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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'F/X - Murder by Illusion')

Directed by Robert Mandel
US 1986

Murder By Illusion! The world of movie make-believe meets the gritty New York crime scene in this taut and clever suspense movie. Bryan Brown (Australia) and Brian Dennehy (First Blood) command the heart-pounding action in the first-class; crackling excitement of F/X. Rollie Tyler (Brown) is the best special effects artist in showbiz, but this time it's not the studios seeking him out... it's the Justice Department. His assignment: to stage the assassination of an important underworld witness. And after he pulls the illusion off - making the informant disappear - Rollie is dumbfounded to learn that he's being pinned for the murder! Double-crossed and now hunted by those who hired him, Rollie quickly learns that he can trust no one...and that the only thing left that can save his life is his unequaled mastery of illusion! This top-notch thriller featured wonderful performances by Diane Venora, Cliff De Young, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach and Tom Noonan and great direction by Robert Mandel (The Substitute).

***

A man who simulates death for a living finds himself unwittingly tied into the real thing in this New York-based suspense drama. Special-effects man Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) makes his living simulating gory mayhem and photogenic violence for movies such as "I Dismember Mama." Tyler is given a chance to expand his professional horizons when he's approached by Lipton (Cliff De Young), who introduces himself as an FBI agent and makes an unusual proposal. Mob kingpin Nicholas DeFranco (Jerry Orbach) is willing to testify against his fellow gangsters, but the investigators are worried about his safety. Lipton wants Tyler to help him and his staff fake DeFranco's assassination; if everyone is convinced DeFranco is dead, people will be a lot less likely to look for him. Tyler grudgingly takes the assignment, and while he's able to realistically simulate DeFranco being shot in a crowded restaurant, after the "gag," he discovers that he's been double-crossed, and he's wanted for the murder of the man he just "shot."

 

  Posters

 

Theatrical Release: January 1986 - Sundance Film Festival

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

    

  

    

Distribution MGM - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:08 1:48:36.259
Video 1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,130,701,219 bytes

Feature Size: 19,954,206,720 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.45 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1651 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1651 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles Spanish, French, None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:  1.82:1 Widescreen Letterboxed

Edition Details:
Trailer (2:54)

One page leaflet

Pan and Scan on opposite side of disc

DVD Release Date: June 13th, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 36

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino Lorber

 

Disc Size: 24,130,701,219 bytes

Feature Size: 19,954,206,720 bytes

Total Bitrate: 21.45 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Interview with Robert Mandel (14:02)

• The Making of F/X (14:10)

• F/X Trailer (2:35)

• F/X 2 Trailer (1:51)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray May 15': I feel there must be a newer, anamorphic, MGM DVD available, but I only have this widescreen letterboxed, single-layered, flipper (pan and scan on reverse) one from 2000. Kino Lorber's Blu-ray advances quite dramatically with more realistic colors, overall brighter more detailed visuals, and a notable amount more information in the frame. The SD had compression artifacts on my system that are not existing on the 1080P. It's really night and day and the new transfer is about 5X the bitrate of the 15-year old digital presentation.

The Blu-ray offers a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1651 kbps. The effects (no pun) sound solid with depth. The score by the impressive Bill Conti (Rocky, Harry and Tonto, The Right Stuff) may have received the most benefit sounding clean and tight subtly supporting the film's action.  There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

While the DVD only had the obligatory trailer and leaflet, the Blu-ray adds significantly with a 14-minute interview with director Robert Mandel about the production and how it evolved. There is also a vintage 1/4 hour Making of F/X and trailers for this film and the sequel.

Still a good film with a plot full of surprises and some great action thrills. The Blu-ray blows away the original DVD, on every front - and it's encouraging to see Kino Lorber add the 1/2 hour's worth of video extras and the optional English subtitles. Absolutely recommended! Can't wait for part!

Gary W. Tooze  




Menus

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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Screen Captures

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Box Covers

    

  

    

Distribution MGM - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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