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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

September [Blu-ray]


(Woody Allen, 1987)


Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Orion Pictures / A Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe Production

Video: Arrow Academy / Twilight Time



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

Runtime: 1:22:47.295 / 1:22:46.211    

Disc Size: 26,033,827,815 bytes / 22,289,485,247 bytes

Feature Size: 25,632,565,824 bytes / 22,178,746,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.09 Mbps / 29.96 Mbps

Chapters: 9 / 24

Case: Transparent Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 20th, 2017 / September 2017


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



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


DTS-HD Master Audio English 1848 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1848 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1833 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1833 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)


Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), none



Trailer (0:57)

Trailer (0:59)



1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



Description: Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston and Elaine Stritch star in this drama written and directed by Woody Allen. The film follows Lane (Farrow), who is staying at her childhood home in Vermont as she recovers from a nervous breakdown. She has been having an affair with Peter (Waterston), a writer who lives nearby, but now relations between them seem to have inexplicably cooled. When Lane's mother Diane (Stritch) arrives with unexpected news, and the fate of her relationship with Peter becomes clear, Lane's emotional world is thrown into turmoil once again.



The Film:

"SEPTEMBER'' is Woody Allen's riskiest film yet. It's a small, tightly disciplined drama about love, friendship and family, set entirely within a Vermont summer house at the end of the season. People come and go to destinations elsewhere, but the movie remains inside the cottage, like a possibly hypochondriacal, invalid ghost.

There may be a world outside, but the audience cannot see it. During the day, the slatted wooden blinds are drawn. At night, when the blinds are open, there's only darkness. Brilliant flashes of lightning reveal nothing. This house could be drifting in the universe that someone describes as ''haphazard, morally neutral and unimaginatively violent.''

Within these restricted quarters six people play out an earnest, 24-hour game of injustice-collecting.

Excerpt from the Ny Times located HERE

Like Interiors, a serious drama: a Chekhovian chamber piece investigating the twisted bonds that tether a handful of lonely, arty, upper-crust Americans gathered, as fall approaches, at a Vermont country retreat. Unlike Interiors, however, this is no misguided tribute to Bergman: Allen's style is now so self-assured that the film simply looks like Hannah and Her Sisters without the laughs. Admittedly it's all rather familiar and schematic: disillusioned writer (Waterston) torn in his affections between Farrow and her best friend Wiest; Farrow's former film star mother (Stritch) turning up with latest lover (Warden), threatening to deprive Farrow of her home and to embarrass all with a volume of lurid memoirs; neighbour (Elliott) whose forlorn eyes betray unrequited love for Farrow. There are moments in Allen's script that smack of self-conscious contrivance, and Farrow's miserable victim is so wimpy as to be genuinely irritating. But the other performances - most notably those of Wiest and Warden - are superb, while Allen's direction shows admirable economy both in establishing and sustaining mood, and in clearly delineating the claustrophobic parameters of his characters' emotional lives.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

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

Arrow's September gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray with a max'ed-out bitrate for the 1 hour 20-minute feature. Colors have a low saturation level, although skin tones have some warmth, and the passive hues in the art direction may have been intentional. The 1080P supports the grainy, film-like, presentation in the original 1.85:1 frame.  No noise, speckles nor damage of any sort. This Blu-ray looks fine in-motion and probably not far off how the film was intended to look.


Very similar - the pixels have shifted but the image quality is the same. No significant differences.



1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM













Audio :

Arrow utilize a linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps (24-bit). It is another dialogue-driven film with few effects. September includes music such as Bernie Leighton's What'll I Do, Moonglow, and On a Slow Boat to China, Just One More Chance by Ambrose and his Orchestra, and notably Cole Porter's Night and Day as performed by Art Tatum, Ben Webster, George 'Red' Callender (as Red Callender) & Bill Douglass - it's more vintage selections and, again, sounds excellent in the lossless. I find the music a huge part of the September film experience. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Twilight Time use a DTS-HD Master (24-bit) and I couldn't notice any differences. It may be that the DTS-HD handles depth better and the linear PCM the higher end. I couldn't say with any assurance. Twilight Time do offer the score (see above paragraph) in an isolated track for those who might be keen and they include optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray disc is Region FREE and limited to 3,000 copies.



Extras :

Only a trailer - although I presume the Seven Films package will, again, include a booklet.


Twilight Time have the same trailer, but also the aforementioned isolated score option and their package has a booklet with essay by Julie Kirgo.


Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray



September is one of Allen's most serious films (see Match Point, Interiors, Another Woman, Cassandra's Dream). It's a chamber piece - small cast - one location and this suits Allen's economical style and usual strong cast. The Arrow Blu-ray does the job as well as the format can with a very satisfying film-like image, beautiful music in uncompressed and a film draws you into into characters and makes you feel their emotions. This is another addition to Arrows' highly desirable Seven Films boxset!


For this particular film, it would be almost impossibe to distinguish between the the HD presentations. Twilight Time have the marginally superior extras, and their disc is Region FREE - so fans have a choice. Arrow's Seven Films boxset is still the way I would go.  

Gary Tooze

January 27th, 2017

September 23rd, 2017


Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Seven Films - 1986-1991 Blu-rays




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