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Conspiracy Theory [Blu-ray]
(Richard Donner, 1997)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,440,976,137 bytes
Feature Size: 38,010,961,920 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 22nd, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4284 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4284 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Czech 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Russian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
English (SDH), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Japanese, none
Description: Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) is a New York City cab driver who seems to have absorbed every bit of crackpot information passed along as "suppressed news" that's surfaced on talk radio or the Internet in the past 20 years. Anti-United Nations militia men who are actually U.N. operatives? NASA scientists engineering earthquakes? Oliver Stone's secret life as a government agent discrediting conspiracy theorists? Jerry's heard 'em all and believes most of them, and even publishes his own journal of forbidden information, with a subscription list that now totals five people. In short, Jerry seems like just another New York City lunatic, and while he spends a fair amount of his spare time following Alice Sutton (Julia Roberts), a government attorney, Alice regards him as harmless; he once intervened while she was being mugged, and he's been acting like her benign if whacked-out protector ever since. However, one day Jerry is kidnapped and worked over by CIA operatives; he is convinced that one of the theories he uncovered must be for real -- but he has no idea which one. He tries to get Alice to help him, and before long both are drawn into a dangerous web that leads to a startling revelation of just how Jerry got this way. Mel Gibson gives a fine comic performance, and those with a taste for alternative media will have fun dissecting which of the theories Jerry spouts are "real" (or at least appeared before this film was made) and which were the invention of the screenwriters.
Jabbering Mel Gibson is clearly a Manhattan cabbie with a troubled past, and his pursuit of upper-bracket love interest Julia Roberts, a Justice Department attorney investigating the murder of her judge father, gets the plot rolling on an expansive, glossy thriller that delivers much less than it at first promises. Donner and cameraman John Schwartzman pull out their best stuff early on when unknown assailants tie Mel to a wheelchair and pump him full of truth drugs. Weird colours. Fast-cuts. All very disorienting, until we realise terminally dull Patrick Stewart is the interrogator with the steel-rimmed glasses. Gibson deserves a nod for taking on a character so obviously fractured by military experiments, but despite having the ultimate paranoiac's pad, he too often settles for playing the lovable wacko, and his memory returns at the convenience of screenwriter Brian Helgeland. A series of increasingly desperate chases, and catchy use of the karaoke classic 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', masks a lack of confidence in a narrative with too few suspects and the same old CIA bad guys behind it.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
At last we have a summer movie hero who likes a good book.
Unfortunately, he likes only one book (''The Catcher in the Rye,''
so popular with dangerous crackpots). And he happens to be halfway out
of his mind. Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) keeps a beer bottle balanced on
his doorknob, not to mention a lock and label on his tapioca pudding
supply. He thinks that Jerry Garcia is still alive, that Oliver Stone is
in cahoots with George Bush, and that water main breaks in New York City
are not the accidents they seem. He thinks strange forces are
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Conspiracy Theory appears slightly thick and with rich colors on Blu-ray from Warner. The image quality shows some impressive detail in close-ups. This is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 2 1/4 hour film. It can look a shade glossy/waxy at times in-motion but I don't suspect manipulations. Skin tones seem true and contrast has a shade on inconsistency. There are plenty of dark scenes but no undue noise is exhibited. This Blu-ray is no award winner in terms of video but excels over the previous SD transfers notably in the colors and detail.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Warner supply a very dynamic DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a whopping 4284 kbps. Effects are loud and crisp with plenty of sneaky separations. We hear Can't Take My Eyes Off You first performed by Frankie Valli and then Lauryn Hill - sounding brilliant on both occasions. The film's score is from frequent Coen collaborator Carter Burwell (A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski) and is supported nicely by the lossless rendering. There are plenty of subtitles and DUB options and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Nosupplements at all. This is a bare-bones Blu-ray disc.
April 18th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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