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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Raising Arizona [Blu-ray]


(Coen Brothers, 1987)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Circle Films

Video: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation



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

Runtime: 1:34:06.307

Disc Size: 32,122,868,639 bytes

Feature Size: 31,050,209,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.91 Mbps

Chapters: 21

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 3739 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3739 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Russian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps



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



• 3 TV Spots (1:36 in 480i 4X3)

• Trailers for Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing Gallery (2:21 in 480i)





Description: NICOLAS CAGE, HOLLY HUNTER and JOHN GOODMAN star in Ethan and Joel Coen's acclaimed screwball love story filled with mad chases, unexpected plot twists and wild pyrotechnics. Vowing to go straight, a convenience store bandit (CAGE) proposes marriage to the police department's photographer (HUNTER). All is wedded bliss until they discover she's unable to get pregnant and are turned down by every adoption agency in town. It doesn't take long before they realize the only solution is to kidnap one of the town's celebrated quintuplets and hit the road!



The Film:

The baby-stealing scene is an absolute scream, and the laughs keep coming courtesy of the many slapstick highlights that litter this fast and furious action comedy. It may have a silly veneer, but the script deftly churns out smart dialogue that not only zips the story along, but also allows for a sweet relationship between Cage and Hunter to form.

Cage reveals a talent for farcical slapstick, just as George Clooney did in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", while the supporting cast delight in their derailed characters. Wrapping it all up in an exciting, slick visual style is cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld. He does the job with such smooth panache that the film doesn't seem to have dated at all.

Excerpt from Omar Haflidason at BBC located HERE

The superbly labyrinthine plotting of Blood Simple must have been a hard act to follow; praise be, then, to the Brothers Coen for confounding all expectations with this fervently inventive comedy. Sublimely incompetent convenience-store robber Hi McDonnough (Cage, at his best yet) seems doomed to return repeatedly to the same penitentiary until true love hoves in view in the form of prison officer Edwina (Hunter). Spliced in a trice, the frustratedly infertile couple kidnap one (surely he won't be missed?) of the celebrated Arizona quintuplets, heirs to an unpainted-furniture fortune. But happiness being evanescent, complications ensue when a pair of Hi's old cellmates turn up in search of sanctuary; and then there's the problem of a rabbit-shooting biker of hellish hue, hired by Arizona Senior to find his missing brat. What makes this hectic farce so fresh and funny is the sheer fertility of the writing, while the lives and times of Hi, Ed and friends are painted in splendidly seedy colours, turning Arizona into a mythical haven for a memorable gaggle of no-hopers, halfwits and has-beens. Starting from a point of delirious excess, the film leaps into dark and virtually uncharted territory to soar like a comet.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

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

Raising Arizona looks very good on Blu-ray - perhaps the best of the four in The Coen Brothers Blu-ray Collection.  Fro some reason, I didn't have high hopes but it has certainly exceeded my expectations.  This is dual-layered with a strong bitrate and detail is impressive in close-ups and the transfer has exported some solid contrast.  Colors are tight and clean - bright but not unnatural - and the visuals even show some depth here and there. Minimal noise. Hard to believe that Raising Arizona is almost 25 years old. This Blu-ray has a nice texture with some fine grain visible. Overall this 1080P rendering is a success and the best I have ever seen the film digitally - by a wide margin.
















Audio :

As well as a stack of foreign language DUBs we get the original English track in a pristine DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a capable 3739 kbps. Aside from Coen-regular Carter Burwell and his charming score - we get some Pete Seeger to Ludwig van - and who can forget the yodeling that sounds as piercing and clear as a bell. It crisp supporting some depth and notable separations. There are a mass of optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Not much in the way of extras with 3 TV Spots -running 1.5 minutes in 480i 4X3 and trailers for Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing - also in SD. I think the film is deserved of much more but 'that's all folks'.



Raising Arizona has not lost any charm after nearly a quarter century. It remains infinitely watchable and rewatchable. The quotable dialogue is always amusing and performances are... perfect. The Blu-ray is comforting to own as it's a film I revisit every year or so. It looks and sounds a distinct leap above my old DVD and we can certainly recommend! 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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