A Few Words About A few words about...™ Dangerous Liaisons -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One cannot help but wonder, knowing the facts, what Choderlos de Laclos might have thought of the Dangerous Liaisons war?


    We can't ask, as he died in 1803. In 1782 he authored one of the most famous French novels of the era, Les Liaisons Dangereuses.


    It was not for another 107 years that two directors would somehow get the idea to create beautifully crafted film versions of the book, within a year of one another, but apparently both in prep at the same time, but one, Dangerous Liaisons, taking an early lead, as it was based upon Christopher Hampton's play, adapted from the book.


    From Roger Ebert's review of Valmont:
    "We were in the middle of our script already when they announced their version, based on the play,"Milos Forman was remembering the other day. "Of course we immediately learned they were rushing into it very fast. With the concept I had, we all knew I couldn't be faster. We couldn't beat them. So, I was expecting a call from the producers saying, `Sorry, Milos, we can't take the risk.' The call came. They asked me, `Does it really bother you that another film is going to be made?' I said of course not. And I felt like, god, Hollywood is still crazy. That's good."


    As always, his consideration of the film is a terrific read, and you can find it here:


    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19891112/REVIEWS/911120301


    It had been filmed before, in 1959 by Roger Vadim, and later, a contemporary take, as Cruel Intentions. But it is Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons, and Milos Forman's Valmont, that were produced within a year of one another. Dangerous Liaisons arrived first, in December of 1988, and Valmont a year later.

    They are generally considered to be equals in terms of quality, but basic story aside, could not be more different, and both are worth your attention.


    Warner's new Blu-ray release is the earlier of the two, and the new Blu-ray, while possibly not a brand new transfer, is totally appealing, with no downside. Color densities, shadow detail, and stability of image are all high end. The track, as is now the norm, is uncompressed DTD-HD.


    Dangerous Liaisons is a beautifully crafted film, with sets and costumes that are spectacular.


    What a perfect time for a Blu-ray release of Valmont as a companion piece.


    A beautiful film of 18th century sexual intrigue.


    Highly Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I like this movie and bought the DVD when it first came out. I haven't watched it for ages so I'll check it out to see if I need to upgrade. It's high time I watched this movie again.
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I wish they would have stayed with the original DVD cover art, which is the same as the theatrical one-sheet. I've seen this theatrically, owned the laserdisc (which was a bargain at $24,98) and have the DVD. The blu-ray upgrade at $15.99 (Amazon) is a no-brainer.
     
  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I actually prefer Valmont to Dangerous Liaisons and would love to see its release as well. I saw it on one of the HD movie channels and thought it looked great in HD.
     
  5. Anthony Neilson

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    RAH Thanks, as usual, for your review. My copy, which I received a while ago, has a very unstable image during the sequence in which Malkovich visits the peasants - sorry I can't give you a timecode right now. I compared this to the DVD which didn't have the same problem. If you can't see this instability, is there any reason why my copy might exhibit it and not others? It looks to me like a problem in the transfer so I'm at a loss as to why nobody else is noticing it. I feel like a bit of a crank but the problem is definitely there on mine. Thanks
     
  6. Trentrunner

    Trentrunner Stunt Coordinator

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    Can you describe in more detail what you mean by a "very unstable image"?
     
  7. Anthony Neilson

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    I don't know how better to describe it really. It's at the beginning of Chapter 6. I'm watching on a 65" screen and the image is jittering so it's uncomfortable to watch. If you look at the bottom of the frame, you can see how much rapid movement is going on. It's obviously not absolutely crazy otherwise there'd be no missing it but I like to think I'm not hysterical about such things - the DVD shows only clean stable camera moves. I've tried it in several players so it's not a player issue and, like I said, if it's specific to certain discs I'm at a loss to explain why. Let me just stress - it only affects a short passage of the film and this Blu-ray IS a huge improvement on the dvd. It shouldn't put anyone but the most perfectionist off buying it. I'd just like to know what's going on and why no-one else is seeing it.
     
  8. MrsMac

    MrsMac Agent

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    Adore this movie (and we also owned it on laser and now on DVD). I'd love to have it in blu-ray, but it's a bit pricey ($16.99) for us at the moment. Also, it doesn't state if there are either English sub-titles or CC. Those of you who have a copy of the blu-ray, can you tell me if it does have one or the other, please.
     

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