|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Blue Collar [Blu-ray]
(Paul Schrader, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: TAT Communications Company
Video:Cargo / Indicator (Powerhouse)
Region: 'B' (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:53:40.313 / 1:53:32.096
Disc Size: 34,801,123,372 bytes / 45,904,872,054 bytes
Feature Size: 33,568,739,328 bytes / 33,731,247,552 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.89 Mbps / 35.02 Mbps
Chapters: 9 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray Case
Release date: November 25th, 2016/ January 22nd, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1574 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1574 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1641 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1641 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps /
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, German, none
English (SDH), none
US Trailer (2:37)
•Audio Commentary with writer/director Paul Schrader and author Maitland McDonagh
• A new filmed appreciation by filmmaker and actor Keith Gordon (2017, 12:11)
• Interview with Paul Schrader, 1982, Broadcast Version - 20:49 - Full Interview - 57:39: an interview with film expert Tony Rayns
Masterclass with Schrader (plays to the film) - 1:46:44
Description: After writing Taxi Driver for Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader made his directorial debut with this profane and profound drama about life on the factory floor of a Detroit car manufacturing plant. With explosive performances from the great Richard Pryor (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets, The Duellists) and Yaphet Kotto (Midnight Run, Report to the Commissioner), Blue Collar presents one of the most authentic portraits of working-class life in all American cinema, and is one of the finest films of the 1970s.
When Detroit autoworkers Zeke Brown (Richard Pryor), Jerry Bartowski (Harvey Keitel) and Smokey James (Yaphet Kotto) decide to rob their own union, they are initially disappointed by the relatively small haul. However, upon closer inspection, the three amateur thieves discover that they have made off with something potentially much more valuable than money: the union's ledger, filled with bogus figures and links to organized crime. Should they blackmail the union or go to the authorities.
The performances of Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto match
Pryor’s, a unique dynamic which helped each of the actors inject infallible
honesty and sympathy, even at their worst moments, to their characters. Pryor,
Keitel and Kotto play three friends, Zeke, Jerry and Smokey, toiling away on the
line of a Detroit-area car manufacturing plant, each of them barely making a
living. When they’re pushing up against the corrupt Union or suffering from the
financial pressures of raising a family, or in Smokey’s case trying to make a
living as an ex-con trying to go straight, the tension of their lives is thick.
Three guys, two African-American and one Polish, work on the production line in a Detroit automobile factory, and they are fed-up with the conditions. It dawns on them that their workers' union is doing them no greater good than their screwed-up bosses. So the trio pulls off a clumsy robbery at union HQ, in which they only gain access to some suspicious documents that point to union links with organized crime. Suddenly they're out of their league: violence, paranoia, rivalry, and recrimination erupt around them.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blue Collar is on Blu-ray from Koch in Germany and Indicator out of the UK. The image quality is very similar - both high bitrates and I can see no discernable difference although may give the Indicator a small edge in-motion. Both are relatively clean with plenty of texture. I would guess the 1.85:1 image is accurate in terms of replicating the original theatrical presentation. This Blu-ray has a highly competent HD video transfer from both companies.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio leans to the Indicator with a 24-bit transfer (liner PCM) to Koch's 16-bit DTS-HD Master. This seems a flatter representation with more depth for the UK presentation. The film's music is notable for the score by Jack Nitzsche (The Indian Runner, Hardcore, The Crossing Guard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) and some will recognize Lynyrd Skynyrd, David Wills, Howlin' Wolf, Ike & Tina Turner and others. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the Indicator, optional English and German on the Koch (plus they add a German DUB option) and my Oppo has identified both as being a region 'B'-locked.
Indicator dramatically advance in the supplements. The Koch has a Gallery, and US trailer. The UK disc has both plus a lot more. We get an audio commentary with writer/director Paul Schrader and Maitland McDonagh (author of Filmmaking on the Fringe: The Good, the Bad and the Deviant Directors). Plus running with the film is an audio BFI Masterclass with Schrader. It runs almost the full length of the film; 1:46:44 - and is described as "Filmmaker Paul Schrader presents a summary of his screenwriting class, recorded at the National Film Theatre, London in September 1982. The following audio presentation exhibits a range of technical problems which are to be expected from a recording of its age and type. Abrupt dropouts in the source recordings have been left intact. Its importance as a unique archival document makes its inclusion here essential. We hope you agree." There is a new filmed appreciation by filmmaker and actor Keith Gordon running a dozen minutes and a 1982 interview with Paul Schrader, including both the 21-minute broadcast version and it includes the option of the full interview - running shy of an hour - with film expert Tony Rayns. With the original theatrical trailer is the option for a trailers' From Hell commentary. This limited edition package (3,00 units) includes an exclusive booklet with a new essay by author and critic Brad Stevens, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film.
Koch Media (DE) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Indicator (UK) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
January 26th, 2018
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 3500 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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