A River Runs Through It [Blu-ray]
(Robert Redford, 1992)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures
Video: Sony Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,355,453,860 bytes
Feature Size: 32,335,890,432 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 28th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1376 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1376 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1343 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1343 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Spanish 1375 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1375 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
•Deep Currents: the Making of A River Runs Through It (29:59 in HD!)
•The Blackfoot Challenge: Rescuing a River (15:12 - HD!)
• Casting a Line - A Beginners Guide to Fly Fishing
• Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes
• On the Blackfoot River - Looping Video Environments ( 4X 10:00 in HD!)
Description: Academy Award-winner Robert Redford (Best Director, Ordinary People, 1980) captures the majesty of the Montana wilderness and the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean's classic memoir. Craig Sheffer stars as the young Norman, and Brad Pitt stars as his brother Paul, an irresistible daredevil driven to challenge the world. Growing up, both boys rebel against their stern minister father. While Norman channels his rebellion into writing, Paul descends a slippery path to self-destruction. Co-starring Tom Skerritt as the Reverend Maclean and Emily Lloyd as wild-hearted Jessie Burns.
Redford's film version makes the crucial decision to keep Maclean's
voice in the film; his own prose is read as a narration, by Redford, so
that we do not simply see events as they happen, we are reminded that
they are memories from long ago, and that the author has spent time and
trouble to draw the lessons from them.
The movie was shot on locations that suggest the bounty of the Western
states in those days. The towns uneasily straddle the divide between the
modern and the frontier. As the boys grow up, they meet young ladies,
and date, and consider their futures, and Redford elaborates on the book
in ways which flesh out the characters of Paul and his mother, and some
of the people in their lives, including a young Indian woman Paul dates
in defiance of town opinion, and the high-spirited Jessie, (Emily
Lloyd), who eventually becomes Norman's wife.
With the help of the exquisite shooting locales in Montana and Wyoming the Blu-ray of A River Runs Through It looks very strong with certain scenes bordering on 'stunning'. Close-ups can show crystal clarity while colors seem true and bright. This dual-layered transfer, with the feature taking up over 32 Gig, is tight and impressive. Skin tones seem moderately warm - contrast exhibits decent black levels. Daylight scenes, which dominate the film, are the most impressive but overall this Blu-ray has a very pure, unfettered, feel to the film. It's blemish-free and appears to have no untoward digital manipulations.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The TrueHD 5.1 at a modest 1376 kbps picks upthe river's gentle sounds of nature along with Mark Isham's lilting original score. Expectantly the track is not exceptionally aggressive but does justice to the film's minor effect noises and dialogue. This isn't 'demo' material but does the job without dynamic range or depth. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this disc is region FREE!
Extras strangely contain no commentary but there are some featurettes in HD - Deep Currents: the Making of A River Runs Through It runs 30 minutes ands has a lot of input from Redford on the film's genesis and production as well as extensive information on the fascinating Norman Maclean. The Blackfoot Challenge: Rescuing a River tackles some ecology for 15-minutes and there is a piece on educating one for fly fishing entitled Casting a Line - A Beginners Guide to Fly Fishing. There are some previously unseen deleted scenes and my favorite feature - four "Looping Video Environments" from the Blackfoot River. They are gorgeous and run for 10-minutes each - looping at their completion. I'll be using this a lot - they are fabulous! Ohh... the package is another digibook with over 30-pages of essays, interviews, biographies etc.
July 18th, 2009
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 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 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
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze