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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Stand By Me [Blu-ray]

 

(Rob Reiner, 1986)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Sony Pictures

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:28:44.319

Disc Size: 31,398,623,550 bytes

Feature Size: 26,622,154,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.59 Mbps

Chapters: 17

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 22nd, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2838 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2838 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2151 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2151 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Portuguese 2904 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2904 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
* Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary with Director Rob Reiner
"Exclusive Featurette "Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand By Me including interviews with Stephen King and Rob Reiner" (36:45 in 480i)
25 Years Later: A Picture-in-Picture Commentary Retrospective with Director Rob Reiner and Actors Wil Wheaton & Corey Feldman
Stand By Me Music Video (3:21 in 480i)

Play Movie with MovieIQ - BDLive capable

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In a small woodsy Oregon town, a group of friends--sensitive Gordie (Wil Wheaton), tough guy Chris (River Phoenix), flamboyant Teddy (Corey Feldman), and scaredy-cat Vern (Jerry O'Connell)--are in search of a missing teenager's body. Wanting to be heroes in each other's and their hometown's eyes, they set out on an unforgettable two-day trek that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery. They sneak smokes, tell tall tales, cuss 'cause it's cool and band together when the going gets tough. When they encounter the town's knife-wielding hoods who are also after the body, the boys discover a strength they never knew they had. Stand By Me is a rare and special film about friendship and the indelible experiences of growing up. Filled with humor and suspense, Stand By Me is based on the novella 'The Body' by Stephen King.

 

 

The Film:

Since ''Stand by Me'' is rated R, owing to all the dirty talk, unaccompanied children under 17 are not supposed to be admitted to the Coronet and the other theaters where it opens today. Some 15-year-olds may well enjoy this tale about some 12-year-olds, so parents will have to decide how much they are willing to endure for their kids.

The screenplay by Raynold Gideon and Bruce A. Evans is based on Stephen King's novella ''The Body,'' a somewhat autobiographical account of an overnight hike by four Oregon youngsters to seek the body of a boy who had been struck by a train. Hence credit must be shared for the trite narrative, delivered by Richard Dreyfuss. The town of Castle Rock had only 1,281 residents, he relates, but ''to me, it was the whole world.''

The narrator is Gordie Lachance grown up. The young Gordie (Wil Wheaton) pals around with three boys whom his father perhaps unfairly describes as ''a thief and two feebs.'' Unlike Gordie, who is clearly college-bound, his friends are aimed for shop classes and a blue-collar future. The summer of 1959, they all realize -with that infallible foresight possessed by youngsters in movies such as this - marks the end of their closeness, since they will be separated in junior high school.

Excerpt from Walter Goodman at the NY Times located HERE

In Reiner's superior slice of teen nostalgia, Dreyfuss is the now middle-aged writer, looking back at the dear dead days beyond recall when he and a group of young friends ventured into the local woods where they believed a corpse was buried. Based on an (apparently) semi-autobiographical story by Stephen King, the film covers similar territory to countless other rites-of-passage dramas. The Ben E King theme song and all the imagery of tousled adolescents preening themselves like miniature James Deans rekindle memories of old jeans commercials, but the film is so well-observed and so energetically acted by its young cast that mawkishness is kept at bay.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Fabulous image on Sony's new Blu-ray of Stand By Me.  The '25th Anniversary' age is almost hard to believe both from the transfer's fine appearance and the 'am I that old' factor. This dual-layered rendering has hints of the lackluster 80's stock we have seen so often that doesn't always reflect the best - visually speaking - in a move to the new format. But I'd say that this is the best representation we could hope for - there are vibrant colors that don't look falsely boosted and I'm was most appreciative of the depth and detail. Grain is sparsely noticeable but the hint of texture, occasional inherent softness and glossiness are only minor factors in a highly pleasing appearance - certainly well above the last SD-DVD. There are almost exclusively daylit scenes and it produces a solid Blu-ray image as we hope the, below, screen captures will bear out.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2838 kbps flows right along with the impressive image supporting the film's mild separations to as distinct a level as fans of the film would appreciate keeping in mind the nostalgia factor. The mono is available as an option but I don't think this lossless surround track extends too far distancing the film's perceived innocence. The train has one of the most notable instances of depth but overall it is clean crisp and relatively tame. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Included is the original audio commentary from director Rob Reiner but it seems less relevant with the new 25 Years Later: A Picture-in-Picture Commentary Retrospective with Reiner, Wil Wheaton, and Corey Feldman. It covers some emotional ground with discussion of deceased River Phoenix and Reiner's accurate belief of Stand By me as his best film. It is very good and the PiP is a nice way to enjoy the discussion. "Walking the Tracks: The Summer of Stand By Me" includes interviews with Stephen King and Rob Reiner and last about 35-minutes. There is also the Stand By Me music video and the disc is BDLive capable playable with the MovieIQ feature.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
One of those films that deserves its huge number of fans - rife with fond memories. Certainly this captured a maturing nostalgia that we don't see encapsulated as well as Stand By Me was able to bring its essence to the big screen with such effectiveness. It, kind of, set the standard since and everything gelled together so adeptly - it seems as good as it did 25 years before when many of us saw it theatrically. The Blu-ray and new PiP commentary make this an easy recommendation at the reasonable price. One need only see the film looking and sounding so good to strongly endorse. 

Gary Tooze

March 19th, 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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