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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Tetro [Blu-ray]


(Francis Ford Coppola, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: American Zoetrope

Video: Lions Gate



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

Runtime: 2:07:00.654

Disc Size: 48,864,399,211 bytes

Feature Size: 36,208,533,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.31 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 4th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3536 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3536 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, Spanish, none



• Commentary with Francis Ford Coppola and Alden Ehrenreich

'The Ballet (8:06 in HD!)

•  Mahai Malaimare Jr.: The Cinematography of Tetro (8:30 - HD!)

• The Rehearsal Process (8:32 - HD!)

• Osvaldo Golijov: Music Born From the Film (9:16 in HD!)

La Colifata: I've Always Been Crazy (5:47 in HD!)

 Fausta: A Drama in Verse (4:34)

 Tetro End Credits (3:30 in HD!)

 Other offerings from LionsGate





Description: Fresh-faced and naive, 17-year-old Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich) arrives in Buenos Aires to search for his older brother who has been missing for more than a decade. The family had emigrated from Italy to Argentina, but with the great musical success of their father Carlo (Klaus Maria Brandauer), an acclaimed symphony conductor, the family moved from Argentina to New York. When Bennie finds his brother, the volatile and melancholy poet Tetro (Vincent Gallo), he is not at all what Bennie expected. In the course of staying with Tetro and his girlfriend Miranda (Maribel Verdú), Bennie grapples with his brother and the haunting experiences of their shared past in this widely acclaimed film by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola.



The Film:

"Tetro" may be the most autobiographical film Francis Ford Coppola has made. He said at Cannes "nothing in it happened, but it's all true." I guess I know what that means. He could be describing any "autobiographical" film or novel. The pitfall is in trying to find parallels: Coppola had a father who was a famous conductor, he has a brother he has sometimes argued with, his sister Talia Shire somewhat resembles the heroine of this film, his nephew Nicolas Cage somewhat resembles the character Tetro, and on and on. All meaningless.

Better to begin with a more promising starting point: The film is boldly operatic, involving family drama, secrets, generations at war, melodrama, romance and violence. I'm only guessing, but Coppola, considering his father and his Italian-American heritage, may be as opera-besotted as any living American director, including Scorsese. His great epic "Apocalypse Now" is fundamentally, gloriously, operatic. The oedipal issues in the "Godfather" trilogy are echoed again in "Tetro." The emotions are theatrical, not realistic.

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.

The majority of Tetro is in black and white - and the dual-layered progressive transfer exports the deft contrast very well.  At times the grayscale looks even more adept than Good Night, and Good Luck. Detail is also very strong in close-ups.  There are some gorgeous pans of South American mountain ranges. Nothing is overly dark and there is some depth to the visual presentation. Minor grain is present and gives the image a gentle, consitent texture. This Blu-ray looks very impressive at times and the brief infusions of color suit the film's artistic context.  This is a very good transfer with a strong bitrate and I suspect this Blu-ray probably looks like the theatrical appearance.



















Audio :

The lone feature track exists in a competent DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3536 kbps. It seems to easily handle beyond the, often, dialogue-driven sequences. There is some performance music but nothing of any exceptionally aggressive nature in the mix. Separations are rare but exist and the background score by Osvaldo Golijov which always sounds soft, gentle and just wonderful. While the track could handle any further range or depth - it really doesn't exists to export. The music is a big part of the film experience and always sounds crisp and tight. There are optional subtitles offered (English and Spanish) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

While the featurettes, many with Coppola input, can seem a little erratic - this is made up for by the feature-length commentary with Francis Ford Coppola and Alden Ehrenreich. Coppola covers a lot of substance with frequent production details and Ehrenreich is a appropriate foil for delving into other areas. If you enjoyed the film - this is definitely worth the extra spin. of the featurettes (all in HD, by the way) - the Mahai Malaimare Jr.: The Cinematography of Tetro, The Rehearsal Process and Osvaldo Golijov: Music Born From the Film - all running shy of 10-minutes - are interesting, and brief, enough to indulge. I should note the ability to alter the Menu effects with a sliding scale - kind of cool - although I don't know how often you would utilize. It's the first time I recall seeing this feature.



So, I'm not going to love a Francis Ford Coppola film starring Vincent Gallo infused with Powell and Pressburger? - forget about it! I loved Tetro even when it seemed to go off on it's own artistic direction. It may push the artistic envelope more than many might appreciate but I couldn't get enough. The LionsGate Blu-ray does a super job in the A/V transfer, and includes the commentary and handful of unique extras. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 24th, 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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