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Altered States [Blu-ray]
(Ken Russell, 1980)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,779,915,363 bytes
Feature Size: 20,594,067,456 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.59 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 10th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4037 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4037 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
•Trailer (2:15 in 480i)
Description: In this 1980 sci-fi horror film, William Hurt plays Eddie Jessup, a scientist obsessed with discovering mankind's true role in the universe. To this end, he submits himself to a series of mind-expanding experiments. By enclosing himself in a sensory-deprivation chamber and taking hallucinogenic drugs, Jessup hopes to explore different levels of human consciousness, but instead is devolved into an apelike monster. Director Ken Russell helmed Altered States from a script by Paddy Chayefsky, who adapted his own novel of the same name. Unhappy with the finished product, Chayefsky had his name replaced with his pseudonym Sydney Aaron.
Harvard professor Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) experiments with a
peyote-like drug and an isolation tank. Interestingly, everyone who
takes the drug experiences the same vision. Jessup theorises that this
vision might be part of our collective unconscious, a sort of species
memory. Intrigued by this prospect he continues his experiments, but
pushes things too far, physically regressing into an ape-man and running
The movie itself has many of the qualities of its chief character, who is obsessive, exciting, scary, wildly energetic, and a very odd bird indeed. Actually his leanings are more to the ape-like than the birdlike, and to call them leanings is to put it very mildly. This is a movie with a hero who looks down, while taking a shower, to discover that he has grown hairy feet with thumbs on them. That's not the last of it, either.Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Altered States seems to really benefit from Warner's Blu-ray transfer. The image is crisp, clean, depth is apparent and the multiple effects look more supportive and less 'goofy in 1080P. Contrast is strong and there is no noise on the many darker sequences. This is only single-layered but handles the colors well and provides an excellent presentation. This Blu-ray has a consistent appearance and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and contrast.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master surround at 4037 kbps. This robust transfer handles the multiple effect sounds and John Corigliano's supportive score without issue. I can only suspect that this is a strong representation of the original. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Nothing but a trailer which is a shame because I think there are thing about Altered States worth discussing.
June 23rd, 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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