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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Frank Perry, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: FP Films
Video: Signal One Entertainment
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,527,451,102 bytes
Feature Size: 20,955,989,568 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 29th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution:1080P / 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (HoH), None
• Audio commentary by C. Courtney Joyner
Description: In 1881, Doc Holliday enters the 'No Name
Saloon' and challenges a man to a game of poker. He bets his
horse for the opponent's wife, the whore Katie Elder, and
wins. From then on, Elder goes wherever Doc goes. When they
arrive in Tombstone, Sheriff Wyatt Earp is standing as a
candidate in the local election, but hostilities erupt and
the Clanton family, a gang of outlaw cowboys, make their
opposition felt. Doc soon joins forces with Earp and his
brothers to take on the Clanton gang.
Frank Perry's "Doc" works very well just as a Western, no matter
what its higher ambitions may be. But because it has the presumption to
mess with the saga of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, it is getting some
knocks from the New York Critics. Doc and Wyatt were immortalized (for
film buffs anyway) by John Ford's masterpiece "My
Darling Clementine." In using the same characters it's almost as
if Perry were a bad guy like Martin Rackin -- who had the gall to remake
Before the duelling biopics of "Tombstone" and "Wyatt Earp"
in the 1990's, this 1971 effort had already decided to set the record
straight about John "Doc" Holliday, Earp's best friend and participant
in the gunfight at the OK Corral.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
"Doc" gets an solid transfer to Blu-ray from Signal One in the UK. It is single-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. With subtle but brilliant cinematography by Gerald Hirschfeld (Fail-Safe, The Car) we get some impressive visuals (notable in the desert-crossing sequence) the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The HD transfer produces consistent textures, realistic, earthy western, colors and adept contrast layering. I see no damage or scratches and only minor speckles. This looked very strong, IMO - an exceptionally good representation of the film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in a linear PCM 1.0 channel track at 1152 kbps. The typical western effects (winds, horses, guns etc.) are flat and carry some weight in lossless. The score is credited to acclaimed songwriter Jimmy Webb (his first feature) who's music you will hear in such films as Michael Mann's Heat, The Coen Brothers Fargo and the recent TV documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Signal One are certainly no slouch in the supplements department. This disc is stacked, starting with an excellent audio commentary by C. Courtney Joyner author of The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers. He is also an award-winning writer of screenplays, with over 25 produced movies to his credit. So... he knows his stuff and gives some highly interesting discussion of Doc referencing many other westerns and Perry's films plus giving important historical context. One of my favorite commentaries so far this year. Truth Be Told is a new 20-minute interview with award-winning actor Stacy Keach as done by Robert Fischer of Fiction Factory and its revealing plus we get another from Fischer entitled Outside the System - also from 2015 - and it runs 25-minutes as an interesting interview with celebrated editor Alan Heim. These are expertly produced and add significant value to the package. There is also a 1 1/2 hour Guardian Interview with Faye Dunaway with critic Alexander Walker from 1980 (audio only) played to the film running. There are Lobby cards, posters and stills gallery and a theatrical trailer.
February 20th, 2016
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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