S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal Pictures
Video: Universal Home Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,107,784,653 bytes
Feature Size: 36,092,479,488 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.99 Mbps
Case: Custom Bookstyle case
Release date: October 29th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1967 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1967 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), Spanish, none
•The Trouble with Marnie (58:26)
• The Marnie Archives (9:01)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:44)
My Scenes bookmarkable
Description: Universally recognized as the Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of cinema’s most thrilling and unforgettable classics. Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more. Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Kim Novak, this definitive collection showcases a true cinematic master at his best. Featuring over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.
You could call this one Hoot Along with Hitch. With the possible exceptions of Topaz and Family Plot, this is Hitchcock's cheesiest movie, visually and psychologically crass in comparison with a peak achievement like Vertigo--although it shares some of that film's characteristic obsessive themes. Sean Connery, fresh from the second Bond picture, From Russia with Love, is a Philadelphia playboy who begins to fall for Tippi Hedren's blonde ice goddess only when he realizes that she's a professional thief; she's come to work in his upper-crust insurance office in order to embezzle mass quantities.Excerpt from David Chute located HERE
Condemned as being a "disappointing" and "unworthy" Alfred Hitchcock effort at the time of its release, Marnie has since grown in stature; it is still considered a lesser Hitchcock, but a fascinating one. Tippi Hedren plays Marnie, a compulsive thief who cannot stand to be touched by any man. She also goes bonkers over the sight of the color red. Her new boss, Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) is intrigued by Marnie -- to such an extent that he blackmails her into marriage when he stumbles onto her breaking into his safe. Rutland is in his own way as "sick" as his wife because of his fetishist desire to cohabit with a thief. After innumerable plot twists and turns, Marnie is "cured" by a facile but mesmerizing flashback sequence involving her ex-hooker mother (Louise Latham).Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Often criticised for its lack of suspense - a quality that underlines its similarity to Vertigo - this is neither thriller nor psychodrama, even though it deals with wealthy Connery's marriage to frigid, kleptomaniac Hedren. Rather, it's a perverse romance (from a novel by Winston Graham) which seeks less to explain its eponymous heroine's 'problems' than to examine a relationship based upon extraordinary motivations: Connery, in deciding to marry the woman who has stolen from him and betrayed his trust, is clearly as emotionally confused and unfulfilled as the woman whose mind and past he attempts to investigate. As such, it's as sour a vision of male-female interaction as Vertigo, though far less bleak and universal in its implications. That said, it's still thrilling to watch, lush, cool and oddly moving.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I can now appreciate what Nick Wrigley was referring to about the Universal Marnie Blu-ray image quality when he said "...'snow' which gives the effect of an old analogue TV set during stormy weather." One of the qualities of 1080P over SD is that it exemplifies visual features - as we have shown with comparisons in the past - this can include damage marks as well as detail - pluses and minuses. Nick is right - this does look rather odd in the higher resolution but the same phenomenon was present on the Marnie transfer of the 2005 Masterpiece Collection DVD. It was just less noticeable and we have linked the below SD images to full 960 pixel wide scale to make it more visible. Click on both Blu-ray and DVD captures of Marnie Edgar (Tippi Hedren) walking in the train station with her yellow purse. In the sky and the platform you can see in both full resolution HD and SD captures a blotchy texture almost like peering through wide shifting gauze or small transparent cloud formations coating the screen. If you consider it grain (I don't) then it looks similar to how a 16mm expanded to 1080P might look. So, I don't think it is the fault of the 2012 Blu-ray transfer - it was there on digital before... but less obvious. It might very well be deterioration of the print - that is what it looks like to me. Thankfully, it's less-prevalent in some scenes than others. Unless a superior print exists - this may be the best we get. For more discerning viewers it may be a distraction. This is dual-layered with a substantial bitrate, colors improve, flesh tones generally cool to a more natural state and detail rises. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast is also improved over SD. They are minor examples of depth. It is obviously not be the strongest replication of theatrical - it is surely imperfect. The thickness and what we will refer to as prevalent 'snow' on the Blu-ray image is unfortunate but probably nothing Universal can correct at this stage.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and DVD CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL RESOLUTION
Masterpiece 2005 DVD TOP vs. 2012 Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM
Masterpiece 2005 DVD TOP vs. 2012 Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM
What has become standard for much of the set we get a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at a healthy 1967 kbps. Herrmann's score is more restrained - still filled with emotion - and sounding perfect in lossless. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
We still get Laurent Bouzereau's excellent 2000 documentary The Trouble with Marnie. It has interviews with 'Tippi' Hedren, Diane Baker, and Louise Latham, daughter Pat Hitchcock O'Connell, production designer Robert Boyle, makeup artist Howard Smit, the late Robin Wood, Bogdanovich and more. There are also the 9-minute slideshow of The Marnie Archives posters, behind-the-scenes etc., a lengthy theatrical trailer and the Blu-ray disc is bookmarkable via the My Scenes features.
October 20th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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