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Wuthering Heights [Blu-ray]
(Andrea Arnold, 2011)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Ecosse Films
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 33,627,665,638 bytes
Feature Size: 33,281,288,640 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.20 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 26th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3207 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3207 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
Description:Wuthering Heights is Academy AwardŽ-winning writer-director Andrea Arnold's third feature following the BAFTAŽ award winning, Fish Tank and Cannes Jury Prize winning Red Road. Based on the novel by Emily Brontë and adapted for the screen by Andrea Arnold and Olivia Hetreed, Wuthering Heights stars newcomer James Howson as Heathcliff and Kaya Scodelario (Skins) as Cathy alongside Steve Evets (Joseph), Oliver Milburn (Mr Linton), and Nicola Burley (Isabella Linton) and introducing Shannon Beer and Solomon Glave playing the young Cathy and Heathcliff. A Yorkshire hill farmer on a visit to Liverpool finds a homeless boy on the streets. He takes him home to live as part of his family on the isolated Yorkshire moors where the boy forges an obsessive relationship with the farmer's daughter.
Arnold's powerfully naturalistic approach is a bold directorial decision that some may find frustrating but it works perfectly in the first half, thanks to Robbie Ryan's extraordinary camerawork and some stunning sound design that makes it feel like you're out there on the moors with them. Similarly, the minimal dialogue heightens the earthy physicality of the world around Heathcliff and Arnold strongly enforces his point of view throughout (in fact, if anything, she rather overdoes the use of the through-the-keyhole shot).
Like most screen versions, Arnold’s film drops its curtain when Heathcliff’s almost-lover Cathy (Shannon Beer and then Kaya Scodelario), also his adopted sister, leaves the story, and so ignores the second half. But this spin on the book pays as much attention to weather and animals, plants and insects as it does to the tragedy of unfulfilled love as its core. Nature offers cameos from hawks, dogs, rabbits, sheep and beetles. For Arnold, landscape and wildlife are substitutes for needless dialogue and exposition.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Superb 1.33:1 image via the Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. Detail, especially in many close-ups, is the most notable attribute that rises well-above SD. This is dual-layered and 1080P with a decent bitrate. This Blu-ray is clean and the transfer adds another layer to the awesome cinematography and scenery of North Yorkshire in the UK. This is easily discernable as HD and the film probably looked similar theatrically. Colors are bright and true without appearing unnaturally manipulated. There is no noticeable noise. This Blu-ray does its job well providing an excellent presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3207 kbps has plenty of subtitles in the outdoor sequences but is not something that exports any depth as Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights would be more notable for its silent pauses. There is also a untested linear PCM stereo track. There are optional English subtitles in the region 'B' Blu-ray disc.
Only a gallery. It seems like a film that deserves much more but it also might taint the experience discussing the production too much. I'm not dissatisfied - the film speaks volumes by itself.
March 20th, 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 3500 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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