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Miller's Crossing [Blu-ray]
(Coen Brothers, 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 39,552,796,626 bytes
Feature Size: 36,911,278,080 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.43 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 30th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3647 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3647
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, none
•Shooting Miller's Crossing - a Conversation with Barry Sonnenfeld (16:30)
•Interview Soundbites - Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro (8:35)
• Trailers for Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing (2:21 in 480i)
Description: Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (Raising Arizona,
create a complex and graphic vision of gangsterism set
during Prohibition and featuring a riveting rogues gallery
of killers and con men.
Miller's Crossing is a wonderfully suspenseful film set in gangster-ridden city during the prohibition era filled with moments of deadpan violence and the darkly comic. Tom Reagan (Gabriel Bryne) is an amoral illegitimate son with habits for picking the wrong horse, the wrong woman and for upsetting all the wrong people. Tom is the lieutenant and close friend of the city's head boss and unofficial mayor Leo (Albert Finney). Life is good or could be except that a gang war is about to erupt over Leo's fatal love for the femme Verna (Marcia Gay Harden) and his protection of Verna's vile brother Bernie (John Turturro). Tom tries to save Leo from himself only to end up isolated and in the middle of the war. Surviving by his wit and nerve Tom becomes a loose cannon whose only real loyalty is to his hat.
"Miller's Crossing" comes from two traditions that sometimes overlap, the gangster movie of the 1930s and the film noir of the 1940s. It finds its characters in the first and its visual style in the second, but the visuals lack a certain stylish tackiness that film noir sometimes had. They're in good taste. The plot is as simple as an old gangster movie, but it takes us a long time to figure that out, because the first half hour of the film involves the characters in complicated dialogue where they talk about a lot of people we haven't met, and refer to a lot of possibilities we don't understand. It's the kind of movie you have to figure out in hindsight.Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Miller's Crossing squeaks into respectability via Fox's Blu-ray transfer. The film has never been one to move effortlessly into the digital realm. However, this dual-layered 1080P image is easily seen as the best seen yet. Previous DVDs were flat, soft and video-like. This Blu-ray has better contrast supporting superior detail. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but upon detailed inspection looks quite acceptable and without major flaw that could be blamed on the rendering. Noise still exists but is unobtrusive and the Blu-ray probably looks as good as this film will likely appear via home theater presentation. The transfer doesn't have manipulation and is clean and has more film-like qualities than SD. Expectations for anything more than that should be tempered.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Like Raising Arizona this has a healthy stack of foreign language DUBs as well as a pitch perfect DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3647 kbps. The track handles all the films aggression and haunting mood music via Carter Burwell's score. Atmosphere is solidly buoyed via the lossless transfer with some nice subtleties in the surround. There are plenty of subtitle options supporting my Momitsu identifying it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements include the 16-minute Shooting Miller's Crossing - a Conversation with Barry Sonnenfeld where the cinematographer is open and forthright in discussing his career and the film. There are less than 10-minutes, in total, of interview soundbites featuring Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro who give their own perceptions of the production and critical response. Also available are trailers for Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing.
August 23rd, 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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