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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Artist [Blu-ray]

 

(Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

 

Also Available:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: La Petite Reine

Video: Warner

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:40:28.105

Disc Size: 37,451,737,432 bytes

Feature Size: 26,397,333,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.61 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 14th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

Title Cards/text in French

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Michel Hazanavicius (in French)

The Making of... (33:23)

• Gallery of Photos (2:20)

• 'Betisier' (2:07)

• The Music - Orchestra of Flanders (15:40)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

 

 

The Film:

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."

Here is one of the most entertaining films in many a moon, a film that charms because of its story, its performances and because of the sly way it plays with being silent and black and white. "The Artist" knows you're aware it's silent and kids you about it. Not that it's entirely silent, of course; like all silent films were, it's accompanied by music. You know — like in a regular movie when nobody's talking?

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

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.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Despite being French-leaning (title cards etc.) - on this Blu-ray release - it couldn't have been simpler to follow and enjoy. There is a lot of pleasurable, amusing, viewing here. If it exposed the beauty and brilliance of silent era filmmaking - then it should be viewed as a positive to the general public. I wouldn't say this was a masterpiece - but simply a very good, fun, extremely entertaining film very much worth watching! 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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