A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Silence of the Lambs -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For those with a large screen and 1080p, there are two shots at the beginning of The Silence of the Lambs that allow you to see precisely how good the Blu-ray system is when viewing a well-produced disc.

    Today we have superb Eastman duplicating elements, even superior to what was in use in 1991, which was very, very good. 5243 was a great intermediate stock.

    If you take note of two shots of Jodie Foster as she enters Scott Glenn's office you'll be able to see the difference that two generations makes. A difference that I would suggest is more discernible on Blu-ray than it would have been in theaters. In each shot Ms. Foster makes a slow forward movement, stepping closer to the camera. Take a look at the color, especially gradations on her face, detail, overall resolution, and you'll see the difference. The two shots are at the very end of the main title sequence (dupe), and the second shot of the film (original).

    If you don't see it for a while, it's easy to forget how beautifully controlled The Silence of the Lambs is on every level. Watch it on Blu-ray and the seven Academy Award nominations with four wins, including Best Picture, Actor, Actress and Director come immediately back into focus.

    The Silence of the Lambs is brilliant, heart-pounding cinema, brought to Blu-ray with the look of its cinema origins intact. For those attempting to find destructive "DNR" around every bend, I'm unable to detect if there was a small turn of the knob here. What I can tell you, is that there's nothing troubling. This is a quality Blu-ray of a terrific film.

    Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Your take was not what I expected given the shouts crying DNR foul regrading this release. I have it, have seen it, and found it to be watchable if not spectacular.

    Have you watched the trailer include on this disc? If so, how valuable is it in discerning the director's intent because there is a marked contrast between it and the transfer for the film itself.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Paul,

    You've hit the nail squarely on the head. Contrast equals perceived sharpness. Not actual, but perceived. And the trailer, which is a couple of generations further away from original than the feature literally pops, as it naturally would, with grain and... apparent sharpness. As representative of the increased contrast, you'll note that there is no detail in foreheads, which in some shots hardly exist.

    As I noted, it's entirely possible that there is a low level of grain reduction involved here, but I'm not seeing anything untoward. It's also possible that the base transfer is not new.

    Bottom line for me is that the Blu-ray is very, very acceptable.

    RAH
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Good to hear. The screenshots I have seen - and I realize they don't tell the entire story - look pretty natural IMO. I will definitely be picking this title up at some point this year though I'm having to watch my budget right now.
     
  5. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    Thanks RAH. I'll grab this sooner rather than later I think.
     
  6. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Silence of the Lambs actually won five Oscars, not four; the fifth was for adapted screenplay.

    Thanks for the comments...this will be added to my library when I find a good price.

    - Steve
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Hey, Steve! [​IMG]

    I am seeing very high prices on this title--whenever I can find it in a store.
     
  8. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    ^ Preorder, at one place in Canada, it is quite substantially cheaper than any other new BD is (Cdn$14, x0.8 for real money...), which made me think it would be bargain-priced in stores. It is a catalog title, with an "old" encode, so I thought this made sense...maybe not.
     
  9. Rob LoVerde

    Rob LoVerde Agent

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    Please forgive what might be an unnecessary question, but I'd like to ask Mr. Harris if he thinks this Blu-ray Disc is superior to Criterion's DVD of the same film.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If it's not, I would think he wouldn't have "very highly recommended" this Blu-ray.[​IMG]





    Crawdaddy
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks for the review, RAH. Certainly makes me feel a lot better about taking the plunge before seeing the various mixed reviews (outside of the DVDBeaver one). And of course, glad to have the extra insights you often include in your reviews. [​IMG]

    Can't wait to get my hands on it -- my copy should be arriving any day now.

    _Man_
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    After watching this BRD, I thought it looked pretty good for the most part and is much improved over the HD recording I had of it. Anyhow, this should hold me over until they revisit this title in another 4-5 years.






    Crawdaddy
     
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Did you notice any DNR which stood out? I keep reading mixed opinions about this.
     

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