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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Fearless [Blu-ray]


(Peter Weir, 1993)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Spring Creek Productions

Video: Warner



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

Runtime: 2:02:03.357 

Disc Size: 23,858,205,842 bytes

Feature Size: 22,956,926,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.61 Mbps

Chapters: 32

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2073 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2073 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



Trailer (2:02)





Description: San Francisco architect Max Klein can see clearly now. He's been transformed ever since he stared death in the face - and discovered he was unafraid. Peter Weir (Witness) directs Fearless, the vivid story of how a near-death experience impacts the lives of three people. Jeff Bridges plays Max, more wildly alive and taking more risks than ever since surviving a plane crash. Isabella Rossellini is Laura, struggling to find in Max the man she married. And Rosie Perez, 1993 Academy Award nominee and Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago Film Critics Award winner as Best Supporting Actress, is fellow crash survivor Carla: alive, yet devastated by a grievous loss. It seems that no one can heal her pain. But then she meets the one person who fearlessly knows how.



The Film:

Adapted by screenwriter Rafael Yglesias from his own novel, Fearless explores the complex struggle back to mental health of post-traumatic stress disorder victim Max Klein (Jeff Bridges). One of few survivors of a fatal plane crash, Klein remains calm and assists other survivors out of the burning debris, earning praise as a hero by the media. After stoically departing the tragedy without a word to emergency officials, Max returns home with detached feelings towards his wife (Isabella Rossellini) and son, along with a bizarre, seemingly authentic belief that he is now impervious to harm. Bill Perlman (John Turturro), a psychiatrist for the airline, fails to reach Max about his newfound fearlessness, but asks for his help in aiding Carla (Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Rosie Perez), a fellow crash survivor filled with grief and guilt over the loss of her baby. In one of his earlier roles, Benicio del Toro plays a small part as Carla's boyfriend.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

A plane on a routine flight loses pressure. The captain warns the passengers that they are about to crash. Architect Max Klein (Jeff Bridges) had been afraid of flying yet now, as he faces imminent death, he is utterly calm and unafraid. The plane does crash, but not everyone is killed. Max survives and is able to calmly rescue other survivors from the wreckage. Then, as the emergency services arrive on the scene, the accidental hero departs and checks into a hotel as if nothing had happened.

Deep down Max has been changed by the crash. He no longer fears death - or anything for that matter.

Soon Max is recognised. He takes the plane back home and is re-united with his family. Max is also assigned a psychiatrist, who tries to help him make sense of his traumatic experiences, and a lawyer, who encourages Max to sue the airline for damages.

But Max's old life no longer matters to him. The only person with whom he feels any affinity is Carla (Rosie Perez), a fellow crash-survivor. Carla, meanwhile, is racked by guilt over her son's death in the crash, believing that the infant would still be alive if she had held onto him tighter.

Excerpt from EUFS located HERE

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

Fearless finally comes to a decent digital edition - now on Blu-ray from Warner.  The image is transferred in 1080P on a single-layered disc with a modest bitrate.  It looks decent with healthy contrast and a spotless print. The video is brighter and truer than SD could relate although it can tend to look a shade flat. Skin tones have some warmth and there is no intrusive noise. Daylight scenes are the most impressive and the film plays with light quite a lot. This Blu-ray appears to do its job although doesn't quite match-up to the film - which has some visually impressive scenes.  By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - we probably have a solid replication. This Blu-ray is transferred at 1.78:1 (the film was 1.85) and provided me a pleasing, if not dynamic, presentation.

















Audio :

One of the most appealing attributes of Fearless is the soundtrack, augmenting the impressive score by Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia, The Tin Drum, The Man Who Would Be King, The Damned). We get brilliant compositions by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"), Beethoven, Dumisani Maraire, Penderecki, The Gipsy Kings! (Sin Ella) - all sounding exquisite via the DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2073 kbps. The music is a rich cornucopia - the Górecki particularly notable - and the uncompressed track supports powerful and resonant depth. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

The only supplement is a trailer - which really is a shame because it's prime cinema in my opinion and deserves some discussion.



Brilliant film and I've hoped for a Blu-ray release (or a non Pan+Scan DVD release) since the dying days of LaserDisc. This is infinitely superior to the past SDs and the film is an incredible portrait of one man's coping with his survival and drastically altered vision. Bridges is awesome, Weir shows his genius and the supporting cast (Benicio Del Toro, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez, Tom Hulce, John Turturro etc.) are memorable. I saw this theatrically twice and the film continues to impact as a favorite. The Warner Blu-ray is adept, bare-bones but I am finally glad to own it in 1080P. The film is strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

December 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.

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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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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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