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The Mission [Blu-ray]
(Roland Joffé, 1986)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,459,957,320 bytes
Feature Size: 29,503,494,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.33 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 5th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3747 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3747 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, none
• Commentary bydirector Roland Joffé
•'Omnibus' - The Making of The Mission (57:15)
Description: Sweeping and visually resplendent, The Mission is a powerful action epic about a man of the sword (Robert DeNiro) and a man of the cloth (Jeremy Irons) who unite to shield a South American Indian tribe from brutal subjugation by 18th-century colonial empires. It reunites key talents behind The Killing Fields: co-producer David Puttnam, director Roland Joffe and cinematographer Chris Menges.
The year is 1750 and the Catholic Church's power is waning. In South
America, territories belonging to Spain, which does not allow
trafficking in slaves, are being ceded to Portugal, which does. Caught
in the middle of this are the sanctuaries established by the Jesuits for
converting and sheltering the local Guarani Indians. The Church must
rule whether these Jesuit communities shall be allowed to remain or will
be released to secular control. To decree the latter would allow
Christian converts to be sold into slavery, but to take a position in
favor of the former could be worse, forcing Portugal to abandon the
Church, thereby weakening its position not only in the New World but in
Europe as well. This is the backdrop against which the events of The
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I think Warner's transfer on Blu-ray of The Mission is an adept one. The film has never exported a pristine crispness (perhaps due to mid-80's stock) yet it has tightened up significantly from the strong SD-DVD from 2003. There are dark scenes that can look heavy but there is also a lot of outdoor cinematography (Chris Menges) that is extremely impressive. The dual-layered disc presentation shows softness but this doesn't seem the fault of the 1080P transfer. Colors are well represented an there is a lot of visual beauty in The Mission - looking frequently compelling. There is a bit of depth early on in the film and contrast is quite competently rendered. I don't think The Mission can look demonstratively superior than this - there is no digital manipulation that I can determine and the Blu-ray probably gives a very accurate representation of the theatrical film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Notably, Ennio Morricone's score is well supported with a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3747 kbps. This would be the highlight of the audio presentation although there are some mild separations with the many waterfall scenes in the first 1/2 of the film. Like the image it doesn't have a crispness that some might expect but there is depth and I suspect that it has never sounded this good - even on the SACD of the film's soundtrack that has floated around since 1993.There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The supplements duplicate the previous 2-disc DVD with the audio commentary by director Roland Joffé. I think this was informative and interesting - he is a good talker and I did gain some appreciation for the production by listening. I think this is a wonderful extra. There is also the 57-minute documentary entitled "Omnibus: The Making of The Mission". It covers a lot of ground from details of shooting loctions in South America to working with the native Waunana Indians (the 'Guarani' in the film). This is also a solid supplement - worth seeing - but there is nothing new and nothing else.
December 1st, 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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