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Cinerama's Russian Adventure [Blu-ray]
(Boris Dolin, Roman Karmen, Vasily Katanyan, Solomon Kogan, Leonid Kristi and Oleg Lebedev, 1966)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cinerama Productions Corp.
Video: Flicker Alley
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 48,203,044,612 bytes
Feature Size: 33,689,255,040 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.01 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: November 22nd, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.00:1 matted for SmileBox
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3999 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3999 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
•Fortress of Peace (1964): A Swiss Army propaganda film shot in Cinerama and nominated for the 1965 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film (21:57)
• Concorde (1966): A 70mm Cinerama short about the then soon-to-be-unveiled supersonic airplane (15:07)
• Working With Our Father on Russian Adventure: An interview with film editors Craig and Hal Dennis Jr., sons of producer Hal Dennis (24:39)
• Reconstructing Russian Adventure: A restoration demonstration with Dave Strohmaier (12:43)
A Look At Some old
Cinema Equipment (2:08)
Second disc DVD included
Description: Photographed over an eight-year period by
Russia's top filmmakers, Cinerama's Russian Adventure
brings together some of the most exquisite, jaw-dropping,
and beautiful sequences from over six Soviet Kinopanorama
productions (the Russian equivalent of three-panel
Cinerama). The film's locations stretch from one end of
Russia to the other, from the snow-covered countryside to
the majestic subways of Moscow, from the deck of a whaling
ship to the front seats of the Bolshoi Theater. Bing Crosby
narrates the journey, offering both a grand and intimate
view of a country and culture so often cited and yet so
Towards the worthy purpose of cultural exchange, "Russian Adventure"
shows some bold activities of Russian adventures from the Arctic Circle
to the gray Antarctic seas, from the eastern stretches of Siberia to
Moscow and Leningrad. It makes a hurried sweep of the nation, its sights
and citizens. Like most such wide-screen travel pictures, it does best
with the spectaculars.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Cinerama's Russian Adventure is released at the same time as Best of Cinerama on Blu-ray from Flicker Alley. I'd say the image quality is about the same as the other Cinerama BDs that we have reviewed - This is Cinerama, Cinerama Holiday, Cinerama South Seas Adventure, Cinerama's Seven Wonders of the Worlds and Cinerama's Search For Paradise. There is some softness/minor waxiness but I would guess it to be inherent. The 'Cinerama effect' is still in full force and there are some great visuals. The vertical disconnect is not really a factor in-motion - often appearing only like a shadow on the left seam. This is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate and it produces a strong presentation with no signs of digital manipulation. Daylight and areal scenes can be awesome. I saw no noise. This Blu-ray seems another fine replication of the Roadshow presentation - complete with opening, intermission and closing sequences.
NOTE: The 'Intermission' delay is about 4-minutes.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3999 kbps (24-bit) and sounds tremendous. This surround has some appealing separations. It is exceptionally clear notable with Aleksandr Lokshin's score and music during the ballet and traditional dancing performances. I would say there are surprising moments of depth and it does sound quite beautiful. There is also a simple 2.0 channel linear PCM option included.There are English subtitles offered for the narration (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
No commentary on Cinerama's Russian Adventure but we do get Fortress of Peace - a 22-minute, 1964, Swiss Army propaganda film shot in Cinerama and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Concorde (1966) is a 70mm Cinerama, 15-minute, short about the then soon-to-be-unveiled supersonic airplane. Working With Our Father on Russian Adventure is a 25-minute interview with film editors Craig and Hal Dennis Jr., sons of producer Hal Dennis. Reconstructing Russian Adventure is a 13-minute restoration demonstration with Dave Strohmaier and we also can see a brief piece on some old Cinema Equipment. After that are trailers; a 5-minute Russian Adventure theatrical trailer plus a gallery with 40-minutes worth of trailers from other Cinerama shows. Included is an 8-minute slideshows with ads and publicity materials, sample scripts pages, and Russian Adventure Study Guide and lastly the package contains a 32-page liner notes booklet: a facsimile representation of the original Russian Adventure booklet. There is also a second disc DVD included in the case.
November 18th, 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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