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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Hudsucker Proxy [Blu-ray]
(Joel Coen, 1994)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures
Video: Warner Archive / Turbine (Germany)
Region: FREE!(both) (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:50:44.638 / 1:50:45.013
Disc Size: 22,823,029,983 bytes / 34,062,077,900 bytes
Feature Size: 22,099,709,952 bytes / 31,746,815,040 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.55 Mbps / 27.14 Mbps
Chapters: 37 / 23
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Steelbook case
Release date: February 26th, 2013 / December 21st, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1586 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1586 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 2094 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2094
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), none
German, English, none
•Trailer (4X3 - 1080P, 2:05)
Making of... (10:10)
Description: An ambitious but naive young man rapidly moves
up the corporate ladder from the mailroom to the executive
suite, unaware that he is part of the board of directors'
New Year's Eve, 1958, Norville Barnes (Robbins) climbs on to a window-ledge of the Hudsucker Industries skyscraper in snowy Manhattan. We flash back a month: company chairman Waring Hudsucker (Durning) shocks board members by plunging 45 floors to the sidewalk below - at the moment young Norville, a hayseed business graduate from Indiana, first enters the building to take a post in the mail room. Norville didn't, however, expect immediate promotion to company boss, a move plotted by vice-chairman Sidney Mussburger (Newman); with an idiot pawn in charge, stock will plummet and Sid can take over. Or he could, if only hard-bitten hack Amy Archer (Leigh) hadn't smelt a rat and gone undercover as Norville's secretary. Directed by Joel Coen, produced by Ethan Coen, and scripted by both brothers (plus Sam Raimi), this is a notably well-executed, very funny and very well-acted movie: a quirky, sardonic take on '50s faddishness, fame, power, friendship, character and ethics. A minor work, but confirmation of the Coens' position among America's most ambitious, able and exciting film-makers.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen concocted this stylish screwball comedic amalgam of Frank Capra and Howard Hawks. Tim Robbins stars as Norville Barnes, a dull-wit from Muncie, Indiana who wrangles a job with the big Hudsucker Industries. He has a singular idea for a new children's toy that he wants to present to corporate executive Sidney J. Mussberger (Paul Newman). As he makes his way up to Mussberger's office, the company president Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning) is on his way down -- through the window of the forty-fourth floor boardroom! Hudsucker's death sets off a panic that Mussberger sees as an opportunity for taking over the company -- by installing a total incompetent in Hudsucker's place and devaluing the stock. When Barnes stumbles into Mussberger's office, Mussberger sees his pigeon and appoints Barnes as the new company president. The only problem is that the new product Barnes proposes for the company, the Hula Hoop, turns out to be a tremendous success, and Mussberger has difficulty manipulating his new corporate president.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Hudsucker Proxy appears pretty solid on Blu-ray from The Warner Archive. The 1.78:1 image detail advances over, the often pale, SD. This is only single-layered but has a decent bitrate. Colors seem tight and contrast exhibits consistently strong black levels. I see no signs of manipulation and it is an impressive representation of the theatrical with the help of a well-maintained, damage free, source. There are plenty of examples of depth. This Blu-ray has pleasingly sharp visuals for the varied use of lighting and cinematography (Deakins). This holds up well - and seems to be a positive for future Warner Archive Blu-ray releases.
It looks like the Turbine have improved upon the image quality - a higher bitrate on a dual-layered disc and it looks negligibly superior with warmer skin tones and slightly tighter visuals. It's not a massive increase but it is there.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1586 kbps. The film's score is from frequent Coen collaborator, Carter Burwell (A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski) and is supported nicely by the lossless rendering with key moments of the film highlighted by the crispness of the orchestrals. The Hudsucker Proxy has addition music with Duke Ellington's "Flying Home" and "In A Sentimental Mood" as well as Bizet's "Carmen" and Boccherini's "Minuet (String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5, G 275)" all benefiting from the uncompressed transfer with solid depth. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The Turbine has original English in both 2.0 or 5.1 surround via DTS-HD Masters tracks and a handful of German DUBs. These are 16-bit as opposed to Warner's 24-bit. The music (noted above) still sounds great and there are a few deft separations in the 5.1 options - although nothing of a discrete nature. It offers both English (in a less bold font - see above) and German subtitles. The Turbine is also Region FREE.
The only supplement is a trailer.
This is where Turbine makes some the most obvious improvements. There is a making of, short interviews with Joel and Ethan Coen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Tim Robbins etc. and some trailers and teasers. Some will find the steelbook case very appealing.
Warner Archive - Region FREE Blu-ray
Turbine (DE) - Region FREE Blu-ray
Overall. the Turbine Steel Collection package is superior. At the writing of this review Warner Archive are having a terrific 4 for $44 sale that is very enticing. Serious fans will want the German steelbook with the superior transfer and extras. It's a bonus being region FREE too.
March 26th, 2013
January 5th, 2019