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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Brain aka Le cerveau [Blu-ray]

 

(Gérard Oury, 1969)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:55:00.894

Disc Size: 19,021,978,439 bytes

Feature Size: 18,938,953,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 30th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

English (burned-in)

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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 Film:

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.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Brain is a really fun caper film with hints of that 60's psychedelic free-spirit. If you are in the mood this can be a blast. It's a well-made film. The Blu-ray is nothing too special in terms of a/v - but it does have impressive colors. I had a pleasant time with the film and think many others will too - it's pretty cute. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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