|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Gang's All Here [Blu-ray]
(Busby Berkeley, 1943)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Video: Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #93 / Twilight Time
Region: 'B'-locked/ Region FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:43:16.023 / 1:43:22.196
Disc Size: 34,766,339,070 bytes/ 36,148,459,759 bytes
Feature Size: 30,401,959,488 bytes / 32,846,505,984 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps / 29.98 Mbps
Chapters: 28/ 24
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: September 15th, 2014 / September 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2022 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2022
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1992 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1992
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1802 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1802 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
•New & exclusive full-length audio commentary with critics Glenn Kenny and Farran Smith Nehme and film historian Ed Hulse
• The documentary Busby Berkeley: A Journey with a Star (19:29)
• A deleted scene from the film (5:09)
• Trailer (2:11)
• A 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring essays on the film by critics David Cairns and Karina Longworth, and more!
Audio Commentary with Film
Historian Drew Casper
Liner notes from Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 units
Description: The iconic director-choreographer Busby
Berkeley's first full-length film in Technicolor is well
established as being perhaps the most visually stunning
spectacle of any Hollywood musical. But to focus on this
risks overlooking its exuberant performances, gleeful humour,
sensational music and glowing romance, amidst countless
Playboy Andy Mason, on leave from the army, romances showgirl Eadie Allen overnight to such effect that she's starry-eyed when he leaves next morning for active duty in the Pacific. Only trouble is, he gave her the assumed name of Casey. Andy's eventual return with a medal is celebrated by his rich father with a benefit show featuring Eadie's show troupe, at which she's sure to learn his true identity...and meet Vivian, his 'family-arrangement' fiancée. Mostly song and dance.
Busby Berkeley's first in colour, reaching some sort of apotheosis in vulgarity with Carmen Miranda's 'Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat' accompanied by a parade of chorines manipulating outsize bananas. Basically terrible, although Berkeley fans get some bizarre eyefuls and Benny Goodman provides some bland Big Band swing. But Alice Faye does get to sing two terrific Harry Warren numbers, 'No Love, No Nothing' and 'A Journey to a Star'.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The delightful The Gang's All Here was on the 2007 DVD set The Alice Faye Collection. It has now come to Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema arm of Eureka Cinema in the UK and we have compared some of the SD caps to the new 1080P transfer. It is easy to see the impressive increase in quality - notable in the vibrancy and separation of the colors as well as the layered contrast. There is a bit of depth but the colors might seem to be the highlight of the HD transfer. This Blu-ray just overflows with sparkling fun and timeless exuberance - probably just how it was theatrically! Truly enjoyable!
We asked in Social Media (FB and Twitter) - and though response was limited - the majority prefer the, brighter, Masters of Cinema 1080P release. Strangely, the bitrate graphs are almost identical but it looks as if someone leaned on a button during the transfer process with the Twilight Time. It is unnaturally dark - and because of this hides detail but I do like the colors although they may be too intense and lean to green. I, of course, have no idea what the film looked like theatrically - I doubt many still do. I think the balance between saturation - de-saturation is not as well-defined as some might appreciate. It also shifts the frame showing a bit more on the left and a bit less on the right side of the frame as compared to the UK counterpart. Frankly, it didn't look overly poor in-motion and the darkness something you get used to fairly quick. Again, always nice to have options.
ssays: "I'd vote for the MoC. It looks to be entirely a
mastering decision by Twilight Time to set contrast levels
and color balance as they did, as that looks like the
exactly same source to me, just radically retimed. Whereas
the Twilight Time version resembles some examples of UK
Technicolor printing with a greenish tilt, it also looks
artificially enhanced and manipulated in a way the MoC does
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Blu-ray Captures
MoC opt for an authentic liner PCM mono track at 1152 kbps. It's hard to fins gaps in the film where music is not playing (or just about to be played) from the score with contributions by Hugo Friedhofer, Arthur Lange, Cyril J. Mockridge, Alfred Newman and Gene Rose, and we have an abundance of musical number like Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here! as sung by a chorus during the opening credits, Carmen Miranda crooning Brazil, You Discover You're in New York, The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat, plus the Benny Goodman and His Orchestra pieces and so much of Harry Warren's music. It all sounds wonderful, flat exporting some surprising depth and clarity. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Twilight Time give the option of both DTS-HD master track sin 1.0 mono and 2.0. I couldn't notice much difference between the mono track and Masters of Cinema's linear PCM. Some of the music sounded less 'tinny' but it's hard to say definitively. The numbers sound wonderful - very toe-tapping and accessed as an isolated score track. Just like the MoC, there are optional English (SDH) subtitles but the disc is region FREE - and limited to 3,000 units.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Drew Casper's audio commentary on the DVD package but there is another one on this Blu-ray with critics Glenn Kenny and Farran Smith Nehme and film historian Ed Hulse that imparts an immense amount of information. It is also very educational and entertaining - a great addition to the MoC Blu-ray. There is also a 20-minute documentary entitled Busby Berkeley: A Journey with a Star about the famous (and at times infamous) director/raconteur. Also found on the 20th Century Fox SD - we get a 5-minute deleted scene from the film and a trailer. Master of Cinema add another of their valuable, 36-page, booklets - this one featuring essays on the film by critics David Cairns and Karina Longworth! Excellent!
Twilight Time nudge ahead with the on-disc extras which include the same audio commentary with film historians Glenn Kenny, Ed Hulse, and Farran Smith Nehme as well as a second with film historian Drew Casper as found on 20th Century Fox (4-disc) Alice Faye Collection reviewed HERE. They also include the same 20-minute documentary Busby Berkeley: A Journey with a Star as well as The $64 Question deleted scene but they also add Alice Faye’s Last Film: Charles Manno's We Still Are! from 1985 - as the star was a spokesman for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. It runs 25-minutes. There is also an original theatrical trailer plus the package has some liner notes from Julie Kirgo.
Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Such a fun film and I love the video differences - it's always a positive for fans to have an option. I think whichever one is 'right' depends on your preferences although consensus is the MoC provides a more authentic presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the film again - what a treat! Twilight time adding the second commentary and Faye short do add a bit more value for the extras.
September 2nd, 2014
October 6th, 2016
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 3500 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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