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Cinema Verité [Blu-ray]
(Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini, 2011)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: HBO Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,417,750,531 bytes
Feature Size: 20,077,522,944 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.51 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 24th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3271 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3271 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 1509 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
Commentary: DTS Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
• Audio commentary from directors Shari Springer Berman &
Robert Pulcini and star Diane Lane
Description: Decades before housewives had screaming matches with each other on camera in public, the Loud family became a television sensation of a new kind when they appeared on the groundbreaking 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. Witness the birth of reality television as Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini star in HBO Films' presentation of Cinema Verité.
A dramatization of the making of the controversial 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family, the brainchild of... filmmaker Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) that followed the everyday lives of Pat and Bill Loud (Diane Lane, Tim Robbins) and their children as the parents' marriage disintegrated and the entire family struggled under an unforgiving spotlight
With co-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini at the helm, Cinéma Vérité has precisely the right filmmakers steering the ship since they are the team who made the great and unusual biopic of Harvey Pekar, American Splendor. It also doesn't hurt that they're filming a sharp script by David Seltzer whose unusual resume of writing credits includes Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Omen, Lucas and many others I'll omit so as not to embarrass him. The directors' greatest assets though happen to be its talented cast led by Diane Lane, Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini.Excerpt from Edward Copeland on Film located HERE
Directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are no strangers to tackling everyday characters and people who are caught within somewhat unreal circumstances. There was Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor" whose own eccentricity made him a star; Kevin Kline's Henry Harrison in "The Extra Man" who as an escort for wealthy widows was an eye-opener for Paul Dano's Louis Ives and even Annie Braddock in "The Nanny Diaries" finds herself in the strange world of the well-heeled in New York City. Thus, with "Cinema Verite," the directors find themselves firmly -- if somewhat a little too comfortably -- in their wheelhouse. The film goes behind-the-scenes of the legendary and groundbreaking PBS documentary "An American Family" which chronicled the Loud brood, largely at their ugliest and most dramatic. Airing in 1973, the 12-part series was both a hit with ten million viewers and a scandal for tarnishing the wholesome image of the typical middle class American family.Excerpt from Kevin Jagernauth at IndieWire located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Single-layered but an acceptable bitrate for the 1.5 hour film, Cinema Verite. This actually looks very good - originally shown in Video (HDTV) printed format about a year ago on HBO. Daylight scenes are impressive - very bright with the 70's art direction colors looking lively. Detail is strong and there is no noise. This Blu-ray does its job very well with a clean, moderately glossy image. With the format - an easy replication, probably better - 1080P, of the original broadcast presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master surround at 3271 kbps. It doesn't get much work as the production has minimal aggression - not that type of film. There is a fire and some other circumstances but the track handles any effects and required separation with ease. Nothing stands out as prominent aurally. There is original music by Rolfe Kent. There are optional lossless DUBs in French and Spanish - as well as optional subtitles in both as well as English.
HBO offer an audio commentary from directors Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini and star Diane Lane who discuss the production details with some interesting hidden information utilized to portraying the characters as accurately as possible. There is also a Making of Cinema Vérité as a behind-the-scenes featurette. The extras lean towards a historical viewpoint of the original - with obvious comparisons and pioneer references and the deluge long after of American viewers' fascination with reality-style television.
April 19th, 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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