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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Interstellar [Blu-ray]

 

(Christopher Nolan, 2014)

 

    

    

    

      

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:49:03.925

Disc Size: 40,731,702,679 bytes

Feature Size: 40,306,139,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.25 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase (Digibook in the UK)

Release date: March 31st, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 and 1,78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3693 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3693 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Blu-ray #1
Feature film in high definition

Blu-ray #2
The Science of Interstellar—Extended cut of the broadcast special (50:20)
Plotting an Interstellar Journey—Discusses the film’s origins, influences and narrative designs (7:49)
Life on Cooper’s Farm—Bringing Americana and the grounded nature of a farm to a sci-fi space movie (9:43)
The Dust—Learn how cast and crew avoided sand blindness, and see how to create, and clean up after, a catastrophic dust storm (2:39)
TARS and CASE—Designing and building these unique characters and how they were brought to life on set and in the film (9:27)
Cosmic Sounds—The concepts, process, and recording of Hans Zimmer’s unforgettable score (13:40)
The Space Suits—A look at the design and build of the suits and helmets, and what it was like to wear them (4:31)
The Endurance—Explore this massive set with a guided tour by production designer Nathan Crowley (9:24)
Shooting in Iceland: Miller’s Planet/Mann’s Planet—Travel with the cast and crew to Iceland and see the challenges they faced in creating two vastly different worlds in one country (12:42)
The Ranger and the Lander—A look at the other two spaceships in the film (12:20)
Miniatures in Space—Marvel at the large-scale models used in the explosive docking sequence (5:29)
The Simulation of Zero-G—Discover the various methods that the filmmakers used to create a zero gravity environment (5:31)
Celestial Landmarks—Explore how the filmmakers used practical special effects informed by real scientific equations to give the illusion of real space travel for both the actors and the audience (13:22)
Across All Dimensions and Time—A look at the concept and design of the Tesseract, which incorporated a practical set rather than a green screen (9:02)
Final Thoughts—The cast and crew reflect back on their Interstellar experience (6:02)
Theatrical Trailers (Teaser - 1:53, Trailer 1- 2:34, Trailer 2 - 2:35, Trailer 3 - 2:29)

 

Collectible Interstellar film cell from an original 70MM IMAX print of the film

DVD
ˇ Feature film in standard definition

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A breathtaking filmmaking achievement, INTERSTELLAR has been named one of the Top Ten movies of the year by Rolling Stone, Esquire, the New York Post and more, and has received five Academy AwardŽ nominations including Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Original Score. Academy Award-winner Matthew McConaughey stars as ex-pilot-turned-farmer Cooper, who must leave his family and a foundering Earth behind to lead an expedition traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. The film also stars Academy Award-winners Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine and Academy Award-nominees Jessica Chastain4 and John Lithgow.

 

 

The Film:

Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth. Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” blended the technological awe of the Apollo era with the trippy hopes and terrors of the Age of Aquarius. George Lucas’s first “Star Wars” trilogy, set not in the speculative future but in the imaginary past, answered the malaise of the ’70s with swashbuckling nostalgia. “Interstellar,” full of visual dazzle, thematic ambition, geek bait and corn (including the literal kind), is a sweeping, futuristic adventure driven by grief, dread and regret.

Trying to jot down notes by the light of the Imax screen, where lustrous images (shot by Hoyte van Hoytema and projected from real 70-millimeter film) flickered, I lost count of how many times the phrase “I’m sorry” was uttered — by parents to children, children to parents, sisters to brothers, scientists to astronauts and astronauts to one another. The whole movie can be seen as a plea for forgiveness on behalf of our foolish, dreamy species. We messed everything up, and we feel really bad about it. Can you please give us another chance?

Excerpt from A.O.Scott at the NY Times located HERE

 

It’s rare for a film to deliver a scene of such emotional power that the hardened critic is fighting back tears. It’s even less common for a celluloid image to have that effect. Interstellar does both.

Christopher Nolan’s latest is in every respect a big picture. At a shade under three hours, it’s his longest to date. It also packs in more ideas — about family, humanity, scientific progress, stewardship of the Earth and more — than most films would dare try. If it fails to please all of the people all of the time, it’s not for lack of ambition.

