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Eyes of Laura Mars [Blu-ray]
(Irvin Kershner, 1978)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 36,793,730,358 bytes
Feature Size: 30,489,658,944 bytes
Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: November 20th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Audio commentary with director Irvin Kershner
• The Eyes Have It - an appreciation by Kat Ellinger
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
Description:Irvin Kershner’s stylish, violent cult thriller – from an original screenplay by John Carpenter – stars iconic star Faye Dunaway as glamorous fashion photographer Laura Mars, who begins to experience horrific visions when she ‘sees’ a series of brutal murders as they happen.
The Eyes of Laura Mars put an original spin on the "women in peril" plot staple by giving us Faye Dunaway as a fashion photographer disturbed by visions of real violence echoed in her flashy, S&M-influenced work. The visions start coming closer to home as her woman friends are butchered and their copies of her work vandalised. Good-looking cop Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) argues that her art is responsible, but nonetheless starts an affair with her. Hints are dropped that the killer might be someone close to her, like obsessive ex-con driver Tommy (Brad Dourif) or her possessive ex-husband Michael (Raul Julia). Evocative scenes of 70s' New York nightclub excess, and the strikingly perverse photographs of Helmut Newton, now create a period 70s' flavour to this flawed psychic thriller. Dunaway's performance is suitably overwrought and the young, slimline Jones is at once attractive and off-key.
Dead men in evening clothes; supine women guarded by sleek,
ferocious dogs; upside-down corpses wearing garter-belts, with their hair and
makeup in exquisite disarray — these are the tricks of Laura Mars's trade, the
hallmarks that have established her as the New York fashion photographer who
outkinks them all. However, not everyone is a fan. Someone has gotten the notion
that there's evil in Laura's work, he/ she/it has decided to wipe out the
photographer plus all her super-hyper-ultra chi-chi friends.
A shutterbug is haunted by psychic visions of the killer who is murdering all of her friends in this hit thriller. Intense and driven, successful photographer Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) has made a name for herself by juxtaposing sex and violence in her glamorous photos. But at the height of her success -- and just as a media backlash is brewing -- she begins to experience daydreams from the point of view of a serial killer as he relentlessly stalks and murders her associates. Her unbalanced ex-husband (Raul Julia) seems like an obvious suspect, especially when his new girlfriend is murdered and he goes on the lam. But Laura is shocked by the prospect that the killer could be somebody out to discredit her work, which she views as an artistic commentary on the degradation of the modern world. Under the protection of police detective John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones), Laura is unable to save even one of her friends from a violent end. Soon, she finds herself inside the mind of the killer as he marches down a familiar hallway: the one outside her own door. Co-written by Halloween director John Carpenter, Eyes of Laura Mars also features character actors Brad Dourif and RenÚ Auberjonois.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Eyes of Laura Mars arrives on Blu-ray from Indicator out of the UK. The image quality is very impressive with consistently strong visuals and a pleasing layer of grain. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is neither glossy nor soft and shows hints of green bias but generally colors seem true. There are few instances of depth. There is some pleasing detail in the film's use of close-ups. I would guess the 1.85:1 image is fairly accurate in terms of replicating the original theatrical presentation. It looks very clean, and trouble-free. This Blu-ray has Indicator's usual highly competent HD transfer.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a linear PCM authentically mono at 1152 kbps (24-bit). There is modest depth in the rare effects - gunfire etc. The film's music is notable for the score by Artie Kane (Waterworld, Good Will Hunting, The Devil's Advocate) plus other songs in the film utilizing Barbra Streisand singing the 'Love Theme' (Prisoner) played at the opening and closing credits, plus some disco music like KC & The Sunshine Band's (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty and Heatwave's Boogie Nights. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable world-wide.
Indicator use the audio commentary with director Irvin Kershner originally on an older DVD. He's okay - easy to listen to and not taking things too seriously. He talks about the brief use of blood in the film, the nudity and plenty of details about the production side of the film - cast etc. Visions is a 7-minute 1978 'making of documentary' and Eyes on Laura Mars is an on-set piece with commentary by Laurent Bouzereau (citing different drafts that didn't make it into the film). It was made in 1999 and runs over 8-minutes. I enjoyed the 1/4 hour The Eyes Have It - appreciation by Kat Ellinger providing her usual excellent analysis and we also get a short critical appreciation from David DeCoteau of Trailers From Hell, an image gallery: on-set and promotional photography and an original theatrical trailer. The package has a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Rebecca Nicole Williams, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film. It is limited to 3,000 copies.
November 17th, 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 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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