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The Anderson Tapes [Blu-ray]
(Sidney Lumet, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,148,684,500 bytes
Feature Size: 22,199,833,728 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: February 27th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
•Audio commentary by Glenn Kenny
• Super 8 version (16:06)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:02)
• Image gallery
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield
Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies.
Description:An early example of the techno-thriller, The Anderson Tapes--sharply directed by Sidney Lumet from the novel by Lawrence Sanders--follows just-out-of-stir Duke Anderson (a balding Sean Connery) as he plots the heist of an entire New York apartment building, enlisting a crew that includes Martin Balsam as a vintage 1971 gay stereotype and a very young Christopher Walken in perhaps the first of his jittery crook roles. The gimmick is that Anderson has been out of circulation so long that he doesn't realise his mafia backers are only supporting him because they feel nostalgic for the days before they were boring businessmen and that the whole setup is monitored by a criss-crossing selection of government and private agencies who don't care enough to thwart the robbery, which instead becomes unglued thanks to a gutsy young radio ham. With a cool Quincy Jones score, very tight editing, a lot of spot-on cameo performances from the likes of Ralph Meeker as a patient cop, this hasn't dated a bit: it's wry without being jokey and suspenseful without undue contrivance.
Based on the book by Lawrence Sanders, The Anderson Tapes
was the first film to tackle the subject of modern surveillance, a theme that
would be more thoroughly explored a few years later in Coppola's
The Conversation (1974). Connery plays an unrepentant thief just
released from prison, who has barely changed out of his stripes before he has
another caper planned-this time to steal everything in the posh apartment
building of his long-time girlfriend (Dyan Cannon). The switch here is that
every move he makes is caught on film and every word is recorded by a cabal of
law enforcement voyeurs.
Professionalism in a movie director, the ability to understand the job
at hand and to know how to go about doing it, is a virtue that tends to
be overlooked by serious moviegoers and critics, partly because it
offers no unusual edge for comment, and partly because in the history at
least of commercial American film production it has tried to be nearly
invisible. But it has been altotherer too nearly invisible in movies
lately to go unremarked when it does appear. And in Sidney Lumet's "The
Anderson Tapes" the quality of professionalism appears in rather
lovely manifestations to raise a by no means perfect film to a level of
intelligent efficiency that is not so very far beneath the reach of art.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Anderson Tapes looks very authentic and film-like on Blu-ray from Indicator in the UK. The 1080P image quality shows a sweet layer of grain and the contrast is consistently layered. This is single-layered with a supportive bitrate. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some depth and black levels are adept. It's clean without blemishes or speckles and I would guess the 1.85:1 aspect ratio visuals are a strong representation of the original theatrical presentation. This Blu-ray, visually, does its job well.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a linear PCM authentically mono at 1152 kbps (24-bit). There is modest depth in the film's infrequent effects. The film's music is notable for the score by Quincy Jones (The Getaway, The Slender Thread, The Pawnbroker, In the Heat of the Night, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs) and it encapsulates a gritty 70's feel sounding quite appealing in the uncompressed. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable world-wide.
Indicator add value to their package with a new audio commentary by Glenn Kenny discussing the film, cast, Lumet, the film's "surveillance" themes - it's interesting and educational. There is the 16-minute 3:4 Super 8 version of the film - fairly superfluous as anything more than a curiosity - or long trailer. There is a click-thru image gallery, a theatrical trailer and this limited edition includes an exclusive 24-page booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield, archive review, Sidney Lumet on The Anderson Tapes, and a look at the source novel. It is limited to 3,000 copies and includes a second disc DVD of the film and extras.
February 18th, 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 3500 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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