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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Jeremiah Johnson [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney Pollack, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:55:54.989

Disc Size: 33,404,082,891 bytes

Feature Size: 32,311,498,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.89 Mbps

Chapters: 29

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 1st, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3935 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3935 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Danish, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Pollack, Redford and writer John Milus

The Saga of Jeremiah Johnson (10:43 -4:3)

• Trailer (2:58)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Robert Redford stars in this powerful epic of a man who turns his back on civilization and learns a new code of survival in a brutal land of isolated mountains and hostile Indians.

***

Robert Redford has one of his best-ever roles as a 19th century mountain man in a wilderness of harsh elements and hostile Indians. Directed by The Firm's Sydney Pollack.

 

 

The Film:

A flawed but immensely appealing film adapted in part from Vardis Fisher's Mountain Man, a superb historical novel which explores the myth and the reality of the tough trappers who roamed the unconquered West in the 1850s. Shot on location in fantastically beautiful, desolate snowscapes in Utah, the first part of the film is terrific: tenderfoot Redford's first, baffled steps in the battle for survival; the weird encounter with a corpse frozen upright in the snow which provides him with his first real gun; the old man of the mountains who takes time out from hunting grizzlies to teach him how to fish, trap beaver, tell one Indian from another, and stay alive.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

With a story that both mythologized man-in-nature and shed a somewhat harsh light on the "Manifest Destiny" that drove white people across the continent taking land from the Indians, Jeremiah Johnson (1972) was perfectly in sync with the prevailing counter-cultural attitudes of the time. The film's environmental themes (close to the heart of star Robert Redford) and its anti-establishment, Thoreau-like message struck a chord with audiences and made this a hit, another worthy entry in the Vietnam-era cycle of Westerns - among them Arthur Penn's Little Big Man (1970) and Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) - that were critical of civilization's negative effect on the wilderness.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

Jeremiah Johnson looks very thick on Blu-ray from Warner.  Detail is rarely crisp but I expect this was a function of the original production - now, 40-years ago.  Almost exclusively shot outdoors in daylight the image is bright with some spectacular scenery. No noise was present that I could determine. This 2-hour film is put to a dual-layered transfer with a high bitrate. Colors seem strong exemplifying the thick appearance. Contrast exhibits healthy, black levels. The fact that the 1080P doesn't reflect glossy, pristine sharpness supports a realistic representation of the original - I doubt this can look superior or more authentic to the source. This Blu-ray probably looks just like the film Jeremiah Johnson and it advances significantly beyond SD in key areas.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Along with a handful of foreign language DUBs we get the original English (and some native Indian and French) via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 3935 kbps. It can export certain scenes with some robust aggression but the majority of the film is quite peaceful with nature sounds mixed in. The surround has a few prominent remix sequences - the hum and sharp punch of an slicing arrow or the growl of a bear or menacing pack of wolves. The original music is by Tim McIntire and John Rubinstein. It doesn't come into play often - or is quite subtle in doing so. But what does come through sounded effected to the positive via the lossless. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Supplements add a commentary by Pollack, Redford and writer John Milus recorded separately but has enough cohesiveness to remain interesting on various viewpoints of production and the story. There is also a 11-minute vintage featurette - The Saga of Jeremiah Johnson detailing more of the initial stages of plot without much development or discussion. There is also a trailer running almost 3-minutes.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I really enjoyed Jeremiah Johnson and it must have been 20-years since I had last seen it. An epic story of isolation, familial bonds and... vengeance. I love Will Geer - such a great character actor. The Blu-ray gives a strong and definitive presentation - one that fans of the genre should consider indulging in. 

Gary Tooze

April 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.

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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