean Georgaris - both were on the 2006 DVD and both interesting if you were keen on the film's production details. As was the 1/2 hour Love Conquers All: Making of Tristan & Isolde featurette, 2 music videos by Gavin DeGraw of "We Belong Together", a theatrical trailer and 12 TV Spots.
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
BOTTOM LINE: Great film - really - I was very pleasantly surprised and genuinely impressed. Tristan + Isolde seems to have been swiftly swept under the rug. It's great to see it looking as good as it can even if that falls slightly short of high-definition expectations. It's a shame that thisBlu-ray presentation is not more exceptional - to match the film - which truly deserves an audience. I'm content to own this Blu-ray and do strongly recommend seeing Tristan + Isolde - in this, the best, home theater presentation format, or even on SD.
Wonderful to revisit this film afteralmost 9-years (it took its time coming to North America) and I remain impressed with the story, acting and beautiful locations that augment this highly effective period romance combining Romeo and Juliet with Camelot. This is being put on the 'keeper shelf' as I thoroughly enjoyed my viewing... again. The Kino is the way to go - backed by the extensive extras - even if ported over the the older DVD. If you haven't seen this - you should. Recommended!