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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Cujo [Blu-ray]

 

(Lewis Teague, 1983)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Sunn Classic Pictures

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:33:08.583

Disc Size: 19,054,565,649 bytes

Feature Size: 18,990,127,104 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 830 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 830 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 900 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 900 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• New Commentary by director Lewis Teague

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Based on the Stephen King's terrifying novel - A lovable St. Bernard becomes rabid and terrorizes a small community. In rural Maine, married couple (Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh-Kelly) struggle to repair their crumbling marriage, while their young son (Danny Pintauro) befriends the hulking, but lovable St. Bernard owned by the town's mechanic (Ed Lauter). With her husband out of town, she and her son take their decrepit car for repairs at the mechanic's remote farmhouse. As the aging Pinto sputters, stops and dies, Cujo appears. The once docile dog has undergone a hideous transformation - and has become a demonic, impeccable killer possessed of an almost supernatural strength and unholy cunning. Lewis Teague (Cat's Eye) directed this critically acclaimed spine-chilling tour-de-force.

 

 

The Film:

This adaptation on a modest budget from Stephen King's bestseller about a rabid St Bernard is a pleasing illustration of the filmic simplicity at the heart of King's better writing. Any old pulp writer can trap heroine and child in a broken-down car menaced by a vicious dog, but it takes a King to spot the enormous advantage of keeping them there for two-thirds of the book. Fortunately Teague follows his lead, making considerable visual and narrative mileage out of the struggle between dog and car, as his actors scream and cry their way through the movie with commendably little shame. But for all its ingenuity, Cujo does lose an awful lot of ground from the fact that rabid St Bernards tend to evoke pity rather than terror. Perhaps that explains why the film's US earnings would buy few dog biscuits.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Based on a Stephen King novel, Cujo is not as menacing or as frightening as other film adaptations of King's popular... stories and especially cannot compare to the 1976 Carrie. Cujo is a happy St. Bernard until he is bitten on the nose by a rabid bat and slowly begins manifesting the symptoms of his fatal illness. His condition deteriorates as he attacks people again and again, until finally, mom Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her son Tad (Danny Pintauro) are trapped inside the family car with Cujo lurking nearby, set to kill them any way he can. A showdown is inevitable but is as predictable as the rest of the film.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Cujo gets a typical Olive Blu-ray transfer - a single-layered bare-bones disc (although this does sport a brand new commentary) with a modest, but acceptable file size and bitrate. Aside from being a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (presumably opened-up from 1.85:1) this looks like a straight rendering - the image is reasonably clean and bright, no excess gloss and has a bit of depth here and there. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. It looks solid and as good as this film with likely get.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive stay authentic and modest with a DTS-HD Master mono track at a puny 830 kbps. Charles Bernstein's original music stays the course with some intensity and jolting suspense but the track doesn't go heavy on the bass. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Nice of Olive to include a new, 2012, commentary from director Lewis Teague. He is regarded as an extremely efficient and underrated director and has done mostly TV work in the past 20 years. I appreciate the opportunity to hear his thoughts on Cujo, the production and evolution of the film.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Cujo isn't so bad. Credit is deserved for taking a far fetched premise and bringing it to the screen without eroding the precarious base of a suspension of disbelief. It manages to stay 'real' - a difficult task for a horror although the tension is the strongest element with effects gimmickry taking a backseat. It still has the 80's feel - but in a healthy, nostalgic, way. The Blu-ray gives a pretty good presentation and the commentary addition gives it further value. Yes - we recommend! 

Gary Tooze

January 15th, 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.

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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