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Malcolm X [Blu-ray]
(Spike Lee, 1992)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,719,486,637 bytes
Feature Size: 35,841,472,512 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.98 Mbps
Case: Digi-Book Blu-ray case
Release date: January 31st, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2205 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2205 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), Danish, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none
•Behind the Story - Commentary by Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown and Ruth Carter
• By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X (30:28)
• 9 Deleted Scenes (20:54) with Introduction by Spike Lee (1:04)
• Trailer (2:51)
Description: Filmmaker Spike Lee, star Denzel Washington (the New York, Boston and Chicago Film Critics' choice as 1992's Best Actor) and other talents vividly portray the life and times of the visionary leader. "One of the decade's best and most important films." (Arch Campbell, WRC-TV/Washington D.C.) One of the most charismatic and politically controversial voices in history, Malcolm X burst into the public consciousness with a radical perspective on race relations in America. His inspiring and enlightening ideologies touched and continue to influence the lives of millions. The New York Film Critic's Circle awarded Denzel Washington Best Actor for his role in what Newsday calls "an extraordinary movie...powerful and compelling. Denzel Washington's performance is a tour de force!"
Lee's labour of love is arguably his most anonymous film to date, with fewer in-your-face stylistic flourishes or confrontational ideological statements than his earlier works. True, the scenes of young Malcolm (Washington) and his pal Shorty (Lee) at a Boston dance hall exhibit a fizzy choreographic flair; true, too, that the opening credits footage of the Rodney King beating hints at an anger none too shy of courting controversy. But mostly, while the film glides from Malcolm's early years as a hustler and petty criminal to his emergence in the Nation of Islam, it plays surprisingly safe as a solidly crafted trawl through the didactic/hagiographic conventions of the mainstream biopic.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Malcolm X lived a dozen different lives, each in its way a
defining aspect of the black American experience from nightmare to
dream. There was never any in-between for the man who was initially
called Malcolm Little, the son of a Nebraska preacher, and who, when he
died, was known by his Muslim name, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Malcolm
traveled far, through many incarnations to become as much admired as he
was feared as the black liberation movement's most militant spokesman
and unrelenting conscience.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Malcolm X looks decent on Blu-ray from Warner. With the film's extensive length we get a modest bitrate on the 1.78:1 framed image. It showcases some textured grain and occasional depth. I'm not sure that the film can look that much better than this on digital. The pseudo-archival media footage looks wonderful in black and white. This is dual-layered and colors and contrast loom impressively. The visuals are bright, consistent and supply a strong presentation. The film's art direction is brilliant and should be commended. I found no notable flaws with the HD video quality and it has no gloss or manipulation at all.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 2205 kbps is clean and clear without exporting extensive separation. But there is some desirable depth. The Spike Lee go-to-composer is Terence Blanchard who has worked on most of the director's films and his efforts here support Malcolm X extremely well via the uncompressed track. I found instances that were fairly dynamic but biopic is centrally dialogue-driven. There are some foreign-language stereo DUBs and optional subtitles offered.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements duplicate the 2005 2-disc Warner DVD with the commentary by Spike Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Barry Alexander Brown and Ruth Carter going to great lengths to expand on information imparted in the 3.5 hour film. By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X runs 1/2 an hour and there are also 9 Deleted Scenes (20:54) with a short introduction by Spike Lee. There is also a trailer and the disc is housed in a wonderful Digi-book that includes the an essay "Spike Lee: Meeting Controversy Head On”, as well as a 'Timeline of Events in the Life of Malcolm X'. The enclosed DVD has the 1.5 hour, 1972, documentary simply entitled Malcolm X. This is narrated by James Earl Jones who quotes from The Autobiography of Malcolm X and is a must for those seeking further information on the intriguing leader.
January 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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