Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Interview with the Vampire

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    Interview with the Vampire

    Release Date: October 14, 2008
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case
    Year: 1994
    Rating: R
    Running Time: 2h03m
    MSRP: $28.99

    MAIN FEATURESPECIAL FEATURES
    Video1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1 (closer to 1.78:1)480i or 480p standard definition
    AudioDolby Digital: English 5.1, French 2.0 (dubbed in Quebec), Spanish 1.0, Japanese 2.0Stereo
    SubtitlesEnglish, French, Spanish and Japanese (movie and select bonus materials)


    The Feature: 3/5
    Vampirism is what you make of it. For the vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise), it's a chance to play god. For his sire Louis (Brad Pitt), it's a tortured, existensial crisis. Though Louis finds several decades of purpose with a surrogate, bloodsucking daughter (played by Kirsten Dunst), living forever also means things inevitably change. Who knew immortality could be such a downer?

    Adapted from the novel by author Anne Rice herself, "Interview with the Vampire" strikes an interesting (and mostly successful) balance between knee-weakening, desanguinating horror and sardonic amusement. Unfortunately, the constant navel gazing by the main character wears thin and by the end Lestat's reckless amorality is welcomed, if not applauded. Cruise is OK in the role, though his celebrity makes it hard to warm up to his flamboyant portrayal before the part is largely over. The standout is Dunst, who reflects an innocence and unsettling maturity that strengthens one of the key conflicts in the film. Having never finished the novel (all that blood made me abandon it early), I can see now why Lestat is the recurring and most popular of the characters. It's just too bad a film didn't first tell Lestat's story (the second novel in the series) or that this one didn't pick someone less distracting for the role.


    Video Quality: 4/5
    Though labeled as 1.85:1 the framing has been opened up to 1.78:1, filling the entirety of my 16x9 display. Black levels are very good, inky and deep. Shadow detail is often lacking, but given that much of the film takes place at night or indoors with only candles for illumination, the shadowy quality is both appropriate and naturalistic. Sharpness and detail are generally very good, though close ups tend to fare better than wide shots. Grain structure has been nicely preserved with no signs of noise reduction or edge enhancement.


    Audio Quality: 3.5/5
    Though lacking a lossless or uncompressed audio track, the 640 kbps Dolby Digital audio track sounds suitably clean and dynamic. Surround activity mainly consists of support for dramatic cues in the score, with only occasional directional or ambient effects. There are few occasions necessitating LFE, but audio sounds sufficiently full in the lower frequencies. Dialogue is on the whole clear and intelligible, though I had to turn on subtitles a few times to make out some actors' lines.


    Special Features: 3/5

    Introduction by Anne Rice, Neil Jordan, and Antonia Banderas (1m04s): A rather pointless feature, especially since it's just made up of clips from the documentary.

    "In the Shadow of the Vampire" Documentary (29m43s): Novelist Anne Rice, director Neil Jordan and members of the cast cover the basic talking points of the characters, adapting the novel, casting, special effects and theatrical release. Clips from the film are especially dim. Produced in 2000.

    Commentary by Director Neil Jordan: Jordan provides a laidback but informative track covering all major aspects of the production.

    Theatrical Trailer (2m36s): Presented at 4x3 1.33:1


    Recap

    The Feature: 3/5
    Video Quality: 4/5
    Audio Quality: 3.5/5
    Special Features: 3/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

    The film adaptation of a popular vampire novel gets a very good video transfer, decent audio and an acceptable set of special features.
     
  2. EnricoE

    EnricoE Supporting Actor

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    great film, a waisted oppertunity to make a reat blu-ray. the missing lossless audio feels once again like a big joke. i can't believe that warner gives an film such "risky business" a dolby true hd track while films like this or speed racer don't get one. i wont buy this film on br and keep my dvd s.e. which has a wonderful fullrate dts track.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    My guess is that this was produced even before the decision to go Blu only.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Will be picking this up on a BOGO or sale at some point. I have a feeling a lot of these recently released Warner catalog titles will have good deals near the holidays.
     
  5. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the review!

    I'll be picking this up at some point but given the lack of lossless audio and rather small set of extras I'll be waiting for a good sale price. I picked up the SD version just a couple years ago for around $4 new though I doubt I'll wait for the price to fall that far this time around. [​IMG]
     
  6. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    No Lossless = No Sale. I'll be keeping my DVD thank you very much. Warner needs to stop these lackluster lossy releases.
     
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I just can't believe Warner and this lossy-Dolby-Digital S&%$T. When will the madness stop? Cool Hand Luke and now this. And you *know* that they'll just repackage A Christmas Story with the same lossy 192 kbps DD all over again in that new release.

    What's wrong with Warner??
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I remember my first Warner HD-DVD with online features had a poll with a list of films to choose from for preferred upcoming release and Interview was included on that list. This lends credence to the idea that this was probably in production for an HD DVD release prior to that format's demise, and many of thier HD DVD releases lacked lossless audio.

    While I can sympathize with those who are justifiably upset about the lack of a lossless audio track on this release I have unfortunately suffered some hearing impairment in recent years and thus find improved pq more important in my decision to triple dip on this one (I have both the DD only and the DTS version of the SD releases).
     
  9. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Supporting Actor

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    Warner seemingly has always had a disdain for audio quality even on their DVDs. Except for a handfull of catalog releases Warner steadfastly refused to support DTS, arguabally the best audio option available for DVDs. Personally I refuse to buy any of their BD releases without lossless sound, unless ofcourse I can get them for less than $10 in some promo, like I have in the past.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Even with Dolby Digital, Warner stuck with the 384 kbps bit-rate long after (all) the other studios had heard the improvement with compressing at 448 kbps on DVD.

    We're not even touching on issues of remixed audio on classics like Camelot.

    Now, every studios goes through phases as different personalities and cultures come and go. But WB has been disappointingly consistent with sub-par audio, and even after attesting their promise to go lossless on Blu-ray, they're still not doing it.

    They need to be held to task over this. Today it might be a title you may or may not want to add to your collection. Tomorrow it could be your favorite classic.
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    What a wasted opportunity to watch a terrific disc. I compared the DVD's DTS audio to the BD's 640 and IMO, the 640 was slightly better. The big attraction of this film is the video. Audio-wise, it never was the whammer-jammer. Like Risky Business, it has 3-5 scenes where you'd get slightly better effects audio or slightly better theme music.

    I wouldn't rebuy this BD for better audio. It's quite adequate and I didn't have to turn on any sub's to comprendo any dialog. Oh, and the PQ was smashing. I'm right on with the review other than dialog difficulty.
     
  12. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    This disc seems to be going for $10 everywhere.

    I had put off getting it, but was VERY pleased with the PQ on this disc.

    A nobrainer for $10 really.
     

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