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Directed by Joe Dante
USA 1993

 

Step back into a time of outrageous movie-theater gimmicks and larger-than-life B-screen stars in this charming homage to the great sci-fi and horror flicks of the 1950s and 1960s. John Goodman is at his uproarious best as the William Castle-inspired movie promoter Lawrence Woolsey, who brings his unique brand of flashy showmanship to the unsuspecting residents of Key West, Florida. It's 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton) can't wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, MANT!. But the absurd vision of Woolsey's tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crisis places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Gene and Woolsey's leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they'll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 29th, 1993

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Comparison:

Universal - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT)

 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Carlotta
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:38:33  1:38:35.041
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

Disc Size: 44,015,416,045 bytes

Feature Size: 27,494,209,536 bytes

Total Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, None French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 4th, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta

Disc Size: 44,015,416,045 bytes

Feature Size: 27,494,209,536 bytes

Total Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Edition Details:

• "Mant!" : Intro by Joe Dante (6:18) + Feature (1992 – black and white – 16:05)
• Making-of (4:26)
• Trailer
• Gallery photos (1:45 slideshow)

Paranoia ne Forumi Vision - Featurette with Dante(31:21)

Blu-ray Release Date: June 1st, 2011
Transparent black
Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase
Chapters: 20

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION; Carlotta - Region 'B' Blu-ray - May 2011: I adore this film and it was a pleasure to see it again in the glory of 1080P. It is a solid Blu-ray transfer from Carlotta in France. Comparative analysis can be revealing and now the DVD looks a tad boosted with some minor edge enhancement. It's fairly trivial dependant on your system but overall the SD noise is converted to grain on the high-def release that is just under 4 x the bitrate of its DVD counterpart and there is a lot of depth prevalent. Improvement may be subtle in the still captures - but it definitely exists.

I never realized the value of Matinee's audio until I listened through the lossless linear PCM track. The effects (rumble-rama, shrieks and screams, 'the bomb' etc.) have some notable depth - important to the suspension of disbelief for the theater experience of 'Mant!'. The Carlotta has only French subtitles (and DUB choice) which are optional (via remote not menu) on my Malata that identifies the disc as being region 'B'-locked.

There are some worthy extras on this Blu-ray - and all are in English with removable French subtitles. The best of which is the 16-minute "Mant!" (wish it was longer) with a 6-minute intro by director Joe Dante who discusses how the timelines of the creature-feature and Cold-War peak through the Cuban missile crisis don't really converge but they did a painstaking recreation of those flicks for Matinee with decent, if modestly produced, effects making them very reminiscent of the originals from the mid-to-late 50's. There is a standard Making-of for less than 5 minutes, a trailer and some gallery photos in a short slideshow.

NOTE: I missed another supplement - a 1/2 documentary/featurette with Dante entitled 'Paranoia ne Forumi Vision'. It is more about William Castle and the genre - it is very good.'

'Panic on Florida Beach' seems an odd choice of translated title for Matinee on Blu-ray. I think this is a fabulous film - a wonderful homage to William Castle, and creature-features like the original The Fly and Them!. I've watched it at least a half dozen times and I always enjoy it. Thanks to Carlotta for a great Blu-ray and Kudos to Joe Dante - a strongly recommended part of any digital library!

***

ON THE DVD: Image Entertainment came out with a snapper-cased, non-anamorphic, DVD of Matinee in 1998 HERE - that is now out-of-print.

I feel like I am always referencing this film and watch it all the time so I guess it is time to review the newish, Universal, DVD.

It's a solid, dual-layered, progressive and anamorphically transferred - bare-bones- DVD. Bright colors (a lot of vibrant red in the film), minor noise and switches from black and white to color pretty seamlessly. There is no notable manipulation and the image very clean without speckles or damage.

Audio is 2.0 channel stereo and likewise clean and clear without major flaw. There are optional English subtitles. Just like the 98' DVD - no extras - well, the older disc did have some text screen bios. 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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Screen Captures

 

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

(Universal - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

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DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Carlotta
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray



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