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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Crazy Heart [Blu-ray]

 

(Scott Cooper, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Video: 20th Century Fox

 

Disc:

Region: A (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:51:37.190

Disc Size: 35,614,538,660 bytes

Feature Size: 31,299,538,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.77 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 20th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3540 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3540 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Deleted Scenes and Alternate Music Cuts (18:05)

Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Duvall on what brought them to Crazy Heart (3:02 in HD!)

Digital Copy 2nd disc

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can't help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man's crazy heart.

 

 

The Film:

Some actors are blessed. Jeff Bridges is one of them. Ever since his breakthrough role in "The Last Picture Show" in 1971, he has, seemingly without effort, created a series of characters who we simply believe, even the alien "Starman." He doesn't do this with mannerisms but with their exclusion; his acting is as clear as running water. Look at him playing Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart." The notion of a broke-down, boozy country singer is an archetype in pop culture. We've seen this story before. The difference is, Bad Blake makes us believe it happened to him.

That's acting. There's a line of dialogue in the movie that I jotted down at the time, and it's been cited by several critics. Bad Blake is being interviewed in his shabby motel room by Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a newspaper reporter. She's taking him, gently, to places he doesn't want to go. He's been interviewed about the subject too many times. He doesn't say that. He says, "I want to talk about how bad you make this room look."

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.
 

This is a solid Blu-ray image from Fox. The dual-layered 1080P visuals don't showcase the film too often as we are in some pretty dark Honky-tonk bars for a lot of the first 1/3 of the film. When the plot does venture elsewhere - especially outdoor vistas of New Mexico - the quality shines appropriately.  Close-ups display decent detail and contrast is healthy.  Skin tones seem a shade warm at times - but colors look un-manipulated. By modern standards this can look reasonably modest visually but when the cinematography jumps to some more vibrant areas - the transfer has no problem in handling and delivering the goods. I see no DNR tinkering and suspect this is as strong a representation of the film as you are likely to find on disc.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The only track is a buoyant DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a responsible 3540 kbps. The film's music (Stephen Bruton and T-Bone Burnett) wasn't meant to sound overly crisp - it's clean and refreshing but 'twangy' accurate to the film's vérité realism. It sounds good. Aside from a car crash there isn't an abundance of effect noises necessary - nor seperations. Dialogue is audible without need for demonstrative range or depth. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.

 

 

Extras :

Not much in the way of extras but some may enjoy the 20-minutes of deleted scenes and alternate music cuts, Plus there is a scant 3-minutes on Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Duvall discussing what brought them to Crazy Heart. The film can speak for itself but I would have thought more (director interview/commentary) would have been appropriate. A second disc Digital Copy is provided for your portable device.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The subtleties help this film rise above a one-dimensional redemption story. It touches on responsibility, artistic creativity and the human condition without overpowering us a into a corner. I could easily watch this again and again - the music does such a good job of establishing aura. It's an impressive film that is extremely well written with some of the best performances of the year. The Blu-ray is essentially flawless. I would have thought it deserved more extras but I doubt we're going to see it looking or sounding any better and I give a heartfelt recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

April 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 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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