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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Big Eyes [Blu-ray]

 

(Tim Burton, 2014)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Weinstein Company

Video: Anchor Bay

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:45:44.338 

Disc Size: 37,423,748,960 bytes

Feature Size: 25,548,109,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.57 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 14th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3461 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3461 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• The Making of Big Eyes (21:33)

• Q + A Highlights (33:55)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From the Academy AwardŽ winning team that brought you Ed Wood, Big Eyes focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret (Amy Adams) and Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz). Walter Keane became a worldwide celebrity and talk show fixture in the 1950s after he pioneered the mass production of prints of big-eyed kids, and used his marketing savvy to sell them cheaply in hardware stores and gas stations across the country. Unfortunately, he claimed to be the artist. That role was played by Margaret, his shy wife. She generated the paintings from their basement and Walter’s contribution was adding his signature to the bottom. The ruse broke up their marriage and led to a divorce and a dramatic courtroom battle to prove authorship of the paintings.

 

 

The Film:

The true story of painter Margaret Keane's life in obscurity while her husband gleaned the notoriety for being the face of her work is brought to the screen by Tim Burton and his Ed Wood screenwriters, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The story opens in the late 1950s, when Margaret Keane Amy Adams packs up the car with her daughter and their personal belongings, and leaves her husband to start a new life in San Francisco. There, Margaret quickly reconnects with her old friend DeeAnn Krysten Ritter, and falls head over heels for Walter Christoph Waltz, an artist and part-time real-estate broker who soon shows great interest in her unique paintings of small children with strikingly expressive, saucer-like eyes. Before long, the two are married, and Walter is claiming credit for Margaret's increasingly popular paintings. With the money rolling in, Margaret initially agrees to go along with the ruse, but the closer she gets to her new husband the more she begins to realize that he's little more than a smooth-talking scam artist. Later, riddled with guild over the fact that she's been deceiving her own daughter as her paintings become a pop-culture phenomenon, Margaret leaves the increasingly abusive Walter, and moves to Hawaii. Only then does Margaret gain the confidence to reclaim the works that have been credited to her husband, even when doing so entails going before the judge and proving that she and she alone created the enchanting children with the big eyes. Danny Huston, Terence Stamp, and Jason Schwartzman co-star.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Tim Burton directs this biographical drama starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. The film follows the story of American artist Margaret Keane (Adams), who, in the 1960s, allowed her husband Walter (Waltz) to claim credit for her artwork, believing that a female artist could not find success through painting. The Keanes acquired huge amounts of wealth through Margaret's work and the paintings were in high demand throughout their time living together as husband and wife. However, when they later became separated, Margaret announced to the world that she was in fact the true author of the paintings, sparking a long-drawn-out legal battle between her and her estranged husband... Adams won a Golden Globe Award for her performance.

Excerpt from Amazon.UK located HERE

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

Big Eyes arrives on Blu-ray in the US from Anchor Bay. The transfer is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate and the image quality looks solid - predictably clean, tight, very colorful and excellent in-motion.  Contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. It is shot on the versatile HD format (Arri Alexa - 2K). Daylight scenes are more impressive but nothing is overly dark. This Blu-ray visuals export depth and a realistic consistency.  There really are no flaws - not much to go wrong in this rendering and it probably looks very close to theatrical.

 

NOTE: The captures below are courtesy of our friend Erik Hundland on his site HERE (Thanks Erik!)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio of the film in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3461 kbps. There are instances of separations sneaking their way to the rear speakers. Big Eyes is full of musical interludes including the 'theme' written and performed by Lana Del Rey, we get some Miles Davis, Grady Harel and much more including the score from, frequent Burton collaborator, the great Danny Elfman (Darkman, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands, Good Will Hunting, Beetlejuice) supporting the film wonderfully - adding mood and atmosphere with some impressive depth. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Oppo has identified the Anchor Bay disc as being a region A-locked.

 

Extras :

We get two video featurettes in the Blu-ray's supplements; The Making of Big Eyes runs over 20-minutes and is standard fare with sound-bytes from many of the performers and production crew including Burton himself. There is also a 1/2 hour of highlights from a Q + A with Amy Adams and others participating. A fair amount of glad-handing but some revealing questions as well.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
An interesting story coupled with the director's visual flare and Big Eyes is a solidly entertaining film. I was all set to dislike it - but Amy Adams is wonderful and I was keen throughout the entire presentation and the education also helped. In many ways dissimilar to Tim Burton's other work but a competent bio-pic worthy of viewing, IMO. The Anchor Bay Blu-ray provides a solid presentation of an above-average film experience and some extras to boot. Sure - recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 8th, 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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