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The Grand Budapest Hotel [Blu-ray]
(Wes Anderson, 2014)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Scott Rudin Productions
Video: 20th Century Fox
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 39,302,059,263 bytes
Feature Size: 24,715,739,136 bytes
Video Bitrate: 32.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase
Release date: June 17th, 2014
Aspect ratios: 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3312 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3312 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
English (SDH), Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian , Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian, none
• Bill Murray Tours the Town (4:17)
Sneak Peeks and Cod for Digital Download
Description: Wes Anderson heads to Europe for the first time with this Indian Paintbrush production starring Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, and Jude Law. The famous concierge at a legendary hotel situated in the Alps becomes the center of a farcical whirlwind of suspicion when one of his institution's oldest and richest patrons turns up dead, and she suspiciously leaves him her most priceless work of art -- a Renaissance painting of a boy with an apple.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Mr. Anderson’s eighth feature, will
delight his fans, but even those inclined to grumble that it’s just more
of the same patented whimsy might want to look again. As a sometime
grumbler and longtime fan, I found myself not only charmed and touched
but also moved to a new level of respect.
Anderson is a miniaturist whose films often seem inspired by the novelty
shop and the confectioner’s counter, and fans of his work, from Rushmore
to Moonrise Kingdom, will find the usual pop-up-book visual style and
precision humour, but The Grand Budapest Hotel, his eighth feature,
takes us somewhere new: into literary and historical territory.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel is mostly presented in the Academy ratio, 1.37:1 (representing the 30's) with the opening and closing presented in the 2.35:1 (the 60's?), and sequence with the title and beginning (Tom Wilkinson) time period representing of the mid-80s to the present, all pictureboxed, in-and-around 1.85:1. So the ratio is, essentially, used to inform the viewer of the period. Wes Anderson always wanted to do a film in 1.37:1 but had not until now - although there was talk of The Royal Tenebaums being filmed in the 'Academy' ratio. Of course these are all matted to the 1.78:1 frame of the Blu-ray. The quality is excellent, beautifully colorful - kudos to the art direction - tight details - notable in the, many, close-ups. This is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate and looks pristine in 1080P - a real visual treat. They are frequent examples of depth. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws and supplies a wonderful HD presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred via a robust DTS-HD Master 5,1 track at a healthy 3312 kbps. Aside from effects and the score by Alexandre Desplat (Moonrise Kingdom, The Ghost Writer, The King's Speech) it is filled with Anderson's usual cornucopia selections including s'Rothe-Zšuerli performed by ÷se Schuppel, Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I. Moderato by Antonio Vivaldi, The Linden Tree written by Pavel Vasilevich Kulikov, some Straus on a Wurlitzer and further eclectic choices - all sounding rich and crisp in lossless. There is a descriptive audio track (in English) and many foreign-language DUBs and optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines around the globe.
NOTE: On my Oppo, I couldn't put on subtitles 'on the fly' (via remote activation), I had to return to the main menu to enable them, but pressing 'play' returns you to the same spot in the film.
Unfortunately, no director commentary which would have been the icing on the cake for the film presentation but we still get some reasonable supplements. Bill Murray Tours the Town has the actor (M. Ivan in the film) briefly visits some of the locations of the film Vignettes (Kunstermuweum Zubrowka Lecture, The Society of the Crossed Keys, Medl's Secret Recipe) offer 9-minutes of amusement associated with clandestine aspects of the story The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel is a total of 18-minutes divided into 4 parts, on various aspects of the production with snippets from the cast, filmmakers and director. The 'Cast' is discussing the extensive variety of actors involved in the film. As Tilda Swinton says "It's an honor to be in one frame... or just on the set!". There is about 4-minutes extolling Anderson's wonderful eccentricities and endearing qualities, a Stills Gallery, theatrical trailer and the disc offers a paper with the code for a Digital Download of the feature playable on your portable device.
June 11th, 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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