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The Man in the Iron Mask [Blu-ray]
(Mike Newell, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: ITC Entertainment
Video: Henstooth Video
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,744,675,007 bytes
Feature Size: 21,477,414,912 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 6th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1642 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1642 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
•DVD of the feature included in the package
Description: Alexandre Dumas' classic tale of good and evil twins is brought lavishly to the screen by director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco). Richard Chamberlain shines in dual roles as both the imprisoned man in the hideous iron mask and his foppish twin, King Louis XIV of France. Under the sinister influence of Minister of Finance Fouquet, Louis rules with wasteful opulence. His brother Philippe, the rightful heir, lives in obscurity with no knowledge of his birthright. But the Captain of the Musketeers, D'Artagnan, has plans to restore the declining fortunes of the throne by secretly substituting Philippe for the King.
Alexandre Dumas's classic tale of fraternal squabbling makes a more than satisfactory transition to celluloid with this 1976 made-for-television swashbuckler. Viewers familiar with the more recent Leonardo DiCaprio version may be stymied at first by the non-MTV pace and the rather unhip presence of Richard Chamberlain in the lead role(s). This well-lensed actioner overcomes a somewhat pokey first half to emerge as a terrific adventure, complete with plenty of derring-do, some sharply pointed dialogue, and a wonderful performance by the incomparably malevolent Patrick McGoohan. Rousing fun for burgeoning rapscallions of all ages.Excerpt from Amazon.com located HERE
The Man in the Iron Mask was, at the very least, the twelfth film version of Alexandre Dumas' 1847 novel. The title character is Philippe (Richard Chamberlain), rightful heir to the throne of France. Enemies of Philippe's twin brother, King Louis XIV (also Chamberlain) plot to kidnap the monarch, lock him in a dungeon, and obscure his identity with an iron mask. But aging musketeer D'Artagnan (Louis Jourdan), who'd virtually raised Louis from boyhood, reunites his old musketeer cohorts to rescue Louis and overthrow the wicked Philippe.Excerpt from Amazon.UK located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The 1977 TV Movie version of The Man in the Iron Mask directed by Mike Newell arrives on Blu-ray from Henstooth Video. The image, which I presume was broadcast in 1.33, presumably opens-up, and is transferred at 1.78:1. The video quality is quite adept - 1080P with a supportive bitrate. This is only single-layered but it is kind of acceptable being a bare-bones disc. Colors seem true and contrast exhibits piercing black levels. Daylight scenes are more impressive but the dark jail sequences don't show any noise. These is not much depth. This Blu-ray has consistent texture and there are no real flaws. It is clean, bright and has solid detail. By modern standards this isn't overly dynamic visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This Blu-ray gave me an enjoyable 1080P presentation!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1642 kbps competently exports the dialogue, occasional effects and Allyn Ferguson's period-supporting score. There were a couple of nice instances of depth churning suspense in the classic story. Henstooth add optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
None but the package does offer a second disc DVD of the Feature!
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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