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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Anderson Tapes [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney Lumet, 1971)

 

Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #010 Spine #012 Spine #013 Spine #019 Spine #020

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Indicator (Powerhouse)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:38:52.843

Disc Size: 24,148,684,500 bytes

Feature Size: 22,199,833,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.99 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: February 27th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

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.

DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

 

 

The Film:

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.

The Anderson Tapes was shot on location in New York on a tight budget and completed in six hurried weeks. Perceptions of its success vary from "moderate" to "resounding", but the movie and Connery's performance were generally well received.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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.

"The Anderson Tapes" is a caper movie, a most unpromising type, dealing with an ambitious attempt at a heist from an upper Fifth Avenue mansion that has been divided into luxury apartments guarded by a television security system that must rival the Pentagon's. Wanting all that loot and confronting all that surveillance stands John Anderson (Sean Connery) exconvict and current lover of the lady in 2B (Dyan Cannon), whose principal support (Richard B. Schull) has had her apartment bugged by Peace of Mind, an organization dedicated to getting the goods on wayward wives and mistresses.

Excerpt fromTheNYTimes located HERE

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

 

Extras :

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.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Anderson Tapes is a very good heist film - it's not great - but it is entertaining, especially if you are keen on the actors. The director knows how to set pace and advance a story well, although it lacks a sense of urgency. The Anderson Tapes has the recognizable 70's 'feel'. It was a good choice to release on Blu-ray. The 1080P presentation is rich and authentic looking and the package with extensive booklet, commentary etc. makes it a valued purchase. Yes, strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 18th, 2017

Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #010 Spine #012 Spine #013 Spine #019 Spine #020


 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

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
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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