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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle [Blu-ray]


(Curtis Hanson, 1992)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Hollywood Pictures

Video: Walt Disney Video



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

Runtime: 1:50:20.864 

Disc Size: 32,211,267,736 bytes

Feature Size: 28,728,803,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.58 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 4th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3544 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3544 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, none



Theatrical trailer (1:52)

Sneak Peeks





Description: Get ready for edge-of-your-seat excitement with the hit that rocked the nation! In this entertaining thriller, Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra -- THE HARD WAY, INTERNAL AFFAIRS) has the perfect life and family -- and exactly what Petyon Flanders (Rebecca De Mornay -- RISKY BUSINESS) desires desperately. But once Peyton deceptively becomes the Bartels' live-in housekeeper, how far will she really go when the life she wants belongs to someone else? From absorbing start to heart-stopping finish, this critically acclaimed winner delivers a lively mix of thrills, chills, and surprises equaling 100% fun!



The Film:

Claire (Sciorra), happily married and pregnant, is molested during a visit to her gynecologist. The ensuing investigation results in the doctor's suicide, thus causing his pregnant wife (De Mornay) to miscarry. De Mornay finds solace in an elaborate revenge which involves posing as a nanny and gaining employment with Claire in order to wreak havoc. Screenwriter Amanda Silver gleefully exploits parental fears, and skillfully depicts the shifting loyalties, malevolence and escalating paranoia within Claire's household.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle is director Curtis Hanson's suburban horror story of a demented nanny bent on revenge for past wrongs. Peyton (Rebecca De Mornay) was once a happily married woman, but when her doctor husband is accused of assaulting a patient and he commits suicide, her world falls apart and she plots revenge. Claire (Annabella Sciorra), the woman who made the accusation, hires Peyton as a nanny, not knowing of their past involvement. Peyton then proceeds to terrorize the family, attempts to seduce the husband and generally destroy Claire as she feels she has been destroyed. The film, while somewhat implausible, is saved by the strong performances of Sciorra and De Mornay. Rebecca De Mornay has not given such a good performance since Risky Business, and she manages to make Peyton both believable, frightening and sympathetic. De Mornay has many great moments, but the scene, where she slowly destroys a bathroom in her impotent rage is unbelievably powerful. Hanson, a superb director of thrillers, manages to bring all the elements together to make The Hand that Rocks the Cradle a frightening psychological thriller and an interesting look at a woman's obsessive hatred and envy

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle looks strong on Blu-ray from Disney.  Contrast isn't piercing but is consistent. The image quality shows excellent detail.  This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and the film is supported with a bit of texture and prevalent depth. Colors are passive but I have no reason to doubt this is how the film looked 20-years hence. Skin tones are true. Daylight scenes are the most impressive but nothing is overly dark and there is no noise present. This Blu-ray does a wonderful job of presenting the video portion of the film.
















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3544 kbps is a dynamic track stealthily supporting the film's suspense-building score from Graeme Revell. This lossless track can handle anything thrown at it from a crisp punch thrown by Sciorra at De Mornay to the more subtle moments of a family picnic. All good. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only a trailer and some 'Sneak Peeks' as supplements.



Hanson is a fairly crafty director + storyteller and this works exceedingly well as a deliberately-paced thriller. Even knowing what will happen - this can provide some suspense and bona-fide tension. The bare-bones Blu-ray does a great job providing an enjoyable late night in the Home Theater. 

Gary Tooze

September 3rd, 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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