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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Watermelon Man")

 

Directed by Melvin Van Peebles
USA 1970

 

A bigoted, white salesman (played by stand-up comedian Godfrey Cambridge) wakes up one morning to find he has become black. Although it has been somewhat overshadowed by Melvin Van Peebles' next film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Watermelon Man has never felt more relevant than it does today.

***

Jeff Gerber, a racist insurance agent and fitness freak, lives in a typical suburban neighborhood. But Jeff's bigoted world of taunting and harassing black people on and off the job is turned upside down when his skin inexplicably turns dark overnight. As Jeff tries to come to terms with this unexplained phenomenon that has befallen him, he soon becomes the victim himself, when all of his friends and neighbors suddenly shun and harass him.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 27th, 1970

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

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

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy directly from Indicator/Powerhouse

Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:40.599        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,722,130,205 bytes

Feature: 23,958,304,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 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

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Guardian Interview:

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,722,130,205 bytes

Feature: 23,958,304,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Introduction by Melvin Van Peebles (2004 - 5:06)
The Guardian Interview with Melvin Van Peebles (1996): archival audio recording of the filmmaker and actor in conversation with broadcaster Darcus Howe at London's National Film Theatre (70-minutes)
Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Sergio Mims, a 1970 profile of director Melvin Van Peebles, archival interviews with Van Peebles, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 25th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (May 2020): Indicator have transferred Melvin Van Peebles' Watermelon Man to Blu-ray. It is on a single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate. The image quality is fine without egregious flaws. The 1080P exports the funky 70's colors as exuberant, there is decent detail and depth is apparent. No complaints - I had a very pleasing viewing in HD. 

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. There are no strongly aggressive effects but a light score by Melvin Van Peebles - also an accomplished musician - with songs in the film like Love, That's America, Great Guy, Eviction Theme, Soul'd On You, Where Are The Children and Erica's Theme. Dialogue is clear and consistent. Indicator offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

As well as a 5-minute introduction (audio-only) by Van Peebles, Indicator offer on their Blu-ray a 70-minute Guardian Interview with Melvin Van Peebles from 1996 that plays to the film. It is an archival audio recording of the filmmaker and actor in conversation with broadcaster Darcus Howe at London's National Film Theatre. They discuss his career, racism and accomplishments. Van Peebles life-affirming quotes are thought-provoking and inspirational. There is also an image gallery of on-set and promotional photography and the package has a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Sergio Mims, a 1970 profile of director Melvin Van Peebles, archival interviews with Van Peebles, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

Watermelon Man is fun and poignant without Van Peebles being preachy or badgering - it is really quite an amusing over-the-top performance by Godfrey Cambridge. It's a film with a message that probes deeper as it runs to conclusion showing both sides of racism and the Indicator Blu-ray is well-worth a few spins. It has the 70's nostalgia appeal as well. Recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

or buy directly from Indicator/Powerhouse

Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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