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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Boardwalk [Blu-ray]


(Stephen Verona, 1979)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Travellers Films

Video: MVD Visual



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

Runtime: 1:40:26.061

Disc Size: 23,017,414,982 bytes

Feature Size: 22,616,156,160 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.89 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 25th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English (SDH), none



• Trailer (2:25)





Description: David Rosen (Lee Strasberg) and his wife Becky (Ruth Gordon) have lived in the same Coney Island neighborhood for most of their married life. But the area is not what it used to be, and a gang leader named Strut has decided to make it his new turf. Strut begins shaking down the merchants, demanding payment for ""protection"" and using violence to deal with anyone who gets in his way.



The Film:

In this drama, David Rosen (Lee Strasberg) and his wife Becky (Ruth Gordon) have lived in the same Coney Island neighborhood for nearly all their married life. But the area is not what it used to be, and a gang leader named Strut (Kim Delgado) has decided to make Coney Island his new turf. Strut begins shaking down the merchants in the area, demanding payment for "protection" and using violence to deal with anyone who gets in his way. David refuses to give Strut protection money for the restaurant he owns, and as a result his diner is soon firebombed, while many of his neighbors are attacked and his synagogue is desecrated. When Becky dies, David decides that he can stand no more, and he plots his revenge against Strut and his underlings. Director Stephen F. Verona manages to combine a Death Wish-style revenge scenario with a mood piece that generates a very real nostalgia for what Coney Island once was -- and still is for many of the characters in this story.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Pay no attention to that cheery ad for "Boardwalk": "The next time someone tells you to act your age — tell them about these two," over a Hirschfeld line drawing of Mr. Strasberg and Miss Gordon, cuddling in bed while reading Playboy. There is such a scene in the movie, and it is carried off with style by Mr. Strasberg and Miss Gordon, but "Boardwalk" is otherwise a movie of unrelieved, unexplored gloom. This is not because of what happens but because Mr. Verona, both as the director and screenwriter (with Leigh Chapman), has no knack whatsoever for seeing beyond the troubles he dumps into his picture.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

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

Boardwalk comes to Blu-ray from MVD Visual.  The image looks very weak with numerous scratches in the first 10-minutes but even when it settles down it looks very flat and video-like. The bare-bones disc is single-layered but I don't fault the 1080P transfer with the poor appearance. Colors, like the outdoor greens, have some appealing brightness but generally the image is soft. This Blu-ray seems to have done the best with the source - it's just the condition of the elements are weak. It may not have looked especially tight and crisp in theatrical but I'll wager it looked superior to this. It wasn't that the image quality deterred my viewing, I was just surprised at the quality.

















Audio :

Audio is in a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps. The film doesn't have much aggression or effects to push the lossless transfer's depth - everything is exported easily. Looks like a handful of composers contributed to the music - which, although sounded unremarkable, supported the film reasonably well. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Nothing except a trailer.



Boardwalk seems quite an odd choice for Blu-ray. I didn't dislike it but I found it 'wanting' - I kept thinking of a Made-for-TV film - almost an 'After School Special" however I was very satisfied by the ending. It's certainly not that it's a sterling looking film - the source has been compromised and looks weak. The best thing about is are the performances - and for some, that may be enough. Overall though, we can't really recommend. 

Gary Tooze

March 23rd, 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
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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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