Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Futureworld [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard T. Heffron, 1976)

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

   

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)

Video: Koch Media / Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' / Region 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu Region 'B' Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:47:29.484 / 1:47:29.484

Disc Size: 23,548,606,577 bytes  / 23,311,076,254 bytes

Feature Size: 20,319,375,360 bytes / 22,244,333,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.97 Mbps / 24.25 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 2nd, 2011 / March 26th, 2013

 

Video: [both]

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 946 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 946 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 863 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 863 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1822 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1822 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

English, none

 

Extras:

8-mm Futureworld 'version' (45:58 in 576i)

• Making of Nasa Film (7:28 in 576i)

• German Trailer (:26 in 576i)

Image Gallery

Trailer (2:49)

Radio Spots (1:06)

Stills Gallery (;57)

 

Bitrate:

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Futureworld feels as if it were shot on location at an industrial theme park thanks to extensive shooting at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Prominent as "sets" are such distinctive sights as the giant circular latch of the Space Environment Simulator Laboratory (which was also featured prominently in the posters and advertising of the film), and one of the Mission Operations Control Rooms, with its familiar rows of computer monitors facing a large bank of tracking screens. The film was also shot in several other locations in Houston, making liberal use of the late 1960searly 1970s Modern architecture of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the lobby of Jones Hall, and the tram system at the Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Excerpt from the TCM located HERE

 

The Film:

Set in 1985, this sequel to the pithy Westworld is all gloss and no substance. Westworld's vast pleasure centre, where any and every fantasy could be fulfilled by means of highly sophisticated humanoid robots, is rebuilt on an even more lavish and supposedly fail-safe scale. Leading diplomats plus the press are invited to sample the goods, and only one intrepid newshound (Fonda) suspects that all is not well. Instead of expanding the possibilities, the film opts for a guided tour of the various simulated marvels, from a Cape Kennedy blast-off and a chess game with holograms as the pieces to a ski-race down a Martian hillside. At one point there is an asinine dream sequence whose only relevance seems to be as a reminder that Yul Brynner played the lead resurgent robot in the parent film. The script, which labours under polysyllabic mumbo-jumbo at times, is infantile, while the performances, apart from a sprightly Danner as Fonda's TV cohort, are spineless.

Excerpt from the Timeout Film Guide located HERE

A sequel to "Westworld," the film once again deals with a skeptical reporter who uncovers dirty doings in a great pleasure garden of the future known as Dèlos.

If they pay a great deal of money, people can go to Delos (by Laker Airways, apparently—a dubious plug in view of what eventually happens there) and live a fantasy life in one of its sections. These are devoted respectively to recreating the Old West, the Middle Ages and space travel. Robots looking exactly like real people provide a variety of services: sex, for instance, or convincing-looking Indians or knights for the clients to kill.

In the earlier film the reporter discovered that some defect in circuitry was causing the robots to kill the customers. In "Futureworld," which opened yesterday at showcase theaters, the same reporter, Chuck Browning, goes back and discovers something far worse: a plot to use the facilities of Delos to get control of all the important people in the world.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Futureworld looks pretty marginal on Blu-ray from Koch Media.  The image quality shows some grit and minor grain - as well as noise. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically over 35 years ago.  This is only single-layered and has a middling bitrate. Colors seem brighter and truer than SD could relate. I like the textures and this is definitely not a film that would look crisp and glossy - no matter the resolution. This Blu-ray has a thick, even, presence. Contrast has reasonable levels. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Futureworld and fans should temper expectations to that fact. There are a few speckles but they don't impinge upon the presentation.

My comments pretty much duplicate the Shout! Factory 1080P release. With the running time the same down to the 11/000th of second it is safe to assume they used the same D1 Master. Technically it may have a slightly more robust transfer but I don't see any dramatic improvement in the screen captures.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is offered in both original English and a German DUB - both are DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel tracks. I wouldn't say there is an abundance of depth. It sounds clean and some of the effects export mild surprises. There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

Audio I will lean every-so-slightly to the Shout! Factory which is both technically superior and sounds to export more depth in a few more aggressive scenes. The Shout! Factory is region 'A'-locked and offers optional English subtitles.

 

Extras :

Odd extras that don't relate directly to Futureworld but, nonetheless, there is some value here. We get a a "8-mm Futureworld version" with a nostalgic look visionary images past. This runs a full 45-minutes. The 'Making of' is a NASA Film (effects and scenes similar in the feature) running 8-minutes, plus there is a German trailer and Image Gallery.

The Koch gets some Kudos for trying to add some extras and the US disc is pretty light although the Stills Gallery has some, what look like, storyboards. I'd say neither have anything of indispensable value although I kinda liked the Koch NASA film.

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is pretty bad - only a shadow of Westworld's creativity. The only thing I think it has going for it is the period 'camp' value for sci-fi bugs. I'm referring to both the mid-70's fashion/effects plus the relative innocence of interpreting a concept. Today Hollywood will simply throw more special effects at a film of this genre - hoping something sticks to the wall. The Blu-ray adds modestly to that appeal with its higher resolution - otherwise I would suggest a pass - although the supplements are appreciated.

Pretty much a draw in regards to the Blu-ray package quality although the film doesn't improve with repeat viewings. Those desperate for the appeal of Westworld may catch a bit of that nostalgic glory with Futureworld - either version will suffice. 

Gary Tooze

February 1st, 2011

March 19th, 2013

 

   

 


 

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 'B' Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region 'B' Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!