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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Revolution 'The Director's Cut' [Blu-ray]


(Hugh Hudson, 1985)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Goldcrest Films International / Warner

Video: BFI


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

Runtime: 1:55:32 Theatrical 2:06:32.751 in 1080P

Disc Size: 44,915,421,136 bytes

Feature Size: 34,001,824,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.96 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 18th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1390 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1390 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English (SDH), none



• Hugh Hudson on Revolution (12:27)
• Theatrical Cut of the film - 2:06:32.751 in 1080P

DVD (with possible further extras) included of the Director's Cut





Description: Al Pacino heads a stellar cast (Nastassja Kinski, Donald Sutherland, Richard O'Brien, Joan Plowright, and Annie Lennox) in this powerful and unsentimental depiction of the American War on Independence

Epic in scale and execution, Hugh Hudson's (Chariots of Fire) film follows the fortunes of single father Tom Dobb (played with dogged resilience by Al Pacino) as he fights to protect his only son against the violent course of History. Superb performances, breathtaking set pieces and a poignant score by John Corigliano combine to produce an uncompromising evocation of the chaos and squalor of war.


This period drama about the American Revolution has an overlay of rhetoric that thwarts the action, flattening out the... story about a man and his loved ones caught up in the events of the time. Tom Dobb (Al Pacino) falls in love with Daisy McConnahay (Nastassja Kinski), an aristocrat who deserts her class to fight alongside the rebels. Tom teaches his son Ned (Dexter Fletcher) everything he needs to learn, though the growing rebellion consumes most of his attention. Eventually, the Redcoats are mowed down in large battle scenes, as the ragtag Colonialists go to war.



The Film:

An almost inconceivable disaster which tries for a worm's eye view of the American Revolution, the worm in question being Pacino as a son of the good earth who is pushed into the fight by the taunts of Kinski and motivated by the sadism of British sergeant Sutherland. Maybe the original script had a shape and a grasp of events. If so, it has gone. There has clearly been drastic cutting, and nothing is left but a cortege of fragments and mismatched cuts. It's also the first 70 mm movie that looks as if it was shot hand-held on 16 mm and blown up for the big screen. Director? I didn't catch the credit. Was there one?

Excerpt from the TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

In fact, ''Revolution'' is about the American War of Independence. It's also a mess, but one that's so giddily misguided that it's sometimes a good deal of fun for all of the wrong reasons. Characters who have met briefly early in the film later stage hugely emotional, tearful reconciliations. In the seven or so years covered by the story, one little boy grows up to look like the actor who played the best friend he had when he was 14.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

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

Revolution is offered by BFI in both the theatrical and 11-minute shorter Director's Cut version in 1080P. The cuts are seamlessly branched so quality of the two version is on par. We have a lot of hand-held gyrations and a grain-filled appearance with Revolution. I think it looks okay - I like the texture.  This is only single-layered and one of the earlier classic brought to hi-def disc. Colors seem tighter and truer than SD could relate and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. The film is almost exclusively naturally lit and the visuals benefit showcasing some occasional depth. This dual-layered Blu-ray looks solid without digital manipulation of the Warner print.
















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1390 kbps isn't too shabby handling the battle sequences quite well. It won't blow your widows out but the depth may rattle a few floorboards. Separation has mostly modest movement to the rear speakers. The original score by John Corigliano sounds very crisp. BFI add optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Aside from the 2-hour 6-minute theatrical cut of the film in HD we get a a video piece with Hugh Hudson discussing Revolution for about a dozen minutes. Being dual-format a DVD of the DC feature is included.



Admittedly the 'theatrical cut' is a joke on us - swaths of the film were disjointed and it, generally, lacks any cohesive composure. But even the shorter 'Director's Cut' doesn't seem to work in any significant sense either. I love Pacino - but not in Revolution. Would the, hinted, Gere have been a better choice? I don't know.  There were some impressive sequences - but overall the film seems missing some vital ingredients and bites off for more than it can chew with the vastness of the topic. The BFI Blu-ray does its job and adding the theatrical and DC add an anomaly-factor to its place in cinema. 

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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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