S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(David Cronenberg, 1981)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)
Video: Koch Media
Region: B-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 18,160,128,496 bytes
Feature Size: 18,069,301,248 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 10th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1719 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1719 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 1360 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1360 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: The title of this David Cronenberg sci-fi horror film refers to a group of people who have telekinetic powers that allow... them to read minds and give them the ability to make other people's heads explode. The children of a group of women who took an experimental tranquilizer during their pregnancies, the scanners are now adults and have become outcasts from society. But Darryl (Michael Ironside) decides to create an army of scanners to take over the world. The only person who can stop him is his brother Cameron (Stephen Lack), who wants to forget that he was ever a scanner. Winner of the International Fantasy Film Award at the 1983 Fantasporto Film Festival, Scanners was followed by a pair of sequels, neither of which involved Cronenberg.
~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide.
This looks less like Cronenberg's popular mid-'70s exploiters (Rabid, Shivers) than one of his early experimental films remade on a higher budget, with a small group of 'scanners' (warrior-telepaths) fighting off a sinister mind-war army that is backed, indirectly, by industry and the state. Part conspiracy thriller, part political tract, it is Cronenberg's most coherent movie to date, drawing a dark (but bland) world in which corporate executives engineer human conception to produce ever more powerful mental samurai. And he punctuates it with spectacular set piece confrontations which really do dramatise the abstract, ingenious premise. As always, there's a nagging feeling that the script is not quite perfectly realised on screen, but Patrick McGoohan's bizarre cameo performance, and the extraordinary moral and sexual ambiguity of the final scanning contest, more than make up for it.
In a stalwart example of camp, early in Scanners, a man addresses a room
of people — it is a conference, of sorts. He is a scanner, and intends
to display his ability to the group. A man volunteers, sits beside the
speaker, and is soon scanned (the process involves, in the scanner,
tightening every muscle, clenching teeth, and glaring evilly).
Unbeknownst to the speaker, the volunteer is a renegade scanner, and
more powerful. The two become awkwardly tense, convulse a bit, and the
speaker’s head explodes — it is a perfect culmination for the building
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The best I can say for Scanners on Blu-ray is that it looks better than SD. Some colors are bright - it is clean and there is some infrequent depth on the single-layered 1080P transfer. There is a green hue over much of the image and background grain can be downright blotchy. I may be hyper-critical as it did give me the best presentation of the film I've yet seen - but the Blu-ray leaves some room for improvement. Detail has impressive moments in Scanner's close-ups and contrast wavers from modest to strong - dependant on the scene. The effects aren't overly-transparent through the higher resolution and remain as gruesome as ever. As a bare-bones quickie Blu-ray - it's visually 'okay' for a late night viewing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Koch have provided lossless tracks in both original English and a German DUB via DTS-HD Master 5.1 at around 1600 kbps. The intense and suspenseful score is by Howard Shore who has an impressive resume of work behind him. There is some less-overwhelming depth and clean high end. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'.
No extras at all. They intended some but the Blu-ray authoring team's heads all blew off.
June 30th, 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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