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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

J. Edgar [Blu-ray]

 

(Clint Eastwood, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:16:53.246

Disc Size: 27,663,281,488 bytes

Feature Size: 25,869,041,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.44 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 21st, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3319 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3319 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• J. Edgar: A Complicated Man (12:50 in 1080P)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Blood Diamond) stars as J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years. Hoover was feared, admired, reviled and revered, a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted prize. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Oscar Winner Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven) directs an all-star cast including Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Oscar Winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) as Hoover’s overprotective mother.

***

As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and... revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Under the direction of Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role of "J. Edgar," a drama that explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.

 

 

The Film:

Given these matters, and the additional fact that the screenplay for Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" was written by Dustin Lance Black, who wrote "Milk," you would assume the film was the portrait of a gay man. It is not. That makes it more fascinating. It is the portrait of the public image that J. Edgar Hoover maintained all his life, even in private. The chilling possibility is that with Hoover, what you saw was what you got. He was an unbending moralist who surrounded himself with FBI straight arrows. Those assigned closest to him tended to be good looking. Agents wore suits and ties at all times. He inspected their shoeshines. He liked to look but not touch.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

"J. Edgar" is a somber, enigmatic, darkly fascinating tale, and how could it be otherwise?

This brooding, shadow-drenched melodrama with strong political overtones examines the public and private lives of a strange, tortured man who had a phenomenal will to power. A man with the keenest instincts for manipulating the levers of government, he headed the omnipotent Federal Bureau of Investigation for 48 years. Though in theory he served eight presidents, in practice J. Edgar Hoover served only himself.

Excerpt from Kenneth Turna at the LA Times located HERE

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

J. Edgar is dominated by the black levels which are adeptly supported on Blu-ray from Warner.  There is no indiscriminant noise on the image that borders on, and achieves, saturation. Detail has some strong moments on the AVC transferred 1080P visuals. This Blu-ray seems to support a consistent stylistic appearance that handles the period details very well. There isn't a lot of depth. This Blu-ray handles the heavy richness leaning more to a black and white film - with colors notably absent - taking a passive backseat. We can assume this was intentional and the Blu-ray looks to be extremely faithful in that regard.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

It's a fairly robust audio track utilizing a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3319 kbps. The aggression is very punchy with some violent arrests and an early explosion that export some dynamic intensity. The separation is also impressive with plenty of rear speaker exercise. The original music is by Clint Eastwood with some reminiscent jazz at the rolling end-credits - sounding superbly tight and crisp. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

The only extra is J. Edgar: A Complicated Man - a 13-minute featurette with interviews with the cast and filmmakers discussing the enigma of the man himself. mostly short sound-bytes but it has some interesting information on behind-the-scenes character development etc..

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I was certainly enthralled with J. Edgar marveling at DiCaprio's thespian skill and the incredible make-up. My only trouble with the story was that Hoover was such an odd character that this could have, easily, covered a 10-part miniseries. Eastwood continues to make competent, complete and impressive films. By his lofty standards of the past 10-years this may be in the bottom half but that still makes it a very worthwhile presentation. The Blu-ray is a little light on supplements but it still provides a worthwhile night in the Home Theater - one we can recommend to those who are keen! 

Gary Tooze

February 14th, 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.

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
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

 

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