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Still of the Night [Blu-ray]
(Robert Benton, 1982)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: United Artists
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,488,561,208 bytes
Feature Size: 19,132,551,168 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 11th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
• Trailers for Still of the Night (2:06), Last Embrace (2:54), 52 Pick-up (1:44)
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.
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.
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
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.
Only three trailers - one of which is for Still of the Night.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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