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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Moonrise Kingdom [Blu-ray]

 

(Wes Anderson, 2012)

 

     

     

Reissued in the US on Blu-ray on May 26th, 2015:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Indian Paintbrush

Video: Universal / Criterion Collection - Spine # 776

 

Disc:

Region: FREE / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:33:47.663 / 1:34:01.677

Disc Size: 33,352,971,486 bytes / 32,291,578,293 bytes

Feature Size: 28,001,593,344 bytes / 21,407,262,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.24 Mbps / 25.00 Mbps

Chapters: 20 / 25

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: 2012 / September 22nd, 2015

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3598 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3598 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

DTS Audio Portuguese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DVS (Descriptive Video Service): Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3504 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3504 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Portuguese, Spanish, none

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Featurette: A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom (3:07)

Welcome to the Island of New Penzance (Murray, Willis, Norton, Anderson - 6:11)

Set Tour With Bill Murray (3:09)

 

Audio commentary featuring Anderson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola
Selected-scene storyboard animatics and Narrator Tests (Opening Sequence, Church Flashbacks, The Island of New Penzance, The Island of St Jack Wood - 8:39 in total)
Exploring the Set of “Moonrise Kingdom,” an original documentary about the film (17:11)
11 iPhone Videos by Edward Norton home movies from the set, with introduction (20:47)
Auditions (4:34) / Miniatures (1:38)

Welcome to New Penzance (4:01)

Benjamin Britten's "Noye's Fludde" (2:59)

Animated Books (4:15)

Cousin Ben (2:03)

Set Tour With Bill Murray (2:59)
Trailer (1:52)
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a selection of commentary from young writers, along with a map of New Penzance Island and other ephemera

 

Bitrates:

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Description: An island off the New England coast, summer of 1965. Two twelve-year-olds, Sam and Suzy, fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As local authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing offshore . . . Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom stars Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the young couple on the run, Bruce Willis as Island Police Captain Sharp, Edward Norton as Khaki Scout troop leader Scout Master Ward, and Bill Murray and Frances McDormand as Suzy’s attorney parents, Walt and Laura Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban. The magical soundtrack features the music of Benjamin Britten.

***

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore - and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff, Captain Sharp. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader, Scout Master Ward. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Bob Balaban; and introduces Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, the boy and girl.

***

Director/co-writer Wes Anderson teams with screenwriter Roman Coppola for this period comedy drama set in the 1960s, and following a pair of young lovers (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) from an island off the New England coast as they head for the hills and throw their small town into a frenzy. Bruce Willis co-stars alongside Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Frances McDormand.

 

 

The Film:

This is an adult film, really, of course, with all the pleasures of seeing Bruce Willis as a soft-hearted local cop; briefly encountering Tilda Swinton as a uniformed care worker called Social Services; lapping up the ample Hank Williams on the soundtrack; and squirming at a school production of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noye’s Fludde’. But you can imagine ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ turning young kids on to cinema; it’s so full of a joyous love for the medium and smart without being clever-clever. Its childishness, sense of innocence and eye for fun all make it a very easy film to love.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Moonrise Kingdom also recalls Anderson’s previous film, the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox. The humans act like the chatty beasts of Mr. Fox, dressing up in animal costumes, and sport a familiar badger’s face for the Khaki Scouts troop logo.

Another touchstone could be the paintings of Nova Scotia’s Alex Colville — particularly the famous 1965 one called To Prince Edward Island, that shows a stern woman peering through binoculars, as Suzy is wont to do: “It helps me to see things closer,” she says.

Well-received at the recent Cannes Film Festival, where it was the gala opener, Moonrise Kingdom is a literate, knowing and sweet-hearted reverie about adolescence. It presents 1960s youth rebellion as only Wes Anderson can.

Anderson describes it as the closest thing to an autobiographical film amongst his seven features. He’s dedicated the film to his girlfriend, a writer named Juman Malouf.

