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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Glass Shield [Blu-ray]

 

(Charles Burnett, 1994)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Miramax

Video: BFI

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:49:55.213

Disc Size: 40,723,670,211 bytes

Feature Size: 33,158,944,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34,90 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 23rd, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Isolated Music and Effects Track:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Behind The Glass Shield - Interview with Charles Burnett (25:35)
Alternate Ending (1:57)
Fully illustrated booklet

DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The first black recruit in his squad, rookie cop J J Johnson (Michael Boatman) struggles to adapt to life on the force when confronted by the inherent prejudices and corruption of his precinct.

Immediately positioned as an outsider, along with fellow novice cop Deborah (Lori Petty), J J witnesses first-hand the brutality and implicit racism of his Caucasian colleagues. When an unlawful search results in the arrest of Teddy Woods, (Ice Cube) on dubious murder charges, J J risks his job and his life to reveal the truth.

Directed by Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, My Brother's Wedding), this thrilling drama shines a light on the deep-rooted racial tensions of the American justice system and the toll of opposing institutionalised bigotry.

 

 

The Film:

Rookie cop J.J. (Michael Boatman) is the first black officer in his squad. Befriending fellow outsider Deborah (Lori Petty), J.J. has a tough time adjusting to the force's good-old-boy camaraderie. Initially turning a blind eye to hints of racism in order to fit in, J.J. find it harder to ignore the corruption when an illegal search leads to the arrest of Teddy Woods (Ice Cube) on questionable murder charges. As J.J. delves deeper into the case, he risks losing his job -- or his life.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Burnett's first film since the provocative To Sleep with Anger in 1990 is a Lumet-style policier inspired by an everyday tale of LAPD-sponsored murder, racism and corruption. Boatman is the first black cop to serve in Anderson's precinct. He's proud to pull on his uniform, and readily bends the truth to put away a bad guy, but he can't just stand by and watch when he realises his colleagues are framing an innocent man, and they'll kill to keep it quiet. It's a familiar story, but Burnett draws strong character work from the cast (Petty is outstanding as a rookie who latches on to Boatman as a fellow outsider).

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

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

The Glass Shield gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from BFI. The film opens with an excellent comic book sequence by Grant Shaffer. It is a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1-hour 50-minute feature. It was shot in 35mm and thee is some pleasing grain textures supported. It is neither crisp nor glossy and interiors show little depth in the 1.85:1 frame. The many dark sequences show no noise or artifacts.  There is no damage or speckles and the consistent softness seems inherent and a factor of the original production. This Blu-ray probably looks much like the theatrical version of the film The Glass Shield.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The BFI Blu-ray of The Glass Shield offers a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (16-bit). There are some effects but the film is probably more passive audio-wise than you might expect. The score is by Stephen James Taylor (also offered in an isolated LPCM track option.)  It runs supportively beside the film never eclipsing the onscreen mood shifts or rich character portrayals. It sounds clean and consistent. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Extras include an interesting 25-minute interview with Charles Burnett, sitting on a park bench, entitled Behind The Glass Shield in which he reflects back on the production. There is a brief, 2-minute, alternate ending and the package contains a fully illustrated booklet. A second disc DVD is included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm always keen to watch a Charles Burnett film - he's a very adept filmmaker capable of infusing his films with plenty of subtleties. I found The Glass Shield very engrossing. Michael Boatman is supported by an excellent cast including the likes of Lori Petty, Bernie Casey, Richard Anderson, Elliott Gould, Ice Cube, M. Emmet Walsh, Monty Bane, Jim Fitzpatrick and others. The BFI Blu-ray provides a solid HD presentation and I enjoyed the interview supplement. Impressive film on a few levels - absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

January 4th, 2017


 

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.

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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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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