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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Child's Play [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney Lumet, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:40:21.015

Disc Size: 18,306,762,118 bytes

Feature Size: 18,180,384,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 4th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 904 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 904 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A young teacher, Paul Reis (Beau Bridges) arrives at an exclusive Catholic boy's school that he had attended as young man. An outbreak of cult-like violence and brutality among the students has Reis perplexed. He suspects that one of the older professors in responsible for inciting the mayhem. Joe Dobbs (Robert Preston) is the easy-going, popular English instructor and Jerome Malley (James Mason) is the widely disliked and feared Latin and Greek teacher. Leon Prochnik adapted the evocative Robert Marasco play for the screen. Directed by the great Sidney Lumet, the director of Dog Day Afternoon and Network.

 

 

The Film:

Leon Prochnik adapted the evocative Robert Moresco play Child's Play for the screen, with Sidney Lumet assuming directorial duties. Beau Bridges stars as a young teacher at an exclusive Catholic boy's boarding school named Paul Reis. An outbreak of violence and brutality among the students has Reis perplexed. He suspects that one of the older professors is responsible for inciting the mayhem. The two most likely suspects, played by James Mason and Robert Preston, are long-standing rivals who blame each other for the student turmoil. One of the old enemies goes so far as to discredit the other -- but his motives are at great odds with the religious doctrine taught within the school's walls.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Something is fearfully wrong at St. Charles, a Roman Catholic boarding school for boys, probably not too far from New York. It isn't just a breakdown in discipline, which, after all, is happening everywhere. Although one hesitates to say it in this day and age, the boys are—well possessed.

They make obscene phone calls to the dying old mother of one of their masters. Class rooms have become cages. Violence erupts so regularly that the teachers are cautioned never to leave their students unattended. In what appears to be a ceremony of penitence, one boy allows his eye to be gouged out in the gym. Another is beaten and hung up on the cross in the chapel.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby at the NY Times located HERE

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

Child's Play has a typical modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and there is minor noise and grain. The black levels aren't notable and detail is acceptable - but this might effectively replicate the Paramount source. There is quite a bit of darkness and the 1080P handles it decently. There is a shade of depth. The Blu-ray marginally improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. In short - nothing special but consistent and watchable.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Authentic to its roots in a modest DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel track at 904 kbps. There is some suspense exported via the original score by Michael Small (Marathon Man, Firstborn, The Stepford Wives, Puzzle of a Downfall Child). There is no dynamic depth to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. Moments do provide some minor punch at times.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Child's Play had real potential but ends up... unsatisfying. Themes are hinted but never fleshed-out - ditto for the character development. The Blu-ray offers a bland presentation suitable for the bland film. Just being 'strange' doesn't equate to an intriguing film. 

Gary Tooze

August 17th, 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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