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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
The Theory of Everything Blu-ray Review - Recommended
Mar 03 2015 01:29 AM
The Theory of Everything hawks its radiation on Blu-ray with a solid high definition transfer of the movie, which amiably tells the personal life story of pe... Read More
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Mar 03 2015 01:23 AM
The Boxtrolls roll their cheeses onto Blu-ray with an edition that presents the latest stop-motion creation from Laika in both 2D and 3D. The movie itself... Read More
Dracula Untold Blu-ray Review
Mar 03 2015 01:15 AM
Dracula Untold games its thrones on Blu-ray with an edition that presents this leaden reboot of the Dracula franchise in solid high definition, with an army... Read More
Don't Look Now Blu-ray Review
Mar 02 2015 07:03 PM
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The Train Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray MGM Twilight Time
- Studio: MGM
- Distributed By: Twilight Time
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 Hr. 13 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray
- Case Type: keep case
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: All
- Release Date: 06/10/2014
- MSRP: $29.95
The Production Rating: 4.5/5Determined to loot the art museums of Paris for their treasures which he’ll carry back triumphantly to Berlin, Colonel Franz Von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) insists on a train to transport his stolen art treasures even though Nazi leaders need it for troop transport out of the country with the Allies about to enter the city. He commands (unknown to him) French underground leader Labiche (Burt Lancaster) to engineer the train on the journey from France to Germany, but the active underground workers near the end of their four-year occupation by the Nazis have several surprises planned to prevent the artworks from leaving their homeland. And even when Waldheim takes direct command of the engine, Labiche on his own has a few tricks left to slow down the determined colonel, playing against time in hoping the Allies will finally arrive.
Frankenheimer takes his time setting up the elaborate exposition of the characters and their differences of opinion about the plan (even the main title sequence is unique as we see the art treasures boxed up for shipment letting us know what masterpieces are at stake just by the painters’ names on the crates) before we get to the eventual caper. Because we aren’t clued in exactly what the first couple of planned detours for the Nazis will be, they come as much of a surprise to the viewer as they eventually become for the Germans (kudos to Oscar-nominated writers Franklin Coen, Frank Davis and the uncredited assists of Walter Bernstein, Ned Young, and Howard Infell for withholding information for the smartest of reasons). Once events begin to transpire, we are propelled from one terrific set piece to another with tension gathering all the while as director Frankenheimer stages and shoots some of the most exciting and impressive overhead artillery attacks seen in movies (all the more impressive because they’re done in real time with real equipment and not with special effects miniatures) and then several wrecks and derailings that are just visually so stunning. The director handles the actors and the action with equal dexterity making this one of his most impressive cinematic forays.
Burt Lancaster’s commanding presence as resistance leader Labiche combines his serious acting chops with his unparalleled physicality to make his character the central focus of the entire enterprise and one of his most memorable performances. Paul Scofield is the very soul of maniacal cool as the aristocratic German colonel determined to have his way regardless of how the war is going (though that cool eventually evaporates as things begin going seriously wrong). In what amounts to little more than a cameo role, Jeanne Moreau as a hotel proprietor who aids Lancaster’s Labiche is grimly effective while Wolfgang Preiss as the colonel’s second-in-command is equally impressive as his more reasonable underling. As French resistance fighters who take various parts in the train camouflages and sabotages, Michel Simon, Albert Remy, Charles Millot, and Jacques Marin all play their parts with precision even if they are dubbed in some cases by English speaking actors.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
The film is framed at 1.66:1 for this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Grayscale is thoroughly impressive with solid black levels and crisp whites. Sharpness is superlative offering extremely detailed images which are almost painterly in their emotional impact. There are dust specks that pop up here and there and some spotting in three or four prominent places, but overall the image quality is so spectacular that these few anomalies hardly matter. The film has been divided into 12 chapters.
Audio Rating: 4/5The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound mix is very typical of its era. Dialogue is presented clearly and even the dubbed voices are matched extremely well in volume levels with the directly recorded speech. Maurice Jarre’s very spare score and the explosive sound effects have much better than average heft to them making for a solid mono soundtrack. There are no age-related problems with hiss or other noise to spoil the suspense of this treasurable viewing and listening experience.
Special Features: 3/5Audio Commentaries: two are provided. Director John Frankenheimer laconically narrates some anecdotes he can remember about making the movie with several silent patches throughout. The new commentary featuring producer Nick Redman, film historian Julie Kirgo, and film professor Paul Seydor is an outstanding one as the three share interesting and illuminating information and opinions on this masterful work.
Isolated Score Track: Maurice Jarre’s score is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo.
Theatrical Trailer (4:23, SD)
MGM 90th Anniversary Trailer (2:06, HD)
Six-Page Booklet: contains a nice selection of slightly tinted stills, original poster art on the back cover, and film historian Julie Kirgo’s enthusiastic essay on the film.