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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Catfight [Blu-ray]

 

(Onur Tukel, 2016)

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: MPI Media Group

Video: Dark Sky Video / Arrow (UK)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:35:19.755 / 1:35:19.755   

Disc Size: 24,827,449,784 bytes / 33,617,499,608 bytes

Feature Size: 15,504,353,280 bytes / 28,160,937,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.98 Mbps / 31.71 Mbps

Chapters: 23 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray Case

Release date: April 25th, 2017 / April 24th, 2017

 

Video (same for both):

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1885 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1885 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1977 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1977 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1569 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1569 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1677 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1677 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
 

 

Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), none

 

Extras (both):

Commentary with Writer/Director Onur Tukel

Commentary with Anne Heche and Sandra Oh
Violent Femmes: The Fight Choreography of Catfight (17:23)
Deleted Scenes (17:44)
Art Slideshow (included in Arrow's liner notes booklet)
Trailer (2:12)

 

Bitrate:

1) Dark Sky - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Description: Veronica (Sandra Oh) and Ashley (Anne Heche) were good friends in college, but now find themselves in very different walks of life. Veronica has become the entitled, wine-loving wife of a rich businessman, while Ashley, along with her lover Lisa (Alicia Silverstone), struggles to make ends meet as an artist. When they bump into each other at a fancy cocktail party, what starts as a friendly conversation quickly turns caustic before erupting into a vicious, bloody fight that will change both of their lives forever.

 

Featuring Dylan Baker, Tituss Burgess, Craig Bierko and Amy Hill, writer-director Onur Tukel s CATFIGHT is a brutally hilarious story of revenge, redemption, aggression and loss.

***

Two former college friends, who now find themselves in very different walks of life, meet up at a fancy cocktail party: Veronica has become the entitled, wine-loving wife of a rich businessman, while Ashley, along with her lover Lisa, struggles to make ends meet as an artist. As the two women reconnect, long-buried hostilities, jealousy, and anger explode into a vicious, bloody fight that leaves both of them battered and bruised.

 

 

The Film:

I’ve never seen a film quite like Onur Tukel’s Catfight. First thing’s first, though – if you pick this up hoping to see women fighting each other then boy howdy does it deliver. Our combatants, Anne Heche and Sandra Oh, spend a decent proportion of the film beating the absolute shit out of each other.

Neither pulls any punches, either, hurling themselves at each other with crazed, sadistic viciousness. Eyes swell up, lips split and bones crack and still they get up for more, screaming like banshees as they try their best to pound the other’s face into a gooey, comatose mush. This is all helped by the meatiest *thwack* sound effects this side of a Rocky sequel. If you need a direct point of comparison, think the Roddy Piper/Keith David alley fight from John Carpenter’s classic They Live.

Excerpt from WeGotThisCovered located HERE

 

The battle that gives “Catfight” its title and dramatic framework is a series of three hyperviolent encounters between Ashley (Anne Heche) and Veronica (Sandra Oh), two equally despicable New Yorkers. Former college frenemies whose fortunes have radically diverged, the women harbor an unspecified grudge that flares to life during a chance encounter and leaves Veronica in a two-year coma.

Suspended animation is, like the bust-ups, a recurring motif in this wildly uneven yet weirdly hypnotic satire from Onur Tukel. Drawing its energy from revenge and its jagged humor from a black well of contempt for the wealthy, the movie fashions a world in which the only likable characters are the crazy and the doomed.

Excerpt from the NYTimes located HERE

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

 

Catfight comes to Blu-ray from Dark Sky Films in North America and Arrow Video in the UK. The US transfer is single-layered, modest and with a low bitrate. It was shot in HD and looks fine in this 1080P rendering, but it rarely looks eye-poppingly dynamic. Still, colors look true and there is pleasing detail and occasional depth. No artefacts or noise. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This Blu-ray probably dos a reasonable job of replicating the film's theatrical appearance. I had no issues with the less-robust technical transfer.

 

No difference in the static captures but in-motion, many will see that the Arrow, with the substantially higher bitrate, is smoother.

 

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

 

1) Dark Sky - Region 'A' - Blu-ray -TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1885 kbps (16-bit). There are some well-separated fist-a-cuff effects - connecting punches carrying a whiplash-like depth. I recall hearing some Bach and Mozart in the film - during some of the 'battles' but I couldn't identify it or find it listed on line. But it sounded quite strong juxtaposing the slow-motion punches and grunts.  There are optional subtitles (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' -locked.

 

Same DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround (both 16-bit), no difference that I could tell - the Arrow also has optional English (SDH) subtitles - slightly different - see above example. The Arrow is Region 'B'-locked.              

 

Extras :

Dark Sky include a commentary with writer/director Onur Tukel and a second, funny, commentary with Anne Heche and Sandra Oh. Humor value, for sure - delivered in a relaxed tone - worth it if you liked the film. There are some other supplements; Violent Femmes: The Fight Choreography of Catfight spend over 17-minutes detailing the extensive fight sequences, we meet the stunt doubles etc. Plenty of work put into those parts of the film. There are also 17-minutes of deleted scenes - and you can see what was cut from the film. There is an 'Art Slideshow' of some of the art used in the film and a trailer.

 

Same extras, but the Arrow commentaries are in lossless and Arrow's 'Art show' gallery is in their enclosed liner notes booklet.

 

Dark Sky - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Catfight had some panning but I thought it worked because Oh and Heche are extremely funny - body language, facial expressions and delivering their lines. I was amused by their seriousness. Yes, the film intentionally escalates to absurd, excessive, levels - I also found that funny. I laughed a lot during my viewing. The Dark Sky Video Blu-ray provides a modest 1080P presentation - that I always say 'a superior transfer doesn't make the jokes any better' but the two commentaries give this package much more value. It looks like the Arrow has the same supplements, but most likely, a better a/v transfer. I'm not going to get too obsessive about the BD presentation quality because this is a quick laugh. One I'll probably duplicate. I suggest getting the cheapest version for your viewing pleasure. I found it better than the critics let on. It wasn't meant to be an Oscar nominee - the cast must have had a ball too. Join them.

 

Arrow is, as we guessed, the superior video transfer, and batter cover but has the same supplements and lossless audio - with optional subtitles. Pretty much the same package - real hardcore fans will opt for the Arrow, and it's vastly higher bitrate, but I still suggest, if you aren't bound by region codes, buying the cheapest Blu-ray you can, for your location. I think this is hilarious. 

Gary Tooze

April 22nd, 2017

April 24th, 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.

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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