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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Eating Raoul [Blu-ray]

 

(Paul Bartel, 1982)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Quartet

Video: Criterion Collection Spine #625

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:23:42.058

Disc Size: 47,637,835,185 bytes

Feature Size: 24,711,948,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Chapters: 23

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 24th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Richard Blackburn, production designer Robert Schulenberg, and editor Alan Toomayan
The Secret Cinema (1966 - 27:12) and Naughty Nurse (1969 - 8:56), two short films by director Paul Bartel
Cooking Up “Raoul,” a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with stars Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, and Edie McClurg (24:27)
Gag reel of outtakes from the film (5:46)
Archival interview with Bartel and Woronov (21:14)
Trailer (1:47)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Ehrenstein

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A sleeper hit of the early 1980s, Eating Raoul is a bawdy, gleefully amoral tale of conspicuous consumption. Warhol superstar Mary Woronov and cult legend Paul Bartel (who also directed) portray a prudish married couple who feel put upon by the swingers living in their apartment building. One night, by accident, they discover a way to simultaneously rid themselves of the “perverts” down the hall and realize their dream of opening a restaurant. A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marked the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.

 

 

The Film:

Eating Raoul was celebrated at the time of its release as the perfect marriage between mainstream moviemaking and the... so-called "underground" cinema. Cult-film icons Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel (both of whom directed) play a married couple who decide to cash in on the sexual perversions of others. Posing as a hooker, Woronov lures the "johns" in and indulges their every kinky whim, whereupon Bartel kills the unwary client, steals the valuables, and sells the corpse for dog food. Though they see nothing wrong in what they're doing, they react in prudish disgust at the sexual preferences of their victims. Eventually, Raoul (Robert Beltran), the fellow who transports the corpses to the dog food concern, proves expendable--and extremely edible. Eating Raoul features a high-powered comic supporting cast, among them Buck Henry, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Paul, Hamilton Camp, and Edie McClurg.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The most delicious blackly comic collision of sex, food and murder, Bartel's film arrives as a delightful surprise from the former court jester of Roger Corman's exploitation stable. Featuring Bartel himself and his frequent B-queen, Woronov, as the Blands, innocently stranded amid the hedonist detritus of LA, dreaming (like their Hollywood forebears, the Blandings) of rural retreat, Paul and Mary's Country Kitchen. And dreaming vainly, until 'accidental' homicide propels them into a scheme to exploit carnal as well as culinary appetites, luring disposable perverts to a deadpan doom with the haphazard help and hindrance of such figures as Doris the Dominatrix and Hispanic hustler Raoul. The style stays straight-faced, the more to crease ours with the disparity between sick joke frenetics and a gentle, unruffled sitcom sensibility. A genuine treat for civilised cannibals.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

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

Eating Raoul looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion. It looks almost 'brand new'.  The image is crisp and colors appear strong and tight.  This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and is a highly remarkable representation of the film. There is a touch of fine grain and a hint of depth. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast and detail are impressive. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws, is spotlessly clean, and supplies a wonderfully responsive 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Not much in the way of aggression and the linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It authentically handles the film's dialogue without issue. Arlon Ober's score doesn't come across as being especially effective but sounds to be represented accurately. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.

 

Extras :

The Criterion package offers quite a lot in terms of supplements including an audio commentary featuring screenwriter Richard Blackburn, production designer Robert Schulenberg, and editor Alan Toomayan. There are two short films by director Paul Bartel - The Secret Cinema (1966 - 27:12) and Naughty Nurse (1969 - 8:56), as well as the 25-minute ”Cooking Up “Raoul,” a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with stars Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, and Edie McClurg. There is a 6-minute Gag reel of outtakes from the film and an archival interview with Bartel and Woronov lasting more than 20-minutes. Lastly we have a trailer plus a booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Ehrenstein.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Eating Raoul is a blast. Additional to its 'black comedy' wry charm - it has a nostalgic element to add to its enjoyment. What a great title for Criterion to release. Everything works from the carefree, limited production to the expressive performances. The Criterion Blu-ray package offers a great a/v presentation with keen extras. This is very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 13th, 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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