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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Quadrophenia [Blu-ray]

 

(Franc Roddam, 1979)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Polytel

Video: Criterion Collection - Spine # 624

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:00:02.778

Disc Size: 47,341,232,092 bytes

Feature Size: 32,625,082,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps

Chapters: 23

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 28th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3787 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3787 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• New audio commentary featuring director Franc Roddam and Tufano
New interview with Bill Curbishley, the film’s coproducer and the Who’s comanager (13:42)
New interview with the Who’s sound engineer, Bob Pridden, featuring a discussion of the new mix as well as a restoration demonstration (7:49)
Segment on the film from a 1979 episode of the BBC series Talking Pictures, featuring interviews and on-set footage (26:06)
Segment from a 1964 episode of the French news program Sept jours du monde, about mods and rockers (8:19)
Seize millions de jeunes: “Mods,” a 1965 episode of the French youth-culture program, featuring early footage of the Who (34:30)
Trailers (1:14)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Howard Hampton, a 1985 personal history by original mod Irish Jack, and Pete Townshend’s liner notes from the 1973 album

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Who's classic rock opera Quadrophenia was the basis for this invigorating coming-of-age movie and depiction of the defiant, drug-fueled mod subculture of early 1960s London, several years before the hippie and meditation trends began. Our antihero is Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a teenager dissatisfied with family, work, and love. He spends his time knocking around with his clothes-obsessed, pill-popping, scooter-driving fellow mods, a group whose antipathy for the motorcycle-riding rockers leads to a climactic riot in Brighton. Director Franc Roddam’s rough-edged film is a quintessential chronicle of youthful rebellion and turmoil, with Pete Townshend’s brilliant songs (including “I’ve Had Enough,” “5:15,” and “Love Reign O’er Me”) providing emotional support, and featuring Sting and Ray Winstone in early roles.

 

 

The Film:

Part of the Quadrophenia’s appeal is its evocation of dank, gray England through muted tones and adept cinematography, and this new version is restored from the original negatives. Best of all, the Dolby A sound has been remastered — all the better for us to be pummeled by Pete Townshend’s percussive guitar and drowned in the roiling whitewash of Keith Moon’s drum fills.

But Daniels is the real star here. His accent is often unintelligible, but his presence, alternating between cocksure (when he’s around friends) and forlorn (when he’s by himself), speaks volumes. In this subculture of pills and Motown and beachside melees between Kinks fans and Gene Vincent fans, Daniels’s Jimmy stands out. Despite his doubts, we can see the real him.

Excerpt from Boston Pheonix located HERE

This film version of the Who's rock opera Quadrophenia makes a few tentative stabs at "explaining" the alienation of... 1960s British working-class youth, but its major selling point is its nonstop rock-and-R&B musical score, including the hit single "Love Reign O'er Me." Phil Daniels (replacing the original opera's Roger Daltrey) plays Jimmy, a member of a well-dressed, drugged-up teenaged gang called the Mods, forever duking it out with the cycle-punk Rockers. The rivalry between the two gangs comes to a head during three tempestuous days in the seaside town of Brighton. Here Jimmy makes love to lovely local Steph (Leslie Ash), and forges a strong friendship with unofficial Mod leader Ace Face (Sting). A series of disappointments and setbacks in his own London neighborhood convinces Jimmy to return to Brighton to pick up the pieces.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Quadrophenia looks highly impressive on Blu-ray from Criterion. Textured grain is prominent and establishes a strong image quality through the 1080P. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and while there are some imperfections present on the source with speckles and very light damage the contrast balances the visuals well. This is advertised as a 'New, restored digital transfer of the uncut version, supervised by cinematographer Brian Tufano, with the original 2.0 stereo soundtrack as well as an all-new 5.1 surround mix, supervised by the Who...'. There is no noise at all. Detail is solid and I can easily state that this is the best I have seen Quadrophenia look. Sweet.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Along with the original stereo track in a linear PCM transfer at 2304 kbps- there is a very cool DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3787 kbps that offers some boisterous separations. Aside from iconic classics from the Who like "Love Reign Over Me" and "My Generation" there is music from Manfred Mann, The Kingsmen, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and others that sounds wonderfully crisp and buoyant via both tracks. The surround has some subtleties and depth - the music is very impressive in lossless. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locjked.

 

Extras :

Great stack of supplements from Criterion including a new audio commentary featuring director Franc Roddam and DoP Brian Tufano. Lots of reminiscences and production detail. There is a new 13-minute interview with Bill Curbishley, the film’s co-producer and the Who’s co-manager as well as an 8-minute piece with the Who’s sound engineer, Bob Pridden, featuring a discussion of the new mix as well as a restoration demonstration. There is a 26-minute segment on the film from a 1979 episode of the BBC series Talking Pictures, featuring interviews and on-set footage and an 8.5-minute segment from a 1964 episode of the French news program Sept jours du monde, about mods and rockers as ell as a 1/2 1965 episode of the French youth-culture program, featuring early footage of the Who entitled Seize millions de jeunes: “Mods". There are trailers and a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Howard Hampton, a 1985 personal history by original mod Irish Jack, and Pete Townshend’s liner notes from the 1973 album.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Just brilliant. Quadrophenia holds a lot of nostalgia for me and the Blu-ray transfer is far better than I was anticipating. I almost felt like I was watching it for the first time when I have seen it at least a 1/2 dozen times on VHS, TV and a weak DVD from 2001. With the commentary and supplements this is a tremendous package to have on Blu-ray. Criterion have really given this the treatment it deserves. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

August 10th, 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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