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Don’t Look Now [UK Release] Bluy-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 4, 2011
  • RRP: £22.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004EMS034[/amazon-product]

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Don’t Look Now is director Nic Roeg’s (Walkabout; The Man Who Fell to Earth) adaptation of the novella by Daphne du Maurier. It’s an atmospheric psychological thriller and horror film featuring the brilliant performances of Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a married couple in Venice, Italy coming to grips with the death of their daughter.

It would be foolish to try to pin Don’t Look Now down, its scope is so wide reaching, its visionary style so dense. From the easily picturesque Venetian backdrop, to the tender and shocking for its time love scene between Sutherland and Christie, the film encompasses a wide range of visual and psychological symbolism, touching on religion, the supernatural, death, and blindness.

It follows Laura and John Baxter (Christie and Sutherland), a married couple in Venice after they have lost their daughter to drowning. John has taken on the job of building a church and Laura is along with him, one assumes, to get away from the awful memories at their home in England. In Venice, the couple meet a pair of older women, sisters, one blind who claims she can see and speak to their dead daughter. She also warns that John is in danger if he remains in Italy. He doesn’t believe in any of this, despite his own experiences of what seem like premonitions, but he goes along with Laura’s continuing involvement with the two sisters and further investigations seeing that it seems to make her feel better. But as their stay stretches on and odd occurrences continue, it seems that John’s life may very well be at risk.

Don’t Look Now never answers all of the questions it proposes, but this doesn’t harm the film in any way. Like the best horror/psychological thrillers, it is these lingering questions and oddities that make it all the more intense. Also making Don’t Look Now a truly captivating experience is the realistic, palpable chemistry between Christie and Sutherland as a couple coming to grips with the loss of a child. It’s truly human horror not unlike something like The Shining.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

With an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement supervised and approved by director Nic Roeg, one can rest assured that Don’t Look Now looks exactly as the filmmaker intended. That is not to say that this is an absolute reference release, however. On the contrary, the image is heavily grained, distance shots are often quite soft and blacks are so deep they often crush. Still, foreground images show good detail, flesh tones are strong and there is very little source damage to be found.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There is a LPCM 2.0 Mono soundtrack that is often rather realistic in its conveyance of atmospheric sounds, but there is a lot of crackle in dialogue and a bit of unevenness in the levels of dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Optimum has loaded this releases with a good bit of new supplemental materials like interviews with the cast and crew that include an interview with Donald Sutherland. Furthermore, there’s an audio commentary from the director and the usual making of and behind-the-scenes features.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Nic Roeg Commentary
  • Looking Back (The Making of) Documentary
  • Interview with composer Pino Dinaggio
  • Intro by Alan Jones
  • Compressed version of Don’t Look Now made by Danny Boyle for BAFTA tribute (New)
  • Interview with Danny Boyle (New)
  • Interview with Allan Scott (New)
  • Interview with Tony Richmond (New)
  • Interview with Donald Sutherland (New)
  • Excerpt from Documentary: Nothing As it Seems

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An eerie and complex bit of horror that goes beyond being a mere popcorn flick, Don’t Look Now is one of the true classics of the genre. It shows strong character development, lots of thrills and atmosphere, and many oddities that challenge the intellect. This Optimum release on Blu-ray has been approved by the director himself, so although it might not look pristine, it surely looks authentic. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004EMS034[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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