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The Artist [Blu-ray]
(Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: La Petite Reine
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 37,451,737,432 bytes
Feature Size: 26,397,333,504 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.61 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 14th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1831 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1831 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 862 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 862 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS Audio French 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Title Cards/text in French
• Commentary bydirector Michel Hazanavicius (in French)
•The Making of... (33:23)
• Gallery of Photos (2:20)
• 'Betisier' (2:07)
• The Music - Orchestra of Flanders (15:40)
Description: Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky's the limit - major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies.
Michel Hazanavicius' stylistically daring, dialogue free comedy The Artist stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a... matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of the talkies. His marriage is far from perfect, and one day he meets ambitious chorus girl Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) and is smitten. Very quickly, sound comes to movies, and George sinks all his money into one epic silent film, while Peppy becomes a star in the new era. John Goodman co-stars as the head of the film studio. The Artist played at both the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Brilliantly directed and superbly written, this is an utterly delightful, wonderfully inventive and frequently hilarious silent comedy that stands as a joyous, knowing tribute to classic silent cinema and features a trio of terrific performances from Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo and Uggy the dog.Excerpt from Matthew Turner at ViewLondon located HERE
Is it possible to forget that "The Artist" is a silent film in
black and white, and simply focus on it as a movie? No? That's what
people seem to zero in on. They cannot imagine themselves seeing such a
thing. At a sneak preview screening here, a few audience members
actually walked out, saying they didn't like silent films. I was
reminded of the time a reader called me to ask about an Ingmar Bergman
film. "I think it's the best film of the year," I said. "Oh," she said,
"that doesn't sound like anything we'd like to see."
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, this is the Warner French Blu-ray version of The Artist. I don't expect that the a/v transfer will differ greatly from the upcoming US 1080P release. WE probably won't bother comparing to the Sony - unless there is a huge disparity in the technicals. The film's visual intent was to replicate a the softer appearance of cinema from the silent era - not simply look like a modern black and white film. This was achieved with a smoky paler contrast style - as well as the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the title font etc. I think it looks very authentic and quite endearing. This is a dual-layered Blu-ray with a high bitrate. Detail is strong but there is some noise. Overall, I expect this replicates the filmmakers intent extremely well.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
While the film has no dialogue there is certainly music - and is offered in the choice of a reasonably buoyant DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1831 kbps or a lossless, and less dynamic, 2.0 channel stereo. The surround was very full and sharp with solid high ends and some depth. There are no subtitles per-se (except in one sequence) but the infrequent title cards and text (notes) are in the French language.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Supplements provide a commentary by director Michel Hazanavicius (in French), a half-hour Making of... , a Gallery of Photos, 'Betisier' runs 2-minutes and appears to be a deleted scene and there is a piece on The Music - Orchestra of Flanders running 15-minutes.
June 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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