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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Last Tango in Paris [Blu-ray]

 

(Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: MGM

Video: MGM Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:09:36.810

Disc Size: 41,372,623,187 bytes

Feature Size: 40,735,604,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.11 Mbps

Chapters: 32

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 15th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.75:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2116 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2116 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -7dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, none

 

Extras:

• Trailer (1:32)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description:  A middle-aged American man, tormented by his wife's suicide, drowns out his dark feelings by engaging in a torrid sexual... relationship with a young Parisian woman he meets in a vacant Paris flat.

***

A powerful, controversial story of a man and woman whose special relationship defies social convention. Penetrate the moody, sensual world of Last Tango In Paris , and prepare yourself for the most controversial film of its era. Nominated for two Academy Awards - and exuding a powerful sexual energy unlike any film before or after, this scintillating modern classic shocked a nation...and altered the face of an art form. He (Brando) is a 45 year old American living in Paris haunted by his wife's suicide. She (Maria Schneider) is a 20 year old Parisian beauty engaged to a young filmmaker. Though nameless to each other, these tortured souls come together to satisfy their sexual cravings in an apartment as bare as their dark, tragic lives...

 

 

The Film:

Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris" is one of the great emotional experiences of our time. It's a movie that exists so resolutely on the level of emotion, indeed, that possibly only Marlon Brando, of all living actors, could have played its lead. Who else can act so brutally and imply such vulnerability and need?

For the movie is about need; about the terrible hunger that its hero, Paul, feels for the touch of another human heart. He is a man whose whole existence has been reduced to a cry for help -- and who has been so damaged by life that he can only express that cry in acts of crude sexuality.

Bertolucci begins with a story so simple (which is to say, so stripped of any clutter of plot) that there is little room in it for anything but the emotional crisis of his hero. The events that take place in the everyday world are remote to Paul, whose attention is absorbed by the gradual breaking of his heart. The girl, Jeanne, is not a friend and is hardly even a companion; it's just that because she happens to wander into his life, he uses her as an object of his grief.

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.

Art-house heavy Last Tango in Paris establishes a less conventional appearance with an extremely grainy and thick image via MGM's new 1080P Blu-ray. I've only seen this film once before and it also looked quite 'less-concerned' with pristine visuals and more prone to textures and capturing stylish spontaneity. The film is more akin to loss and pain and the image is meant to reflect the emotional response. Despite the dual-layered transfer with a very high bitrate there is still some noise but not all films achieve their best presentation value via digital. It would seem impossible to capture the essence of the film succinctly regardless of a medium outside of 35mm. This is probably as good as it will get for your home theater. This Blu-ray exports the film's painterly qualities as strongly as possible.  This is, by no mean, a demo disc but supports the film as well as the medium is capable.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

DTS-HD Master Audio stereo at 2116 kbps is fairly flat but clean and tight. The compositions of Gato Barbieri receive a distant but true audio representation via the lossless track and sound crisp enough without range or depth. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Unfortunately as with the previous DVD - nothing aside from a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I've heard a gamut of responses to Last Tango in Paris from adoration to dismissive hatred. While it is not for everyone - as it you open up to its pace and obtuse manners - you succumb to the film's teetering emotional high-wire walk. It is an adult film with adult themes and I strongly suspect that the MGM Blu-ray is the best we will ever get for home theater enjoyment. It's hard not to be impacted by the performances of Brando and the late Maria Schneider. The experience makes me think of a vacuum extracting the decaying remnants of a wandering soul. This can often be a very hard film to watch. 

Gary Tooze

February 9th, 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.

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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