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Inside Llewyn Davis [Blu-ray]
(Coen bros., 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: CBS Films
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #794
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 48,737,563,386 bytes
Feature Size: 23,769,968,640 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.09 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: January 19th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3290 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3290 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• New audio commentary featuring authors Robert Christgau,
David Hajdu, and Sean Wilentz
Description: The visionary chroniclers of eccentric Americana Joel and Ethan Coen present one of their greatest creations in Llewyn Davis, a singer barely eking out a living on the peripheries of the flourishing Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties. As embodied by Oscar Isaac in a revelatory performance, Llewyn (loosely modeled on the Village folk legend Dave Van Ronk) is extraordinarily talented but also irascible, rude, and self-defeating. His circular odyssey through an unforgiving winter cityscape, evocatively captured by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, is realized with poignant humor and the occasional surreal touch. Featuring a folk soundtrack curated by T Bone Burnett, Inside Llewyn Davis reminds us that in the Coens’ world, history isn’t necessarily written by the winners.
Idealistic young folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) struggles to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s in this fictional period drama from Joel and Ethan Coen. As the harsh winds of winter blow through the streets of New York City, Davis discovers that he himself may be the biggest obstacle on his arduous road to success. Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, and Garrett Hedlund co-star.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The Coen brothers' exquisitely sad and funny new comedy is set in a world of music that somehow combines childlike innocence with an aged and exhausted acceptance of the world. It is a beguilingly studied period piece from America's early-60s Greenwich Village folk scene. Every frame looks like a classic album cover, or at the very least a great inner gatefold – these are screen images that look as if they should have lyrics and sleeve notes superimposed. This film was notably passed over for Oscar nominations. Perhaps there's something in its unfashionable melancholy that didn't hook the attention of Academy award voters. But it is as pungent and powerfully distinctive as a cup of hot black coffee.Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Cited as a '4K digital transfer, approved by directors Joel and Ethan Coen' - it looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion. The image has some green and is quite dark but the dual-layering and supportive bitrate surely export an accurate-to-theatrical image. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate and we can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. It is fairly soft-palette in an successful attempt to replicate the era. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and contrast and detail are solid with some occasional depth. This Blu-ray has no discernable digital flaws and supplies a wonderful 1080P presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Criterion transfer in a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a very healthy 3290 kbps (24-bit). Separations exist but the impressiveness is in the film's music with Oscar Isaac performing Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, Traditional, Cocaine, Shoals of Herring as well hear Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan performing 500 miles Away From Home, some Bob Dylan (Farewell) and even Chopin and Beethoven. It all sound superb with gentle depth and a pristine higher end. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
The Criterion is really stacked with extras - we are privy to a new audio commentary featuring authors Robert Christgau, David Hajdu, and Sean Wilentz who examine the themes and literary context of Inside Llewyn Davis pointing out many interesting details. It's first class. There is a 2013, 43-minute, documentary on the making of the film entitled Inside “Inside Llewyn Davis” produced and directed by David Prior. In The First Hundred Feet, The Last Hundred Feet there is a new 40-minute conversation between filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and the Coen brothers about the evolution of their approach and the cinema DNA embedded in the opening images of their first film, Blood Simple. Another Day, Another Time (2013), is a 1 hour 40-minute concert documentary celebrating the music of Inside Llewyn Davis, featuring Joan Baez, Marcus Mumford, Punch Brothers, Gillian Welch, Jack White, and others recorded in September 2013 at New York's Town Hall. Criterion offer their own produced 16-minute conversation between music producer T Bone Burnett and the Coens about folk music, with illustrations by Drew Christie entitled The Way of Folk. Before the Flood is a new, 19-minute, piece about the early sixties Greenwich Village folk scene, featuring music writer and historian Elijah Wald who collaborated with folksinger Dave Van Ronk on his memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street discussing the people and places central to New York's Greenwich Village folk scene of the late fifties and early sixties - a scene transformed by the arrive of Bob Dylan. Sunday is a 17-minute 1961 short film by Dan Drasin documenting a clash between folk musicians and police in Washington Square Park when police barred folk musicians from attending their traditional weekend songfest there. Included are six trailers and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by film critic Kent Jones.
January 5th, 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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