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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Long Weekend [Blu-ray]

 

(Colin Eggleston, 1978)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Australian Film Commission

Video: Synapse Films / Umbrella  /  Second Sight

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' / Region FREE  / 'B'  (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:35:10.287 / 1:35:09.286 /  1:35:08.744

Disc Size: 24,209,218,047 bytes / 32,881,467,519 bytes  /  41,067,788,659 bytes

Feature Size: 22,950,109,824 bytes / 23,061,467,136 bytes  / 30,614,339,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.95 Mbps / 25.02 Mbps  /  34.87 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 14  /  16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Thicker (UK) Blu-ray Case  /  Black Blu-ray case

Release date: April 14th, 2015 / January 2015  /  November 5th, 2018

 

Video (all three):

Aspect ratio: 2.43:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3329 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3329 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1660 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1660 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2065 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2065 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3329 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3329 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2065 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2065 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3330 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3330 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
 

Subtitles:

None / English, none / English, none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves (4:43)
Theatrical Trailer (2:05)

 

• Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton

Stills Gallery with audio interview with actor John Hargreaves (4:42)
Uncut Not Quite Hollywood Interviews with cinematographer Vincent Monton, writer Evert de Roche and actor Briony Behets (18:31)
Nature Found Them Guilty: Examining "Long Weekend" Panel Discussion (24:01)
Original Trailer (2:05)

 

Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
Nature Found Them Guilty: Examining Long Weekend Panel Discussion with Film Historians Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie (24:00)
Extensive Stills Gallery Accompanied by Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
Original Theatrical Trailer

 

Bitrate:

 

1) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Second Sight - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Description: Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed?

 

 

The Film:

An Australian couple sets off on a weekend to the coast in this psychological thriller. Peter ({|John Hargreaves|}) and Marcia ({|Briony Behets|}) are at each other's throats from the moment they pull out of the driveway, as Peter sneaks his dog along for the weekend and Marcia is harboring anger about a recent tragedy the couple faced. As day turns into night and they have yet to reach their destination, Peter hits a kangaroo while falling asleep at the wheel. This sets in motion a chain of mysterious events, which starts with them leaving the beaten path and appearing to go in circles through the darkened thickets of trees -- even though they've driven straight ahead for hours. Upon eventually reaching their destination, the strange happenings continue, with animals behaving in unusual ways, and a persistent cry of anguish floating over the water, which sounds almost human. Peter and Marcia are determined to prove they can rough it, even as they start to wonder if they've gotten in over their head. They doggedly remain camped, despite mounting evidence that they don't understand the feral Australian woods as well as they think.

Excerpt from Barnes and Noble located HERE

The message here is: mess with the primeval forces of Nature, and Nature will get you in the end. It seems that if you wife-swap, have abortions, or run over a kangaroo, you are going to have a lousy weekend. You won't be able to find the beach; ants will mess up your picnic; the chicken will go off pong, the spear-gun will go off ping; and God knows how the lager will stay cold. These and many other 'mysterious' events are so heavily laden with symbolism that any possibility of suspense or credibility is sunk even before Nature can start to get really raw. Walkabout and The Last Wave did it much better.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

An environmentally ignorant young couple receives the wrath of nature while on a camping trip in the haunting 1970s horror film, "Long Weekend," (1978). Briony Behets and John Hargreaves star as the young couple that decides to take a camping trip to the beach in order to repair their fragile marriage. But as the couple drives to their destination, they leave a tragic trail of road kill and garbage, angering the nearby animals, who soon seek out their vengeance in series of horrifyingly gruesome attacks. Will the couple learn their lesson and make it out alive?

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

Long Weekend gets a 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Synapse. It looks quite impressive with the many outdoor beach sequences of the film appearing clean and colorful. The aspect ratio is advertised as 2.35:1 but it clocks it closer to 2.43:1 and I think the wider frame suits the presentation, IMO. It is a shade thick with some nice textures. This is single-layered with a decent bitrate. It is a fairly clean presentation and my only complaint is that it may be a shade soft - but is probably accurate to the original production. The visuals are frequently very pleasing.  I suggest viewing Long Weekend at home on a late Friday night with basket of popcorn.

 

Looks like it's using the same D1 (exact same framing) - very minor differences. The Umbrella is a shade darker and may have a negligible edge in-motion quality with the higher bitrate.

 

Again, same framing and probably the same restoration or D1 but transferred more robustly with the highest bitrate - making it the best image quality - most notably in-motion.

 

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

 

Subtitle Samples

 

1) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Second Sight - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Second Sight - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Second Sight - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Synapse offer a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump at 3329 kbps and this is a film that benefits as there are so many subtle, and overt, natural audio fragments infused into the soundstage. This adds another layer to our attentiveness. There is depth and some sneaky separations - not unsuitably crisp but drifting around the room with spooky intent. There is also a similarly lossless 2.0 channel track to choose. The score is by Michael Carlos and adds another layer of mystery to the film's clandestine narrative  There are no subtitle options and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

 

Umbrella don't include the 2.0 channel and their 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master is very comparable to Synapse's. Umbrella do add optional English subtitles and their Blu-ray disc is Region FREE playable worldwide.

 

Second Sight gives the option of a linear PCM 1.0 channel mono track or the 5.1 surround bump in DTS-HD Master. Nice to have the choice and both are 24-bit and sound excellent. Second Sight include optional English subtitles (see sample) and their Blu-ray disc is Region 'B'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Synapse include an audio commentary from producer Richard Brennan and cinematographer Vincent Monton dealing a lot with the production aspects and recollections of the filming process. There is also a motion still gallery featuring a 5-minute audio interview with actor John Hargreaves. Lastly we get a theatrical trailer.

 

Same audio commentary from producer Richard Brennan and cinematographer Vincent Monton as found on the Synapse that also has the 5-minute stills gallery / audio interview with actor John Hargreaves But the Aussie disc adds a more Uncut Not Quite Hollywood Interviews - this time with cinematographer Vincent Monton, writer Everett de Roche and actor Briony Behets. Nice to hear their reflections on the film's production and impact. Nature Found Them Guilty: Examining "Long Weekend" is a 24-minute panel discussion with Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie talking about the film. There is also an original trailer.

 

Same audio commentary and same Nature Found Them Guilty: Examining "Long Weekend" is a 24-minute panel discussion with Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie talking about the film. There is also an extensive stills gallery accompanied by audio interview with actor John Hargreaves plus there is an original theatrical trailer.

 

Synapse - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Umbrella - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This was more than I was anticipating. Long Weekend is an odd haunting, atmospheric, creepy and moody film. There are interesting camera angles and long shots - constant suspicious stares by the performers and plenty of nature. I might not say it is a great film - but it sure was an interesting one with constant suspense building at every corner. The Synapse Blu-ray does its job well with a solid a/v presentation and the commentary adds further value. I will be revisiting Long Weekend again as I can't help feel that more of its subtext will be revealed on subsequent viewings. Recommended!

 

A notch ahead of the Synapse but fans have to weigh the value as they share the commentary and a decent presentation. Always nice to have options and the Umbrella, subtitle options, interviews and Panel discussion may tip the scales. This Ozploitation classic is always recommended!

 

This appears to be the definitive release for this Ozploitation gem. Second Sight have done a great job and this is the one Blu-ray release to own. Strongly recommended!      

Gary Tooze

April 6th, 2015

March 21st, 2018

November 20th, 2018

 




 

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