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The Duellists [Blu-ray]
(Ridley Scott, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,127,889,198 bytes
Feature Size: 30,351,685,632 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.56 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 27th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2986 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2986 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1689 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1689 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1764 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1764 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1564 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1564 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Commentarywith director Ridley Scott
•Commentary and Isolated Score with Composer Howard Blake
• Duelling Directors: Ridely Scott and Kevin Reynolds (29:09)
• Interview with Keith Carradine (24:59)
Description: Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel star in Ridley Scott’s first motion picture, The Duellists. Two officers in Napoleon’s army violently confront each other in a series of duels. The duels begin as a reaction to a minor incident and escalate into a consuming passion that rules the lives of both men for a period of 30 years. Based on Joseph Conrad’s story, The Duellists explores the themes of obsession, honor and violence. Awarded Best Debut Film at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, this visually stunning film weaves a compelling story through to an unexpected conclusion.
"The Duellists," the first major film to open here this year, may
well remain one of the most dazzling visual experiences throughout all
of 1978. The movie, set during the Napoleonic Wars, uses its beauty much
in the way that other movies use soundtrack music, to set mood, to
complement scenes and even to contradict them. Sometimes it's almost too
much, yet the camerawork, which is by Frank Tidy, provides the Baroque
style by which the movie operates on our senses, making the eccentric
drama at first compelling and ultimately breathtaking.
The Duellists is based on a story by Joseph Conrad, variously titled The Duel and The Point of Honour. Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel play officers in Napoleon's army -- D'Hubert and Feraud, respectively -- who spend their off-hours challenging each other to bloody duels. This goes on for nearly 16 years, with neither man showing any inclination of calling a truce. The final clash finds the gentlemanly D'Hubert getting the upper hand of the obsessed Feraud -- but that's not quite the end of the story. The Duellists was the debut feature for director Ridley Scott; it won the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best First Film.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Duellists arrives on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It is dual-layered and exports many of the strong attributes of the new format but I did find some of the background blotchy in sequences and some of the blacks looked like it had escalated to the level of moiring. The better lit scenes are quite impressive in terms of detail. The image is surprisingly flat and may have had some manipulation but it is not at proportions that most viewers would find offensive. I couldn't find evidence of edge enhancement but don't discount DNR although nothing is overly waxy. Skin tones seem true and grain is abundant, if uneven. Daylight scenes are more impressive but the darker sequences don't exhibit undue noise. This Blu-ray in-motion looks pretty good. The 1.85:1 aspect ratio has been bastardized, inconsequentially, (probably opened-up) to 1.78.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio gives the option of two lossless tracks - a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2986 kbps with thunderous clashing swords punching depth in the rear speakers. There is also a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1689 kbps. Howard Blake's score sounds stupendous and is also available to listen via an isolated score (with commentary by the composer). There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Extras consist of an audio commentary with director Ridley Scott that was found on the Paramount 2002 DVD - as was the commentary and Isolated Score with Composer Howard Blake. Duelling Directors is a 30-minute featurette where Kevin Reynolds interviews Scott as scenes from The Duellists play in the background. There is also a new 25-minute interview with Keith Carradine talking about his role of Arman d'Hubert.
January 8th, 2013
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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