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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Hunger [Blu-ray]


(Tony Scott, 1983)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Bros.

Video: Warner Video



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

Runtime: 1:36:30.785 

Disc Size: 30,584,136,297 bytes

Feature Size: 29,786,161,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Chapters: 23

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 18th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1993 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1993 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1875 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1875 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (HoH), None



• Commentary by Tony Scott and Susan Sarandon
Trailer (2:05)





Description: Miriam Blaylock collects Renaissance art, ancient Egyptian pendants, lovers, souls. Alive and fashionably chic in Manhattan, Miriam is an ageless vampire. Although "vampire" is not a word you'll hear in this movie based on the novel by Whitley Strieber (Wolfen). Instead, debuting feature director Tony Scott fashions a hip, sensual, modern-gothic makeover. Catherine Deneuve radiates macabre elegance as Miriam, blessed with beauty, cursed with bloodlust. David Bowie is fellow fiend and refined husband John. In love, in life, in longing, they are inseparable. But when John abruptly begins to age and turns to a geriatric researcher (Susan Sarandon) for help, Miriam soon eyes the woman as a replacement for John. The Hunger is insatiable.



The Film:

Deneuve is the ageless, possibly final survivor of an ancient immortal race dependent on humans for both sustenance and companionship. Her superior blood allows her lovers a triple lifetime until they ultimately succumb to instant decline. Not all of this is apparent in the film, where style rules at the expense of coherence. But that style is often glorious, from a bloody sun sinking over a gothic hi-tech Manhattan skyline to living quarters that are sumptuous. Neat touches of grim humour also: Deneuve and Bowie manhunt in a disco as Bauhaus sing 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'; and Bowie rots away in a hospital waiting room where the 20 minutes wait becomes a subjective century of ageing. Visual sensualities will have a feast, but you'll have to read Whitley Strieber's novel if you don't want to emerge with a badly scratched head.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


The exquisitely beautiful Catherine Deneuve plays Miriam, a centuries-old vampire capable of bestowing the gift of immortality on her lovers -- namely her current partner John (David Bowie). To sustain their sanguinary requirements, the pair cruises New York nightclubs in search of victims (as illustrated in a stunning opening sequence to the accompaniment of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" performed by seminal Goth band Bauhaus). When John awakens one morning to discover telltale signs of aging, it is revealed that his own sustained youth is not permanent, and his physical decrepitude begins to increase at an incredible rate. In a panic, John visits the clinic of scientist Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who has recently published a book on reversing the aging process, but she initially dismisses him as a crank, leaving him to sit in the lobby for several hours... during which his body ages several decades. After learning of his condition, Sarah traces John to his uptown flat. John is nowhere to be found, having been consigned by Miriam to a box in the attic with her legions of undead loves, leaving Miriam to deal with Sarah -- which she does quite effectively, seducing her into a steamy lesbian tryst. Their passion is consummated by a mingling of Miriam's blood with Sarah's, which later manifests itself as a psychic link between the two women and leaves Sarah with a rapidly-increasing appetite for blood.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

Tony Scott's first film, the heavily styled The Hunger - arrives on Blu-ray from Warner. It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and probably can't look much better. The film is frequently dark but the layered contrast handles the moving camera and fast cuts significantly better than SD could. Colors (blood) are rich and deep and there is no noise. Close-ups - there are many - show impressive detail. It is quite clean and dynamic. The Blu-ray provides a wonderful presentation supporting the film's eclectic visuals strongly. Thumbs up!



















Audio :

Warner use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo at 1993 kbps. It seems to handle the film's, sometime unusual, sound requirements in terms of effects from breaking glass to the score by Michel Rubini (Michael Mann's Manhunter) + Denny Jaeger augmented with some Ravel, Bauhaus and, of course, Bowie. It sounds quite pleasing and supportive via the lossless and there are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.



Extras :

Aside from a trailer only one extra - but it's a good one - a commentary with Tony Scott and Susan Sarandon - recorded separately but mix-n-matched throughout the entire film. It's quite fresh with both being fairly frank about the production - at times differing or seeing things from a their own standpoint. Anyway, I quite liked it - especially Sarandon's comments.



Lesbian vampires, eh? I can see The Hunger garnering quite a cult following. If you are looking for a straight-forward story - this isn't the place to be. But that is actually part of its charm. Critics weren't very appreciative (in the commentary Scott even remarks on an unfavorable NY Times review by his name sake A.O.) I will definitely watch this again - it's not a mess as much as rich style-over-substance. But sometimes you want a film experience like that. Let the eye candy wash over you. Sexy performers, creepy atmosphere... I'm in. The Warner MoD Blu-ray does a great job of presenting the film adding a valuable commentary and this package is certainly recommended!  

Gary Tooze

September 21st, 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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