- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo, Spanish (Castilian) DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
- Subtitles: English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish
- Region: AB
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 14, 2010
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Editor’s Note: Portions of this review not specific to this release have been previously published.
In 1991 French filmmaking duo Mark Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet changed the face of the French film industry forever, finally shifting the reins from the past holders, and opening the bounds of invention for French and other European filmmakers alike. Delicatessen, the surrealistic dark humor overflowing with odd imagery and implications of a violent, desperate future for humanity, was a revelation.
The film takes place in an ambiguous post-apocalyptic future where ex-clown named Louison (Dominique Pinon) arrives at a dilapidated hotel and takes a job as a handyman for Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) a butcher who owns the building, and falls for Clapet’s daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac). In the run-down world where the population is scarce, animals even scarcer and grain is used as a currency, the butcher has a dirty way of procuring the meat he sells in his downstairs butcher shop –luring innocent victims in through wanted adds in the paper, then hacking them up for cheap meat! Underground, the rebel vegetarian group, Troglodistes, thrive and are feared, planning an attack against the meat eaters in the hotel above.
Delicatessen may be one of the oddest, darkest, funniest, and scariest comedies you’ll ever see. From the interacting lives of the people in the old hotel merely trying to live (or die, in some circumstances) to the surreal images that occupy the screen, this is filmmaking at its finest.
This transfer is identical to the UK StudioCanal release from Optimum, which I previously reviewed. As such there was no need to do additional screen captures. Delicatessen is a very purposely-grainy film and its artistic intent may not always make it the perfect high definition eye candy, but this 1080p transfer from the StudioCanal Collection keeps things pretty much intact. The 2.35:1 image looks quite film-like. The surreal color palette has rich, warm mid-tones and primaries like greens and reds pop. Detail in the indoor scenes is rather sharp and textured, whereas the images of the outdoors landscape are purposely washed out and murky. It’s a strong, high quality effort from StudioCanal collection.
The French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mix provides a nice spread of sounds across the sound stage with clean dialogue and good dynamics. Things could have been just a tad fuller, but there’s a nice bit of overall warmth and ambience to the sound.
The supplements feel a bit thin on this release and are mostly rehashed, but there is a more than solid, brand new high definition retrospective documentary included as well as an excellent booklet essay that should help make up for that.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Making Of: Fine Cooked Pork Meats (1.33:1; SD; 0:13.30)
- Trailer (1.33:1; SD)
- Teaser (1.33:1; SD)
- Main Course Pieces (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 1:05.28) — In this retrospective documentary, the stars and filmmakers discuss the difficulties of getting the film made due to its subject matter and the film’s far-reaching influence on the French film industry.
- Audio Commentary
- Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Archives (1.33:1; SD; 0:08.43)
- Booklet: Essay by Adam Woodward, Journalist. Adam has worked as online editor for Little White Lies magazine since 2009 and currently writes for a number of film-related publications, including Playground magazine and Eye For Film.
The Definitive Word
Delicatessen is a classic of dark comedies. It’s the sort of film that could only come out of Europe. It’s deviously clever, well scripted and marvelously directly, but certainly not for everyone.
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