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Blu-ray Review Dave Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    “Dave,” Director Ivan Reitman’s winning political fairy tale, debuts on Blu-ray just in time for the election year. The high definition presentation shows some room for improvement, as does its special features package, though DVD owners should find the Blu-ray a satisfactory upgrade given its inevitable bargain bin pricing.



    [​IMG]

    Dave


    Release Date: September 25, 2012
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Packaging/Materials: Blu-ray EcoBox
    Year: 1993
    Rating: PG-13
    Running Time: 1:49:53
    MSRP: $19.98







    THE FEATURE

    SPECIAL FEATURES



    Video

    AVC: 1080p high definition 1.85:1

    Standard definition



    Audio

    DTS-HD Master Audio: English 2.0 / Dolby Digital: German 2.0, Castellano 2.0, Spanish 2.0, Portuguese 2.0

    Stereo



    Subtitles

    English SDH, French, German SDH, Castellano, Spanish, Portuguese

    Various





    The Feature: 4/5


    Temp agency owner and sometime POTUS impersonator Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) lands the ultimate gig when the White House hires him to double for President Bill Mitchell (also Kevin Kline) while he’s busy with one of his secretaries (a fresh faced Laura Linney). When Mitchell suffers a debilitating stroke from his extra-curricular activity, Dave is called on by Chief of Staff Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) and Press Secretary Alan Reed (Kevin Dunn) to continue the illusion for a little while longer. They excuse their deceit by citing national security interests, but it’s really Alexander’s megalomania and appetite for power that drives the conspiracy. Though Dave is a willing participant at first, his inherent goodness and idealism eventually put him at odds with the venomous Alexander, and the Presidency begins to show a strength and vitality most thought impossible. The fundamental change in both the man and the office also draws the attention of Mitchell’s long estranged First Lady, Ellen (Sigourney Weaver), who not only sees through the ruse but eventually is touched by the man playing the part. Once the truth comes out, the two will join forces to bring trust and integrity back to the Office of the Presidency, and, in the process, their own personal lives.



    With its Blu-ray debut coinciding with the election year, director Ivan Reitman’s “Dave” is American political fantasy at its most charismatic, providing a dose of idealism to counteract the cynicism that tends to dominate politics in general. Telling a sort of “Prince and the Pauper” tale (but largely minus the prince), the film features charming performances from both Kline and Weaver, with Langella turning in an understated but no less chilling performance as the requisite evil politician, eventually undone by goodness. The film’s narrative arc offers few surprises, but then fairy tales seldom do; drawing inspiration from the genre, “Dave” ultimately appeals to the hope in our hearts more than the reason in our heads. Though part of us may scoff at the film’s unapologetic political idealism, no doubt we’d readily embrace it if we came face-to-face with such promise in the real world.


    Video Quality: 3.5/5


    Presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the transfer approximates the theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 by filling the entire 16:9 frame. The image features strong color and inky black levels, though flesh tones can often look pink or over warm. Contrast can also look a touch compressed, giving some scenes an unwelcome “thickness.” Low key background areas also exhibit swaths of noise at times, with sometimes heavy grain generating a bit of a stew. Though there’s no excessive use of noise reduction measures, resolution can be lacking in wider shots, and close-ups, while sufficiently detailed, can have a noticeable digital quality. Overall, it’s a satisfactory transfer, though one that could stand to be more film-like.


    Audio Quality: 3.5/5


    Dialogue in the 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently clear, detailed and intelligible. Surround activity and LFE are non-existent in the dialogue-driven feature, though the track exhibits strong channel separation and dynamic range throughout. Upper frequencies in particular have great detail, the orchestral score sounding silky smooth and crystal clear.


    Special Features: 1/5


    Making of Dave (6:36, SD): The vintage electronic press kit includes the requisite plot synopsis, on-set interviews, and footage from behind-the-scenes.



    Original Theatrical Trailer (2:10, SD)


    Recap


    The Film: 4/5


    Video Quality: 3.5/5


    Audio Quality: 3.5/5


    Special Features: 1/5


    Overall Score (not an average): 3.5/5



    Warner Home Video delivers a satisfactory high definition presentation of Ivan Reitman’s entertaining – and practically inspiring – political fantasy, “Dave.” The bonus material is limited to just a couple archival pieces, though the release makes for a decent upgrade from DVD given the right (i.e. bargain bin) price point.
     
  2. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Did anybody notice this is a total remake of "Moon Over Parador"? Good one, but still...
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    I never really thought of it that way. My first instinct was to say NO, but the more I think about it you are onto something. I've always liked Dave, and will upgrade my DVD when it drops to below $10.
     
  4. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    Well they're both essentially variations on The Price and the Pauper and/or The Man in the Iron Mask.
     
  5. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Maybe so generally and thematically, but this movie is almost a scene by scene, character by character and plot point by plot point remake of Moon Over Parador. Watch them one after the other and you will see what I mean. Both movies have the exact same distinct differences to the P&P story, the three main characters all have pretty much the same backstory, motivation and arc in both films, these two movies could have been adapted from the same script. I'm not saying it's bad, but they are essentially the same movie, much like Some Kind of Wonderful and Pretty in Pink. For the record, I like this one.
    Fun detail: the scene where he is in an industrial looking building playing with big mechanical arms ("I once caught a fish THIS BIG!") was done in the prop house on the Warner lot.
    I find it sad that Warner's other release for the election, The American President, a wonderful picture also released today, was not given any special features. I was hoping to see it get the kind of treatment Reiner's other film Stand By Me got on Blu Ray. Being this is Warners, I guess we'll be lucky to get a new transfer.
     

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