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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Diner [Blu-ray]

 

(Barry Levinson, 1982)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Video: Warner Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:55.297 

Disc Size: 25,810,139,013 bytes

Feature Size: 23,562,350,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.64 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 3rd, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1092 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1092 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Introduction by Barry Levinson (1:14)

• Diner: On the Flip Side (30:34)

Theatrical Trailer (2:17)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Fries with gravy, a cherry cola. Friendship, bragging rights...and does Sinatra or Mathis croon the best makeout music? Before there was the counterculture of the '60s, there was the counter culture. From his Oscar-nominated script, Barry Levinson makes his directing debut with this endearing study of pals in transition. Film-debuting Ellen Barkin plays a neglected wife. Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly and Paul Reiser - chosen from over 600 hopefuls - play the up-all-night buddies who work out the remnants of adolescence during ritual grazings at a busy steel-and-vinyl hangout in 1959 Baltimore. Stars, laughs, interlocking stories: entertainment is the daily special in Diner.

 

 

The Film:

Writer-director Barry Levinson's autobiographical first feature fondly remembers his Baltimore youth. It's late 1959, and six guys in their early twenties are stumbling into adulthood, alternating responsibility with carefree time at their local diner. The story centers on the return from college of Billy (Tim Daly) to serve as best man at the wedding of his pal Eddie (Steve Guttenberg). Billy is consumed by a confusing relationship with a close female friend, while Eddie still lives at home, preparing a football trivia test for his fiancée and vowing to cancel the wedding if she fails. Other characters woven into the narrative include Boogie (Mickey Rourke), a womanizer with a gambling problem, and Shrevie (Daniel Stern), a music addict with a troubled marriage. Diner became known for its bittersweet comic screenplay and its remarkable cast, which also included Paul Reiser, Kevin Bacon, and Ellen Barkin. In order to capture the loose, laid-back dialogue of the diner scenes, Levinson directed them last, so that the actors would be more comfortable with each other. Diner was the first part of Levinson's "Baltimore Trilogy," followed by Tin Men (1987) and Avalon (1990).

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Directing from his own script, Levinson revels in detailed observation in this rites-of-passage movie about a college student returning home to Baltimore for the Christmas holidays in 1959, and picking up with the old gang as they try to fend off adulthood and marriage by hanging out at the local diner and talking about football, women, cars and rock'n'roll (Stern is particularly fine as the R&B buff, memorising record label serial numbers with religious awe). Not a lot to it, but the sense of period is acute, the script witty without falling into the crude pitfalls that beset other adolescent comedies, and the performances are spot-on.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Diner on Blu-ray from Warner handles the pervasive darkness far better than the last SD transfer. The 1080P image quality shows some pleasing grain textures and no noise or artifacts. This is only single-layered with a middling bitrate. Colors seem richer and truer than SD could relate and the DVD tended to look blocky at times. Skin tones seem accurate and contrast exhibits deep black levels. Daylight scenes show more detail but the film's darkness seems very accurate to the theatrical look. This Blu-ray does its job in terms of exporting thick, film-like, grain-soaked visuals.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No boost going on here - its a mono track via a DTS-HD Master at 1092 kbps. I like the authenticity and, hence, there is not much to add - the score is by the relatively unknown team of Bruce Brody and Ivan Král. Augmented the frequent 50's hits like It's All in the Game, Jerry Lee Lewis' Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Dion & The Belmonts' A Teenager in Love and I Wonder Why, Bobby Darin's Dream Lover and Beyond the Sea, Blue Moon, La Bamba, Chuck Berry and so much more. It still sounds good via the uncompressed even without range or substantial depth. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

The supplements appear to duplicate the SE DVD. These extras include a brief introduction by director/writer Barry Levinson, a Behind the Scenes documentary entitled Diner: On the Flip Side. It runs over 1/2 and hour and has input from many of the young stars and the filmmakers. lastly we have a theatrical trailer in 480i.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Diner has obvious comparisons to American Graffiti capturing the nostalgia of the 50's era. Like Lucas' film - this also has a talented young cast that went onto bigger, or some just 'other', projects. I admit to thoroughly enjoying revisiting Diner - its happiness is contagious. The Warner Blu-ray provides a solid a/v presentation and, for those keen, we recommend! 

Gary Tooze

January 27th, 2015

 


 

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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