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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Something Wild [Blu-ray]

 

(Jonathan Demme, 1986)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: MGM/UA Home Entertainment

Video: Criterion Collection - Spine #563

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:53:46.653

Disc Size: 46,013,121,543 bytes

Feature Size: 33,301,954,560 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 27

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 10th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2054 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2054 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

New video interviews with Demme (33:16 in 1080P) and writer E. Max Frye (9:19 in 1080P)
Original theatrical trailer (2:28)
18-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thompson

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A straitlaced businessman meets a quirky, free-spirited woman at a downtown New York greasy spoon. Her offer of a ride back to his office results in a lunchtime motel rendezvous—just the beginning of a capricious interstate road trip that brings the two face-to-face with their hidden selves. Featuring a killer soundtrack and electric performances from Jeff Daniels (Terms of Endearment, The Squid and the Whale), Melanie Griffith (Body Double, Working Girl), and Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams, Goodfellas), Something Wild, directed by oddball American auteur Jonathan Demme (Stop Making Sense, The Silence of the Lambs), is both a kinky comic thriller and a radiantly off-kilter love story.

 

 

The Film:

Daniels plays the anal accountant letting his hair down with glee and gusto, after a little initial shock, and his transformation is a joy to watch. As the unlikely pair embark on a prolonged joyride that comes to an abrupt end when they arrive at her high-school reunion and run into her violent psycho boyfriend (played with outward charm and steely menace by the scary-as-hell Ray Liotta). The partially reformed Charlie must now decide where his priorities lie, whether he is committed to his new lifestyle or whether it was nothing but a fun little jaunt.

Never in danger of palling due to a witty and incisive script, colourful, sun-drenched visual style, quirky soundtrack (Talking Heads, John Cale, Laurie Anderson) and, above all, likable characters we actually care about, this bright, breezy slice of the `80s is guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

Excerpt from Ben Stephens from the UEFS progran located HERE

There may be no greater test of a filmmaker's talent than whether he can inject his own personality into a routine commercial script, and in that regard, Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild" is a triumph.

It's also a load of fun.

Charlie Driggs (Jeff Daniels) is a buttoned-up young executive with a secret life -- he's given to little rebellious gestures like sneaking out on a lunch tab. Audrey (Melanie Griffith), a hell-raiser with a Louise Brooks helmet of black hair (she even calls herself "Lulu"), catches him in the act one day and senses a kindred spirit beneath the suit and tie. She lures him into her battered Ford, and thus begins a wild adventure on the road, filled with motel room sexcapades, car thefts, more skipped checks, a sweet encounter with Audrey's square mother Peaches (Dana Preu) and a not-so-sweet nightmare involving Audrey's old boyfriend Ray (Ray Liotta), a feral lowlife fresh out of prison.

Excerpt from Paul Attanasio of the Washington Post located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Something Wild on Blu-ray from Criterion is advertised as 'New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Tak Fujimoto and approved by director Jonathan Demme.' It appropriately looks undeniably impressive in 1080P with bright vibrant colors (red, blues and greens are notable) and a veneer of textured grain.  The image quality frequently appears just brilliant. This is dual-layered with an astronomic bitrate and may be one of the best transfer ever for an 80's film. There is magnificent detail and depth and daylight scenes are extremely pleasing. This Blu-ray is essentially flawless with a beautiful video quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Criterion offers lossless audio with a DTS-HD Master stereo 2.0 (faithful) channel at 2054 kbps. It may not be surround but it sure has the perception of such in a few of the more aggressive instances in Something Wild. There is some depth and a ton of cool music like "I'm a Believer" and "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" by The Feelies and "Loco de Amor" performed by David Byrne with Celia Cruz and "Wild Thing" by The Troggs (and a lot more) all sounding crisp and full of life. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked as all Criterion Blu-rays to date.

 

Extras :

Not that much in the way of supplements - we get a frank video interview with Demme for over 1/2 an hour where he brings up many production details and the evolution of Something Wild starting the discussion with his disappointment with what transpired regarding Swing Shift. We also have about 10-minutes with writer E. Max Frye describing his intentions. There is an original theatrical trailer and 18-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Thompson.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had a super time revisiting Something Wild in HD. It hasn't lost an iota of fun appeal through to its 25th year. Criterion have supplied a remarkable Blu-ray transfer looking and sounding pristine. This is easily the best this film will ever look for home theater enjoyment and is another great edition to the collection. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 29th, 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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