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HTF Blu-Ray Review: The Prestige - HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

Blu-ray Reviews

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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Ben_Williams


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Posted February 18 2007 - 12:41 PM


Studio: Disney
Year: 2006
Rated: PG-13
Film Length: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 High Definition 1080p
Disc Type: BD-50 Dual Layer
Codec: AVC
Audio: Uncompressed 5.1 PCM (48kHz, 24-Bit), English, Spanish & French 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish & French

Release Date: February 20, 2007

The Movie:
(*****/*****) 5/5

When Christopher Nolan made his incredible debut into American cinemas with Momento, fans were treated to the first rumblings of a creative genius who had something to say in both his visual and narrative style. Since that time, I’ve always eagerly awaited each of his films and have yet to be disappointed. After delivering, in 2005, arguably the best of the Batman films, Nolan has decided to offer us The Prestige - - a somewhat unlikely followup film about rivalry amongst magicians.

The Prestige is a very complex tale centering on conflict, jealousy (both personal and professional) and vengeance between two magicians. This story is told in a most unconventional way as it skips around from viewpoints and doubles back on itself, completely skewing the timeline. Most impressively, this complex narrative never loses the viewers attention or confuses exactly what is happening. I was, quite frankly, blown away by The Prestige. It is my favorite movie of 2006 and one I was very excited to see in High Definition. The plotline involving Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) is nothing short of a masterstroke. Christopher Nolan delivers another compelling story that is impeccably directed. I’m intentionally going to not talk about plot in this review as most of the movie is dependant on the viewer’s ability to not have plot details spoiled ahead of time. So, I’ll just leave it at that. It’s also worth noting that this film has incredible replay potential on Blu-Ray. You will definitely want to watch this one again once you’ve been able to see where the various twists and turns have taken you.

The Video:
(*****/*****) 5/5

Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? The Prestige has the finest High Definition picture I have yet seen in the home theater environment. For all intents and purposes, this transfer is flawless. Shadow detail was amazing (this is a very dark film) and black levels were rock solid throughout. Colors were outstanding and the 3-D effect offered by the finest HD presentations was dazzling from beginning to end. Take for example, the scene where Angier (Hugh Jackman) meets Tesla’s assistant in a foggy field filled with illuminated arc-lamps. This scene alone presents several different potential problems for the transfer. Artifacts in the dark shadow details surrounding the fog and halos around the arc-lamps against their dark backdrop are just a few problems that could occur. Of course, this AVC encoded transfer handles all of these issues flawlessly. The image delivered the spectacular payoff that the scene required without any distractions from the transfer. It is worth noting that the cinematographer for The Prestige, Wally Pfister, is nominated for an Academy Award this year. Judge for yourself, but I think he just might deserve to win. This is a beautifully photographed film that has been given an outstanding Blu-Ray treatment and is representative of true reference material. The Prestige is absolutely highly recommended!

The Audio:
(*****/*****) 5/5

Once again, uncompressed PCM audio is present on this Blu-Ray release from Touchstone. As I’ve said countless times before, PCM absolutely has to be experienced to be believed. The Prestige is not a very flashy movie from a sound standpoint, but it has a few impressive moments that really jump to life. Most of the movie is fairly atmospheric with a very open soundstage and nice use of ambient and rear fill elements. However, whenever a Tesla coil is on screen, you’d better hold onto something… those lightening effects will literally send you flying off the couch. To say that these effects are loud, violent and jarring is a bit of an understatement. During these sequences, my subwoofer literally moved about 3 inches left of its original position. So, be careful: It is very easy to crank the volume up during the heavy dialogue sequences and find yourself partially deafened by these loud instances.

The Supplements:
(****/*****) 4/5

Here’s what’s included:
-“The Director’s Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan”
-“Conjuring the Past”
-“The Visual Maze”
-“Metaphors of Deception”
-“Tesla: The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century”
-“The Art of the Prestige”

Continuing the trend of adding more and more special features to their Blu-Ray releases, Disney /Touchstone have delivered quite a set here. “The Director’s Notebook” is the larger documentary that features all of the above listed features with exception to “The Art of the Prestige”. Each of these segments focuses on a particular area of the production with special emphasis on Christopher Nolan’s contributions, techniques and opinions on how each element should be presented. It really is an exceptional set that gives you quite a bit of insight into Mr. Nolan’s filming and creative processes. The Tesla feature goes into a great deal of depth regarding Mr. Tesla’s inventions and contributions to modern day living and society. If you found the character interesting, I highly recommend this feature as a good starting point towards learning more about the real man behind the character. He’s every bit as interesting in reality as he is in the film.

The Final Analysis:
(*****/*****) 5/5

The Prestige is easily another home run from Disney. I found the film to be absolutely riveting and the technical presentation is true reference quality. I not only recommend The Prestige wholeheartedly, but I can safely say it would be an excellent candidate as a blind-buy. I can almost guarantee you’ll love the film.


