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Vanilla Sky [Blu-ray]
(Cameron Crowe, 2001)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Paramount Pictures
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Theatrical Runtime: 2:16:01.485 / Alternate Ending version: 2:21:33.776
Disc Size: 43,601,631,631 bytes
Theatrical Feature Size: 29,977,804,800 bytes
Alternate Ending Feature Size: 31,175,424,000 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.42 - 22.44 Mbps
Chapters: 28 (both)
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 30th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3736 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3736 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
/ DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
NOTE: No DUBs on the Alternate Ending Version - only English track accessible
Subtitles (for both versions):
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
• Feature Commentary by Cameron Crowe, Nancy Wilson and Tom Cruise
(on both versions)
• Prelude to a Dream (6:15)
• Hitting it Hard - interview with Paul McCartney (1:36)
• Gag Reel (5:30)
• Mask Test with optional Crowe commentary (3:24)
Kurt Russell Single Take
with optional Crowe commentary
• Unreleased Teaser Trailer (1:43)
• International Trailer (2:51)
• Supplements credits text page
Description: Tom Cruise delivers one of his finest performances in this unforgettably powerful film that reunites him with his Jerry Maguire director, Cameron Crowe. Young, handsome and wealthy, publishing tycoon David Aames (Cruise) can have anything his heart desires. Still, David's charmed life seems incomplete. One night, David meets the woman of his dreams (Penélope Cruz) and believes he may have found the missing piece. But a fateful encounter with a jealous lover (Cameron Diaz) suddenly sends David's world out of control, rocketing him on a roller-coaster ride of romance, sex, suspicion and dreams...to a shocking, final awakening you will never forget.
A remake of the Spanish film Open Your Eyes (1997), this thriller from director Cameron Crowe bears one of several discarded titles for his previous, Oscar-winning film Almost Famous (2000). Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death. Vanilla Sky (2001) bears the expected Crowe trademark of an obsession with recent pop culture and particularly rock music, a more important element of the remake than the original film. That project's writer/director, Alejandro Amenabar, crafted his own supernatural hit the same year with The Others (2001), starring Nicole Kidman, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of Cruise.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Yes, ''Vanilla Sky'' is a timely fable about male vanity. The
message of the film, which reunites the star with Cameron Crowe, who
directed him in ''Jerry
isn't exactly reassuring. Looks are everything, it says, with money
(preferably oodles of it) a close second. But if you lose your looks,
all the money in the world won't mean diddly unless it can somehow buy
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Vanilla Sky, after a number of faux-release dates, finally gets released on Blu-ray by Paramount. The theatrical version is seamlessly branched with the 'alternate ending' version, with essentially the same bitrate but there was an issue. The branching moves over with about 20-minutes of the film left (since that is where the differences begin), but the 1080P quality alters to be significantly less in the 'alt' version sequence starting with 20-minutes left in the film. It was even highly noticeable on my 40 inch system and dramatically on my 60". I also had trouble obtaining screen captures of this to identify it to you. It almost looks like an upscale of SD. The title of the film is at the ending - and even that quality is affected. This is an unusual problem. I doubt it is a mistake although my usual software crapping-out may be a sign that it is. Perhaps the footage of the 'alt' only exists in SD? Could that be true? The theatrical and most of the alt (they are the same as they are seamlessly branched) is quite strong (see captures below). Crisp, tight, excellent contrast... it looks beautiful on the dual-layered disc with supportive bitrate. This Blu-ray 'theatrical cut' and majority portion of the 'alt' is impressive in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. But please heed my warning of the last 20-minutes of the 'alt' cut - is massively different from the rest of the transfer's visual quality.
As told to us in email "You are absolutely correct that the picture quality of the Alternate Ending does not compare to the transfer of the film itself, simply because we did not have access to the original negative of the dailies from the film when we were in production of the Blu-ray, and there were no HD transfers done of that version of the film back in 2001, since it was never the final version of the film. We worked from the highest quality video sources possible, mixed from the best sound sources available, and ultimately the decision was made to include the Alternate Ending on the Blu-ray in its entirety simply because we felt the material was considerably different from the theatrical release, and would be fascinating viewing for fans of the film, despite the downgrade in picture quality." (Thanks!)
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Paramount use a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround for both versions. There are plenty of effects from the car scenes to separated external noise and music in bars and the score by Nancy Wilson (Almost Famous) - along with a cornucopia of other music including Radiohead, Red House Painters, The Impressions, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M., U2, The Rolling Stones, Todd Rundgren, The Beach Boys, Sinéad O'Connor and Paul McCartney's theme song - all sounding marvelously rich and deep via the lossless. NOTE: there are only DUBs (Dolby French and Spanish) for the Theatrical version. The 'Alt-ending' version only has English audio (similar DTS-HD surround), but also offers the commentary and both have optional subtitles.My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
We get the same feature commentary from the 2002 DVD by Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson with a smidgeon of Tom Cruise via phone and it is available on both versions. Also repeated from the 13-year old DVD are the 6-minute Prelude to a Dream featurette, the brief Hitting it Hard interview with Paul McCartney, the Gag Reel, Unreleased Teaser Trailer and Photo Gallery. What is new are 13 Alternate Scenes, running almost 25-minutes, with optional commentary by Crowe, a short scene of the Mask Test - also with optional Crowe commentary and 6-minutes of Kurt Russell 'Single Take' with an excellent commentary by the director. There is also a 3-minute International Trailer, Music Video "Afrika Shox" by Leftfield/ Afrika Bambaataa and 'Supplements Credits' text page.
June 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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