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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Talented Mr. Ripley [Blu-ray]


(Anthony Minghella, 1999)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Miramax International

Video: Paramount



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:19:07.505

Disc Size: 37,225,773,635 bytes

Feature Size: 34,230,503,424 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 10th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3947 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3947 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), French, Spanish, none



• Commentary by Anthony Minghella

Inside the Talented Mr. Ripley (22:34)

• Reflections on The Talented Mr. Ripley (14:42)

• The Making of the Soundtrack (8:25)

• Two Theatrical Trailers





Description: After the Oscar-winning The English Patient, writer/director Anthony Minghella attempted another tricky literary adaptation with The Talented Mr. Ripley, which features heartthrob Matt Damon cast against type as a psychopathic bisexual murderer. Tom Ripley (Damon) is a bright and charismatic sociopath who makes his way in mid-'50s New York City as a men's room attendant and sometimes pianist, though his real skill is in impersonating other people, forging handwriting, and running second-rate scams . After being mistaken for a Princeton student, Tom meets the shipping tycoon father of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), who has traveled to the coast of Italy, where he's living a carefree life with his father's money and his beautiful girlfriend, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). Dickie's father will pay Ripley 1,000 dollars plus his expenses if he can persuade Dickie to return to America. As Ripley and Dickie become friends, Tom finds himself both attracted to Dickie and envious of his life of pleasure. I n time, he decides that he would rather be Dickie Greenleaf than Tom Ripley, so rather than go back to his life of poverty, Ripley impulsively murders Dickie and assumes his identity. The Talented Mr. Ripley was based on the first of a series of novels featuring Tom Ripley written by Patricia Highsmith; the story was previously filmed in 1960 as Purple Noon, with Alain Delon as Ripley.



The Film:

The late '50s. New York lavatory attendant Tom Ripley (Damon) may not be conventionally talented, but he's very able when it comes to reacting on the spot, especially with little white lies. When shipbuilder Herbert Greenleaf assumes he's an old college pal of his son Dickie (Law), Ripley's quick to snap up the opportunity to visit Europe, purportedly to lure the playboy home, but actually to sample la dolce vita for himself. But, having wormed his way into the affections of Dickie and his girlfriend Marge (Paltrow), he can't face losing his new-found life of leisure. Minghella's imaginative but mostly faithful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's classic study of a sociopathic killer is a class act, in every sense. Not only is it an elegantly polished affair, with top notch performances all round, and magnificent camerawork and editing, it's also acutely aware of how class, money and sex shape desire and resentment, and of the distinctions between presenting a facade to the world, outright pretence and the more radical practice of reinventing oneself. It's into these registers that Minghella weaves the most intriguing and ironic undertones.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

This is precisely the effect of Anthony Minghella's new film, "The Talented Mr. Ripley," which bears a thematic resemblance to "Peeping Tom" in that both films ask and successfully seduce their audience into identifying, and ultimately sympathizing, with sociopathic characters. In "Mr. Ripley," Minghella has moved away from the David Lean-like epic romantic nature of "The English Patient," which won a myriad of Academy Awards in 1996, and deep into the perverse heart of Alfred Hitchcock. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a film Hitchcock would have been proud to make, which is as strong a compliment as one can give to Mingella's efforts in this uniformly first-rate, darkly chilling thriller.

Mr. Ripley of the title is a young man named Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), and his talents revolve around his ability to impersonate others. He puts these talents to good use when a wealthy American shipbuilding tycoon, Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn), mistakes Tom for a Princeton graduate and asks him to go to Mongibello, Italy, to convince his son, Dickie (Jude Law), to come back to the United States. Apparently, Dickie has graduated from Princeton and moved to Europe to "sow his wild oats." However, with a generous monthly allowance from his father, Dickie, who is a shallow, spoiled playboy, has decided that he likes it better abroad, and would much rather spend his time sailing boats than helping his father build them.

Excerpt from James Kendrick located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Talented Mr. Ripley appears solid on Blu-ray from Paramount.  The image quality is advanced by how wonderful the precise period art-direction looks in 1080P. It is exceptionally clean and crisp in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  This is dual-layered with a decent bitrate for the 2-hour 20-minute film. Colors seem brighter and truer than SD could relate with cool skin tones. Contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels and detail, notable in the close-ups, is impressive. This Blu-ray has a consistency and handles the darker sequences without undue noise.  This Blu-ray probably provides a strong replication of the film The Talented Mr. Ripley and it advances beyond the last DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and colors.


















Audio :

The film has memorable music and is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3947 kbps. The score by Gabriel Yared (The English Patient, Cold Mountain, Clean and Sober among others) sounds tremendous, and what a great mixture of classical/opera (Antonio Vivaldi, Ludwig van Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Bach) and brilliant Jazz (Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis etc.) There is abundant separations - mostly subtle enhancing atmosphere and infrequent aggressive depth. There are optional subtitles and foreign-language DUBs and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Extras seem to mimic the lat DVD release with the enjoyable commentary by Anthony Minghella and, standard fare, production featurettes totaling about 40-minutes including sound bytes from the director and cast and one piece on the soundtrack with Gabriel Yared. There is also a teaser and theatrical trailer included.



Co-incientally I revisited it The Talented Mr. Ripley on DVD a few months back. This is still a very interesting, and creepy, film - expertly made by a true craftsman (RIP). The tones are underplayed with such subtlety you frequently are seduced by the lifestyle and forget the  anti-hero's desperation. The Paramount Blu-ray does its job well and the film looks and sounds great. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 4th, 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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze





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