S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(John Erick Dowdle, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Night Chronicles
Video:Universal Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 25,189,915,552 bytes
Feature Size: 21,544,384,512 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.35 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 21st, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3561 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3561 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
• 3 deleted scenes (Salesman Intro, Mechanic Intro, Old Woman
Intro - 3:56 in total in HD!)
Description: Trapped in an elevator high above Philadelphia, five people discover that the Devil is among them – and no one can escape their fate. This chilling, supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to a heart-stopping ending with a truly wicked twist.
More about Shyamalan stories are 'the journey' - not the scare-quotient. Devil is a perfect case scenario. BTW, when did we get so jaded after the original TV series The Twilight Zone? Because, with the exception of The Last Airbender, this is the writer/director/producer's forte. However, because it is M. Night - the critics feel the need to link arms and chant "We don't stop for nobody..." forgetting the innocence of the Rod Serling adventures in the fantastical. Ahhh... The Twilight Zone: simple and cute sci-fi/horror concepts requiring a suspension of your disbelief and a smart twist or two at the conclusion. Sound familiar? Try Signs, Unbreakable, Lady in the Water, The Village, The Happening. Nothing too deep (well, The Village had some political connotations) - just get the heavily-buttered popcorn ready. I loved them all.
So Devil follows right in-step. Piquing our curiosities is Tak Fujimoto's deft camerawork with angles from above and below. Director John Erick Dowdle seemed a good choice to helm with his previous success frightening pants off via confined spaces with his 2008 Quarantine. Okay - five suspicious people - each with a story to tell - confined in a trapped elevator. Only issue is that one of them appears to be... the Devil. The stories expand not only for the those suspended in the skyscraper conveyance - but also the cop investigating. The lights flicker on and off in perfect time to the screams and people start dropping dead all over the place. I am so happy with the pace - Hollywood has a tendency to draw these things out - often painfully. But not here. The trailer suggest a rapid-fire 'B' picture and that is what Shyamalan and co. deliver. It couldn't be more perfect for a late Friday night viewing. Stop expecting something more and you WILL enjoy.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
By modern standard a shortish film at 1 hour 20 minutes but it squeezes into dual-layered territory with a solid bitrate. It's thick and heavy - very film like and not always supporting pristinely crisp visuals. Purposely dark (what lies in those shadows?) with rich black levels the 1080P image quality looks solid via the VC-1 encode. The Universal Blu-ray appearance has no demonstrative flaws.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Impressive track - a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3561. Bass jumped me outta my seat a few times.The track pops multi-aggressiveness and Fernando Velázquez's score builds subtleties with each scene. This is a very good soundstage and lossless replication of the filmmakers intent with crisp precision. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements are definitely puffed-up a bit - 3 deleted scenes and 3 mini-featurettes totaling only about 12-minutes all said and done. No commentary but the disc has the usual Blu-ray bells and whistles (My Scenes bookmark-able, D-Box Motion Controls, untested BD-Live enabled) and lastly a Digital Copy for use on your portable devices.
December 15th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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