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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Project X [Blu-ray]
(William Castle, 1968)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Olive Films / 101 Films (UK)
Region: 'A'/ 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:37:27.842 / 1:37:05.069
Disc Size: 17,701,559,591 bytes / 32,044,851,466 bytes
Feature Size: 17,570,740,224 bytes / 21,757,280,256 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps / 25.00 Mbps
Chapters: 9 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 19th, 2012 / September 16th, 2019
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 841 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 841 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• English, none
• New audio commentary with film writers Allan Bryce
and David Flint
Description: Classic Sci-Fi thriller produced and directed by cult filmmaker William Castle (The Tingler). A secret agent, Christopher George (TV's The Rat Patrol) is brought back from cryogenic suspension after surviving a plane crash during a mission. Through a complex scientific charade he is convinced that he's a gangster living in the year 1968, the plan is for George to uncover a secret germ formula that had been hidden away years earlier. But the vital memories are being suppressed, so the authorities use ultra-advanced technologies to uncover the secret. The film boasts top-notch special effects and a cast of great character actors that includes Henry Jones, Harold Gould and Monte Markham.
Project X boasts better special effects than usual for tight-fisted producer/director William Castle, but it crumbles in the story department. Christopher George is a secret agent living in the year 2118, who through a complex scientific charade is convinced that he's living in 1968. The plan is for George to uncover a secret germ formula that had been hidden away 50 years earlier. Castle's propensity for borrowing gimmicks from earlier films is well known; this time he reaches back as far as a nearly-forgotten 1954 episode of the TV series Flash Gordon! The biological warfare throughline of Project X was more convincing in its source material, a novel by Leslie P. Davies.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The 22nd Century. Genetic researcher Hagen Arnold returns from a top secret mission to Sino-Asia. The last thing he says before he lapses into a coma is that there are ten days left. The military want to find out what he means and go to a group of scientists who come up with an ambitious scheme to probe Arnold’s mind. First they revive Arnold using memory recordings and then create an elaborate scenario where they convince him that he is Alan Fraser, a 20th Century man hiding out at a farmhouse while on the run following a bank robbery. These conditions are set up so they can then probe Arnold’s mind with holograms while he sleeps and retrieve the memories of his mission to Sino-Asia. However, Gregory Gallea, an agent from Sino-Asia, who is supposed to be dead, infiltrates the set-up, trying to warn Arnold he is in danger.Excerpt from Moria Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy Film review located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
William Castle's 1968 Project X (not to be confused with Nima Nourizadeh's same-titled 2012 film - released by Warner on Blu-ray HERE) has a typical Olive Films 1080P transfer. Single-layered without digital manipulation and directly subject to the condition of the Paramount source. It has been moved to 1.78:1 from the original 1.85 aspect ratio. Detail is surprising and colors are quite rich considering the age. The Blu-ray has hints of texture and all things considered looks quite strong - even the loopy overlay effects.
The 101 Films has a higher bitrate and superior contrast with deeper, richer black levels. It has the same 1.78:1 framing but, overall, just looks better than the Olive Films video.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Plenty of sci-fi style effect sounds still come across quite authentically flat via the DTS-HD Master mono track at 841 kbps. There is a hint of crispness and audio is quite consistent with clear dialogue. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
101 Films have a linear PCM mono track (also 16-bit). My ears can't distinguish much difference. There is an occasionally quirky but effective score by Nathan Van Cleave that benefits from the uncompressed transfer. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with most of their releases.
101 Films add two excellent supplements. There is a new audio commentary with film writers Allan Bryce and David Flint who find appreciation in the film and discuss Castle and how Project X was on the down-slope. I liked it because I learned many new things about this dated sci-fi effort. Also included is the 35-minute Money Back Guarantee: William Castle's Ingenious Gimmicks where Vic Pratt and Allan Bryce discuss the various inventive gimmicks that Castle employed to put butts in the seats. He was a fun impresario. These are appreciated inclusions by 101 Films. They made me enjoy the film much more.
Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
101 Films - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
For a Blu-ray release, the addition of a commentary and the other featurette - is very helpful in embracing this hugely nostalgic gem of a 60's sci-fi popcorn'er. The 101 Films is a notable upgrade with the improved image and supplements. This is worth the double-sip from the bare-bones Olive. This is huge fun and we do recommend!
June 7th, 2012
September 18th, 2019
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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