S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Penny Marshall, 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Image Entertainment
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,506,247,913 bytes
Feature Size: 21,190,004,736 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 22nd, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2154 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2154 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), Spanish, none
Description: Based on the true story of a research physician who uses an experimental drug to 'awaken' the catatonic victims of a rare sleeping sickness. The first patient to receive the drug (De Niro in an astounding performance) is filled with awe and enthusiasm that teaches the introverted doctor to value life's simple pleasures. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Robert De Niro, Best (Adapted) Screenplay.
"Awakenings" is cause for rejoicing, a literate and compassionate
film in this season of chintz and barbarism. A sweetly stirring drama in
the spirit of "Rain
Man," it explores the mutual gain in a union between an
emotionally handicapped man and his neurologically disabled friend.
Featured here are Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, attuned as bow and
fiddle in their roles of a clinical psychiatrist and the catatonic
patient he awakens from a sleep of 30 years.
In a display of subtle acting, his most subdued yet, Robin Williams is
terrific as a painfully shy, retiring research physician who finds
himself reluctantly practicing in a chronic hospital in 1969 in
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Awakenings appears fairly modest looking on Blu-ray from Image Entertainment. It is quite clean with some grain but while looking superior to SD doesn't test the boundaries of this newer format. This is only single-layered and has a middling bitrate and nothing gets dynamically sharp or displaying an abundance of depth. It is progressive and 1080 resolution and I suspect any limitations in the appearance are more to do with the source and original stock than any fault of the transfer. There is some marginal improvement in the colors (skin tones seem a shade warm at times) but contrast is more subdued than we usually see from Blu-ray. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This un-manipulated Blu-ray probably looks like the film Awakenings - which is about all we can ask.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Image Entertainment have supplied a competent DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a reasonable 2154 kbps. The film doesn't support any aggression or, really, any notable separations. Dialogue is all very clear and Randy Newman's score isn't his most memorable but is replicated with some crispness. There are optional subtitles (sample below) in English or Spanish and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Nutt'in - not even a trailer.
March 16th, 2011
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS