|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The 'Burbs [Blu-ray]
(Joe Dante, 1989)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Imagine Entertainment
Video: Arrow Video
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 48,041,204,645 bytes
Feature Size: 31,880,352,960 bytes
Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps
Case: Steelbook Blu-ray case
Release date: September 15th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Score: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
•Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack
• New audio commentary with writer Dana Olsen, moderated by author Calum Waddell
• There Goes the Neighbourhood: The Making of The Burbs - A new feature-length documentary including interviews with Dante, actors Corey Feldman, Courtney Gains and Wendy Schaal, director of photography Robert M. Stevens and production designer James H. Spencer (1:06:33)
• The original Workprint cut of the film transferred from Director Joe Dante s personal copy, on home video for the very first time - includes deleted and alternate scenes! (1:45:57)
• A Tale of Two Burbs Video featurette comparing the differences between the Workprint and Theatrical cuts of the film, with optional audio commentary from Dante (23:37)
• Alternate ending, presented in HD for the very first time (6:38)
• Original Theatrical Trailer in HD (1:33)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kenneth J. Souza, author of Scared Silly: The Films of Joe Dante, and an article looking at the collaborations of Joe Dante and composer Jerry Goldsmith, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
Description: A MAN OF PEACE IN A SAVAGE LAND... SUBURBIA.
Ward and June Cleaver have nothing on suburban couple Ray and Carol Peterson (Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher). Together with their perfect son, Ray and Carol are so clean that they squeak. Thus, when new neighbors Dr. Werner Klopek (Henry Gibson), Uncle Reuben (Brother Theodore), and Hans (Courtney Gains) begin evincing bizarre behavior, Ray is slightly put out. Carol thinks that Ray is getting all worked up over nothing. Ray and his fellow suburbanites endure all sorts of slapstick misadventures in the vain hope of getting "the goods" on the newcomers.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
When Ray Peterson (Hanks) opts to take his vacation at home in Hinckley Hills - the epitome of suburban conformism - he soon becomes infected by his neighbours' paranoia over the Klopeks, new arrivals to the scuzziest house in the street. Okay, they're ugly, they keep a dog called Landru, dig up the garden by night, and have a noisy basement; but are they really 'neighbours from hell'? After all, Ray's pals are pretty weird: Mark (Dern) is a rabid militarist, Art (Ducommun) is obsessed with macabre murders, and Ricky (Feldman) is a thrill-crazy Heavy Metal freak. Joe Dante's manic black satire portrays the investigations of this quartet of eternal adolescents into the Klopeks' admittedly unusual lifestyle with enormous glee, revelling in OTT behaviour and absurd dialogue, and tossing out film parodies with reckless abandon. Characteristically, Dante's nonchalant attitude towards plot structure makes for erratic pacing (the last half hour does flag), but that's part and parcel of his breathless, anarchic style. It's very silly, of course, but Hanks' fine timing is matched by a strong supporting cast, and thanks to Dante's wicked, comic-strip view of the world, the movie achieves an admirably wacky consistency as it debunks American mores and movie clichés, from Hitchcock and Leone to Michael Winner and Tobe Hooper.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Burbs gets another impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films. It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. The Burbs was restored in 2K resolution by Arrow themselves - supervised by James White - and approved by director Joe Dante. An initial screen describes, to us, that the original fine grain positive was scanned in 2K on a 4K Arriscan by NBC UniversalPost. The film was graded to Director Dante's specifications on the Baselight color grading system at Prime Focus, London. The film was then restored at Deluxe Digital - EMEA, London, where thousands of instances of dirt, light scratches and debris were removed through a combination of software tools and techniques. Image stability and related picture issues were also improved. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels, and vibrant colors, in the 1.85:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. It looks a little thick at times - as films from the late 80's tend to but this Blu-ray provides the absolute best presentation we are ever likely to get for The 'Burbs.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Arrow use a linear PCM stereo track, in original English, at 2304 kbps. The soundtrack was mastered from the original audio elements by NBC UniversalPost, and there is an optional Music and Effects Soundtrack (also in LPCM). Jerry Goldsmith (Seconds, Hoosiers, The Blue Max, Breakheart Pass) does another great score and it sounds delightful in lossless. There is some perceived buoyancy but the music drifts from light-hearted to suspenseful thriller depending on the mood of the scene. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Arrow really stack this release starting with a wonderful new audio commentary with writer Dana Olsen, moderated by author Calum Waddell. It involves a lot of depth into the subtleties of the themes and is really worth the time to listen. Arrow also include a new feature-length, over an hour!, documentary in 1080P including interviews with Dante, actors Corey Feldman, Courtney Gains and Wendy Schaal, director of photography Robert M. Stevens and production designer James H. Spencer. It is entitled There Goes the Neighbourhood: The Making of The Burbs and covers some information not mentioned in the commentary. For those very keen we get the original Workprint cut of the film transferred from Director Joe Dante's personal copy, on home video for the very first time - includes deleted and alternate scenes! It runs over 4-minutes longer than the theatrical but the quality is quite limited taking up only 5 Gig - but still being transferred in 1080P. A Tale of Two Burbs is a video featurette comparing the differences between the Workprint and Theatrical cuts of the film, with an optional audio commentary from Dante. It runs almost 24-minutes. For the first time fans can see a 6.5-minute Alternate ending of The Burbs - presented in HD. Lastly, on the digital-front, is a trailer and access to the Isolated Score and Effects track, but the Arrow package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kenneth J. Souza, author of Scared Silly: The Films of Joe Dante, and an article looking at the collaborations of Joe Dante and composer Jerry Goldsmith, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
September 15th, 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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