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World Without End [Blu-ray]
(Edward Bernds, 1956)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Allied Artists Pictures
Video: Warner Archive
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,841,930,748 bytes
Feature Size: 22,803,296,256 bytes
Video Bitrate: 33.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 28th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.57:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1797 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1797 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
Description: “CinemaScope’s first science-fiction thriller” sees four intrepid astronauts (Hugh Marlowe, Nelson Leigh, Rod Taylor and Christopher Dark) successfully complete mankind’s first Mars mission, only to run afoul of a warp in space. Tossed centuries into the future, they discover an Earth devastated by nuclear war, where mutant beast-men rule the surface. Underground is a society marked by listless males and lustful ladies (future- wear designed by Vargas!). Trapped in a tomorrow they never made, the four astronauts take on the mutant and the malicious while fighting to bring humanity back to the surface.
World Without End is a veritable buffet of the usual 50’s Sci-Fi movie clichés. And like a buffet, you can enjoy what you want to enjoy and ignore what you don’t. (I particularly love how in all these movies service revolvers were standard issue astronaut equipment.) But while World Without End gets off to a good start, the fun kinda drains out of the movie once the astronauts meet up with the old codgers who live underground. As it stands, World Without End is an above average example of the genre, but not necessarily a memorable one.Excerpt fromVideoVacuum located HERE
A group of astronauts, the first men ever in space, accidentally breaks the time barrier and finds itself stranded in the Rocky Mountains of the 26th century. After encountering an embarrassingly inanimate-looking bunch of giant spiders, they discover that things have changed following, of course, a nuclear war. In a reversal of its obvious source, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, the surface has become overrun with savage, one-eyed "mutates" while a gutless but peaceful strand of humanity has gone underground. Here, the women are brassy and scantily clad, the men wear stockings and skull caps, and all are fearful of life on the surface, even though remaining underground may mean the end of their civilization.Excerpt from AVClub located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
World Without End appears fairly soft on Blu-ray from The Warner Archive. It's a single-layered transfer with a very high bitrate but I have my suspicions that this is how the film looked theatrically. The image is very thick with bright colors and is consistent throughout the presentation. It looks pleasing in-motion - there is no gloss nor pristine crispness to the visuals. There aren't a lot of centre-frame close-ups as you can see the 'Cinemascope mumps' effect is present with fatter faces - notably when closer to the centre - this would have been normal for original theatrical viewing. To quote the Widescreen Museum: "...the center of the image received less horizontal squeeze when the lenses were focused at short distances. When projected, the center of the image was expanded more than its original compression." This Blu-ray wouldn't be one you would grab for demo quality but I wasn't turned-off by the image quality. The heaviness connotes a film-like presentation and it was cool to see the radical 2.55:1 widescreen ratio.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1797 kbps (24-bit). It doesn't have any flaws but the modest effects don't pack much of a wallop. One of the better attributes of the presentation is the score by Leith Stevens (The Night of the Grizzly, I Married a Monster From Outer Space, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Garment Jungle) which adds some legitimacy to the production - exporting tension at the right moments. There are optional English subtitles (capital letters in a large font - see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Nothing - not even a trailer.
April 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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