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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Kenneth Branagh
USA 1991

 

Set in contemporary Los Angeles as well as the Los Angeles of the 1940s, Dead Again explores a romance between two star-crossed lovers — and the doomed passion they shared in their last lifetime. Los Angeles detective Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh) comes to the aid of mute, amnesia-victim Grace (Emma Thompson) and falls in love with her. He sets out to discover her true identity and the source of her terrible nightmares. Mike is aided in his investigation by hypnotist/furniture dealer Franklyn Madison (Derek Jacobi) who discovers that in a past life Grace was Margaret Strauss (also played by Thompson), who may have been murdered by her husband Roman.

***

In 1949 composer Roman Strauss is executed for the vicious murder of his wife Margaret with a pair of scissors. In 1990s Los Angeles a mute amnesiac woman shows up at an orphanage and private eye Mike Church is called in to investigate. Under hypnosis both the woman and Church seem to have a strange link back to the Strauss murder.

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 30th, 1991

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:42.038         
Video

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,285,583,840 bytes

Feature: 33,927,168,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.93 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 3986 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3986 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -31dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 384 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -31dB

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

 

1.78:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 39,285,583,840 bytes

Feature: 33,927,168,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with producer Lindsay Doran and screenwriter Scott Frank (2002)
Audio commentary with director and star Kenneth Branagh (2002)
A Cut Above: Dead Again and the Lost Art of the Hollywood Thriller - Visual Essay by Ian Mantgani (16:49)
Theatrical Trailer (2:21)

Limited Edition slipcase with unique artwork on the first 1500 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 25th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (January 2021): Imprint have transferred Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate, in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, and looks very consistent in 1080P. It is very clean with a few light speckles, plenty of depth and impressive detail in close-ups. There is grain - not in abundance but is visible not appearing to be scrubbed. Mostly looking solid it does have a few scenes that showcase the HD presentation very well. Overall, it look pretty adeptly transferred.  

NOTE: We have added 72 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint give the option of a very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a linear PCM stereo track (both 24-bit) in the original English language. There are some surprising separations and the film's audio is a significant part of the viewing experience. The score is by Patrick Doyle (Gosford Park, Henry V, Nim's Island, Alfonso Cuarón's excellent Great Expectations, Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, and the 2011 version of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, among his credits.)  It's quite an aggressive score utilized gratuitously throughout Dead Again. Imprint offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a two commentaries both from 2002. The first is by Kenneth Branagh identifies the opening theme opening music as both Noir-sih and Gothic and later shares some of his favorite 'dark cinema' films. He's very enjoyable and easy to like, relaxed and forthcoming about taking on the director reigns for a films with 'reincarnation' themes. The second commentary is by Producer Lindsay Doran and screenwriter Scott Frank. They discuss the frequent re-shooting - having difficulty 'telling the story', who's who etc. getting Robin William and Andy Garcia in the cast, fleshing out the character of Dr. Cozy Carlisle, Kenneth Branagh doing both parts - neither in his native accent - dialogue coaches etc. 'plastic material' (inanimate object reflected to, potentially, contain meaning) utilized in the film; gloves, scissors, anklet etc.. They discuss different endings, scenes cut for TV etc., the subtle humor of Dead Again and much more. We also get a 1/4 hour "A Cut Above: Dead Again and the Lost Art of the Hollywood Thriller" a visual essay by Ian Mantgani who discusses classic and more modern Hollywood thrillers showing clips from The Lady from Shanghai, Sorry, Wrong Number, Vertigo, Dial M for Murder, Psycho, Rebecca and more modern fare like Avengers: Endgame and Crimson Peak. His observations are interesting and I found him insightful. Lastly, is a trailer and the Imprint Blu-ray package offers a limited edition slipcase with unique artwork on the first 1500 copies.

You'd have thought that Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again would have had a Blu-ray release before now. It's a complex, layered crime-drama-mystery with some supernatural/occult hints - it's extremely well realized - and filled with enjoyable noirish conventions. Not an homage so much as a strong neo-noir with Hitchcock-ian flair. I loved the black and white 'flashbacks' and it has great support from Derek Jacobi, Wayne Knight, Robin Williams, and Andy Garcia. I really enjoyed this and the commentaries / visual essay. Another keeper from Imprint's Blu-ray catalogue.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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