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Slap Shot [Blu-ray]
(George Roy Hill, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Kings Road Entertainment
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 35,346,448,334 bytes
Feature Size: 34,276,601,856 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 15th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1925 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1925 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio Spanish 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio French 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), none
• Commentary by The Hanson Brothers
•The Hanson Brothers: Classic Scenes (18:29)
• Puck Talk with The Hansons (4:57)
•Theatrical Trailer (1:49)
Description: Paul Newman plays Reggie Dunlop, the coach of a pathetic minor-league American hockey team. His career at a standstill and his marriage in tatters, Dunlop has nothing to lose by taking on a new group of players who are one evolutionary step above Neanderthals. Only when the team begins winning does he decide to get behind these players, and to encourage the rest of the team to play as down-and-dirty as the newcomers. Straight-arrow team member Ned Braden (Michael Ontkean) resents this influx of gonzo talent, preferring to play clean. As the film's multitude of subplots play themselves out, Dunlop does his best to keep the outraged Braden on the team. Slap Shot is the sort of film for which the "R" rating was invented: Its nonstop barrage of profanity and its raunchy action sequences are of such intensity that the film will probably never be shown intact on commercial television.
Among sports films, Slap Shot (1977), directed by George Roy Hill, is something of an anomaly. Falling somewhere between a feel-good, audience pleaser like Rocky (1976) where the underdog triumphs and a cynical expose like The Set-up (1949) in which the profession is tarnished by corruption, this tale of a minor-league hockey team facing its final season skates a fine line between a violent slapstick comedy (the ice rink sequences are rife with bloody Three Stooges-like routines) and a sharp social critique of the sport as it impacts the lives of its owners, players and fans.
Paul Newman stars as Reggie Dunlop, coach and player of the Charleston Chiefs, a losing hockey franchise from an economically depressed mill town. Through his own unscrupulous manipulation, Reggie manages to transform his team into unlikely champions by breaking the rules; the Chiefs are encouraged to fight dirty and soon their no-holds-barred approach draws enthusiastic crowds, anxious to see blood on the ice. The team's success is ultimately threatened by a league rival whose members are even more undisciplined and dangerous than the Chief's toughest players.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
"Slap Shot," which follows the fortunes of the Chiefs through
their last, dizzy season, was written by Nancy Dowd, a Smith College
graduate with a master's degree from the University of California School
of Cinema Arts. She's a young woman who appears to know more about the
content and rhythm of locker-room talk than most men.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Slap Shot is a gritty, down-and-dirty sports comedy and the new Universal Blu-ray supports the rougher textured style. Colors (uniforms and blood) look bright and true. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels and the white ice of the games standout impressively. There is no noise or artifacts and we can see evidence of the grain. This isn't going to be a film that ever looks glossy and and pristine. This Blu-ray has a nice authentic feel with a steady consistency. I saw hints of depth but it wasn't very prominent. This Blu-ray seems to do a great job of replicating the theatrical film - handily advancing over past SD editions.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No surround boost going on here - the Universal transfer the film's audio via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1925 kbps. It sounds good with the echoing effect of the rink sounding authentic. There is some music from the 70's - Maxine Nightingale, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac etc. and everything is clean and crisp. Effects (mostly checks, braking skates and fights exhibit a touch of depth. There are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
We get extras found on the Special Edition DVD including a, frequently funny, commentary by The Hanson Brothers sharing hockey stories etc., 20-minutes of 'classic' Hanson Brothers scenes from the film and a more brief Puck Talk with The Hansons (this may have been an extra on Slap Shot 2 DVD) answering some of the queries that reached the actors playing the characters. There is also a theatrical trailer.
October 10th, 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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