Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Sleeper [Blu-ray]

 

(Woody Allen, 1973)

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray]

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Rollins-Joffe Productions

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:27:27.325

Disc Size: 28,277,398,949 bytes

Feature Size: 27,438,201,216 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.62 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 3rd, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Trailer (2:21)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In Sleeper Woody Allen satirises seventies dystopianism whilst resurrecting the slapstick comedy of the silent era, if Interiors was Allen's Bergman film, and Stardust Memories his Fellini film, then Sleeper could be thought of as his Buster Keaton film.

 

After a hospital mishap puts health-food shop owner Miles Monroe (Woody Allen) in a coma, he wakes up 200 years later to find himself in a very different and not exactly brave new world. All women are frigid, all men are impotent, and everyone lives in a police state run by a mysterious leader who hasn t been seen in months. But why?

However, this is no dystopian sci-fi thriller, but one of Woody Allen s funniest films as his mid-1970s New York values and mores keep colliding with the new 22nd-century reality. He disguises himself as a robot butler, encounters a drastically genetically modified chicken, investigates the mysteries of the Orgasmotron and is reprogrammed to make himself believe that he is really Miss America. Meanwhile rebel activist and terrible poet Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton) tries to keep him focused, knowing that he is uniquely valuable to the cause thanks to his lack of a normally compulsory biometric identity.

 

 

The Film:

All of his original skills and humors remain intact. A fantasy in which Woody wins the Miss America contest, and another in which he plays Blanche Dubois to Diane Keaton's Stanley Kowalski, are vintage Allen.

As Woody continues to grow as a filmmaker, so does Diane Keaton (his costar in Play It Again, Sam) continue to develop as an elegant comedienne along the lines of Paula Prentiss and the late Kay Kendall. In Sleeper, Miss Keaton plays Luna, a beautiful, right-wing, absolutely awful poet whose metaphors are muddled by her inability to remember that caterpillars turn into butterflies, not the other way around. Through the love, aid, comfort, and cowardice of a very small man, Luna is finally liberated.

There are some comparatively calm spots in the film, here and there, but they don't count. If anything, they allow you to catch your breath. Sleeper is terrific.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

 

She: 'You haven't had sex in 200 years!?!?' He: '204, if you count my marriage'. Woody Allen's Rip Van Winkle movie, in which his Greenwich Village jazz musician /health food faddist awakes from an accidental cryogenic immersion to find that he's in 2174, cast reluctantly in the role of Little Man against the Fascist State. Plenty of one-liners, and it has the best banana-skin joke in film history.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

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

Sleeper gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Academy in the UK.  It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It's not particularly dynamic, but neither were the film's original visuals in terms of color depth - although it is richer than SD could relate - crispness but there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy black levels and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's clean showcasing some pleasing detail in the close-ups with the film's textures are well supported and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks very much like the theatrical version of the film Sleeper. Again, I doubt it can look more accurate unless it goes 4K one day.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Sleeper Blu-ray uses a robust linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 24-bits. The score is credited to Woody and you can also hear Richard A. Whiting and Ray Egan's Till We Meet Again - performed by Woody. A few effects but its a lot of Benny Hill-esque bouncy sequences with occasional slapstick. Sounds authentic and flawless. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a trailer - no liner notes but exclusive to the Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] collection are Annie Hall and a 100-page hardback book featuring new and archive writing on all the films by Woody Allen, Michael Brooke, Johnny Mains, Kat Ellinger, John Leman Riley, Hannah Hamad and Brad Stevens.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Futuristic satire and fun finding both cheap and subtly intellectual gags - great dialogue - perhaps dated although many of the jokes are still relevant mocking the future we reside in. Sleeper is an early hilarious masterpiece from Woody and Diane Keaton is great. The Arrow Academy Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation and gives strong encouragement for the Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray] collection. This is another laugher that will get plenty of replay over the years. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 8th, 2016

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1971-1978 [Blu-ray]


 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!