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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'Cinema Paradiso' )

directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Italy 1988

A successful movie director in his 40s, Salvatore returns home to Sicily after hearing of the death of Alfredo, ex-projectionist at the eponymous village cinema. The greater part of Tornatore's film is a flashback to Salvatore's WWII childhood and adolescence when, obsessed by movies, he is befriended by the wise and gruffly benevolent Alfredo (Noiret), the local priest censors kissing scenes, the whole village is wowed by Rome, Open City, a fire caused by nitrate stock blinds Alfredo, and just as Salvatore is shooting his first home movie he falls in love. Warmly nostalgic without (for the most part) falling foul of Felliniesque caricature, the film is too emotionally manipulative for its own good, Noiret's typically professional performance notwithstanding. Alfredo's mystic sagacity is implausible, and the infant Salvatore (Cascio) is too cutely precocious by half. The politics and history, too, are simplified (partly, perhaps, by a 30 minute pruning for export release). But the final montage of censored clips, hoarded by the boy and rediscovered in adult life, is a sweet hymn to the romance of cinema.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: September 29th, 1988 Bari EuropaCinema Festival


Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                     DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow Academy (25th Anniversary both Theatrical and Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (25th Anniversary Theatrical + DC) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow Academy (25th Anniversary) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:04:05.855  2:04:02.560 2:03:50.840 2:53:31.442
Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,205,023,660 bytes

Feature: 30,892,274,112 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,404,015,135 bytes

Feature: 19,515,254,784 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

Theatrical

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,345,256,616 bytes

Feature: 38,935,821,696 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Director's Cut

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,102,520,244 bytes

Feature: 48,746,917,248 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: UK  Blu-ray

Bitrate: US  Blu-ray

Bitrate: Arrow Academy Theatrical  Blu-ray

Bitrate: Arrow Academy Director's Cut  Blu-ray

Audio DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1829 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1829 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit  
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1734 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1734 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit) LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 2290 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2290 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 3224 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3224 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English (mandatory) English (SDH), English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,205,023,660 bytes

Feature: 30,892,274,112 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details: (optionally subtitled)

• A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise (27:24)
• The Kissing Sequence (7:00)
• Photo Gallery
• Theatrical trailer (1:28)
• Ennio Morricone Score (55:11)

Blu-ray Release Date: January 4th, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case
 
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax
 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,404,015,135 bytes

Feature: 19,515,254,784 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Trailer (1;38)
• Previews

Bookmark ability

Blu-ray Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 21

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Theatrical

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,345,256,616 bytes

Feature: 38,935,821,696 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

 

Director's Cut

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,102,520,244 bytes

Feature: 48,746,917,248 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Giuseppe Tornatore and Millicent Marcus (Theatrical)

• Giuseppe Tornatore's A Dream of Sicily Documentary (54:47)
• A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise Documentary (27:28)
• The Kissing Sequence (7:03)
• 25th Anniversary Trailer (1:42)

Disc 2 - Director's Cut

• Director's Cut trailer (1:22)


Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone, illustrated with original archive stills

Blu-ray Release Date: December 16th, 2013
Custom
Blu-ray Case  
Chapters: 12 / 12

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow Academy - Region 'B' Blu-ray - March 2014 - The 25th Anniversary Blu-ray package of Cinema Paradiso by Arrow is wonderful. It differs quite a lot from Arrow's 2009 Blu-ray as it contains two versions of the film. The 'Theatrical Cut' and 50-minute longer 'Director's Cut'. These are divided on separate dual-layered Blu-rays - both with high bitrates. They appear quite similar in appearance and we've only added 4 of the DC for comparison below. Colors become significantly richer (skin tones warm) via the Nucoda Film Master color grading system, there is more information in the 1.66:1 frame and it exports more depth. It looks splendid in-motion with greatly improved contrast levels. James White oversaw this project and the attention to detail definitely shows in the dynamic appearance for Home Theatre viewing.

Audio is similar for both 25th Anniversary editions. Both offer a healthy linear PCM 2.0 channel at around 2300 kbps in original Italian, or the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 with the Director's Cut being a bit more robust than the surround offered on the Theatrical. Morricone's music is so powerfully utilized in Cinema Paradiso. It is a huge part of the film experience - as often true of the composer's work. It sounds fabulous here in both formats. The surround has a few notable separations but I was also very content with the LPCM. There are optional English subtitles and the two Blu-rays are both coded region 'B'.

