Blu-ray Review The Name of the Rose Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    Jean-Jacques Annaud's adaptation of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" doesn't have the thematic intricacy of the book, but is still a compelling Sherlock Holmes-style mystery set in a novel, medieval time period.



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    The Name of the Rose
    Release Date: Available now
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX"
    Year: 1986
    Rating: R
    Running Time: 2:11:29
    MSRP: $19.99






    THE FEATURE

    EXTRAS



    Video

    1080p high definition 1.85:1

    Standard definition



    Audio

    DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: French 2.0, Italian 2.0, Castellano 1.0, Czech 2.0, Magyar 2.0, Polish 2.0

    Stereo



    Subtitles

    English SDH, French, Italian SDH, Castellano, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Magyar, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish

    Same







    The Feature: 4/5


    If Sherlock Holmes had been a Franciscan monk in the early 14th Century, he probably would have looked a lot like William of Baskerville. Played by Sean Connery in Jean Jacques Annaud's "The Name of the Rose" (based on Umberto Eco's novel of the same name), William favors investigative and deductive reasoning over superstition and religious fervor, making him at turns brilliant, adventurous and intellectually proud. When he and his novice Adso (played by a teenage Christian Slater) arrive at an abbey in northern Italy for a critical theological meeting, he is asked by the monastery's abbot to look into the recent death of one of his monks. Though William determines it to be a suicide, another death soon follows with all the requisite signs of foul play. Subsequent clues - and more deaths - point to a book being the key to the mystery. How it could lead someone to murder, God only knows, though in due time it's something William of Baskerville will know as well.

    Though Eco's novel is a multi-layered work with a variety of intellectual themes interwoven with the central murder mystery, the film adaptation takes a more straightforward approach with its emphasis on religious paranoia, intolerance and hypocrisy. Which is fine - the story would probably get bogged down with anything more profound or intricate, though it certainly could have done without the small village uprising that happens during the film's climax. The scenes might have been in the novel, but they play out as gratuitous - their brevity making it seem like just an excuse for the second-level bad guy to meet a gruesome fate. Otherwise, the unconventional setting and time period for a Sherlock-style mystery make for a compelling and entertaining film, even one that's befitting a franchise - though I'm a little leery of what the movie would look like in today's movie-making climate. If it's older than the 19th Century, slow motion kung fu looks really anachronistic.


    Video Quality: 4/5

    Presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the transfer approximates the 1.85:1 aspect ratio by filling the entire 16:9 frame. With cinematography that seeks to replicate the available light of the time period, the image basically ranges from drab to dark. The color palette is also limited to grays and earth tones as the the 14th Century is shown to be one grimy time period - everything from clothing to sets to people look like they haven't seen water or soap for ages. Fortunately, the transfer's contrast and black levels keep up nicely with the cinematography and production design, rarely looking compromised despite there being plenty of opportunities. Detail is also surprisingly good, coming out with the rough fabrics of the Franciscan robes, but also with hair and skin in close ups.​


    Audio Quality: 4/5

    Dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is crisp, detailed and intelligible. Surround effects are limited but effective when put to use - echoing chambers and meeting halls sounding seamless and balanced. LFE is non-existent, but bass activity sounds full and clean.​



    Special Features: 3/5


    The extras carry over all the items from the 2004 DVD release, and offer a solid look behind the scenes of the production.



    Commentary by Director Jean-Jacques Annaud: Annaud speaks enthusiastically and with great fondness about the production experience and filmmaking, so much so he actually does a second track entirely in French!



    The Abbey of Crime (43:26, SD): Vintage behind-the-scenes documentary explores the making of the film in great detail, with plenty of location footage and interviews. Presented in German with optional subtitles.



    Photo Video Journey (16:06, SD): Annaud comments and reflects on a collection of still images from location shoots and production.



    Theatrical Trailer (2:10, SD)


    Recap

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



    Warner Home Video gives Jean-Jacques Annaud's "The Name of the Rose" solid treatment across the board, from presentation to supplemental material. Those looking to upgrade from the 2004 DVD edition will find it a worthwhile purchase, while those new to the film should find the title a worthy addition to their collections.
     
  2. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    One of my favs. Will definitely upgrade my DVD. The beav had comparison shots with the DVD. Not a huge difference looking at those. But enough. It should look gritty. The increased clarity is worth it alone.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Thanks Cameron. Surprisingly I never picked this up on DVD so the BD is a no brainer as its a great movie.
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I don't recall ever seeing the film all the way through, but I was intrigued enough by what I saw that I read the novel about a decade ago.


    The other piece I didn't mention is


    The poisoned pages were kind of ridiculous in the film, basically being slathered with green goop. That book must have been REALLY funny for the monks not to notice or care.
     

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