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The Bamboo Saucer [Blu-ray]
(Frank Telford, 1968)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: National Telefilm Associates (NTA)
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,367,601,557 bytes
Feature Size: 21,286,828,032 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.20 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 8th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 827 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 827 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Lead by the U.S. military, a team of scientists secretly travel into Red China to find the truth behind rumors of a downed U.F.O. While enroute to the saucer's hidden location, the Americans meet a group of Russian scientists who are also searching for the spacecraft. The two teams race against time to find the alien craft and its promise of a fantastic jump in technology, while trying to avoid the Red Chinese troops in the area. Television veteran Frank Telford directed this action-packed science fiction thriller with top-notch cinematography by the great Hal Mohr (The Wild One, Captain Blood). The stellar cast includes Dan Duryea, Bob Hastings, Bernard Fox and James Hong.
A veteran cast gives the 1968 cheapie The Bamboo Saucer what little credibility it has. In his last role, Dan Duryea plays the head man of an expeditionary force in search of a missing UFO. Since the craft was last sighted in the mountains of Red China, the search takes on political significance. Duryea's American team is eventually forced to align itself with a similarly-purposed group of Soviet researchers (this being a 1968 film, the real bad guys are the Red Chinese). Lois Nettelton has some wonderfully campy moments as a Russian scientist. Bamboo Saucer was produced by Jerry Fairbanks, of "Speaking of Animals" and "Crusader Rabbit" fame.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Fred Norwood (Ericson) is a crack test pilot, flying the experimental X-109 (actually footage of the F-104 Starfighter). He is buzzed and chased by a glowing blue flying saucer. His radical maneuvering gets him in hot water with his bosses on the ground. No one saw his flying saucer. No radar blip either. He is scrubbed from the X-109 program as unstable. Fred convinces his brother in law to let him use the laser radar gizmo he's been working on to look for blips invisible to regular radar. Eventually, one is found, but Joe goes up to check it out while Fred sleeps. Joe's plane is broken up in the air. Fred tells FAA investigators about his saucer.Excerpt from Classic Sci-Fi Movies located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Bamboo Saucer has a, predictably, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. The film's most amusing visual feature are the poor effects and use of poor quality stock plane flight footage. It is rife with damage where the rest of the film, in 1080P, looks fairly clean. This is only single-layered with a middling bitrate. Colors look strong with nice hues and there are instances of depth and reasonable detail. Frankly it looks far better than the film deserves. The 1.78:1 Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and aside from the stock footage - looks quite decent.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD mono track at 827 kbps sounds a bit scattered. There is no depth or range to speak of and the audio effects are only slightly superior to the video effects. Overall, it is fairly unremarkable with a bare couple of instances of depth. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with almost all of their releases.
March 20th, 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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