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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Coma [Blu-ray]


(Michael Crichton, 1978)


Coming to Blu-ray from Kino in August 2023:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner



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

Runtime: 1:52:58.813 

Disc Size: 19,376,363,445 bytes

Feature Size: 18,668,519,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.97 Mbps

Chapters: 34

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 10th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1093 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1093 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB



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



Trailer (2:29)





Description: A feisty, feminist intern uncovers a medical conspiracy in this icy thriller about mysterious goings-on at Boston Memorial Hospital. When her best friend and aerobics partner, Nancy Greenly (Lois Chiles), emerges in a vegetative state from a routine abortion, Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) does some digging and discovers an overabundance of anesthesia-induced comas among otherwise healthy young patients. The male authority figures who challenge Susan's technically illegal tampering with medical records include her boss, Dr. Harris (Richard Widmark); the chief anesthesiologist, Dr. George (Rip Torn); and even her boyfriend, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas), who doesn't want Susan's shenanigans to get in the way of his shot at chief resident. As Susan continues her crusade, the paper trail leads to the Jefferson Institute, a mysterious, experimental facility in which vegetative patients are stored en masse, suspended from the ceiling by wires threaded through their long bones, in order to reduce the cost of long-term care. A shadowy assailant begins to stalk Susan just as she uncovers the link between the Jefferson Institute and the comas at Boston Memorial, setting the stage for climactic suspense scenes involving morgues, malpractice and endless institutional corridors. Writer/director Michael Crichton adapted his second feature film from Robin Cook's bestseller of the same name. Tom Selleck, who would star in Crichton's Runaway several years later, appears briefly in Coma as another victim of lethal anesthesia.



The Film:

Crichton's excellent adaptation of Robin Cook's novel is one of the most intelligent sci-fi thrillers in years. Bujold is the doctor who, after a series of mysterious and fatal mishaps with patients going into coma for no clear reason, begins to suspect that something evil is being covered up at the hospital. A simple enough story, but one told in such chilling fashion that visitors to hospitals will never feel the same again. Careful to establish an authentic atmosphere, Crichton only slowly lets events spiral off into nightmarish Hitchcockian fantasy, while the fact that nobody will believe Bujold, attributing her suspicions to female hysteria, only serves to point up the patriarchal nature of the medical profession. See it and worry.

Excerpt from the TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

The movie is about the Nancy Drew-like adventure faced by pretty, plucky Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold), a resident surgeon at Boston Memorial Hospital, after her best friend suffers irreparable brain damage in the course of a minor operation. Against the advice of her lover, handsome, hearty Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas), a young surgeon on the make for money and position, pretty, plucky Dr. Susan Wheeler initiates her own investigation and discovers that in the last year, something like a dozen other patients, all young and in good health, have met similar fates.

It soon becomes apparent to pretty, plucky Dr. Susan Wheeler that there is a conspiracy afoot. All of the fatal operations have been performed in the very same operating room, a fact that handsome, hearty Dr. Mark Bellows dismisses as the merest coincidence. Even gruff, kindly old Dr. George Harris (Richard Widmark), the hospital's avuncular head, refuses to listen to her suspicions. What can a pretty, plucky girl do?

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

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

I wouldn't say Coma is a visually stunning film and correspondingly the Blu-ray from Warner doesn't shine demonstratively in 1080P.  This is only single-layered with a modest bitrate but I don't doubt this is a decent representation of the film's appearance. It frequently looks flat but there are sequences that escalate to showcase a bit of depth. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio film has been rendered at 1.78.  Skin tones are marginally warm and contrast exhibits improved black levels.  It certainly is no 'demo' disc but I recall the SD-DVD being meager as well. I enjoyed the film presentation via Blu-ray suspecting the audio benefited greater than the video.

















Audio :

Warner stay authentic with a DTS-HD Master in 1.0 channel mono at 1093 kbps. We have a great Jerry Goldsmith score that rides the tension throughout. Despite the lack of range, depth is apparent and adds another important layer of suspense to the presentation. I thought it sounded solid via the uncompressed. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Only an SD trailer as a supplement.



I enjoyed revisiting Coma in 1080P although some thriller touches do seem dated. The story is still the draw with fine performances throughout. This Blu-ray may not be reference material but it is definitely superior to its SD counterpart. Lots to appreciate about the film and we can heartily recommend at the  listed price. 

Gary Tooze

June 23rd, 2012

Coming to Blu-ray from Kino in August 2023:



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