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Le Mans [Blu-ray]
(Lee H. Katzin, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cinema Center Films
Video:Paramount Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 36,555,133,236 bytes
Feature Size: 32,591,560,704 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 24th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4927 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4927 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1087 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1087 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1134 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1134 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1105 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1105 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1127 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1127 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, none
•Filming at Speed: the Making of the Movie Le Mans (23:46 in 480i)
•Theatrical Trailer (3:45 in 1080P)
Description: A classic auto-racing movie starring Steve McQueen, Le Mans puts the audience in the driver's seat for what is often called the most grueling race in the world. McQueen plays the American driver, locked in an intense grudge match with his German counterpart during the 24-hour race through the French countryside even as he wrestles with the guilt over causing an accident that cost the life of a close friend. McQueen is his usual stoic magnetic self, and the racing sequences are among the best ever committed to film. A solid character-driven story combines with raw visceral power to make Le Mans a rich tapestry of action and thrills.
Racing-car buffs will probably flip over "Le Mans." The color
photography of this film, encompassing every conceivable technical
aspect of this world-famous competition, is dazzling. Thanks to director
Lee H. Katzin and his semi-documentary framework, and to a pair of ace
cameramen, you are really there, roaring around the road web centering
on Le Mans, the French village hub.
Le Mans explores the intense and thrilling world of endurance racing as seen through the eyes of Michael Delaney (Steve McQueen) who is participating in the 24 Heures du Mans, a yearly event in France. The race is commonly referred to as the Grand Prix of Endurance and it's the oldest endurance race in motor sports. Due to the high speeds and length of the race some of the deadliest crashes in motor history have taken place during this annual event. Le Mans examines how a deadly accident has affected driver Michael Delaney and impairs his budding relationship with the widow (Elga Andersen) of another racer. Yet, the film's slim script leaves little room for story or character development; instead, the real focus is on the race itself and how it's experienced by the men who participate in it and the women who support them.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Colors were one of the most notable characteristics of Le Mans when it Premiered theatrically 40-years ago and it is still a distinguishing factor via Blu-ray today - from Paramount. The image quality shows grain in a pleasing proportion and while there is not a lot of sharpness - this seems to be more in-line with the style it was shot. The textures here are wonderful for the dynamic sections of the filmed race. This is dual-layered with a solid bitrate. Contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels and the colors are impressive. There are a lot of daylight scenes and these add a layer of vérité to the spectacle. This Blu-ray has a nice thick feel and easily advances beyond any SD editions. This is a film where the preferable method or presentation would be positively be 1080P where is it brings out the best attributes of Le Mans.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is wild on this Blu-ray. Along with the option of the original mono in lossless - as well as uncompressed DUBs - we get a rip-roaring DTS-HD Master 7.1 at 4927 kbps which will tear through your home theater like you are on an active airport runway. Films 'back then' knew how not to be excessive with the effects and this supports the film so well as your heart rate rises and climbs with the action. Impressive in both depth and range this, surely, is the way Le Mans was meant to sound. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Not too much in the way of supplements with the vintage Filming at Speed: the Making of the Movie Le Mans running just shy of 25-minutes in 480i and an HD Theatrical Trailer.
May 17th, 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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