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Blue Sky [Blu-ray]
(Tony Richardson, 1994)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Orion Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,148,468,883 bytes
Feature Size: 23,099,947,008 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 21st, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1865 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1865 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Description: Blue Sky was the last film directed by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) before his death in 1991 and one of the last releases from once-thriving Orion Films, whose bankruptcy kept the picture on the shelf for several years. It also features two career-high performances by Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange, who won the Best Actress Oscar for this role, as Hank and Carly Marshall, a military couple whose marriage unravels under the pressure of his job and her mental instability. Hank is an Army captain at odds with his superiors over the wisdom of nuclear testing. Carly is a free spirit spiralling into a dangerous depression after the family's move from Hawaii to a nowhere base in Alabama alarms the couple's older daughter (Amy Locane) and sends Carly into an affair with the base commander (Powers Boothe)
Set in the early 60s and based on co-scripter Rama Laurie Stagner's
childhood experiences, it's a messy but satisfying examination of a
mysterious love. Carly (Jessica Lange), an effusive Southern belle, and
her husband Hank (Tommy Lee Jones), an Army scientist working on nuclear
testing, move from one military base to another with their daughters
(Amy Locane and Anna Klemp).
Hank (Jones) is besotted with his sexy, manic-depressive wife Carly (Oscar-winner Lange) to the extent that their daughters (Locane and Klemp) more or less raise themselves. He's an Army scientist researching levels of radiation after '60s nuclear tests in the desert, and official pressure on him to massage his readings gets heavier after a pair of cowboys stray into the fall-out. But the real drama here is his marriage, neatly delineated by Carly sashaying about like Marilyn on Jones Beach, half-naked under a gauze scarf, and later breaking down in public as she sees their sordid quarters on camp. She's infantile, a fantasist dreaming of Hollywood, and easy prey for the horny commanding officer (Boothe). In this portrait of a complex, painful, dependent relationship, the two leads deliver their blazing best, helped by an intelligent, unsparing script.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blue Sky has a, predictably, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. It is single-layered with a fairly high bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour film. It a shade think in the opening but settles to be quite stable with pleasing visuals. Colors are strong and there is decent detail in close-ups. I also see some textures. In short - it is almost exactly what you might expect. Solid but nothing is exceptional. It's probably the best way you are going to see this film, digitally, in your home theater.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Lossless stereo - DTS-HD Master at 1865 kbps. Only minor aggression outside of Lange's temper-tantrums. The score by Jack Nitzsche (The Crossing Guard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) can sound oddly deep at times but benefits from the uncompressed transfer. Etta James' Something's Got A Hold On Me sounds fabulous. There are no subtitles andmy Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with most of their releases.
April 9th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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