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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Man in the Dark [Blu-ray]

 

(Lew Landers, 1953)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:07:29.086

Disc Size: 23,874,272,309 bytes

Feature Size: 23,169,386,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1066 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1066 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1888 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1888 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

Theatrical Trailer (1:39)

Isolated Score

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The first 3-D motion picture produced by a major studio, Man in the Dark (1953) is a classic film noir, complete with tough-guy protagonist (Edmond O’Brien), heart-of-gold moll (Audrey Totter), and plenty of underworld action—but with handsome stereoscopic imagery directed by the prolific Lew Landers (The Raven). Focusing on a thug who undergoes brain surgery to eliminate his criminal tendencies, the film utilizes spectacular 3-D effects to simulate the newly decent hero’s disorientation as he tries to remember his life of crime, even as he is pursued by former cohorts who want in on the spoils of his latest robbery.

 

 

The Film:

Filmed in 3D, Man in the Dark stars Edmond O'Brien as Steve Rawley, a man with a past. Thing of it is, Rawley knows nothing about that past: a former gangster, he underwent an operation that not only altered his appearance, but also wiped out all criminal tendencies--not to mention all memory of his past misdeeds. Rawley is kidnapped by his former mob cohorts, who demand that he cough up the $130,000 that he salted away during his gangster days. Audrey Totter co-stars as Peg Benedict, who loves Rawley for what he is, not what he was. Man in the Dark is a remake of the 1936 Ralph Bellamy vehicle The Man who Lived Twice.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Critic Elliott Stein, writing for The Village Voice, discussed the effects used in the film: "This seems to be the 3-D flick that most exploits the short-lived medium. An endless array of stuff comes whiffling at your face—a lit cigar, a repulsive spider, scissors, forceps, fists, falling bodies, and a roller coaster. The prolific Landers may not have been a great director, but he was a pretty good pitcher."

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

Firstly, this Twilight Time Blu-ray package offers both the 3D and 2D version of the film, Man in the Dark. We will only review the 2D version here.

NOTE: When viewed on a compatible 3-D monitor and 3-D blu-ray player set-up, the menu offers an option for both 3-D and 2-D playback, but when this disc is viewed on a regular 2-D monitor and 2-D blu-ray player, the 3-D version is inaccessible -- the "Play Movie" option defaults solely to the 2-D version -- there is nothing wrong with your disc, the specialized encoding merely prevents the 3-D version being incorrectly displayed on a 2-D screen.

This is only single-layered but it looks quite acceptable - probably more the condition of a strong source. Contrast has some nice layering and the visuals seem fairly tight. There is pleasing grain and even some depth exported. Not much damage or speckles are visible. I noticed a few compression-style artifacts but nothing untoward. The Blu-ray is decent with no major flaws - it gave me a solid 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD mono track at 1066 kbps sounds clean with a few more impressive moments in pushing the film's modest depth through. Twilight Time offer an isolated score in a slightly more robust lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Only a theatrical trailer, and, of course, as on most Twilight Time releases - you can access the isolated film score track.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Man in the Dark has a pretty good concept going for it - although, perhaps, not dynamically realized or protected with the dialogue. I could see a strong director taking a hold of this project and really making the most of it. I did watch it and enjoyed O'Brien and Totter - two notables in the Dark Cinema. The, essentially, bare-bones Blu-ray (cool cover) seems a little underwhelming for the price. I appreciated that I could see it in 1080P but it probably won't be a film I revisit often. Unless you are really drawn to it and are keen on the 3-D factor - I'd say pass. 

Gary Tooze

January 26th, 2014


 

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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