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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Still of the Night [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Benton, 1982)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: United Artists

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:53.531

Disc Size: 20,488,561,208 bytes

Feature Size: 19,132,551,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 11th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1615 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1615 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Trailers for Still of the Night (2:06), Last Embrace (2:54), 52 Pick-up (1:44)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: If looks could kill... Meryl Streep (The French Lieutenant's Woman) co-stars in this Hitchcockian murder mystery as the enigmatic Brooke Reynolds. Following the murder of her married lover, she visits the office of his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Rice (Roy Scheider, All That Jazz, Sorcerer), to leave a wristwatch for the man's wife. Sam is immediately fascinated by the aloof beauty, whom he's come to know through her lover's therapy. When he finds that her father died mysteriously and that she strongly resembles a woman who's been stalking him, the psychiatrist becomes even more obsessed with her. Both fearing and desiring Brooke, he's plagued by nightmares that he'll be her next victim. Striking photography by Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven) and top-notch direction by screenwriter and director Robert Benton (Places in the Heart) complement a baroquely twisted plot in this complex, bone-chilling film.

 

 

The Film:

Still of the Night, a mystery thriller written and directed by Robert Benton, a psychiatrist falls in love with a woman who is suspected of the murder of one of his patients. Dr. Sam Rice (Roy Scheider) is treating a married museum curator. When the man is killed, Sam is visited by his dead patient's mistress and co-worker Brooke Reynolds (Meryl Streep) who wants him to return a watch -- that was left at her home -- to the patient's wife. Sam is immediately attracted to the cool, aloof Brooke, who has been discussed during numerous therapy sessions. When he hears about the mysterious death of Brook's father, and he himself is stalked by a woman who resembles Brook, he begins to both desire and fear her. Despite its rather leisurely pace, and some dream sequences which distract from the suspense, Still of the Night is an effective thriller despite a contrived surprise ending when the killer is revealed. Scheider is believable as the doctor in love, but Streep is rather strained in a role that demands a sexual allure and eroticism which she seems uncomfortable portraying. Benton's cinematography is moody and frightening, particularly when Scheider is followed through Central Park. Despite its flaws, Still of the Night should please fans of psychological thrillers.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

A welcome attempt to redevelop the Hitchcock-style thriller form minus violence or supernatural bogeymen. Scheider plays a psychiatrist who falls in love with a woman (Streep) who may have brutally murdered one of his patients. The film is classy enough to be enjoyable, with a few set pieces deliberately resembling such classics as North by Northwest, Tourneur's Cat People, and others. But Benton's movie is eventually suffocated, perhaps by the gloss of the Manhattan auction world in which it is set. The plotting becomes rushed and implausible, while Streep falls into the breathless clichés of screen neuroses. Worst of all, a narrative which might have broken new ground by adding a feminine dimension, reverts to that most familiar of B feature formats: the psychological sleuth. Indeed, the hero's faith in dream interpretation would have seemed touching even in the '40s.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Still of the Night looks very consistent. There is some minor thinness to the visuals but seems supported by decent texture. Detail looks strong in close-ups. Colors seem earthy and passive. There are a lot of dark sequences but no noise. The source is clean without speckles or scratches. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, but not particularly dynamic viewing which is probably close to the original appearance. No complaints.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master mono track at 1615 kbps sounds clean with a few impressive moments in pushing the film's tensions via the punchy score by John Kander (Places in the Heart, Cabaret). There are some surprises in the film that are augmented by the lossless soundtrack. There are optional subtitles offered (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only three trailers - one of which is for Still of the Night.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Still of the Night is an above-average thriller with some appealing star power in Scheider and Streep. Although not particularly multi-layered I wouldn't say it was a simple plot either. Hitchcockian - or at least attempting that level - is an aptly descriptive word to pigeon-hole the film. I was entertained. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
1080P and uncompressed audio provide a good presentation. It has enough positives that I will re-watch again, once I can't remember enough of it. :) 

Gary Tooze

July 28th, 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.

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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