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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Woody Allen
1980

 

Often cited by Woody Allen as one of the films of which he's proudest, Stardust Memories is both a homage to Federico Fellini's 8 and what many people assumed (although Allen denied) was a much closer-to-home portrait of a great comic filmmaker fearing creative burnout.

Sandy Bates (Allen) is not only tired of being funny, he may even be teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown. At a retrospective of his films, in between toe-curlingly stupid questions from his audiences, he's forced to confront not only the meaning of his work but also past and present relationships with Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling), Daisy (Jessica Harper) and Isobel (Marie-Christine Barrault). Plagued by hallucinations, alien visitations and philistine studio executives trying to change his bleak new film into something more conventionally crowd-pleasing, Sandy struggles to find a reason to go on living.

This howl of rage against the price of fame and the pressures of creative expectations is one of Allen s most complex and challenging films and one that richly rewards repeated viewing.

***

Allen considers this to be one of his best films in addition to The Purple Rose of Cairo and Match Point. Considered by some to be an homage to 8 by Federico Fellini, the film is shot in black-and-white in the style of Fellini's surrealist films of the 1960s, and examines the semi-autobiographical story of a famous filmmaker, played by Allen, who is plagued by fans who prefer his "earlier, funnier movies" to his more recent artistic efforts, while he tries to reconcile his conflicting attraction to two very different women, the mercurial and unstable Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling), and the earnest, intellectual Daisy (Jessica Harper). Allen, however, denies that this film is biographical and regrets that audiences interpreted as such.

Excerpt from Wikipedia HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: USA 26 September 1980

Reviews                                                                                      More Reviews                                                                                DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the DVD Screen Caps!

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - LEFT

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

 

Box Covers

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray]

Distribution

MGM (UK)

Region 2,4 - PAL

MGM
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Academy
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:28:24 1:28:44.152 1:28:44.610
Video

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.38 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.35 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 28,293,504,307 bytes

Feature Size: 27,409,772,160 bytes

Total Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

1.85:1 Disc Size: 25,233,736,733 bytes

Feature Size: 23,893,475,328 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

MGM (UK)

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM

 

Bitrate: Arrow

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Twilight Time

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio English 2095 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2095 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1699 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1699 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, None Spanish, French, None English (SDH), none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• None
• DVD-5 (SS-SL)

DVD Release Date: 16 Jul 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Trailer
• Booklet
• DVD-10
• On B side Open Matte version of the film.

 

DVD Release Date: July 5, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 25

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow Academy

 

Disc Size: 28,293,504,307 bytes

Feature Size: 27,409,772,160 bytes

Total Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Trailer (2:44)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: December 12th, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

1.85:1 Disc Size: 25,233,736,733 bytes

Feature Size: 23,893,475,328 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:46)

• 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 units

 

Blu-ray Release Date: December, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray December 16': The new Twilight Time Blu-ray is, pretty much, the exact same as the Arrow - but surprisingly they are different sources. The Arrow has the very minor marks that the MGM (UK) DVD does - they are absent on the Twilight Time. But even so - it just looks like a few pixels have shifted, beyond those infrequent instances - same strong video quality - great contrast  etc..

Audio - different transfer (linear PCM vs. DTS-HD Master) but both 24-bit and lossless. I can't tell much, if any, of a difference in the audio quality. It's flat with Allen's typical Cole Porter and Django Reinhardt selections sounding excellent in the lossless. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and Twilight Time's Blu-ray disc is region FREE and limited to 3,000 units.

Twilight Time also offer a trailer - but add their usual isolated score - and it has value. Strangely neither offer any bone-fide extras for, what is considered, one of Allen's better films. Still a must-own and we can endorse...

***

ADDITION: Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray November 16': The bare-bones Arrow is authentically darker and looks fabulous. It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and it probably can't look much better in this format.

Uncompressed - linear PCM for the audio. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and Arrow's disc is region 'B'-locked.

The Arrow only has a trailer but their Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package offers Manhattan, on Blu-ray, and a hardback book featuring new and archive writing on all the films.

Arrow's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package  certainly seems the way to go via the pricing and it has a solid offering of some of the director's best early 80's work with Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose.

***

ON THE DVD: NOTE: We have added some open matte caps from the opposite side of the MGM (US) DVD.

The new MGM (UK) disc is made seven years after the US R1 DVD. Who should have believed that the old NTSC disc beats the new PAL disc in every way. MGM UK (Sony) has placed forced warnings and logos in the start of the R2 disc, but didn't even bother to make menu pages. They advertise people to avoid bootleg DVD's, at the same time their disc look like one!

The R2 disc has a darker image (which may be more accurate), but the blacks are blocked and the image is full of compression artifacts. The R1 image is cropped at the right side. Both are single layers and have 4.15 (UK) and 3.62 (US) gig.

There are different sound and subtitle options on the editions. If they are not needed, the old R1 is the way to go at this point.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 


DVD Menus
(MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - LEFT vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 

Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - THIRD

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

Subtitle sample


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM (open matte) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

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

 


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM (open matte) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

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

 


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (UK) - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM (open matte) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Arrow Academy - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray Boxset

 
Box Covers

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray]

Distribution

MGM (UK)

Region 2,4 - PAL

MGM
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Academy
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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