On the theatrical version Arrow add a detailed audio commentary by Giuseppe Tornatore and Millicent Marcus (Ph.D. Yale, 1974) who specializes in Italian culture from the interdisciplinary perspectives of literature, history, and film. She is the author of Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism. Tornatore's comments are inserted but there is plenty of value here. We also get the 55-minute long documentary Giuseppe Tornatore's A Dream of Sicily - a profile of Giuseppe Tornatore featuring interviews with director and extracts from his early home movies as well as interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by the legendary Ennio Morricone. The 1/2 hour A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise - on the genesis of Cinema Paradiso, the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio as well as Tornatore - and the 7-minute Kissing Sequence where Giuseppe Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with full clips identifying each scene - as both seen on Arrow's original Blu-ray are also included. There are two trailers (25th Anniversary and Director's Cut) and a booklet featuring new writing on the film by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone, illustrated with original archive stills.

What a great package - our highest recommendation. This remains an essential film, IMO and this Arrow set is the definitive available. Truly a reason to get a region 'B' Blu-ray player (if you don't have one already.) Our highest recommendation!

***

On the 2010 and 2011 Blu-ray releases: Technically-speaking the Arrow UK disc is significantly ahead in the race with 10Mbps more data exporting from the Blu-ray discs. But it translates to the image quality mostly in lesser noise. The US transfer is pleasing in its brightness and colors (skin tones are less red). The UK image may have some green infiltration that I don't know is not correct. Contrast may be the culprit of some inconsistency.  It is slightly darker - which is often an indication of being more faithful to the original source but I can't say with any certainty. The Arrow has slightly more information in the frame on both side edges.

NOTE: Both offer the 2-hour 'International version' and both are in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.

This is a tough call on the video. I've owned the UK edition for a while and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation but under the microscope of the static captures - directly beside the new Miramax Blu-ray - it shows some unusual differences. If I am forced to lean one way it might be to the Arrow but, in viewing both, my eyes didn't identify any significant issues although the Miramax has more desirable depth. I don't know. I'm sure most purchasers will be pleased with the visual quality in their Home Theaters. At least you can see the differences for yourself in the captures below. One thing that wasn't a detraction but that I should note is that the hi-def really brings out the detail and things like Alfredo's facial scars and ageing makeup that are now more plainly visible in the higher resolution.

Audio has some different options. the UK disc offers lossless for both a DTS-Master 5.1 bump and a linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo track. The 5.1 bump is not overblown and has some obvious separations but the point being the Arrow offers the option but both editions include lossless 2,0 channel stereo for those preferring the more pure audio replication. The LCPM may be advance a little in the higher end but both stereo tracks have similar kbps and sound solid. While the US Blu-ray has optional English and Spanish subtitle options but on the Arrow they are mandatory in English. This may be a consideration for some - and both are, respectively, region-locked.

Extras easily go the way of the UK package that has the in-depth 55-minute piece on the Ennio Morricone Score, and half-hour video entitled A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise that has director Giuseppe Tornatore reflecting on his youth and how Cinema Paradiso came to fruition. Under the heading The Kissing Sequence - Tornatore talks about the final sequence - often sited as one of the most touching and memorable in film history. There is a, kinda clunky, photo gallery and a theatrical trailer. Unfortunately the Miramax Blu-ray has nothing aside from a trailer and the ability to 'bookmark' scenes (this is actually quite a useable feature for this film). 

I make no bones about it - I love Cinema Paradiso - frequently citing it as a favorite film.  The higher resolution really does bring up the emotional impact of the viewing experience and I think owning this in 1080P is must for many fans. The Miramax is bare-bones but some may actually prefer the image quality - the Arrow has other factors in its favor with the supplements and audio options. The Miramax is significantly cheaper at the writing of this review (as long as the US greenback doesn't go to the moon in the next few hours ;) ). Solid value here. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


Menus

 

Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 

 

Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray SECOND

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow Academy (Director's Cut) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy (Theatrical) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 


Box Covers

   

Distribution Arrow Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Arrow Academy (25th Anniversary) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



 

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