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What's the Matter With Helen? [Blu-ray]
(Curtis Harrington, 1971)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Filmways Pictures
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,780,267,598 bytes
Feature Size: 20,868,694,016 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 28th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1657 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1657 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Photo Gallery (3:25)
• Radio Spot (0:59)
Description: After their sons are convicted of homicide in a highly publicized trial, Midwesterners Adelle (Debbie Reynolds) and Helen (Shelley Winters) begin receiving threatening phone calls and decide to begin their lives anew in Hollywood, Calif. They open a dance school for young girls, and, while the business succeeds, their troubles continue. Helen becomes dangerously neurotic and increasingly clings to Adelle, who longs to marry the wealthy parent (Dennis Weaver) of one of her students.
With a script by Henry Farrell (author of the source novel on which What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was based), Baby Jane in effect slays again...except that this time she's directed by Curtis Harrington, erstwhile buddy of Kenneth Anger (he acts in Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome), who knows what's camp and what's not, and the difference between melodrama and expressionism. He films this as Sternberg might have, with a great emphasis on masks and facades, underpinned with gorgeous fairytale motifs. Plus he stages the best tango since The Conformist.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
"What's the Matter With Helen?" belongs to that singular genre of screen
horror literature that is almost as formal and unvarying in theme as
Eric Rohmer's Six Moral Tales: Two women, beyond or just at
middle age, abandoned by the men in their lives, find themselves
isolated from the normally neurotic world and locked into a relationship
of psychotic dependency.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
What's the Matter With Helen? looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory - the visuals show consistent and thick grain. Colors, like red lipstick and period clothing, are rich and true. This is single-layered with a decent bitrate. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, there is some depth and close-ups show pleasing detail. There are no flaws - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, an authentic and very watchable visual presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1657 kbps supports the score by Noir-go-to composerDavid Raksin (Daisy Kenyon, Whirlpool, Fallen Angel, Laura, Bigger Than Life, The Big Combo) sounding clean and pleasing in the lossless - augmenting the film's building suspense. There are a few effects and screams that come across with decent depth. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Not much with only a Trailer, Photo Gallery and Radio Spot.
March 15th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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