Excerpt from The Toronto Star located HERE

 

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

Firstly, this is the UK edition that I am reviewing, but from what I have been able to ascertain - the transfer is pretty much the same for the other Blu-ray releases with differences in subtitle and DUB options varying for the country selling the package. This UK Universal region FREE Blu-ray may be the least expensive when factoring in currency exchange. Moonrise Kingdom's Blu-ray transfer is, like the film, bathed in golden yellows. It seems frequently dark cast - like a rainy day on the island.  It is a dual-layered rendering with s strong bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. The dulled pastels are intentional and fairly consistent throughout. The 1080P supports solid contrast with some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing the filmmakers style and impressive art direction. This looks exactly like the theatrical version of the film and this Universal Blu-ray provides an excellent presentation.

 

The Criterion is advertised as a "Restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson". As far as my eye and software extend - it looks almost exactly the same as the previous Universal. It remains 'bathed in golden yellows' mimicking the theatrical appearance. The Criterion is less technically robust than the Universal but I can't ascertain any difference in the visuals.   

 

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

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

As well as the original score by Alexandre Desplat, we get a host of music by Benjamin Britten with some Schubert, Mozart and a couple of Hank Williams pieces thrown-in. All sound wonderful via the DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a strong 3598 kbps. It handles all the film's audio track effects that are exported. Some of the orchestral pieces have brilliant resonating string sections - that are notable. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Like the video, the audio is exactly the same, equally as strong, on the Criterion - a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a strong 3504 kbps. It sounds just as strong (see above) and there are optional English subtitles - but the Criterion Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Supplements are a little lean but what is here is enjoyable including a 3-minute Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom which is a little more than an extended trailer. The 'Welcome to the Island of New Penzance' is essentially the same piece 4 times - focusing a different cast/crew (Murray, Willis, Norton, Anderson). It total it runs over 6-minutes. Lastly, there is an amusing Set Tour With Bill Murray - with his own brand of deadpan-delivered humor - lasting 3-minutes.

 

This is what separates the releases. It starts with a new (2015) audio commentary featuring Anderson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola - lots of fun and fairly detailed on the production although some of the communication appears to be over the phone lines (Schwartzman). An excellent new addition for those who loved the film. There are 8.5-minutes worth of selected-scene storyboard animatics and Narrator Tests (Opening Sequence, Church Flashbacks, The Island of New Penzance, The Island of St Jack Wood) plus the 17-minute exploring the set of “Moonrise Kingdom” original documentary about the film. Amusing are 11 iPhone Videos by Edward Norton home movies from the set, with introduction. They run over 20-minutes in total. I also enjoyed the 5-minutes worth of Auditions. Included are a short piece on some of the Miniatures used in the film and a Welcome to New Penzance mock-advert. We get to hear Benjamin Britten's "Noye's Fludde" (one-act opera largely intended for amateur performers, particularly childre) lasting 3-minutes and other short videos on Animated Books, Cousin Ben, a Set Tour With Bill Murray (as also found on the Universal BD), a trailer and the Criterion package has a liner notes booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a selection of commentary from young writers, along with a map of New Penzance Island and other ephemera. 

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a masterpiece - one of my favorite films of the year. It seems like Wes Anderson just continues to improve as a film-maker. I found Fantastic Mr. Fox equally as brilliant with fabulous replay value. The Blu-ray does its job in exporting an accurate a/v for the film - and we give this a very strong recommendation. Let's hope Wes continues for 30 more years making gems like this!

 

I adore Moonrise Kingdom and being one who can't get enough - thoroughly enjoyed the Criterion commentary and mini-extras (notable the 'Auditions'). Wes Anderson is definitely one of the best living American filmmakers. This film will be looked at in the future as the masterpiece it is. I will cherish this Criterion package and for those who have not seen the film, or are as 'ga ga' about it as I am, the Criterion is definitely the way to go. I am thrilled they released this.  

Gary Tooze

December 17th, 2012

August 25th, 2015

     

     

Reissued in the US on Blu-ray on May 26th, 2015:

 

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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