S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Dressed to Kill (Unrated Cut) [Blu-ray]
(Brian De Palma, 1980)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Filmways Pictures, Inc.
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,191,459,463 bytes
Feature Size: 33,342,259,200 bytes
Video Bitrate: 36.01 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 6th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3957 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3957 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
• The Making of Dressed to Kill Documentary Including
Interviews with Brian De Palma, Angie Dickinson, Nancy
Allen, Dennis Franz and More! (43:51 in 480i)
Description: Writer-director Brian De Palma “maintains a
fever pitch from start to finish” (Leonard Maltin) with this
“steamily libidinous and extremely bloody thriller”
(Newsweek)! Starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson and
Nancy Allen (in a Golden GlobeŽ-nominated performance), this
taut psycho-sexual chiller is a razor-sharp tale of passion,
madness and murder that’s as “scary as the devil [with]
suspense to spare” (Playboy)!
Because fetishizing requires the dislocation and amplification of objects from their surroundings, a quick rundown of the formal dildos and vibrating bullets on De Palma's kink counter: creamy, coordinated couture, complete with sonically active jewelry and heels; razor fixation (reminiscent of Argento, though predating the astonishing moment when blaze meets bulb in Tenebre); manhole steam illuminated by porn shops' traveling marquee lights; the sighs of a masturbating woman merging with the prurient bloom of Pino Donaggio's best score (even if De Palma probably wanted something closer to his former collaborator Bernard Herrmann's score from Taxi Driver); the choreography of the Phil Donohue split-screen, with exactingly timed parallel turns; "What's the going rate on running red lights?"; a jerry-rigged time-lapse camera hidden in a shoebox; the way the trannie psycho's name Bobbi is spelled; the fact that it's the only one of De Palma's "red period" films whose palate is overwhelmingly blue.Excerpt from Eric Henderson at Slant Magazine located HERE
The movie owes a great deal to Hitchcock, perhaps too much for one to be able to judge it entirely on its own merits. It's possible that if one is a Hitchcock student, with a special knowledge of Psycho and Vertigo, one will resent all of the so-called quotes and references that Mr. De Palma includes in Dressed to Kill. But that, I think, is to underrate what the writer-director has pulled off in this case, which is not an imitation but a film made by someone who has studied the master and learned, in addition to style, something far more important, that is, a consistent point of view. Among other things, the De Palma camera appears to have an intelligence of its own.Excerpt from Vincent Canby's review at The NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I guess we can assume that Dressed to Kill can only look so good in digital. The previous DVDs had the same soft-focus look as this new MGM Blu-ray. The 80's had some pretty unremarkable film stocks but the director's early films frequently seems to look this way. De Palma's Body Double had the same visual style (ditto for Obsession and Sisters - maybe Blow Out the exception?) - frequently looking kind of faded and smokey. Noise still exists although to a lesser degree. The image quality is fairly thick and grainy. It never achieves a glossy, pristine appearance and this is probably very accurate to the theatrical. I thought it was consistent and looked fine although no depth or overly vibrant colors exist - except possibly the blood streaks and splatters.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio gets a bold DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3957 kbps. It sounds strong and this would be highly notable in Pino Donaggio's score - often reminiscent of Herrmann. Like many thing De Palma - it is somewhat over the top and it runs in ebbs and flows beside the building tensions. There are some subtleties in the separation and depth is always there when called upon. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements appear to duplicate the previous SE DVD from a decade ago. It has the substantial "The Making of Dressed to Kill" which includes interviews with De Palma, Dickinson, Allen, the producer George Litto, and more you mention their most notable memories of the production. There are the two separate featurettes that deal with the specific censorship aspects of the three versions (unrated, R, and Network TV cut) and the MPAA rating and blown-out media hype it obtained. Keith Gordon's 6-minute appreciation is till here, and an animated gallery and theatrical trailer - now in HD.
September 1st, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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