Equipment used for this review:
Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-Ray Player
Panasonic PT-AE1000 Front Projector
Carada 93” diagonal 16x9 Criterion Series/Brilliant White Screen – www.carada.com
Rotel RSX-1056 Surround Receiver
Rotel RB-1080 Amplifier
B&W Speakers
M&K MX-125 Subwoofer
Interconnects: www.catcables.com

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Neil Joseph

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Posted February 18 2007 - 12:53 PM

Well, I had not even considered this movie but after your review and another that I have seen, I am looking for it on Tuesday. Is the pcm 16bit or 24bit on this bd50?
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Dave_P.


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Posted February 18 2007 - 01:32 PM

It's 24bit.


Can't wait to get my hands on this baby!

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted February 18 2007 - 04:28 PM

Loved it in the theatre, and already on preorder. Can't wait.


I hope that is what becomes the standard for all BD releases. Posted Image

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted February 18 2007 - 04:42 PM

Had planned on buying this one sight unseen because of the talent involved in front and behind the camera. Now that I've read your review, Tuesday can't get here fast enough!

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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted February 19 2007 - 01:40 AM

The Prestige has the finest High Definition picture I have yet seen in the home theater environment.

Great news! Thanks for the review. Can't wait to get ahold of this one. Posted Image

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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Wet1



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Posted February 19 2007 - 06:57 AM

This is the second rave review I've read today on this flick. I just placed my blind order through Amazon... I should have it before 2008. Posted Image

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Ben_Williams


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Posted February 19 2007 - 07:57 AM

Outstanding! You guys are going to be completely blown away by The Prestige. I look forward to reading everyone's comments!

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Karim Nogas

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Posted February 19 2007 - 08:51 AM

I didn't like the movie enough to add this to my collection but I'm pleased to hear about the stellar audio/video.

Thanks for the review.

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric F

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Posted February 19 2007 - 09:39 AM

Yay! I can't wait for Amazon to ship my copy out along with The Departed.

Now all I need is a cheap receiver w/PCM decoding. Hopefully they'll be a lot more this year.

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Ron Reda

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Posted February 22 2007 - 07:47 AM

Easily one of the best movies I've seen in quite some time, regardless of the format.
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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted February 23 2007 - 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by Ben_Williams
This story is told in a most unconventional way as it skips around from viewpoints and doubles back on itself, completely skewing the timeline. Most impressively, this complex narrative never loses the viewers attention or confuses exactly what is happening.

Yes it did. I had to stop watching it 40 minutes in and restart because I had no idea who was reading which persons notbooks or if the story had returned to regular time.

And Michael Caine's pronounciation of 'engineer' had me looking for the subtitle button.
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#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted February 23 2007 - 05:33 AM

Now all I need is a cheap receiver w/PCM decoding. Hopefully they'll be a lot more this year.
They are already out. I assume you have a ps3 right? There are some receivers in the $500 range that will work with the ps3 and get you the lossless pcm sound you want.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Jordan_E



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Posted February 23 2007 - 06:22 AM

The movie also left me less than impressed (probably because I have done research on Tesla) but might grab this one anyway.
Now, about those receivers in the $500 range...
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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted February 27 2007 - 05:08 AM

The audio was showing as 6.9 mbps I think. Up till now I've seen 4.6 mbps. Are these the numbers for 16 bit and 24 bit?

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   ppltd



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Posted February 28 2007 - 02:36 AM

While I found the picture and SQ very good, I found the movie rather convoluted and frustrating in the forced complexity of it's script. This is not a keeper for me. This reminds me of the Illusionist, another period "magic'' film that had, like Prestige, beautiful art direction, great photagraphy, nice costumes and very good acting, and both, IMHO, sub-par scripts.
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#17 of 22 OFFLINE   TonyD


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Posted February 28 2007 - 05:13 AM

i have mixed feelings on buying this one.
i havent see it but love nolan.

almost all the people i have spoken to(work in a video store) who have seen it say they dont like the "prestige" section of the movie.

i am tempted to use best buys sale this week and get this with another blu-ray or two. and use up saome bestbuy bucks that i have sitting around.

#18 of 22 ONLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted March 01 2007 - 02:13 PM

Did they really have to add obnoxious sounds to the popup menu? I sure hope THAT doesn't become a trend.

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted March 11 2007 - 02:18 AM

Finally got around to watching this last night, and the video and audio are indeed reference quality all the way! The picture couldn't be any more three dimensional.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted March 11 2007 - 02:28 AM

I agree. Top notch A/V all the way. It's also a terrific film, which will probably end up in my Top 5 films of 06.
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