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The Buccaneer [Blu-ray]
(Anthony Quinn, 1958)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Olive Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,153,276,984 bytes
Feature Size: 21,977,008,128 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.20 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 882 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 882 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Cecil B. DeMille was set to direct a remake of his 1938 swashbuckler classic, The Buccaneer, he suddenly fell very ill and his son-in-law and screen legend, Anthony Quinn jumped in and took over the directorial duties… this was the first and only film directed by Quinn. Yul Brynner plays the debonair pirate Jean Lafitte who historically aided General Andrew Jackson (Charlton Heston) against the British during the War of 1812. Lafitte has been carrying a discreet love affair with Annette Claiborne (Inger Stevens), the daughter of governor William Claiborne (E.G. Marshall) who promises to pardon the pirate and his men. The stellar cast includes Charles Boyer as Lafitte’s right hand man and Claire Bloom as the daughter of a rival pirate. Credited as Supervising executive producer, this was Cecil B. DeMille’s final film; he died shortly after the release of this film.
After learning that Washington had been burned by the British, Jackson (Charlton Heston) is sent to defend New Orleans. Aware that the bayous are the key to the city’s defence, when he hears that Jean Laffite controls the best approach to the city, he thunders that he will hang the pirate, not deal with him. Laffite (Yul Brynner) leads a group of pirates who sell their captured cargoes at Barataria. A noble pirate who is in love with Louisiana Governor William Claiborne’s daughter, Laffite forbids the capture of American ships. The daughter of a rival captain also wants Laffite, which sets the stage for a love triangle.Excerpt from History on Film located HERE
Take a large portion of Cecil B. DeMille's epic storytelling, mix with
the star power of both Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston, add a dash of
Anthony Quinn's directorial chops, and a thin layer of historic
verisimilitude for the War of 1812's famed Battle of New Orleans, and
you'll have a gumbo stew known as The Buccaneer (1958).
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Buccaneer on single-layered Blu-ray from Olive Films looks totally unremarkable. Colors show flashes of brilliance but detail is kept in-check and I wouldn't say much in the 1.78:1 frame speaks of the higher attributes of the new format. The bitrate is at the low end of the scale. Contrast may be more substantial than SD - but it is not a dramatic improvement. Perhaps this is the best this film can look but dual-layering could have raised it to the next level. As it stands we have visuals that are superior to DVD - but not by enough to matter.
Oliver tells us in email "I
have read this or something similar a few times too often
recently so I am writing to you to point out that a
VistaVision production like The Buccaneer will look better
if treated properly. This an 8-perf horizontal 35mm format
and if you want to know how good this can look just check
out The Ten Commandments and The Searchers.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No boost - just the original mono track pushing through a modest DTS-Master. The action had a bit of 'umppff' but nothing noteworthy. Elmer Bernstein's score seems fine - but not particularly memorable. If I didn't know it was lossless - I wouldn't have guessed.There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Typical of Olive films - no extras at all.
February 26th, 2012
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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