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The Brain aka Le cerveau [Blu-ray]
(Gérard Oury, 1969)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,021,978,439 bytes
Feature Size: 18,938,953,728 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 30th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 848 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 848 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: A special train has been commissioned to convey secret NATO funds from Paris to Brussels. Criminals on both sides of the channel plan to hijack the train: on the French side, Arthur (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a resourceful small-time crook and his pal Anatole (Bourvil); on the English side, the Brian (David Niven), a brilliant super criminal wanted all over the world. Standing in their way is Scanapicco (Eli Wallach), a gangster who wants "the Brain" dead for more than one reason. This is the original uncut and un-dubbed French version of the film. The US version was 15 minutes shorter and was dubbed in English.
The Brain (Le Cerveau) is a tongue-in-cheek caper film with more twists and turns than a rural Oregon highway. David Niven plays The Brain, so named because it was he who mapped out the British Great Train Robbery (it says here). Now The Brain plans to lift a fortune in NATO money, which is being shipped by train from France to Belgium. Complicating matters are a pair of free-lance thugs (Jean-Paul Belmondo and Bourvil), who hope to steal The Brain's plans and claim the money for themselves. A plot device derived from The Lavender Hill Mob involves a 50-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty. An amusing closing-credits bit caps this exhilarating exercise.Excerpt from Hal Erikson at the NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Brain has a, predictably, modest technical Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is single-layered but colors are bright and the image is clean. The black levels seem strong and detail is decent. This is from a Gaumont source and Olive films don't usually do any digital manipulation so this is an accurate representation. The Blu-ray is better than SD rendering there are no heavy artefacts nor noise. It was pleasing without being particularly dynamic.
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Georges Delerue's score sounds reasonable in the DTS-HD mono track at 848 kbps. The sound is not remarkable but seems to support the presentation enough. This is in French with English subtitles mandatory and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.
October 24th, 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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