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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Mississippi Burning [Blu-ray]


(Alan Parker, 1988)


Coming to Blu-ray in the US from Kino in June 2019:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Orion Pictures

Video: Twilight Time



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!

Runtime: 2:06:51.854 

Disc Size: 37,149,709,920 bytes

Feature Size: 36,393,854,976 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2111 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2111 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Scoe:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1754 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1754 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1986 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1986 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, None



Audio Commentary with Director Alan Parker
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:34)





Description: Director Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning (1988) tells the real-life tale of three young Civil Rights workers murdered in deep-South Mississippi, focusing on the FBI agents (the great Gene Hackman and the wonderfully subtle Willem Dafoe) who arrive to investigate the crime. Also starring Frances McDormand and Brad Dourif, the film features a lacerating screenplay by Chris Gerolmo, Oscar®-winning cinematography by Peter Biziou (Richard III) and a score by Trevor Jones, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.



The Film:

Mississippi Burning is an all-names-changed dramatization of the Ku Klux Klan's murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. Investigating the mysterious disappearances of the three activists are FBI agents Gene Hackman (older, wiser) and Willem Dafoe (younger, idealistic). A Southerner himself, Hackman charms and cajoles his way through the tight-lipped residents of a dusty Mississippi town while Dafoe acts upon the evidence gleaned by his partner. Hackman solves the case by exerting his influence upon beauty-parlor worker Frances McDormand, who wishes to exact revenge for the beatings inflicted upon her by her Klan-connected husband Brad Dourif. Many critics took the film to task for its implication that the Civil Rights movement might never have gained momentum without its white participants; nor were the critics happy that the FBI was shown to utilize tactics as brutal as the Klan's. The title Mississippi Burning is certainly appropriate: nearly half the film is taken up with scenes of smoke and flame .

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Parker's film, loosely based in fact, goes for the gut rather than the head in its assessment of Deep South racism. When three civil rights activists disappear from a small Mississippi town in 1964, the FBI responds (two of the missing men were white) by sending in agents Dafoe and Hackman, the former a by-the-book Yankee determined never to violate the rights of the interrogated, the latter a local boy who opines that to deal with scum you must sink to gutter level. Scum the villains certainly are: ugly, ignorant rednecks devoted to the Klan, and all too happy to punish blacks who protest against injustice or blab to interfering outsiders. In the film, the blacks are almost without exception seen as mute victims, and typically for a film by an Englishman, race hatred is defined in terms of class and economic envy. But Hackman is excellent, especially in his surprisingly tender scenes with McDormand, wife of sadistic deputy Dourif; and for once, Parker directs without depending on flashy visual tropes. The relative anonymity is a plus; only the end falls foul of hyperbole, and it's arguably the director's most controlled film to date.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE 

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

Twilight Time Blu-ray have transferred Mississippi Burning to 1080P. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate -the image seems quite true - most likely the condition of a strong source. There is some consistent grain textures. Visuals are not crisp but seem authentic and it looks excellent in-motion. Contrast has some nice layering and there is only a few minor scratches. The presentation is pleasing and film-like - not extensive depth (some in the outdoor lit sequences) or tight detail but the Blu-ray is decent with no major flaws - it gave me a solid 1080P presentation.




















Audio :

We get a very lively DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at a 2111 kbps. Punchy effects are rife and have plenty of jump to the rear speakers. There is some notable depth. Original music is by Trevor Jones (Excalibur, In the Name of the Father, Arachnophobia and Dark City). It sounds very adept and occasionally atmospheric via the lossless. Twilight Time offer an isolated score in aa equally robust lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Twilight Time include the audio commentary with director Alan Parker as found on the 2001 MGM DVD. It's quite decent - and a worthy addition discussing details on the director can impart. There is also Twilight Time's usual isolated score track with Trevor Jones compositions and, lastly, an original theatrical trailer.



Mississippi Burning has great performances going for it and very forthright, truthful dialogue. I would say I found it kind of flawed but still a suspenseful film to revisit. I did appreciate the film in 1080P and refreshing my education with the commentary. The Blu-ray is limited to 3,000 units and those keen should probably indulge sooner rather than later. 

Gary Tooze

May 27th, 2015

Coming to Blu-ray in the US from Kino in June 2019:


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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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