Crimes of Passion [Blu-ray]
(Ken Russell, 1984)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: New World Pictures
Video: Arrow Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Director's Cut Runtime: 1:52:35.330 Unrated Cut Runtime: 1:46:46.441
Disc Size: 47,190,042,391 bytes
Director's Cut Feature Size: 32,088,621,504 bytes
Unrated Cut Feature Size: 26,593,916,928 bytes
Video Bitrates: 34.84 Mbps - 35.02 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 11th + 19th, 2016
Video (both cuts):
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1060 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1060
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1062 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1062 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
•Audio commentary for the Director's Cut with director Ken Russell and producer-screenwriter Barry Sandler
• Seven deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary by Sandler (19:55)
• Brand-new interview with Sandler recorded especially for this release (22:07)
• Brand-new interview with composer Rick Wakeman recorded especially for this release (28:54)
It's a Lovely Life music video
Second disc DVD
Description: SHE IS WATCHED. SHE IS WORSHIPPED. AND SHE MUST
REMAIN A MYSTERY.
The prime example of Ken Russell's proclivity for examining bizarre sexual underworlds, Crimes of Passion fails to generate resonance from its sensationalist subject matter, more concerned with taboo than insight. Anthony Perkins' porno priest, who quotes Bible passages moments after emerging from a peep show (and that's his least ripe offense), is the epitome of Russell's cartoonish, overstated approach. Kathleen Turner provides some balance to Perkins' scenery chewing, enough for the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association to have honored her as Best Actress, but she fights a losing battle with Russell's aggressive desire to shock. The film is so grisly and fixed in its perverted milieu that the daytime scenes feel like they might have been spliced from another movie. As a result, the B-story about the unraveling marriage doesn't work. Still, Russell has earned kudos for his unwillingness to soften his agenda, and Crimes of Passion wins some respect solely on the basis of this audacity. Ever eager to remove any glamour from the world of prostitution, Russell again explored the underbelly of the world's oldest trade in Whore (1991), which left viewers and critics cold for similar reasons.Excerpt from Barnes + Nobles located HERE
Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) is a cold, workaholic sportswear designer, divorced and dedicated only to her job. Once strapped into that role, Joanna looks for an "out" and finds it by donning a wig and hitting the pavement as a $50/trick hooker named China Blue. Explicit scenes show her at work on her night job, including a long S and M segment with a policeman. While making money as China Blue, Joanna runs into a menacing, fanatic preacher (Anthony Perkins) who is out to save her from this life of sin, but in the meantime, he is also busy watching nude girly shows. As China Blue and the sexually ambivalent Reverend heat up their relationship, he becomes difficult to read: is this psycho reverend a killer? While China Blue is plying her trade, Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) has finally realized after 12 years of marriage that his wife Amy (Annie Potts) is frigid and just as he has this remarkably delayed insight, he is assigned by Joanna's boss to find out if she is stealing designs or not. By tracking Joanna, Bobby sees her transformation as China Blue and as might be expected, sex is not far behind.Excerpt from Barnes + Nobles located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.
NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards toDay of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' Crimes of Passion is the same situation.
Crimes of Passion gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow. It is dual-layered with a very high max'ed out bitrate for both the 'Director's Cut' and the 'Unrated Cut' - seamlessly branched (so quality, effectively, will be the exact same). It's a mid-80s movie and the film-stock used at that time was less resilient but this looks quite good - lots of texture, authentic, rich, colors and come impressive detail in close-ups. The 1080P reproduces solid contrast and limited depth in the 1.85:1 frame. It's very clean with a few light surface scratches. This Blu-ray probably looks like a solid representation of the film. The HD provides an impressively authentic video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Both cuts are supported with a DTS-HD Master mono track at 1060 kbps (24-bit). It's predictably flat carrying some depth in the score by Rick Wakeman (The Burning). I can't imagine a more authentic transfer for the film's audio. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Arrow include the audio commentary, recorded for the Director's Cut, with director Ken Russell and producer-screenwriter Barry Sandler plus there are seven deleted/extended scenes, running almost 20-minutes, with optional commentary by Sandler. Arrow produce two new interviews - one running 22-minutes with Sandler recorded and a second with composer Rick Wakeman - shy of 1/2 an hour - also recorded especially for this release. There is some good information here and value in the interviews. We also get It's a Lovely Life music video, a theatrical trailer and the package contains a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil and the first pressing only has an illustrated collector's booklet containing new writing from Paul Sutton, an archive interview with Ken Russell and correspondence between Russell and Kathleen Turner. It is dual-format and includes a second disc DVD
July 15th, 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
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS