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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Project X [Blu-ray]


(William Castle, 1968)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:37:27.842

Disc Size: 17,701,559,591 bytes

Feature Size: 17,570,740,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 19th, 2012



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)






• None





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.



The Film:

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.
















Audio :

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 is an occasionally quirky but effective score by Nathan Van Cleave that benefits from the uncompressed transfer. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with most of their releases.



Ahhhh William Castle. Project X is quite inventive with a confusing science-fiction plot. Love to see all the strong supporting players - some of which had stints on Star Trek (the original series) like Phillip Pine (Col. Green in The Savage Curtain) and Lee Delano was in A Piece of the Action. They certainly don't make films like this anymore - looking at it from one angle it is soooo incredibly cool (check out that headgear!) and goofy. The Blu-ray is standard fare for Olive Films but the value may be more in actually seeing the film at all. This is right up my alley and I got a lot of pleasure out of my viewing. To each his own.  

Gary Tooze

June 7th, 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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