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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The 'Burbs [Blu-ray]

 

(Joe Dante, 1989)

 

Also available in a non-Steelbook Blu-ray Edition HERE:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Imagine Entertainment

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:41:40.385

Disc Size: 48,041,204,645 bytes

Feature Size: 31,880,352,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Steelbook Blu-ray case

Release date: September 15th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

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.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A MAN OF PEACE IN A SAVAGE LAND... SUBURBIA.

The films of director Joe Dante have taken us to some strange places a mysterious Chinatown antique store in Gremlins; a secluded resort populated by werewolves in The Howling; even deep inside the human body in Innerspace. But now he takes us to the strangest place of all surburbia!

Family man Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) is looking forward to a week of putting his feet up at home in the quiet, leafy cul-de-sac of Mayfield Place. But his plans are scuppered by the arrival of new next-door neighbours, The Klopeks, whose behaviour and habits are more than just a little kooky. But things go from kooky to downright sinister when local old boy Walter disappears, leading Ray and his buddies to suspect their new neighbours of killing and eating him! Sure, the Klopeks are a strange bunch what with their digging up the backyard in the middle of the night but they re not devil-worshipping cannibal killers... are they?

If you re looking for a knowing slice of tongue-in-cheek terror then look no further than The Burbs. A standout horror comedy from a director who has given us more than his fair share of fun frighteners, The Burbs assembles a superb cast including Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher and Corey Feldman in a tall tale of small-town terror. You ll never look at those eccentric neighbours in the same way again!

 

 

The Film:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

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.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Like most Joe Dante films, The Burbs is immensely re-watchable. He makes cinema for 'fans'.  There can be no question that the Arrow Blu-ray is the definitive Home Theater package. I've always liked this film and hold this BD in high esteem. Again Arrow mark themselves as one of the top Blu-ray production companies on the globe. Our highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

September 15th, 2014

Also available in a non-Steelbook Blu-ray Edition HERE:


 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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