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Annie Hall [Blu-ray]
(Woody Allen, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Rollins-Joffe Productions
Video: MGM / Fox
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,275,775,588 bytes
Feature Size: 31,272,278,016 bytes
Video Bitrate: 37.86 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 24th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2077 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2077 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
DTS Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio German 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio Italian 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
* DTS Audio Japanese 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Theatricaltrailer (2:09 in 1.33:1 in 1080P)
Description: Considered to be "Woody Allen's breakthrough
movie" (Time), Annie Hall won four ACADEMY
AWARDS® ® including Best Picture and established Allen as
the premier auteur filmmaker. Thought by many critics to be
Allen's magnum opus, Annie Hall confirmed that Allen had
"completed the journey from comic to humorist, from comedy
writer to wit [and] from inventive moviemaker to creative
artist" (Saturday Review).
In this fashion, Woody Allen introduces us to the particular concerns of
his fine new film, Annie Hall, a comedy about urban love and
incompatibility that finally establishes Woody as one of our most
audacious filmmakers, as well as the only American filmmaker who is able
to work seriously in the comic mode without being the least bit
So opens the multiple Oscar winning Annie Hall, most enduringly popular of all Woody Allen's work, in which the famously neurotic New York film-maker plays a neurotic New York comedian reflecting on his relationship with the girl of his dreams. Narratively and visually innovative, Annie Hall is very different from your average love story, and its impact on contemporary cinema was considerable. In particular, Allen's direct-to-camera monologues and post-modern awareness of his audience represent a dramatic break with familiar form. They give the viewer more the sense of being a participant than a mere observer. The viewer becomes Allen's - of Alvy's - confidante, not unlike the shrink whom he and Annie both visit during the course of their wayward romance.Excerpt from Jennie Kermode at Eye for Film located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Not all films benefit dramatically on Blu-ray in their video representation. No doubt this advances beyond SD-DVD with bright colors, supportive grain and some sneaking depth. There is some minor noise on the spotlessly clean image. Contrast is not a defining feature of the visuals but this probably looked quite similar theatrically - almost 35 years ago. The Allen humor is still marvelous and the image doesn't improve upon that - nor needs to. Like the recent onslaught of MGM/Fox Blu-rays this is dual-layered with a high bitrate - and I see no digital manipulation. My suspicions are that this is an authentic representation of the film. There is some desirable grain and even if the image leans to the more modest end of the HD scale - it is not a fault of the transfer. The previously released DVD was very flat, video-like and unappealing. This Blu-ray provided me with the best presentation of Annie Hall I am likely to ever see on my Home Theater.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master stereo track at 2077 kbps supports the dialogue and music injections of Tommy Dorsey's "Sleepy Lagoon" , Mozart's Symphony No.41 in C Major, plus Diane Keaton's crooning solos. There are foreign language DUBs and a handful of subtitle options ('hidden thoughts' in that one scene are displayed in a yellow font - see sample).My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
NOTE: Robert tells us in email: "Just
a note to say that the BD of _Annie Hall_ (1977) still gets something
wrong. In the rooftop scene where the Allen and Keaton characters are
talking, we see, as subtitles, what they are really thinking; the
original film and, if I recall, the original VHS, presented these
hilarious subs in a reasonable size, using upper and lower case letters
normally, a pleasant font, and white. The old non-anamorphic DVD
capitalized all the letters, made them too big, inserted the word
[Thinking] above some of the lines (at least that word isn't all in
caps), though they're still white. The BD uses a better font, normal
upper and lower case letters, but they're now a very obtrusive yellow
(shown in the Beaver review, screen cap 5).
Nothing except a trailer in HD (but 1.33:1). Most Woody Allen films-to-digital are devoid of supplements - so, unfortunately, this is no exception.
January 19th, 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 5000 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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