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directed by Albert Finney

UK 1968

 

After achieving international renown as one of the finest actors of his generation in films such as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and Tom Jones (1963), Albert Finney turned director for this surreal comic twist on the 'kitchen sink' dramas in which he d made his name.

Finney plays Charlie Bubbles, a successful writer suffering a mid-life crisis, who attempts to re-connect with his northern working-class roots and estranged family. Based on a screenplay by Shelagh Delaney (A Taste of Honey), the script clearly references both her and Finney's personal experience of their shared working-class origins (both were Salford natives), and the consequences of achieving great success.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 11th, 1968

 

Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
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Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution

Indicator

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:29:11.220
Video

Disc Size: 41,995,567,202 bytes

Feature Size: 26,315,950,656 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

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
Features Release Information:
Studio: Indicator

 

Disc Size: 41,995,567,202 bytes

Feature Size: 26,315,950,656 bytes

Average Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with film historians Thirza Wakefield and Melanie Williams
• "Michael Medwin: A Very Personal Film" (2018, 3:22 mins): a new interview with producer Michael Medwin
• "Peter Suschitzky: Down to Earth" (2018, 08:35 mins): director of photography Peter Suschitzky recalls working with actor-director Albert Finney
• "Terence A Clegg: Off the Cuff" (2018, 08:47 mins): first assistant director Terence A Clegg discusses his time working on the film
• "Timothy Garland: Finney and Football" (2018, 16:04 mins): actor Timothy Garland remembers his role as Charlie Bubbles’ son
• "Susan Engel: Motorway Café Society" (2018, 08:54 mins): a new interview with actor Susan Engel
• "Misha Donat: Entirely Harmonised" (2018, 14:32 mins): composer Misha Donat reflects upon his distinctive score for the film
• "To Shape the Country" (2018, 04:09 mins): a short appreciation by film critic Danny Leigh
• "Another World" (2018, 21:48 mins): John Harding, author of Sweetly Sings Delaney: A Study of Shelagh Delaney’s Work 1958–68, discusses the author and playwright’s career and her work with Finney
• "CCTV Test Footage" (1966, 02:04 mins, mute): previously unseen camera tests supervised by Stephen Frears, Finney’s personal assistant on the film (play with or without captions)
• Original theatrical trailer (02:22)
• Image gallery: promotional photography and publicity material
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition 36-page booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield, Charlotte Delaney on her mother and the film, archival recollections by Albert Finney and Liza Minnelli, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies

Blu-ray Release Date: November 26th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments

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

Indicator have released Albert Finney's sole directorial effort "Charlie Bubbles" on a dual-layered Blu-ray. This HD remaster is the world premiere of the film on Blu-rayy. The 1080p 1.75:1 image maintains a maxed out bitrate, which seems to be a staple of Indicator's releases. There are minor instances of Edge Enhancement in spots, but only sharp eyes will notice this. The image is generally blotchy, lacking in fine detail and grain. There seems to be some digital tinkering here. That said, the colors are bold and quite varied, though the contrast levels are quite extreme, leading to a rather flat-looking image (people can appear as cardboard cutouts, think south park).

Indicator present "Charlie Bubbles" with its original mono track, in 24-bit 1.0 linear PCM. Whereas the image quality is certainly questionable, the audio here is quite nice. The mono track is rather clean and dialogue clearly audible. There are few examples of background noise. The circus-like score is credited to Misha Donat (Red, White and Zero). There are optional new and improved English SDH subtitles on this Region 'B'
Blu-ray from Indicator.

Indicator have loaded this
Blu-ray to the gills with extras. First up is a commentary track with film historians Thirza Wakefield and Melanie Williams. Williams is a senior lecturer in Film & Television Studies at the University of East Anglia. Williams has recently finished a big project on 1960s cinema and Wakefield is a writer and researcher at the University of Nottingham and also has focused research on British films of this period. The two are a perfect fit for this rather informative commentary track. Next up are six (!) interviews ranging from 3 to 16 minutes. These interviews feature the Producer, Director of Photography, 1st Assistant Director, Composer, and Actors, for the film. "To Shape the Country" is a 4-minute appreciation by film critic Danny Leigh. "Another World" is a 22-minute extra with John Harding, author of Sweetly Sings Delaney: A Study of Shelagh Delaney’s Work 1958–68, discussing the author and playwright’s career and her work with Finney. "CCTV Test Footage" is 2-minutes of footage for the CCTV portions of the film, this is silent and available with or without captions. Also available is the film's original theatrical trailer and an image gallery of promotional photography and publicity material. There is also a 36-page booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield, Charlotte Delaney on her mother and the film, archival recollections by Albert Finney and Liza Minnelli, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

Charlie Bubbles was unfairly maligned at the time of its release, and in some cases struggled to even BE released, though thankfully Indicator have given us the chance to see the film (in Region B). Though the image is not impressive at all, the extras are wonderful, in particular the commentary track. Recommended to fans of 60s British Cinema, with the strong caveat that the
Blu-ray image is subpar.
 

 - Colin Zavitz


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

   

 

 

Distribution

Indicator

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 



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