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Jacob's Ladder [Blu-ray]
(Adrian Lyne, 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Carolco Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,582,483,567 bytes
Feature Size: 20,913,871,296 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 25th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1520 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1520 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Audio Commentary by Adrian Lyne
• Building Jacob's Ladder (26:29)
• 3 Deleted Scenes
• Teaser (1:03)
• Trailer (1:53)
Description: A tortured man finds himself caught in a middle-ground between hallucination and reality in this supernatural thriller, scripted by Bruce Joel Rubin of Ghost (1990) and My Life (1993). Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is a soldier stationed in Vietnam who undergoes a traumatic experience on the battlefield - the nature of which is initially unclear. The film then moves into his post-Vietnam experience in 1970s New York, where he feels consistently traumatized, but can never quite remember exactly what happened to him in Southeast Asia or to free himself from his anxieties over the recent tragic death of his young son (Macaulay Culkin). Though well educated, Jacob works as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and has become romantically involved with one of his co-workers, Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena), after divorcing his wife. Soon, Jacob's tenuous hold on reality starts to slip as horrifying events befall him; he is nearly run over by a subway train, pursued by faceless demons in cars, and spots reptilian tails and horns protruding from the bodies of those he encounters. Jacob also suffers severe panic attacks related to the chaos that may be reality, or may exist only in his mind. He seeks counsel from Louis (Danny Aiello), a kindly chiropractor, as his ex-wife Sarah (Patricia Kalember), fellow Vietnam vet Paul (Pruitt Taylor Vince), and enigmatic stranger Michael (Matt Craven) all try to help the tortured soul. Jason Alexander, Ving Rhames and Eriq LaSalle highlight the supporting cast.!
Lyne's chilling film bombed in the States, probably because of its origins in the murkier side of the now done-to-death Vietnam War. But, messy and maddening though some of it is, Jacob's Ladder is also a truly scary film which is never simply a war or horror vehicle. Jacob Singer (Robbins) is a man whose life totters continually between past, present and future, between reality and terrifying illusion brought on by his experiences in Vietnam, where his unit was dosed with a vicious derivative of LSD to improve its killing power. Where the problem arises is that this scenario is only one alternative in the life of a man variously shown as divorced, studying and co-habiting, married and prosperous with children, or dead on a Vietnam field-hospital table. But Lyne's giddying, unsettling direction conjures up moments of horrifying hallucinogenic power from the bad-trip hell of his protagonist.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
It's tempting to look skeptically at the hits that have made Adrian Lyne
a director to be reckoned with, but there's no denying Mr. Lyne's
acumen. With "Flashdance," "Fatal Attraction" and even "9 1/2 Weeks,"
this exceptionally talented commercial film maker has repeatedly touched
the pulse of something vital in his audiences' imagination.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Jacob's Ladder looks solid on Blu-ray from Lions Gate. The 1080P image quality supports the frequent 'style' modulations of the film. This is despite a modest bitrate, on single-layered disc, for the almost 2-hour film. What I see, that I didn't on SD, are the film's textures. It works well conveying an intentional dark and gritty appearance. I saw this theatrically and it was never intended to look crisp or glossy. Contrast is adept but with the cinematography style used there is not an abundance of depth. There are no flaws - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, an authentic visual presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD 5.1 surround track at 1520 kbps has some impressive moments in pushing the film's plentiful effects to the rear speakers. There is also aggressive depth exported. The original music by Maurice Jarre (Night of the Generals, The Tin Drum, The Man Who Would Be King, The Damned) via the lossless renderings adds a nice layer onto the film's war sequences and hallucinogenic instances. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region'A'-locked.
Lions Gate include the previously hear audio commentary by director Adrian Lyne as well as a 26-minute 'making of' entitled Building Jacob's Ladder - with input from the principles - 3 deleted scenes and finishing the supplements with both a teaser and trailer for the film.
August 22nd, 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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