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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Brian De Palma
USA 1984

 

De Palma's sleazfest (which I loved in my early twenties) is debatable whether it is an homage to the Master, or downright theft. Combining elements of both of Hitchcock's classic films Vertigo and Rear Window - it drums in a modern voyeur-complex with liberal doses of nudity, violence and sexuality to keep our attentions off the weak performances.

 

Jake (Craig Wasson) comes home to find his girlfriend with another man and has to find a new place. In between his acting workshops and his job in a vampire B-movie, he scans the paper looking for anything. He happens to meet a fellow actor, Sam (Gregg Henry) who needs a house sitter for a palatial pleasure-dome. Both are pleased with the arrangement that will have Jake staying in the house and for a sweetener, he is shown the 'favorite neighbor', a knockout who performs a self-absorbed foreplay ritual each night with the drapes wide open. Jake gets obsessed and becomes suspect one in her (Deborah Shelton) violent murder - with him as the only witness, spying through his telescope.

 

With attacks from dogs to power drills and investigations into the world of pornography - there isn't much exploitation De Palma leaves out. The absurdist plot can be enjoyed if not taken too seriously. Sophomoric fantasies aside, it has a modicum of intelligence, but lets just not get carried away with accolades on this one - cheap thrills are its strongest suit.  

 

 

Theatrical Release: October 26th, 1984

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Comparison: 

Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Resen - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Resen - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony (Special Edition)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Resen
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:54:04 1:54:00 1:54:11.177 1:54:11.177

Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.97 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 37,148,613,371 bytes

Feature Size:  36,933,537,792 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 40,258,274,139 bytes

Feature Size:  37,936,773,120 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : Columbia

Bitrate: Sony (Special Edition)

Bitrate: Resen Blu-ray

Bitrate: Twilight Time Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4030 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4030 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4030 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4030 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1860 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1860 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, French, None English, French, None English, Spanish, Portuguese, None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

NOTE: Pan and scan version on opposite side

DVD Release Date: December, 2002
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Sony (Special Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• "The Seduction" featurette
• "The Setup" featurette
• "The Mystery" featurette
• "The Controversy" featurette
 

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
R
esen

 

1.85:1 aspect ratio

Disc Size: 37,148,613,371 bytes

Feature Size:  36,933,537,792 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:28)

Blu-ray Release Date:
July 15th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

1.85:1 aspect ratio

Disc Size: 40,258,274,139 bytes

Feature Size:  37,936,773,120 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.99 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• The Seduction (16:42)

• The Set-up (16:54)
• The Mystery (12:14)

• The Controversy (5:31)

• Isolated Score

• Julie Kirgo Liner Notes


Blu-ray Release Date:
July, 2011
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Twilight Time Blu-ray - August 14': Firstly, thanks to Gregory for letting us obtain the Twilight Time Blu-ray. Short story - the image and audio are exactly the same - ditto for the running time to the 1/1000th of a second and the bitrate (see graphs.) Essentially the Resen transfer is a direct copy of the out-of-print Twilight Time.

Twilight Time don't have the foreign-language DUBs, but do have an isolated score option, and only English subtitles. They add a 50-minute featurette in 4 parts with De Palma discussing the production, the casting, the film's initial controversy etc. (same as on the 'Special Edition' DVD) and there are liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

Resen don't have a good reputation, and unless they were granted them this worldwirde copyright - someone should take them to task.

***

 

ADDITION: Resen Blu-ray - July 14': I wish I had more information to impart. I didn't get the Twilight Time Blu-ray of Body Double (now fetching big bucks via 3rd party and auctions) but there is this Region FREE European disc out there - that I thought was the same one advertised as an upcoming release on Amazon.com HERE - although now it has a different cover (Australian by 'Umbrella') and is marked region 'B'. I don't know now. I'd love to be able to legitimize this Resen release because it seems a viable option (price-wise) for those that missed the Twilight Time. Unfortunately, I can't confirm that this is NOT a bootleg edition. It is actually a pressed disc (not a BD-R) and is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. So I'd prefer to compare it to the Twilight Time as this transfer would be in-line with what they produce in terms of technical robust-ness. Regardless, I thought I would look at the quality.

Once again, I am coming up, more-or-less, opinion-less. At times this BD looks far superior - more grain, skin tones cool to natural levels - and then other times it looks like it may not be accurate looking very dark and losing some detail in the less-lit sequences and I thought I noted a few artifacts. Actually, it played acceptably in-motion and was fairly consistent. It has some thickness but there is also a bit of depth. It may be a shade horizontally stretched, but I didn't find it intrusive on the presentation. Overall, I believe this is, easily, superior to the SD transfers and the higher resolution is notable for bringing out the film's textures.

Audio comes in a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 4030 kbps. I didn't find any of the effects particularly impacting but the score by Pino Donaggio (Dressed to Kill, Don't Look Now, Blow Out, Carrie), almost Herrmann-esque in nature, 'makes' many of the scenes and adds a strong sense to the film experience. This has optional foreign-language DUBs and subtitles options and it region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

The only extra offered is a trailer.

So the review is inconclusive - I don't know if this is positively a bootleg. It would seem odd for Resen to also hold the world rights to the film. If it is 'taken' from the Twilight Time - I'd need to obtain a copy of that to verify. And, while I was reasonably positive on the transfer - I don't know if this is theatrically accurate. It seems decent to me - dual-layered and progressive. We will research further.

***

 

ON THE DVDs: Any improvement in image is almost imperceptible. The SE is minimally brighter and skin tones less red, but it is a stretch to give it any real updating praise. It looks like a duplicate of the release from almost 4 years earlier. The improvement over the older edition is in the audio (a *fake* boost to 5.1) which I only really noticed intensity in a couple of instances... and of, course, the extras - 4 X 15+ minute featurettes with the cast and others discussing the production and other details. I've always had a thing for Melanie (more so for her mom) so I enjoyed her comments - De Palma had some interesting details to add as well.

Subtitles are a little brighter and more defined.

I wouldn't say this is worth the double-dip unless you are head-over-heels about the film. Pass.       

 - Gary Tooze






Menus

(Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Resen - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Resen - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


Subtitle Sample: Not exact frame

 


 

 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Resen - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Tri-Star - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony Pictures (Special Edition) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Region FREE - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Twilight Time Blu-ray

 
Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony (Special Edition)

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

Resen
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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