|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Quiet Earth [Blu-ray]
(Geoffrey Murphy, 1985)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Mr. Yellowbeard Productions Limited & Company
Video:Film Movement / Arrow Video
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:31:02.665/ 1:30:54.448
Disc Size: 32,439,903,618 bytes/ 40,778,812,085 bytes
Feature Size: 29,738,956,800 bytes / 30,784,053,696 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps / 34.93 Mbps
Chapters: 13 / 13
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: December 6th, 2016 / June 18th, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3587 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3587 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
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3299 kbps
5.1 / 48 kHz / 3299 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
None / English (SDH), none
•Commentary by acclaimed astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and film critic, Odie Henderson
• Trailer (1:00)
New audio commentary by critic Travis
Description: Beautifully restored in HD, this classic film
is now released for the first time in North America!
In a tour-de-force sci-fi story with only three main characters, Kiwi director Geoffrey Murphy creates an interesting dynamic nuanced with shades of mysticism. When scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) experiments with a radical new power source -- a band of energy that would circle the planet -- the project goes awry and apparently wipes out all living creatures (they vanish without a trace). At first Zac adjusts by indulging himself in some of his materialistic desires, but he soon starts a serious search for other signs of human life. He discovers it in New Zealand in the form of Joanne (Alison Routledge), with whom he falls in love, and Api (Peter Smith), a Maori. The challenges the three face in order to survive, as well as their personal interactions, keep this human drama engrossing.
The Film:When everyone around him vanishes overnight, scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) finds himself seemingly the only person on the planet. The isolation initially drives him to the brink of suicide, but eventually Zac adapts to a day-to-day routine. After meeting two other survivors, Joanne (Alison Routledge) and Api (Pete Smith), a Maori, the trio roams New Zealand trying to understand what caused everyone else to disappear, why they remained behind -- and whether disaster will strike again. MRQE
'THE QUIET EARTH'' is New Zealand's contribution to
the last-man-on-earth genre, or to be precise, the
last-two-men-and-one-woman genre. It has the usual
huggermugger about tremors and grids and the sun acting
peculiarly, plenty of computer screens and significant beeps
and colorful special effects signifying commotion in the
universe, some cautionary words about the dangers of man
playing God and no noticeable psychological sense, but it's
easy to watch most of the time and never positively painful.
This relatively lighthearted exercise in apocalypse opens
today at the New Carnegie.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Quiet Earth is transferred to a dual-layered Blu-ray from Film Movement. It has a max'ed out bitrate. The 1.5 hour feature, in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, looks quite strong in 1080P. The HD exports bright colors and keen detail in the film's close-ups. I saw one untoward instance of 'thinness' and there may be a couple of others scattered in the presentation but it was minor. There is some green overcast in a few of the indoor sequences - but this may well be authentic to the original production and not a product of the transfer. This Blu-ray is very pleasing in its visual appearance. Without being too picky, I think most will be highly appreciative of the image quality.
The Arrow 1080P ratchets up a solid notch with richer, deeper, colors and more inky black levels. It is also in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It's the superior image showcasing more depth on a dual-layered disc - also with a max'ed out bitrate.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample - Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Film Movement use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround - with minor separations - or the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel - both 24-bit and both in the original English language. Dialogue is clean and audible although with the Kiwi accents - optional subtitles might have been a good idea. The uplifting score is by John Charles - which he adapted this inspiring main theme into a concert piece entitled "Sunrise for Orchestra". It's quite majestic, and rousing, sounding delightful and strong via the lossless. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
The Arrow gives the same option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 and linear PCM stereo - both 24-bit. Still LOVE the score "Sunrise for Orchestra". Not change in the audio quality but Arrow do add optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.
Film Movement include a commentary by acclaimed astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and film critic, Odie Henderson and it has some merit - especially for science-fiction/apocalypse fans who appreciate the film. There is also a short trailer for The Quite Earth and some Film Movement trailers. The package itself has a hefty collector's booklet with film essay by academic/film critic, Teresa Heffernan; cast and crew credits; chapter breaks; stills etc.
Arrow add some great extras - a new audio commentary by critic Travis Crawford who extols the film and does a great analysis while detailing the production qualities, cast and crew, the Apocalypse genre, New Zealand films and differences between the film and the book. There is also a revealing new video essay on the film by critic Bryan Reesman running almost 13-minutes. Plus we get a 17-minute new interview with critic Kim Newman on the post-apocalyptic movies of the 1980s - which I loved and lastly an original theatrical trailer and stills gallery. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laz Marquez and the first pressing gets an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Amy Simmons.
Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
I continue to appreciate this cerebral post-apocalypse film more and more and loved the Arrow extras and commentary. It's the one to own - love the cover and we strongly recommend the film and this Blu-ray release.Buy now!
December 22nd, 2016
May 17th, 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 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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