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House of Cards - Season Two [4 Blu-rays]
(James Foley, David Fincher, Joel Schumacher, Jodie Foster, Robin Wright etc., 2014)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Media Rights Capital
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 13 episodes (av. 0:50:57.304 per episode)
Disc 1 Size: 46,674,673,282 bytes
Average Episode Size: 11,505,156,096 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps
Case: Custom Digipak Blu-ray case
Release date: June 17th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.0:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2177 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2177 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, none
50-second Recaps for each episode
• Politics for the Sake of Politics (3:54): Politics is only the back drop, the themes are universal. What is the show about? It’s about relationships and power, not just politics.
• Direct Address (5:39): Talks about the great device (breaking the 4th wall/Francis talking directly to the viewer) from original show and how they use it in the show.
• Two Houses (10:46): A featurette on the difference between the original British show, the new show and a history of how the project came together.
Episode Sample Bitrate:
Description: Masterful, beguiling and charismatic, Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his equally ambitious wife Claire (Robin Wright) continue their ruthless rise to power in Season 2 of '. Behind the curtain of power, sex, ambition, love, greed and corruption in modern Washington D.C. the Underwoods must battle threats past and present to avoid losing everything. As new alliances form and old ones succumb to deception and betrayal, they will stop at nothing to ensure their ascendancy.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Sony's Blu-ray package of the highly lauded series House of Cards is as clean and crisp as you might imagine from a new HD-broadcast series. The 13 X 50-minute episodes are housed on four Blu-rays. 4 episodes on the first disc and three each on the remaining - with supplements on each disc. The original aspect ratio of 2.0:1 is supported. This is transferred on dual-layered discs with reasonable bitrates for the feature content per Blu-ray. There are plenty of dark scenes in House of Cards (dark topics) but the bitrate is supportive and I saw no noise or compression artifacts. The brighter the scenes the more depth - which is common. Detail is strong, visuals, especially close-ups, are crisp. It is quite flawless and in 1080P.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Excellent audio quality with a supportive and tight DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 2177 kbps. Any action, and it's not abundant although there are effect sounds that jump to the rear speakers. Jeff Beal's score floats in and out through scene changes. Everything sounds pristine in lossless and there is depth in the score's drums. There is a French language DUBs and some subtitle options signifying the three discs as being region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Firstly, there are 50-second recaps for each episode, and on disc 1, we get the 4-minute long Politics for the Sake of Politics which details some of the shows themes beyond politics - namely relationships and power. Direct Address runs 5.5 minutes and discusses when Francis talking directly to the viewer, breaking the 4th wall - kind of narrating for a short period and how this technique was used in the original British show. On disc 2, the 11-minute featurette, Two Houses focuses more on the difference between the original British show, the new show and a history of how the project came together. Disc 3's supplement is a 7.5 minute Table Read cut together with the actual scenes from episodes 12 and 13 (split-screen) so you see how the scene changes. Disc 4 has the 18-minute piece entitled 'Line of Succession' with a lot of input from director James Foley on the production details.
June 13th, 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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