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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Deep Blue Sea [Blu-ray]


(Terence Davies, 2011)


Released on Blu-ray by Music Box Films in the US:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Camberwell / Fly Films

Video: Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 1:38:21.041

Disc Size: 29,513,357,633 bytes

Feature Size: 27,369,523,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 2nd, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1722 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1722 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit






• Audio Commentary by Terence Davis & Ian Haydn Smith

Trailer (1:04 in 1080P)

Interview with Terence Davies (9:37 - 576i)

• Making of... (9:29 - 576i )





Description: Hester Collyer (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) leads a privileged life in 1950s London as the beautiful wife of high court judge Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale). To the shock of those around her, she walks out on her marriage to move in with young ex-RAF pilot, Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), with whom she has fallen passionately in love. Set in post-war Britain this adaptation of Terence Rattigan s classic play, The Deep Blue Sea is a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness but is at heart a deeply moving love story. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, what - or whom - should Hester choose? From acclaimed director Terence Davies.



The Film:

This compact rendering — at once feverish and meticulous in its calibration of wanton emotions — proves just how deep Mr. Davies’s knowledge goes. Like most good plays “The Deep Blue Sea” is about many things. It is, in the most literal sense, about England in the years just after World War II, a period of weary austerity and quiet hope that Mr. Davies, born in Liverpool in 1945, has returned to again and again in the course of his filmmaking career. His autobiographical masterpieces “Distant Voices, Still Lives” (1988) and “The Long Day Closes” (1993) evoke, from a child’s point of view, the pleasures and anxieties of a time when Britain, still traumatized by the war, seemed poised uneasily between the old and the new.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE

The early Fifties. Chintz wallpaper. Repressed emotions. The wife of a High Court judge walks out on him for love of a younger man. But this is no conventional celebration of romance, as the suicide attempt with which the film opens should indicate. Sometimes things don't go happily ever after. Hester's husband still loves her and she cannot escape the awareness of his pain. But more devastatingly than that, her young man, Freddie, has never really seemed to care. A forgotten birthday is just the latest indication of the ease with which she slips his mind. Now she knows he is slipping away and, in the face of her helplessness, she tries to find a rational reason to stay alive.

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.

Terence Davies films are shot with a definite style. This can be a thick, heavy, almost sepia appearance as in The Long Day Closes or Distant Voices, Still Lives.  It strays as far away from the glossy, pristine Hollywood-ized cinema image as possible. It is at the other end of the visual spectrum. The Deep Blue Sea seems the same - even more so.  The Blu-ray from Artificial Eye accurately maintains the grainy, earthy texture of the film. This is more like an impressionist view than a hard-line crisp, detailed image. I think it is glorious - I love it. It adds a vérité layer to the presentation. The image is, comparatively, quite dark with some flaring from solitary lit sequences and some noise in the darker shading. It's like the penalty for the heavy style - that and a lack of depth. I was not deterred. The dual-layered transfer faithfully replicates the intent with a beautifully artistic presentation.















Audio :

We get the choice of the DTS-HD 5.1 surround at 1722 kbps which doesn't get a lot of surround / depth work or a leaner LPCM stereo track at 1536. In my limited sampling both sounded strong but the film is devoid of extensive effects - there are some subtleties to appreciate. Strangely there are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Extras are quite good featuring a revealing audio commentary by Terence Davis & Ian Haydn Smith examining the minutia of the narrative. There is also an HD trailer, a 9-minute one-on-one interview with Terence Davies and similar length Making of... with input from many of the cast, crew, producer and director - both in 576i.



Depending on your proclivities there is a lot to like about Davies The Deep Blue Sea. His films remain very UK-centric and I find the rich visual style a revelation compared to much other modern efforts. Just beautiful to watch - akin to moving canvas art. The Blu-ray is another job well-done by Artificial Eye in the UK. This is, obviously, not for everyone - and that is an appealing facet in itself. Those appreciative of the director's other emotive works should definitely consider indulging.

Gary Tooze

March 28th, 2012

Released on Blu-ray by Music Box Films in the US:


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.

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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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