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The Fabulous Baker Boys [Blu-ray]
(Steve Kloves, 1989)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Gladden Entertainment
Video: Twilight Time
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Disc Size: 36,905,373,294 bytes
Feature Size: 34,183,815,168 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1573 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2050 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2050
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1984 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1984
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
• English (SDH), None
•Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Steve Kloves and Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
• Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus
• Deleted Scenes (21:16)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:48)
• Isolated Score
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Description: Writer-director Steve Kloves made his spectacular directorial debut with The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), a music-drenched romance starring real-life brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges as Jack and Frank, a pair of tapped-out sibling lounge pianists. Looking to perk up their act, they take on a girl singer in the person of a tough little cookie, Susie Diamond (the stunning Michelle Pfeiffer). But even as the trio finds success, long-buried problems between the brothers rise to the surface, sparked by the wary romance between Jack and Susie.
Real-life siblings Beau and Jeff Bridges star as the eponymous Fabulous Baker Boys. Musical prodigies both, the Bakers have long been teamed as a twin-piano act, with the less talented Frank (Beau Bridges) coasting on the skills of his brilliant younger brother, Jack (Jeff Bridges). Their career dwindling to nickel-and-dime dates in second-rate clubs, the Bakers decide that they need a female vocalist to boost their popularity. They select auditioner Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer), who in addition to being a gifted songstress is drop-dead gorgeous. The newly renovated Baker Boys act scores a success, which is inevitably threatened by Susie's growing popularity and by Jack's insistence upon pursuing an affair with the girl.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Piano duo Jack and Frank Baker (Jeff and Beau Bridges) have been gigging so long that their act has become a stale routine of schmaltzy intros and cocktail favourites. Auditioning for a singer to spice up the brew, they land themselves with Susie Diamond (Pfeiffer), a tough cookie if ever there was one. The new act is a success, but Susie's intrusion into the brothers' settled ways causes complications: family-man Frank, half-preferring things the way they were, is worried that womaniser Jack will seduce and drop Susie, while she wants a say in shaping the musical repertoire. If Steve Kloves' directing debut, from his own script, is hardly original, it does play fresh variations on an old theme. Much of the credit must go to the actors, with the Bridges brothers making a superb double act. Jeff, especially, manages with very sparse dialogue to convey a wealth of information about a less than sympathetic character; indeed, understatement is crucial to the script's success, keeping us puzzled about characters and situation for longer than one might hope. Sadly, Susie doesn't fully escape stereotyping (though Pfeiffer proves she can belt out a song). Otherwise, with more than enough witty, well-observed details, it's a little charmer.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Twilight Time have come out with a Blu-ray package of the wonderful 1989 hit The Fabulous Baker Boys. While it doesn't look exceptionally striking visually - I do believe that this is the an authentic representation of the theatrical presentation. It has an inherent softness indicative of a of of the 80s film and I think it was also an intentional style choice. This is dual-layered withy a high bitrate and shows itself consistently clean reflecting the condition of a strong source. Contrast has some layering and there are a few heavier and pleasing textures. There is no substantial depth, noise or gloss. The Blu-ray is decent with no major flaws - it gave me a solid 1080P presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD 2.0 channel track at 1573 kbps is authentically and tight sounding clean with a few more impressive moments in pushing the film's, relatively, modest depth through. Dave Grusin's (The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ...And Justice For All, 3 Days of the Condor, The Front) score sounds pleasing and crisp. This includes Jennifer Tilly's cutesy The Candy Man, plus Pfeiffer's The Look of Love, The Girl From Ipanema and other lounge hits. Twilight Time offer an isolated score via a similarly robust lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Twilight Time add two audio commentaries - the first with writer-director Steve Kloves and film historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman (quite informative) and a second, initially found on the DVD release with director of photography Michael Ballhaus giving input on his experiences shooting the film. There are also a pile of deleted scenes (21- minutes worth) in modest SD condition, a theatrical trailer, the aforementioned isolated score and the package has some liner notes by Julie Kirgo.
July 27th, 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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