S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Edge [Blu-ray]
(Lee Tamahori, 1997)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Art Linson Productions
Video:20th Century Fox Home Video
Region: A (B + C untested)
Disc Size: 23,053,440,346 bytes
Feature Size: 21,422,407,680 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.61 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 11th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4304 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4304 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, none
• Trailer (2:28 in HD!) + 5 Previews
Description: Writer David Mamet created two engrossing and memorable characters, played by Alec Baldwin as the urbane fashion photographer and Anthony Hopkins as a reserved and intellectual billionaire. They find themselves teamed up against a giant Kodiak bear, and their own inner demons, when lost together in the Alaskan wilderness. There is a lot going on in this picture, as the subject matter includes male rivalry, the isolationism of extreme wealth, and, most conspicuously, the survival of the fittest. Mamet's script, which sounds a little too arch in spots, is well served by New Zealand director Lee Tamahori, who knows how to capture beauty and brutality in one frame. Although the themes are enormous in scope, they are well balanced. One rarely overpowers the other, nor does the achingly beautiful scenery overshadow the acting. Even if you do not like the intellectualism of the dialogue, there are some great scenes with the bear.
Few movie spectacles are more satisfying than great performers playing deadly rivals, than natural-born antagonists going at it fang and claw, so to speak. "The Edge" has such a rivalry going, but it's not quite what you might expect.
For though the movie is set up as a conflict between Anthony Hopkins' remote billionaire and Alec Baldwin's flashy fashion photographer, the battle that gives "The Edge" its power and excitement is the one between Hopkins and Bart the Bear, two consummate professionals who hold nothing back.
They don't give Oscars for best supporting bear, and Bart is probably not on the American Film Institute's short list for a life achievement award. But his performance here, the capstone of an illustrious career, is a milestone in ursine acting. Here's hoping the big guy didn't have to work for scale.
Given that "The Edge" was written by David Mamet and directed by Lee Tamahori ("Once Were Warriors," "Mulholland Falls"), no one will be expecting a remake of "Lady Windermere's Fan." But that doesn't mean that "The Edge" isn't something of a surprise.Excerpt from Kenneth Turan at the LA Times located HERE
Despite The Edge appearing on a modest transfer, statistically (single-layered, lowish bitrate) via Blu-ray the image is quite pleasing perhaps with due credit to Donald McAlpine's cinematography and the shooting locales of Banff National Park and Mount Assiniboine in Canada. The only complaint would be that there is a shade more noise than I might have expected but the Blu-ray exports some detailed close-ups and surprising depth of field. Colors look true never advancing to unrealistic proportions - contrast has exports some decent black levels. Naturally lit day scenes dominate the film and this, also, improves the image presentation. This Blu-ray doesn't appear to have any manipulations. This holds up very well and I don't know that more of a robust transfer would improve it significant levels. This looks very good.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
There is a powerful lossless track available in the form of an DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 4304 kbps. Bart the Bear's growls are furiously loud you can feel them right in your gut. In fact there is a loud plane crash that is also extremely aggressive with immersive bass. It's a Jerry Goldsmith score and it is given a crisp, even, rendering. There is healthy range and depth and adds a keen, intense, suspense also sounding majestic for the awesome vistas. There are optional subtitles.
Nothing but a trailer in HD and some previews. If I recall correctly the DVD edition, that I can't put my hands on, was also bare bones. The film is basic enough that it doesn't require much post discussion or innocuous sound bytes from the cast. To be fair the price isn't top tier for Fox reflecting the limited nature of the disc and lack of supplements.
April 30th, 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze