S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Michael Crichton, 1978)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,376,363,445 bytes
Feature Size: 18,668,519,424 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.97 Mbps
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
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.
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.
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
Only an SD trailer as a supplement.
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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