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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Jack Arnold
USA 1957

 

"I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world..."

 

When Grant Williams is subjected to a radioactive mist while on holiday with his wife, he falls ill and then starts to shrink. It's a simple premise, but the result is a masterpiece of the science-fiction genre that plays to the human emotion of the situation rather than overwhelming the audience with special effects. First his wife begins to order him around, then, as he gets inexorably smaller, the household cat becomes a savage predator, a splash of water threatens to destroy him and he fights to the death against a spider before advancing to the next stage in his strange and lonely existence. Director Arnold came to science fiction from a background of documentary-making (he later moved again, to comedies), and his sparse direction allows the tension to build naturally so that the terror and poignancy of the story work their way into the audience's brain without being forced. A total classic.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: February 22nd, 1957

Reviews                                                              More Reviews                                                  DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal Pictures - Region 2,4,5 - PAL vs. Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - LEFT

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

CLICK to order from:

or in the US edition  (September 2012)

Distribution Universal Pictures - Region 2,4,5 - PAL Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Also available in the US in The Classic Sci-fi Ultimate Collection single edition - OR individually (September 2012):

           

or Volumes 1 + 2 combined OR individually (September 2012):

            

Runtime 1:17:27 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:20:47.843
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.20 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,182,674,130 bytes

Feature: 25,530,314,112 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

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), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), Russian (Dolby Digital 2.0)  

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1585 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1585 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DUBs:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1561 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1561 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, None English, German, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: February 6th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio:
Koch Media

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,182,674,130 bytes

Feature: 25,530,314,112 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
Interview with Jack Arnold (11:52) (Eng or German)

Super 8 version (7:53 (Eng or German)
English Theatrical trailer (2:00)

Teaser (:39)
Gallery

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 28th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters: 16

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray June 15': Initially, looking at the static captures, the new 1080P from Germany may not seem like a huge HD difference, but it actually transforms the artifacts in the SD to rich grain. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and shows a bit more information in the frame. Contrast is more layered and the detail tightens. The higher resolution may show some of the lesser-quality special-effects of the film a bit more prominently. There are segments showing depth. It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It may be a different print with a few more speckles but I doubt this can look significantly better. It shows some pleasing texture not present in SD. This follows other Universal Sci-fi/creature features on Blu-ray from Germany like The Mole People (1956), Tarantula (1955), The Monolith Monsters (1957) and The Land Unknown (1957) although this, The Incredible Shrinking Man, may be considered the most 'classic' - a totally inventive gem from the late 50's.

Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1585 kbps in original English and a similarly robust German DUB. Audio effects are less notable than the score - by uncredited combination of Earl E. Lawrence, Irving Gertz (Plunder Road, Blonde Ice and The Deadly Mantis among others), Herman Stein (This Island Earth) and Hans J. Salter (The Wolfman). It is quite dramatic and impacting adding flavor to the viewing experience. There are fully optional English and German subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

Koch add supplements; a 12-minute interview with Jack Arnold in English but German-friendly, ditto for an 8-minute Super 8 digest-version of The Incredible Shrinking Man, plus an English theatrical trailer, teaser and an image gallery.

I would find this Blu-ray hard to resist. This unique classic is one I revisit at least once a year.... and I relish owning it in the best digital version (now where is This Island Earth?) - this Koch is it. Recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: This is quite an above average transfer. Single layered but stacked with a host of DUBs and subtitle options - the image is acceptably sharp, progressive, anamorphic and there is some grain and dirt showing through. I enjoyed its consistency and lack of digital manipulation. No extras at all but like many of the new crop of Universal PAL DVDs they are set to be sold with region-coding to flog in Europe, Middle East, Russia and Australia.

As far as the film goes this is an unforgettable classic - full of continuity questions but extremely inventive and intriguing. At this alluring price we strongly recommend.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal (Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection) - Region 1- NTSC REVIEWED HERE MIDDLE

3) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal (Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection) - Region 1- NTSC REVIEWED HERE MIDDLE

3) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal (Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection) - Region 1- NTSC REVIEWED HERE MIDDLE

3) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL - TOP

2) Koch - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 Box Covers

CLICK to order from:

or in the US edition  (September 2012)

Distribution Universal Pictures - Region 2,4,5 - PAL Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Also available in the US in The Classic Sci-fi Ultimate Collection single edition - OR individually (September 2012):

           

or Volumes 1 + 2 combined OR individually (September 2012):

            

 




 


 

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Gary Tooze

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