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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Slap Shot [Blu-ray]


(George Roy Hill, 1977)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Kings Road Entertainment

Video: Universal



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

Runtime: 2:03:02.375

Disc Size: 35,346,448,334 bytes

Feature Size: 34,276,601,856 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Chapters: 18

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.



The Film:

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.

She knows the favorite word that can be used as a noun, verb or adjective, sometimes all in one sentence. She also knows the favorite sexual image that haunts the language of these hockey players as if all living had been reduced either to committing a sexual act or to preventing one, which is more or less a reflection of what the guys are doing out there on the ice with their hockey sticks and the puck. If you don't invade the enemy territory, the enemy will invade yours.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

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.

















Audio :

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.


Extras :

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.



Slap Shot is a one-dimensional film in terms of its comedy where it takes the low-road but it always brings out laughs. I never seem to tire of the hockey-milieu, the fights, crowd dissatisfaction, locker room banter etc. It always amuses and I'll watch Paul Newman in just about anything. The Universal 1080P presentation is solid and I can see fans flock to this Blu-ray which has immense replay value. Recommedned! 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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