S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Richard Fleischer, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Paramount Pictures
Video: Legend Films
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,990,950,546 bytes
Feature Size: 16,676,413,440 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.04 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 14th, 2010
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Description: Based on the best-selling book, Mandingo is a shocking look at plantation life in the Deep South. Mede (Ken Norton) is a slave whose master, Hammond Maxwell (Perry King), intends on keeping him as a prizefighter. As Maxwell focuses his attention on his wenches and Mede's brutal training, his neglected wife (Susan George) turns her passions towards Mede himself. The sordid doings explode across the screen as Mandingo plays out its savage and dramatic story.
The tedious, emasculated stereotype of the Deep South circa 1840, with its stoical slaves and demure southern belles, is effectively exploded here. Fleischer utilises the real sexuality and violence behind slavery to mount a compelling slice of American Gothic which analyses, in appropriately lurid terms, the twists and turns of a distorted society. The plot (from a novel by Kyle Onstott) explores the declining years of a slave-breeding family, whose slaves are treated not so much like animals as humanoids: their physical intimacy with the master-race is total. Finally it is the sheer absurdity and incongruity of the various women's roles in this crazy set-up which cracks the society wide open. The story is basically Victorian melodrama with more than an echo of the Brontes, but it is acted with enormous gusto, by Perry King especially; and Richard Kline's highly atmospheric pictorialisation of the Falconhurst domain adds a great deal. Good to see Fleischer returning to the kind of psycho-pathological thriller that he can handle so well.Excerpt from Timeout located HERE
Mandingo doesn't have a particularly dynamic image on Blu-ray from Legend Films (notable for some colorization of 'classic' films to DVD - like The Little Shop of Horrors, The Most Dangerous Game, or Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew). The image quality shows some grit and minor grain but noise is equally present. Colors and detail may be dull/soft but it doesn't look poor in motion. The grain that is present gives some texture and, aside from some damage at beginning, it is acceptably clean. This is only single-layered and in relation to other 1080P transfer - this would be considered at the more modest end - but to be fair - the price reflects that. The disc gave me a decent, if not stellar, presentation - hinting at depth although never quite achieving it. Whatever limited expectations I had for this Blu-ray were, at least, fulfilled. It seems a competent straight-from-source transfer without embellishment of boosting - it is superior than SD-DVD could relate.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
It's lossless (linear PCM) and original stereo 2.0 channel. The audio may actually be a bit more advanced than the video rendering. It's clear, clean - no separation or depth but it often feels robust enough to handle any aggression - which is present in a few scenes. There are no subtitles but my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Nothing but a 'Press Kit Slideshow' with black and white stills from the film - with captions indicating what is happening at that segment of the film or details of the actor(s).
September 22nd, 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