Excerpt from Nation Post located HERE

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

My goodness. Interstellar is stunning on Blu-ray from Paramount.  While the IMAX 70 mm version that some were fortunate enough to see was shown (some scenes) in ratios of 1.44:1 and 1.90:1, the 70 mm version - 2.20:1 and this Blu-ray, dependant on the scene in 2.39:1 and 1.78:1. The visuals are frequently hypnotic from the space sequences and the beauty and serenity of earth with the day lit scenes shown around the farm looking bright and crisp. Contrast, colors, detail are totally adeptly rendered and, predictably, look totally flawless on the dual-layered disc (sharing with no supplements) with supportive bitrate. There are no weaknesses at all - no noise or post digital manipulation for the 1080P presentation.  This Blu-ray shows demo-level video - kudos the film's magical special effects and DoP Hoyte Van Hoytema.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is as strong as the impressive video. We get a tight DTS-HD Master 5.1 at very healthy 3693 kbps. There are many crisp separations and bass response is intimidating with its power potential utilized in the explosions of launching space vehicles. Hans Zimmer (12 Years a Slave, The Thin Red Line, Broadcast News, Angels and Demons etc.) composes the score which reminded me of Philip Glass' in Koyaanisqatsi. It is very contemplative, reflective and I can't imagine a better accompaniment to the film's visuals. It is so effective rising and falling with the screen moods. The audio is, likewise, absolutely perfectly exported by the lossless surround track. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

As stated, the film is on a separate Blu-ray and we are given a second BD with all of the supplements - director/co-writer Christopher Nolan is frequently involved in the production videos - as is younger brother Jonathan (co-writer of Interstellar), some of the Producers, cast and film composer Hans Zimmer. The Science of Interstellar runs 50-minutes and is an extended cut of the, previously-released, broadcast special. Plotting an Interstellar Journey runs almost 8-minutes and discusses the film’s origins, influences and narrative designs. Life on Cooper’s Farm is just shy of 10-minutes and focuses on how the filmmakers brought Americana and the grounded nature of a farm to a sci-fi space movie. The Dust is only 2.5 minutes and we learn how cast and crew avoided sand blindness, and see how to create, and clean up after, a catastrophic dust storm. TARS and CASE spends 10-minutes on the designing and building of these unique characters and how they were brought to life on set and in the film. Cosmic Sounds is almost 1/4 of an hour and shows us the concepts, process, and recording of Hans Zimmer’s unforgettable score. The Space Suits is a look at the design and build of the suits and helmets, and what it was like to wear them. It runs less than 5 minutes. The Endurance explore the massive set for 10-minutes with a guided tour by production designer Nathan Crowley. Shooting in Iceland: Miller’s Planet/Mann’s Planet has over a dozen minutes travelling with the cast and crew to Iceland and see the challenges they faced in creating two vastly different worlds in one country. The Ranger and the Lander is a 12-minute look at the other two spaceships in the film. Miniatures in Space shows us the large-scale models used in the explosive docking sequence. It runs 5.5 minutes. In The Simulation of Zero-G we discover the various methods that the filmmakers used to create a zero gravity environment. Celestial Landmarks explores how the filmmakers used practical special effects informed by real scientific equations to give the illusion of real space travel for both the actors and the audience. It runs almost 14-minutes. Across All Dimensions and Time is a 9-minute look at the concept and design of the Tesseract, which incorporated a practical set rather than a green screen. Final Thoughts has 6-minutes of the cast and crew reflect back on their Interstellar experience. There are 3 theatrical trailers and one teaser trailer. YES, my copy had a collectible Interstellar film cell from an original 70MM IMAX print of the film. Mine was the dirt road travelling to the farmhouse. The package also contains a DVD of the feature film in standard definition and a Digital HD copy of the film.

 

Blu-ray 1

 

 

Blu-ray 2 (Supplements)

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Interstellar is an absolutely mind-blowing film experience. It is going to be referenced for decades. It shares so many universal themes with 2001: A Space Odyssey. I marvel at the writing and how you even begin to make some on this scale. I couldn't get Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life out of my mind (co-incidentally also with Jessica Chastain.) There aren't enough apt adjectives to describe how impressed I am with Interstellar. The Paramount  Blu-ray package is as worthy as any could have hoped. I feel like buying a second one - as a spare. We give this our absolute highest recommendation. 

Gary Tooze

March 21st, 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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