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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Life of Pi [Blu-ray]


(Ang Lee, 2012)





Also available in 3D Blu-ray versions:





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Fox 2000 Pictures

Video: 20th Century Fox



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

Runtime: 2:06:59.611

Disc Size: 49,419,921,763 bytes

Feature Size: 34,952,484,864 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.08 Mbps

Chapters: 28

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 12th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4702 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4702 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1-ES / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Turkish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps



English (SDH), Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungaria, Icelandic, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, none



• A Filmmakers Epic Journey (4-Part - 1:03:29)

• A Remarkable Vision (19:35)

• Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright (8:35)

• Gallery (7:23)

• 7 Storyboards (12:24)

Second Disc DVD and Digital Copy (Film Only)





Description: Embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this visual masterpiece from Oscarr winner Ang Lee*, based on the best-selling novel. After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with the only other survivor - a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey that must be seen to be believed.


Yann Martel's ponderous adventure novel gets the big-screen treatment with this Fox 2000 adaptation helmed by director Ang Lee. The coming-of-age story surrounds the son of a zookeeper who survives a shipwreck by stowing away on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger by the name of Richard Parker. Suraj Sharma heads up the cast as the young boy, with Gérard Depardieu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, Tobey Maguire, and Bollywood actress Tabu .



The Film:

It unfolds in a setting that is one of the great achievements of digital cinema, and a reminder that the eclectic Mr. Lee is, among other things, an exuberant and inventive visual artist. (In this respect it is an apt companion to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” speaking of tigers.) There are images in “Life of Pi” that are so beautiful, so surprising, so right that I hesitate to describe them. Suffice it to say that the simple, elemental facts of sky, sea and animal life are captured with sweetness and sublimity.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Every once in a long while, the right director comes across the right project at just the right moment, and things so often discordant fall into perfect harmony. The director has mastered the shiny technology the story needs – without that mastery, the book could never make the transition from page to screen. Just as important, the story offers the director the deeper themes he craves – without such depth, the film could never make its own leap from entertainment to art. When this happens, this rare confluence, the cinematic bar seems to wiggle free from its fixed notch. And the bar gets raised, along with our spirits, because we’re reminded of how joyous movie-watching can be, the sheer and transporting wonder.

So it is with Ang Lee and Life of Pi.

Yann Martel’s Booker-winning novel is itself a clever confluence of many elements: It’s a ripping lost-at-sea yarn; it’s a Kipling-esque fable about a boy and a tiger; it’s a tragic insurance report; it’s a meditation on reason versus religion, psychology versus myth; and it’s a story about the nature of storytelling, an exercise in magic realism where the magic competes with the realism over the question of belief. That’s a whole lot for one book and, you would think, way too much for one movie. Yet here’s the marvel: Lee doesn’t just capture the novel; he enhances it.

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail located HERE

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

Life of Pi looks fabulous on Blu-ray from Fox. The 2-hour film is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. Contrast and colors are pristine with no post-manipulation.  My only concern was the extensive CGI - which is virtually seamless, even, in the 1080P resolution. Contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels bringing out detail and there are many sequences exhibiting true depth. There is zero noise and this Blu-ray offers a wonderful video replication of the spectacular visuals of the 2D theatrical film experience.


















Audio :

The audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a whopping 4702 kbps. This is a strong part of the film experience with crisp separations establishing aura and many subtleties giving presence. It often seems restrained but can handle the film's moods brilliantly. The original score is by the excellent Mychael Danna who has done a variety of films from Lakeview Terrace to Little Miss Sunshine. This music runs peacefully through much of the background surprisingly erupting with rich bass and intense moments of depth. There are multiple DUBs and subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

There are quite a lot of extras starting with the 4-part hour long video documentary A Filmmakers Epic Journey with director Ang Lee and production crew giving information on the film's evolution and detailed work behind the scenes. A Remarkable Vision runs 20-minutes with visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer and others guiding us through the film's appearance with behind the scenes look at the visual process utilized. Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright runs 8 1/2 minutes on the CGI and effects behind the sequences with the tiger and there is a Gallery - Art by Joanna Bush, Haan Lee, Dawn Masi and Alexis Rockman - and 7 Storyboards with optional click-thru (manual) or auto-advance. The package has a second disc DVD with digital copy code (film only.)



My expectations were high for the film as it grossed over 1/2 a Billion worldwide. I can see why - what a fantastic film experience - not limited to kids at all. Adults can also indulge and find a rewarding, warm adventure focusing on survival and the strength of human spirit. The Blu-ray provides a stellar Home Theatre presentation with ample supplements for fans to indulge in. This is a must-own addition to digital libraries. Brilliant! 

Gary Tooze

March 1st, 2013




Also available in 3D Blu-ray versions:





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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