A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Patriot -- in BD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    After almost six months on a project in Los Angeles, I've returned to my proper home theater, and decided to make my initial viewing experience via the new Pioneer BD player, Columbia's (Sony) The Patriot.

    As my thinking process tends to occasionally work in non-linear ways, a number of thoughts seem to run through concurrently, and I'll break them out for the written word.

    The Patriot, which won an Academy Award for Best Writing no longer exists, except for fragments, and this is a huge pity. We may never be able to experience the film.

    A "secret weapon" as a major part of the production team is cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, without whom, I doubt very much that The Patriot would have been The Patriot. Mr. Deschanel was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, along with those behind the creation of the wonderful stereo soundtrack.

    German director Roland Emmerich actually created a high quality film.

    But more to the point, much like Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot (1957), which runs continuously at the Colonial Williamsburg (VA) Visitors Center and The Alamo (1960), The Patriot beautifully communicates the indomitability of the American Spirit. To view this on a larger canvas, the story could be modified to tell the tale of the Spirit of any nation or people to control their own fate and destiny.

    On any level, The Patriot is wonderfully intelligent and nobly acted by all, yielding a spellbinding experience.

    The new Blu-Ray disc, as released by Sony, has me ready to admit that their home video division may finally be up and running on at least 11 of their 12 cylinders. This is a magnificent software achievement, with no downside.

    I recall when the Superbit version was released in May of 2002, that I spent several hours comparing image quality, shot by shot, most notably in the sequence in which Heath Ledger views the war from a second story window. I was attempting to examine detail and resolution.

    At that time, I found a perceptible difference between the standard issue DVD and the Superbit, but only on a large screen via extremely high end projection.

    This is far from the case as between the SB and Blu-Ray, as the image is now slammed so far out of the park that there is absolutely no comparison between the two.

    The BD image, as viewed in 2k on a 100+ inch screen appears film-like and with no DVD induced artifacts. The color, textures, especially noted in clothing and facial detail are perfect. Black level is beautiful, along with fine shadow detail.

    The image is so crisp and clean that a few of the digital shots, most notably of Charleston Harbor reveal the quality of a production c. 1999-2000. This isn't a bad thing. It simply is.

    For clarity, the running time of the Extended Cut is 174 minutes, as opposed to the 165 minute original. This seems to have been misreported elsewhere.

    The Patriot, from Sony, is a magnificent film, brought with great care to Blu-Ray DVD, and is Very Highly Recommended.

    And now, if we could only find the 1928 version, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Emil Jannings. A trailer, along with footage has survived. The trailer may be viewed on More Treasures from American Film Archives (2004) on DVD.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Sorry,

    Your last sentence explains.[​IMG]
     
  3. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

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    Can you tell us something about that project?
     
  4. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Yes I'm very much interested in what kept you in LA for 6 months.

    And thanks for the review. I'm going to have to go out and pick up this title now.

    Doug
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    RAH,

    I heartily agree with your assessment of the image qualtiy of this BD disc.

    [​IMG]

    I was shocked by how "true to film" this BD disc looks... fine film grain, depth of field, color, it comes *extremely* close to looking like a projected film-print in my living room.

    dave [​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It appears that Sony's David Bishop may have been the right man for the job.

    RAH
     

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