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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Stephen Frears
US 1990

Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), who is too similar to herself. Soon, the two women are competing for Roy in a battle that is more of a power struggle than a pursuit of affection, and the battle quickly turns dangerous. Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for her work.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1990 (Toronto Film Festival)

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Comparison:

Optimum -  Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

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Distribution Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:50:41.635  1:50:27.245  
Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,523,462,772 bytes

Feature: 22,317,099,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,296,400,724 bytes

Feature: 19,198,746,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.79 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Optimum Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Miramax Blu-ray

 

Audio LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2210 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2210 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit) 
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1843 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1843 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles  None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.86:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,523,462,772 bytes

Feature: 22,317,099,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video 

Edition Details:

 None

Blu-ray Release Date: July 20th, 2009
Standard (thick) UK Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,296,400,724 bytes

Feature: 19,198,746,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.79 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

 Audio commentary by Frears
 The Making of Grifters (16:24)
 The Jim Thompson Story (7:59)

Blu-ray Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (April 2013): Short story - close in most respects, divergent in a few others. The UK edition is 1.85:1 with warmer skin tones- he US is 1.78 (opened) and brighter. Technically they are not far off but certain captures can have notably different image quality. Some noise in the US transfer - not much. Both look good but never stellar.

 

Audio is lossless on both with a linear PCM track in original stereo on the Optimum and DTS-HD master on the Miramax. The UK also offers an untested 5.1 bump. The score by Elmer Bernstein is kind of bland without much character, Neither Blu-ray disc offer subtitles.

The US edition vaults ahead with the, old, Frear commentary, a generic 'Making of...' and an interesting piece on the author Jim Thompson. That's all we need - a modern Noir complete with anti-heroes and femme fatales - wonderfully pieced together - the film is strongly recommended and the Blu-ray is the best way to see it!

Gary W. Tooze


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Optimum - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP vs. Miramax - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


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