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Chandu the Magician [Blu-ray]
(William C. Menzies, Marcel Varnel, 1932)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Fox Film Corporation
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 17,134,262,750 bytes
Feature Size: 15,586,947,072 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.64 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 23rd, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 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
• Audio Commentary by Bela Lugosi Biographer Gregory William
Description:Magic, mirth and mystery highlight this tale starring horror legend Bela Lugosi (Dracula, White Zombie) as an evil lunatic set on destroying mankind with a gigantic death-dealing device. Mankind's only hope is Frank Chandler, a.k.a. Chandu The Magician (Edmund Lowe, Dinner at Eight), who calls upon mystical abilities to fight the megalomaniacal fiend. Adapted from the popular broadcast serial, this creepy classic conjures action and excitement at every turn. Co-starring Irene Ware (The Raven) - Directed by William Cameron Menzies (The Maze, Thing to Come) and Marcel Varnel (Convict 99).
Roxor, a baleful character whose behavior may be described with the simple information that Bela Lugosi plays the part, is a madman who wants to possess himself of a death ray and destroy the world. The ray is the invention of a certain Robert Regent, traveling in Egypt with his family. Chandu, an adventurer turned Yogi, shows up in time to prevent the annihilation of the entire family and to battle Roxor all over Egypt in the process of saving the world from extinction. Although Chandu, like a good Yogi, is indifferent to all earthly things, his indifference does not keep him from loving and ultimately wedding the Princess Nadji, another imperiled damsel.
All in all, with its narrow escapes and cliffhanger derring do, and Lugosi firing on all engines, Chandu is a great undiscovered (for most of us) treat, playing like an excellent big budgeted condensed serial, layered with fun, menace, and intrigue. Some people have a problem with Edmund Lowe. Not me, I think he's great. He's no Gable or Grant, but he's cooler than Coleman.Excerpt from Acidemic 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 Chandu the Magician looks wonderfully heavy and film-like in 1080P. It comes from the same restoration of almost a decade ago - and scratches and marks are still present - but the higher resolution adds texture and a quality that significantly advances upon the SD - notably in the contrast and detail in the thickness found in the many close-ups. I noticed no noise - not even in the many darker sequences. This Blu-ray gave me a very pleasing viewing in regards to the picture quality.
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Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1556 kbps in the original English language. There are effects in the film - mostly the depth is noted in the score - created by a conglomeration of R.H. Bassett (The Prisoner of Shark Island), Peter Brunelli (The Big Trail), Louis De Francesco (a lot of documentary work) and Glen Knight (1931's The Spider). It sounds solid and supports the film very well. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Duplicated extras from the 2008 Fox Horror Classics Collection Volume 2 DVD with the decent audio commentary by Bela Lugosi biographer Gregory William Mank who exports a lot of information and the 1/4 hour featurette; Masters of Magic: The World of Chandu and a short restoration comparison. Kino add trailers for The Black Sleep and White Zombie.
August 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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