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The Talented Mr. Ripley [Blu-ray]
(Anthony Minghella, 1999)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Miramax International
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 37,225,773,635 bytes
Feature Size: 34,230,503,424 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps
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 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.
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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 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.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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