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Harry and Son [Blu-ray]
(Paul Newman, 1984)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Orion Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,809,930,251 bytes
Feature Size: 22,730,059,776 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 28th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1561 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1561 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Harry, Paul Newman, a middle-aged hardhat, has trouble communicating with his teenaged son Howard Robby Benson. While Harry wants Howard to find a bread-and-butter job, the sensitive boy would rather pursue a writing career. Howard tries his best to please his dad, but ultimately realizes that he must march to his own beat if he's to find lasting happiness. The best scenes in this by-the-numbers domestic drama are those between Howard and his pregnant girlfriend Ellen Barkin. Adapted from The Lost King, a novel by Don Capite, Harry and Son represents one of the rare occasions that star Paul Newman directed himself at least officially!
Harry & Son director Paul Newman (The Verdict) stars as Harry Keach, a widowed, blue collar, by-the-book construction worker whose less-than-ideal relationship with his sensitive, daydreaming son, Howard (Robby Benson, Running Brave) sets the story in motion. Frustrated by Howard’s inability to take life seriously, Harry is soon confronted with his own mortality when an on-the-job accident offers him an opportunity to re-evaluate his life and shortcomings. Harry & Son co-stars Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve), Ellen Barkin (Diner), Wilfred Brimley (The Natural). Judith Ivey (The Devil’s Advocate), Ossie Davis (Do The Right Thing), and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption).
Taken sequence by sequence, this is a well acted and elegantly photographed social drama, with Newman as a depressed widower who loses his job and quarrels with his kids. The plot is a little thin, but Big Acting Scene follows Big Acting Scene quite pleasantly for a while, until you begin to realise that Newman (who co-scripted as well as directed) has decided to compose his entire film out of them. It is nothing more than a constant succession of the kind of emotional peaks actors love to do on screen. Humbler scenes involving background or narrative, which may be immensely tedious to act but help the plot unfold, have in general been left out altogether.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Harry & Son has a, predictably, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but looks quite acceptable in 1080P. Textures are apparent and colors are bright and appealing. The outdoor sequences, naturally, looked the best. Detail is quite good in close-ups with some depth present throughout. The Blu-ray easily improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. I was pleased, enough.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Olive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1561 kbps. Aside from some construction noises there aren't an abundance of effect noises. The great Henry Mancini (Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Experiment in Terror, Charade) scored the film which has a gentle track suitable to the narrative. It sounds quite adept via the lossless. There are no subtitles and my 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 24th, 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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