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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Heart of Midnight [Blu-ray]


(Matthew Chapman, 1988)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Virgin Vision

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:33:03.160

Disc Size: 20,507,328,854 bytes

Feature Size: 19,777,898,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 27th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps



English, None



• Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Matthew Chapman and co-star Peter Coyote

Trailers for Heart of Midnight (2:20), Rush (2:20)





Description: Mastered in HD! At Midnight, the line between love and lust disappears as terror stalks the innocent! Carol (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rush) has lived on the edge of madness for as long as she can remember. Now she has inherited a run-down nightclub called The Midnight from an uncle she barely remembers, and she seizes the chance to start a new life. But Carol s dream of independence disintegrates into a nightmare, The Club's a lurid trap and something seems to be stalking Carol above the ceiling, under the floorboards, driving her closer and closer to the edge. Is the danger that haunts her real? Or has her mind finally cracked? Only one man (Peter Coyote, Unforgettable) knows the bizarre secrets that corrupted Carol s past and brought her to this deadly reckoning. Now she must risk her sanity and her life to face the brutal truth that lies at the Heart of Midnight. Written and directed Matthew Chapman (Runaway Jury, The Ledge) with a stellar cast that includes Brenda Vaccaro, Frank Stallone and Steve Buscemi.



The Film:

Heart of Midnight is a involving, well-above-average erotic, psychological thriller directed by Matthew Chapman. Carol (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is recovering from a nervous breakdown. She inherits a nightclub from her uncle and moves in. There she discovers strange and frightening secrets about her uncle and begins to remember details of their past relationship. She battles for her sanity as her surroundings begin to seem menacing and she cannot be sure what is real and what is a hallucination. This above-average film features good performances by Peter Coyote and Jennifer Jason Leigh who have an unusual, intriguing sexual chemistry. Viewers should note a small supporting role by Steve Buscemi. Heart of Midnight, offbeat and interesting, is highly recommended.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


Chapman's psychological thriller is an interesting failure, which so indulges the psycho viewpoint that it finally prevents his plot from working. Heroine Carol (Leigh) has a history of mental illness, and when she inherits a neglected downtown club, her raucous mum (marvellous Vaccaro) doubts the wisdom of letting her move in and renovate. Swiftly, so do we. Three degenerate builders turn into rapists one night, objects whizz about by telekinesis, taps drip blood, and upstairs is a maze of SM parlours, orgy dorms, and spyholes, besides which Carol has flashbacks, hallucinations, and an ankle in plaster. There is an explanation, but having gone through hell with camera angles and panting corridors, you may not buy it. The Powell of Peeping Tom, Polanski, and Lynch are in the mix, and there are disquieting and powerful sequences.

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 Heart of Midnight has some inherent thickness. I liked the way this rich textured film looked in 1080P. Colors are bright and deep. There is no noise but the grain is so heavy that little depth creeps through. It really does look like film (as opposed to video) and the detail is still readily apparent in the visuals. It is clean with no predominance of speckles and I really enjoyed this film's thick 'look'. This Blu-ray gave me a rewarding viewing in regards to the picture quality.






















Audio :

Kino Lorber use their usual DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1566 kbps in the original English language. There are some subtle effects in the film - creeping noises. The score is by Yanni (his only theatrical feature) and his unique blend of jazz, classical, soft rock, and world music is put to the test here and it seems to work although sparsely utilized - which may be beneficial to its impact in running beside the film's tension and placidity. There are optional subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Kino add an audio commentary by writer/director Matthew Chapman and co-star Peter Coyote. It certainly fills in some gaps and definitely makes you appreciate the ideas and themes behind the production. There are also trailers for Heart of Midnight and Rush.



I think Heart of Midnight is an interesting, noteworthy and imperfect film. I was keen to see it as I am a fan of Jennifer Jason Leigh, but I had no idea what to expect. As well as the film being about her enigmatic Carol Rivers character - it has elements of mystery, suspense and horror. It reminded me of Polanksi's The Tenant. I will definitely revisit this title. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray seems to do its standard, solid, job of a/v transfer and the inclusion of the commentary adds even further value. It's presently 58% OFF Pre-order at Amazon ($12.50) and for that price this get a very strong recommendation.  

Gary Tooze

October 14th, 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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