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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Fallen [Blu-ray]

 

(Gregory Hoblit, 1998)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:04:11.360

Disc Size: 37,640,695,110 bytes

Feature Size: 37,057,554,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.94 Mbps

Chapters: 32

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 14th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4055 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4055 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Gregory Hoblit, Nicholas Kazan and Charles Roven

• Theatrical Trailer (2:27)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A pair of Chicago detectives apprehend a serial killer. However, after the killer is convicted and executed, a new series of murders done in the late killer's peculiar style begin to turn up, potentially implicating one of the detectives.

 

 

The Film:

Super-clean cop John Hobbes (Washington) unleashes evil spirit 'Azazel' when he sends a serial killer (Koteas) to the chair. Unlike Morgan Freeman's learned sleuth in Seven, the parochial Hobbes is convinced that cops are 'the chosen people'. Having captured the killer, he appears on TV smug and smiling. Things turn intriguing, however, when later his attention is drawn to the biblical injunction 'Hide your good works.' His consequent fear that the whole city is against him is straddled between paranoia and intuition. Azazel's spirit is passed along by touch: in a crowded, aggressive city (Philadelphia), anyone can turn nasty. On a metaphorical level, this makes sense - AIDS and a fear of the city are central to the '90s. But God (or the Devil) is in the detail: every time a fluid is taken into the body, the fidgety camera zooms in, fascinated, suspicious. Excellent support from Davidtz, Goodman, and Joy, as Hobbes' brother, though as the plot twists take precedence over character, much of the film's nuance trickles away and, along with it, the tension.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Directed by Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear), Fallen is a blend of the police drama and supernatural thriller genres. Homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) narrates, taking the audience back to "the time I almost died." This sets a flashback in motion, beginning at the prison cell of serial killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas), who grabs Hobbes' hand and sings the Rolling Stones' "Time Is on My Side." After Reese is executed, Hobbes and his partner, Jonesy (John Goodman), find a seeming copycat killer, committing murders in a manner not unlike Reese. Hobbes is drawn into the occult after he meets theology professor Gretta Milano (Embeth Davidtz), the daughter of a dead police officer. Hobbes becomes a suspect himself, but he continues his search for the truth. Co-producer Dawn Steel died just as this film was due for release.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Fallen on Blu-ray from Warner sees superiority over the old SD - on the visual front.  The image quality - via dual-layered disc with high bitrate - has impressive moments. It's not overwhelmingly strong with contrast appearing somewhat modest for the format but the dusty look may have been intentional. There is some depth and no intrusive noise. Colors aren't vibrant but look authentic. Skin tones seem true.  By modern standards this is reasonably tame visually but as a representation of the original - I suspect it is exceedingly accurate. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Fallen and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several, expected, areas.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Fallen has a pretty intense track and the DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 4055 kbps exports that aggression capably. The score is by Tan Dun (of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero fame) and shoots surprising punchy depth through to the rear speakers. It really adds some atmosphere to a frequently creepy film experience. Quite a deep track. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Nothing new - we get the same commentary by Gregory Hoblit, Nicholas Kazan and Charles Roven that was on the older DVD. It's a little dry and meanders. There is also a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Fallen is an excellent occult thriller. It's a shade slow in the build but patience is rewarded with plenty of spooky suspense. Hoblit masterfully brings the film together extremely well. Warner's Blu-ray is adept although offers nothing new in the way of supplements - still very worthy 1080P film experience with an impressive lossless track - a disc we can certainly recommend at the price. Solid, entertaining value here. 

Gary Tooze

August 6th, 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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