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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Before Midnight [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard Linklater, 2013)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Sony Pictures Classics

Video: Sony Pictures

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:48:54.528

Disc Size: 35,976,384,167 bytes

Feature Size: 27,217,262,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.87 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3306 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3306 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, none (English for commentary)

 

Extras:

• Commentary with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater

• Revisiting Jesse and Celine (6:19)

• Q + A with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater (37:04)

Theatrical Trailer (1:50)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in BEFORE SUNRISE; reunited in their thirties in BEFORE SUNSET; and, now, in director Richard Linklater's amazing BEFORE MIDNIGHT, they face the past, present and future; family, romance and love. Now on a writer's retreat in Greece, the couple looks for a night of passion, but instead their idyllic night turns into a test of their relationship and a discussion of what the future holds for them.

 

 

The Film:

Every nine years, they get together to talk about love, and their conversation is unique in the annals of film. Unique, because this is an ongoing fiction so well-crafted by its principals, director Richard Linklater plus actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke all collaborating on the script, that it plays like documented fact, a kind of 7 Up primer on life’s romantic vicissitudes. From their chance encounter in Vienna (Before Sunrise) to their reconnection in Paris (Before Sunset) to their sojourn here, we meet the couple, Celine and Jesse, infrequently but at points of peak intensity, and those isolated moments form a continuum that seems palpably real – like us, they have aged and compromised and lost big battles that now look trivial and won victories that could prove Pyrrhic. For them too, time has spoken, and only time will tell.

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail located HERE

 

Nine years after Before Sunset, their highly-regarded sequel to Before Sunrise, director Richard Linklater reteams with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, which finds their characters together raising twin daughters. Jesse (Hawke) attempts to maintain a relationship with Hank, his teenage son from his first marriage, but their bond is strained even though Hank has just spent the summer with his dad and step-family. Meanwhile, Celine (Delpy) must make a difficult decision about her career. As with Before Sunset, Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy share credit for the screenplay. Before Midnight screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival as well as the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Before Midnight gets a Blu-ray release from Sony Pictures. Shot on digital (Arri Alexa) the film doesn't seem to exhibit any of the deficiencies of that, more commonly used, production option. Perhaps it was printed to 35mm, but regardless it looks quite strong. It is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate appearing bright, with plenty of depth. Contrast is well balanced showing no manipulation. The visuals look incredibly realistic. Even the outdoor shots can show impressive brilliance. Detail is at the higher end and there is no noise. This Blu-ray offers a superb image - most assuredly duplicating the theatrical film expereince.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We get a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track at 3306 kbps. It seems far more robust than necessary for the film but some nice subtleties make it to the rear speakers establishing atmosphere. Graham Reynolds (A Scanner Darkly) did the score. It is clean and clear benefitting from the lossless rendering - mostly running beside the film supportively. There are hints at depth but basically it seems a strong replication of the film. All good. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

Sony include a light, but enjoyable commentary with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater discussing the films, characters and beyond. There is also a short, 6-minute piece, entitled Revisiting Jesse and Celine and a lengthy Q + A with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater. Lastly we get a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
More of the same type of relationship analysis focusing on a new level with kids (two of which are twins!) and other interpersonal areas. Those who enjoyed Before Sunrise and Before Sunset (my personal favorite of the 3) will undoubtedly appreciate Linklater's film the most although it is a great film in it's own right. This has excellent performances and a vérité touch most director's are incapable of creating. Yes, we are all getting older. The Sony Blu-ray gave a solid, consistent presentation - a valuable film experience, IMO. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 11th, 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.

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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