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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Copycat [Blu-ray]

 

(Jon Amiel, 1995)

 

  

  

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: New Regency Pictures

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:03:05.836

Disc Size: 22,233,451,780 bytes

Feature Size: 21,872,744,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 15.53 Mbps

Chapters: 39

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 2nd, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4131 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4131 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Director Jon Amiel

• Theatrical Trailer (1:56)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This story concerns a cop investigating a serial killer. She enlists the aid of a former professor and writer, who is an expert on serial killers but suffers from agoraphobia.

***

An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.

 

 

The Film:

Anyone who has helped make "Seven" the most popular film of recent weeks should be interested to know there is also a good serial-killer movie around. And a very good thriller it is, too. Tautly directed by Jon Amiel ("Sommersby," "The Singing Detective"), written and acted with unusual care, "Copycat" grippingly describes the hunt for a peculiarly modern monster, a murder groupie who has studied the techniques of past greats and replicates them to torment a star criminologist. Not only is he deadly, this fiend is also derivative, poisoned by the celebrity-worshiping mentality that's almost as sinister as the crimes themselves.

"Copycat" begins with a sequence so strange, lucid and nail-bitingly tense that it feels like a bad dream, even though it turns out to be real. Dr. Helen Hudson, played with grace and keen intelligence by Sigourney Weaver, is lecturing her students, and there's a killer in the crowd.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

Move over, Silence of the Lambs! Copycat has joined it at the top of the all-time serial killer movie heap. With its rare mixture of intelligent plotting, flawless acting, and start-to- finish tension, Copycat is a force to be reckoned with -- hopefully both at the box office and when Oscars are given out next spring. It amazes me that an entry from this genre, which is normally known for pointless gore and contrived storylines (see -- or rather don't see -- Don't Talk to Strangers), has turned out a motion picture this keen and complex.

Copycat opens in a college lecture hall. Dr. Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver), a psychiatrist who specializes in serial killers, is giving a talk on her pet subject. Her words drive home the point: these people get turned on by what they do. They feel no remorse -- only anticipation of the next kill. After finishing the seminar, Helen heads for the restrooms, where she comes face-to-face with Daryll Lee Cullem (Harry Connick Jr.), a man with murderous intentions who has been stalking her.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelViews located HERE

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

The Blu-ray transfer for Copycat - a memorable 90's serial killer thriller - is more-or-less lackluster. It is single-layered with a low bitrate and has digital noise in many sequences. I'd say this is superior to SD-DVD but, I suspect, could have tightened-up with a more robust transfer. The visuals can tend to look flat with only extreme close-ups showcasing any strong detail. Some colors are very bright, but others are muted and it's hard to know how this may compare to DVD - as I have never seen it before. Contrast seems modest. There are some interesting shots and angles with cinematography by, the frequently impressive, László Kovács (The King of Marvin Gardens, Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider). This Blu-ray is doesn't support a stellar appearance but it may be a fairly reasonable rendition of how it looked theatrically. Either/or you won't be using it as a demo disc but it gave me an clean presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio track - a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 4131 kbps - is quite buoyant and gun shots can sound like canons with a dynamic bass response. Aside from the strong film itself the audio may be the highlight of the disc. There is an original score by Christopher Young, with tense orchestrations and some angelic choir music, and "Murder by Numbers" plays by The Police - sounding exceptional. There aren't grand separations but the depth is there and this lossless rendering is without flaw that I can detect. There are some foreign language DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Extras port over the previous commentary by director Jon Amiel. He imparts some informative but he tends to get caught-up in narrating a bit too much. There is also a theatrical trailer. That is all.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Copycat is a very entertaining, and often creepy, thriller. Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter almost always offer perfect characterizations, in my opinion. This is no exception. Those keen on the serial-killer genre, this is far richer and deeper than, say, Criminal Minds. The Blu-ray may not scale the heights of the format - it's probably the best way to see this edge-of-seat physiological crime-drama in its best digital presentation. Enticingly - the price is reasonable. 

Gary Tooze

July 26th, 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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