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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Spike Lee
USA 1999

 

From Spike Lee, the legendary director of Do the Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Clockers, Inside Man and BlacKkKlansman, comes his electrifying take on the “Son of Sam” murders in NYC during the summer of 1977, centering on the residents of an Italian-American Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another. The heat is soaring to record highs, blackouts are filling the streets with looters... and the murders of a man who calls himself the Son of Sam are gripping the “city that never sleeps” in fear. As friends in a small Bronx community become obsessed with the idea that the Son of Sam is someone nearby, the madman’s fearsome plague of terror becomes the catalyst that prompts relationships to fall apart and trust to disintegrate into dread. Starring John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli, Bebe Neuwirth, Patti LuPone, Mike Starr, Anthony LaPaglia and Ben Gazzara, and featuring an amazing soundtrack loaded with vintage hits of the ’70s. Beautifully shot by Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) with a rousing score by Terence Blanchard (Malcolm X).

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Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 20th, 1999 (Cannes Film Festival)

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:22:16.194         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,428,457,179 bytes

Feature: 44,267,139,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1904 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1904 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,428,457,179 bytes

Feature: 44,267,139,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Director Spike Lee and Actor John Leguizamo
• FEAR CITY - New Interview with John Leguizamo (15:37)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:35)


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 4th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (January 2020): Kino have transferred Spike Lee's Summer of Sam to Blu-ray. Kino are releasing many of the director's films early in 2020 including Clockers, Crooklyn, Jungle Fever, and Mo' Better Blues. Summer of Sam is transferred on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2-hour 20-minute film. There are plenty of cinematographic effects used in the film, ex. excessively grainy shots to show clips from the past, tinting etc. and these come through without appearing digitized of flawed by the 1080P rendering. It looks authentic without issues - we can't ask for much more.

NOTE: We have added 36 more large resolution Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino offer the option of DTS-HD Master tracks (16-bit), in the original English language, in both 2.0 channel stereo and 5.1 surround. While these are the most technically robust, it doesn't diminish the effects including guns shots etc. and there is deft separation in occasional surround utilization. The film has an excellent score credited to Terence Blanchard (25th Hour, Miracle at St. Anna, Inside Man, Dark Blue) plus some disco and other music of the era like ABBA's Fernando and Dancing Queen, Heatwave's Boogie Nights, Machine's There But for the Grace of God Go I, Got to Give It Up performed by Marvin Gaye and, notably The Who's Baba O'Riley, Summertime Blues and Won't Get Fooled Again. The songs chosen, strangely add to the emotional tension. You can also catch Sinatra's theme from New York, New York. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray includes an audio commentary by director Spike Lee and actor John Leguizamo who have a great rapport in reminiscing about certain shots, the set-up, the music (the lyrics), that Leguizamo was living in New York at the time of the Son of Sam killings (he was 13 or 14 years old). The events at the time; the blackout and the Victor Colicchio and Michael Imperioli screenplay and much more - lots of laughter and plenty of interesting details. It's laid-back and enjoyable. Kino add a new 1/4 hour interview with John Leguizamo entitled 'Fear City' - it involves how be got involved in Summer of Sam, the guilt and paranoia of his character Vinny relating to the city's dark moods at the time, learning to be a hair stylist, how he was more a 'punk' than disco guy etc. - his intelligence is obvious. There is a theatrical trailer and trailers for other Spike Lee films.

Summer of Sam is another impressive effort from Spike Lee. The gritty New York tribalism prevalent in Do the Right Thing is here, a great cast and the fascinating reality of the time and place - it's brilliant.  It's one of those films that I am very happy to own on Blu-ray - it has definite replay value. A strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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