S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(James W. Horne , 1927)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Joseph M. Schenck Productions (A United Artists Production)
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 27,974,025,209 bytes
Feature Size: 18,117,793,152 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.91 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 5th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
•Audio commentary by film historian Rob Farr, founder of Slapsticon
• Visual EssayTour of Filming Locations (9:55)
• The Scribe (1966 industrial short that was Keaton's final filmed performance 29:29)
Description: Buster Keaton goes back to school and stages a hilarious send-up of university life in College. Keaton stars as Ronald, an idealistic freshman who attends Clayton College in pursuit of higher learning, but finds himself instead embroiled in a war of athletics as he fights for the heart of his beloved coed, Mary (Anne Cornwall). More than he had in any other feature, Keaton stretched the boundaries of solo physical comedy. In a series of unforgettable vignettes, stone-faced Ronald tries his hand as a baseball player, soda jerk, waiter, coxswain, and track star, performing each task with a steady determination but with consistently disastrous results. These scenes are especially amazing because in demonstrating Ronald's athletic inadequacies, Keaton reveals a surprising degree of physical prowess and finesse, particularly during the film's exhilarating climax.
Minor Keaton but major almost any other comedian, and notably better than Harold Lloyd's The Freshman, whose plot it borrows, with bookworm Buster trying to prove himself a jock to win the girl. There is a marvellous sequence in which he apes - perfectly but disastrously - the tricks of a veteran soda-jerk; an even better one in which he attempts a decathlon of sporting events, but knocks down every single hurdle with metronomic precision, is thrown by the hammer instead of the other way round, etc. Rarely was Keaton's grace and athletic skill demonstrated so clearly, even if he (understandably) had to get a double to perform the great pole vault through a window to rescue the heroine from assault by her jock admirer.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
The silent comedy feature College stars Buster Keaton as a scholarly young man who doesn't know beans about sports. When he arrives in college, Buster finds that all the Big Men on Campus are jocks. To impress pretty coed Anne Cornwall, Buster tries and fails to join all the school teams. Even when he attempts to take a job at the campus soda fountain, Buster is a washout. Through the kindness of dean Snitz Edwards, Keaton is placed on the varsity rowing team where, despite several clumsy moments, he manages to win the big race. This infuriates his athletic rival Harold Goodwin, who seizes Cornwall and runs off with her. In racing to her rescue, Buster is compelled to repeat all the sports activities at which he'd previously failed--and does so, magnificently. He bursts into Goodwin's dorm room and saves Cornwall from the usual worse-than-death fate. Hero and heroine kiss--at which point this lighthearted film takes a sudden, chilling turn. As always, Buster Keaton performs his own stunts in College, except for the pole-vaulting bit, which was accomplished by Olympic champ Lee Barnes.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
College appears quite solid on Blu-ray from Kino. The image quality has the acceptable speckles and light scratch damage - notable is a horizontal line, near the bottom of the frame, running through most of the first 1/4 of the feature. This sneaks into dual-layered territory and the bitrate is strong. Certain sequences, where the source is les hampered, are quite impressive. I can't see many complaining about this 1080P transfer - and it is quite an improvement over SD.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is in the form of a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps. The John Muri, vintage organ-based score supports the film well.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.
Supplements include an informative audio commentary by film historian Rob Farr, founder of Slapsticon, a 10-minute visual essay Tour of Filming Locations and, oddly, The Scribe - a 1/2 hour 1966 Canadian industrial short that was Keaton's final filmed performance. The commentary is certainly the highlight and gives the package additional value.
February 23rd, 2013
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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