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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Sean Penn
USA 1995

Director Sean Penn's masterpiece mediating on revenge, guilt and punishment...  with an unforgettable climax that evolves like a passive Shakespeare coincidence. Sean Penn is one of best North American directors working today - this is aside from his prodigious talent as an actor. "The Crossing Guard" is my favorite of his three films. Jack Nicholson is as real and stirring as he ever is, playing Freddie Gale, a successful jeweler who, through a horrific tragedy, has lost his daughter Emily to a drunk driver. Freddie's life is an orgy of spending and abuse since the event and analogous breakup with his wife (Anjelica Huston). His life is spiraling to an inevitable close waiting to exact his revenge upon the man who did it - certain that the retribution will resolve his pain. John Booth (played by David Morse) has just been released from jail for the crime. John has come to a more accepting state of mind involving the guilt he is laboring with... but he is nonetheless repentant. The plot unfolds to a preeminent final scene; one as unforgettable as any in 90's Hollywood. out of

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 10th, 1995 (Toronto Film Festival) - CANADA

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Comparison:

Miramax -  Region 0 - NTSC vs. Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Lions Gate (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Miramax-  Region 1 - NTSC Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Lions Gate (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:50:36 1:50:49.342 1:50:57.859
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080i Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,323,651,016 bytes

Feature: 22,662,162,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,894,664,384 bytes

Feature: 31,548,677,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.94 Mbps

 

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

Bitrate:

 

Bitrate US: Blu-ray

 

Bitrate UK: Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1858 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1858 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2442 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2442 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English (Close captioned), None None French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Miramax Recommendations
• Commentary by Cast and crew


DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 30

Release Information:
Studio: Echo Bridge

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080i Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,323,651,016 bytes

Feature: 22,662,162,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
 Featurette (5:43)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Studio:
Lions Gate

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,894,664,384 bytes

Feature: 31,548,677,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.94 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
 None

Blu-ray Release Date:
March 19th, 2012
Thicker (UK) Blu-ray Case

Chapters 30

Comments:

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

ADDITION - Lions Gate (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray July 2014: Okay - so I picked up the UK Blu-ray edition - which appears to be the same as the French Blu-ray edition. It starts with a menu screen allowing a choice of "United Kingdom" (which starts with a 'Miramax' logo) or "France" (which shows a 'Studio Canal' logo).  It shows the film in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio (showing the US 1.78:1 to be 'opened up') and it is a brighter than the Echo Bridge, but it still shows some background artifacts although skin tones cool and look more natural. I only compared a 1/2 dozen captures as, aside from the higher bitrate, the biggest improvement is that it is transferred progressively - and shows up as being much smoother in-motion although even the static captures show some 'combing' for the interlaced US transfer. The European Blu-ray is not a perfect image - but its is certainly better than the US one. Audio is lossless - in both a surround 5.1 DTS-HD Master or a linear PCM stereo. It separation of the surround sounds okay with a few notable definitions that added depth. There are only optional French subtitles offered on the Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc. There are no supplements.

NOTE: Strangely - my software detected a 1.7 Gig file on the European Blu-ray disc with a 10-minute running time - but there are no extras. I accessed it and it shows colors bars for a few minutes and about 6-minutes of the start of the film, with no audio. I guess it was a test file by the Blu-ray authors.

This Region 'B' Blu-ray is not ideal but a significant improvement (most notable in-motion) for the presentation. Still a film that I strongly endorse!

***

ADDITION - Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray June 2014: Some exec somewhere doesn't like this film... or Sean Penn... or something. Both times of these releases have unforgivable weaknesses. The initial SD was not even anamorphic and this Blu-ray (sharing the dual-layered disc with The Human Stain, which is actually in 1080P) is interlaced!?!? Why? The 1080i transfer isn't very stable and wavers in-motion. It looks better than the DVD but far from its HD potential. Geez.

Lossless stereo - DTS-HD Master at 1858 kbps. The score by Jack Nitzsche (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) benefits. There are no subtitles and only a vintage featurette as an extras (we lose the commentary.)

I'll pick up the UK version HERE to compare. I still rate this film very highly, but this transfer is flawed, IMO.

 

***

 

 

ON THE DVD: Good video and audio (5.1) on the DVD by Miramax. I would have preferred it anamorphic, but suspect that a it may get re-issued as an 16X9 SE one day. This is a dark film with good contrast, but there is also some stellar cinematography that is showcased well by the colors. There are close-captions for the hearing impaired and a optional commentary track. I am enamored with the film, so I may be biased - but this is a "gotta have" DVD in my book.

Gary W. Tooze





Menus

1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 
 

 

Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MiraMax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Lions Gate - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Echo Bridge Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

Distribution Miramax-  Region 1 - NTSC Echo Bridge - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Lions Gate (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze