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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Barbarella aka Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy [Blu-ray]

 

(Roger Vadim, 1968)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica

Video: Paramount

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:38:00.916

Disc Size: 27,587,172,021 bytes

Feature Size: 26,632,531,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Chapters: 19

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 3rd, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1151 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1151 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dBs

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Trailer (3:21)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Barbarella is marked by the same audacity and originality, fantasy, humor, beauty and horror, cruelty and eroticism that make comic books such a favorite. The setting is the planet Lythion in the year 40,000, when Barbarella (Jane Fonda) makes a forced landing while traveling through space. She acts like a female James Bond, vanquishing evil in the forms of robots and monsters. She also rewards, in an uninhibited manner, the handsome men who assist her in the adventure. Whether she is wrestling with Black Guards, the evil Queen, or the Angel Pygar, she just can't seem to avoid losing at least a part of her skin-tight space suit!

 

 

The Film:

Vadim kicks off his adaptation of Jean-Claude Forest's 'adult' comic strip by stripping Fonda starkers. From there on it's typically vacuous titillation as Barbarella takes off for the mysterious planet Sorgo in 40,000 AD, there to survive attack by perambulating dolls with vampire fangs, receive her sexual initiation from a hairy primitive, fall in love with a blind angel, be whisked off to an alarming Lesbian encounter with the tyrannical Black Queen, etc. But Terry Southern's dialogue occasionally sparkles, and the imaginative designs, as shot by Claude Renoir, look really splendid.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

A voluptuous outer space agent travels to another galaxy in search of a missing inventor in this science fiction send-up. Barbarella (Jane Fonda), an interstellar representative of the united Earth government in the 41st century, is dispatched to locate scientist Durand Durand, whose positronic ray, if not recovered, could signal the end of humanity. Outfitted in an array of stunning Star Trek/Bond girl outfits and cruising around in a plush, psychedelic spaceship, Barbarella travels to the Tau Seti system and promptly crash-lands. She then spends the rest of the film discovering the joys of interstellar sex with a keeper of feral children (Ugo Tognazzi), a blind, beatific angel (John Phillip Law), and an inept revolutionary named Dildano (David Hemmings). Slowly but surely, she also finds her way to Durand Durand by moving from one exotic, Wizard of Oz-style locale to another. Along the way, she meets the kindly Professor Ping (a surprisingly verbal Marcel Marceau), a Eurotrash dominatrix named the Great Tyrant (Rolling Stones gal pal Anita Pallenberg), and the Concierge (Milo O'Shea), a strangely familiar lackey of the Great Tyrant who tries to destroy Barbarella with his great big organ of love. Jean-Claude Forest, who created the character Barbarella in 1962 for V-Magazine, served as visual advisor on the adaptation. The film's missing scientist character famously inspired the band name of '80s pop stars Duran Duran (who altered the spelling slightly). Almost two decades later, the film also inspired electronic act Matmos, which was named after the aqueous personification of evil unleashed by the Concierge at the movie's climax.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Barbarella looks impressive on Blu-ray from Paramount - blowing away the previous, faded, DVD editions.  Colors are vibrant, detail advances and there is some grain visible.  This sneaks into dual-layered territory and has a high bitrate. There is a touch of noise. There is no gloss and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. This Blu-ray image is exceptionally clean and showcases the film's, often psychedelic, art direction very adeptly.  This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Barbarella and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and colors.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Dolby TrueHD 2.0 channel at 1151 kbps exports the Charles Fox bouncy score and the sci-fi sound effects crisply but without much depth. There is some perceived buoyancy and overall the track handles the stereo mix without issue. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Nothing but a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Barbarella has built-in kitsch value and it is still a cute, sexy film from the funky credits to the consistent T + A and innuendos. Wide-eyed Jane Fonda is smoking hot and I can't imagine the comic-strip aspects being done more... authentically via live-action film medium. The Blu-ray supplies a very strong a/v presentation and I can see many getting some kicks out of this despite being bare-bones. Sure, recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 21st, 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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