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Sometimes a Great Notion [Blu-ray]
(Paul Newman, 1970)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal Pictures
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,740,333,950 bytes
Feature Size: 22,531,694,592 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.22 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 18th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1579 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1579 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
Description: Paul Newman makes his directorial debut in the sweeping saga Sometimes a Great Notion. Based on the best-selling novel from author and icon Ken Kesey (his follow-up to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), the story focuses on a two-fisted Oregon family that bucks their close-knit timber community to deliver a shipment of logs in defiance of a strike. In the process, one man is killed, the family patriarch Henry (Henry Fonda) is injured, and the eldest son Hank (Paul Newman) almost loses his wife (Lee Remick) to his half brother (Michael Sarrazin). Filled with complex characters and issues that still resonate today, Sometimes a Great Notion is an intense and riveting portrait of life set against the rugged backdrop of logging.
Taken on by Newman half way through (the film was started by Richard A Colla), the surprising thing about this adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is that it holds together at all: a drama about a family of independent lumberjacks, ruled over by Henry Fonda's biblical father, whose unity is shattered by the arrival of a wayward son (Sarrazin) in the midst of a dispute with other (striking) loggers. If the struggle within the family too quickly degenerates into hand-me-down Tennessee Williams dramatics, Newman's handling of the outdoor scenes, especially those involving work, is - like his own acting - restrained but powerfully evocative.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Also known as Never Give an Inch, this film was based on a novel by Ken Kesey. Paul Newman (who also directed) stars as Hank Stamper, the oldest son of an Oregon logging family headed by Henry (Henry Fonda). Hank's half-brother, Leeland (Michael Sarrazin), embittered over Henry's treatment of his late mother, returns after a ten-year absence to work in the family business. Leeland's presence causes friction with Henry, who resents his prodigal son's hippie mindset, and Hank, who perceives Leeland as a threat to his own position in the family structure. Hank has good reason to feel resentful: before long, his wife, Viv (Lee Remick), has entered into an affair with Leeland. Meanwhile, Henry wages an ongoing battle with the unionized loggers in the region, who threaten reprisals should Henry attempt to continue his business without union help.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Sometimes a Great Notion arrives on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. The image quality is mixed - plagued with some edge-enhancement in early scenes - but other times free of it with some healthy grain. This is single-layered with a mediocre bitrate. It looks okay though - with a few impressive shots with bright outdoor colors. Contrast suffers as the least consistent visual feature. It is clean and all the actors blue eyes look appealing. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but this Blu-ray provides a reasonable presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Modest but effective DTS-HD Master stereo track at 1579 kbps. The Henry Mancini score - which includes "All His Children" as sung by Charley Pride beginning and ending the film - is restrained but important in certain scenes escalating the dramatic effect. The lossless rendering helps - but isn't totally remarkable. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements which is too bad because I'm sure some have a lot of say about the value of this particular film.
December 10th, 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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