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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Island of Dr. Moreau [Blu-ray]

 

(John Frankenheimer , 1996)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: New Line Cinema

Video: New Line Home Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:40:30.065

Disc Size: 24,288,066,791 bytes

Feature Size: 123,453,011,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.95 Mbps

Chapters: 25

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 24th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4278 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4278 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish , none

 

Extras:

• Behind the Scenes Featurette (5:43 in 480i)

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:59 in 480i)

• International Trailer (1:08 in 480i)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Val Kilmer and Academy Award winner Marlon Brando star in this fantastic sci-fi thriller. Dr. Moreau uses the key of science to turn animal life forms into human-like beasts who threaten not only Moreau's island laboratory, but ultimately all mankind!

 

 

The Film:

John Frankenheimer's nasty new screen version of ''The Island of Dr. Moreau'' brings fur-bearing special effects to H. G. Wells's century-old novel about a mad scientist melding humans and animals on a remote island. Talk about out-of-control experiments: the film combines the subversive high jinks of Val Kilmer, playing a jaded young scientist in full Lizard King mode, with those of Marlon Brando. Mr. Brando's performance will be deemed interestingly audacious only by those who found ''Apocalypse Now'' too sane.

Excerpt from Janet Maslin of the NY Times located HERE

On a remote tropical island, Dr. Moreau has appointed himself ruler over a menagerie of genetic mutants fashioned in his gene-splicing chamber of horrors. The products of his misguided attempt to create a more "pure" human species, the man-beasts worship Moreau as their god and "father" and live by his code of law -- a code rigidly enforced by radio-operated implants in their bodies capable of inflicting pain and death. Into this surreal nightmare arrives UN negotiator Edward Douglas (David Thewlis), the sole survivor of an airplane crash. Douglas is brought ashore on Moreau's island -- against his better judgment -- by the doctor's insane, drug-addled assistant, Montgomery (Val Kilmer), and eventually becomes a prisoner. Horrified by the doctor's monstrous experiments and afraid for his own life, Douglas seeks the aid of Moreau's lovely daughter, Aissa (Fairuza Balk), in escaping the island, but is foiled at every turn by Montgomery and his armed man-beast lackeys. Eventually, the creatures discover the existence of their electronic implants and remove them, providing the opportunity for an armed rebellion -- but eventual regression into their original animal state causes their revolt to collapse into anarchy.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

The Island of Dr. Moreau goes Blu-ray from New Line. This is only single-layered with a mid-tier bitrate and the image doesn't overly impress. Jungle colors and tight detail close-ups look 1080P. Contrast exhibits decent black levels. Daylight scenes dominate but there is some noise on the night shots. This Blu-ray can look a shade glossy but I discount any manipulation as I doubt the film was worth the effort.  This look good but I wouldn't say great. It's probably a fair representation of the theatrical. You can't really ask for more.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

There is a very proficient track in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 4278 kbps. Separation has its moments and the depth is chilling at times. There are no flaws - this track evenly supports in all areas from aggressive snarls, crackling fires, punchy gunfire to the tension-filled soundtrack. All good. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Taken from the last DVD (and still in 480i) we get the 5-minute Behind the Scenes featurette which has Kilmer discussing his experience of making the film. There are also 2 SD trailers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This modern take on Island of Lost Souls is undeniably creepy with disgusting graphic images of the Mengele-like experiments in full tasteless glory. Brando establishes himself quite easily as the head creep and teapot despot... and the adventure falls into place.  The island escape attempts have elements of The Most Dangerous Game to boot. The Blu-ray does its job but I wouldn't pay more than $15 for this unless you are very keen. Luckily the price tag is under that for Pre-order. I think most know what to expect.

Gary Tooze

July 18th, 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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