Velvet Goldmine Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 119 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Miramax/Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 13, 2011
  • List Price: $19.99

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BestBuy.com:
Velvet Goldmine - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Purchase Velvet Goldmine on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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]

Ostensibly a fictional account of the halcyon days of the early-seventies glam rock scene, anyone but the most uninformed music fan will know that Velvet Goldmine (the title taken from the David Bowie song of the same name) is a thinly veiled, fictional account of a love affair between David Bowie and Iggy Pop. The premise of the film being that the androgynous glam rock star David Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, TV’s The Tudors), a David Bowie-like character with an Iggy Pop-like alter-ego has faked his death, and now 10-years later, the newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale) is assigned to uncover the truth behind the story. In flashbacks to the past, the story unfolds of Slade and his relationships with the early-punk star Chris Wild of the fictional band The Rats (read: Iggy Pop and The Stooges) and his American wife Mandy Slade (read: Angela Bowie).

Apart from the obvious parallels to real life, which become increasingly unavoidable as the faux glam rock soundtrack begins to bleed with reality as real tunes start to creep in, such as Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love,” the film is actually a well-crafted surrealistic trip through the hazy, free spirited and self-destructive era that defined the mod and glam rock culture, and also claimed a few lives along the way.

The camera work is excellent, more than informed by the MTV generation with obvious allusions to the hippie and mod era, and the acting, script, and soundtrack anchored by bands like Pulp and Venus in Furs is right on target, evoking the glam and early punk music without missing a beat.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of Velvet Goldmine is another less than noteworthy Miramax release from Miramax. Although it does look generally film-like, it tends towards grainy, softness with a low contrast and dull color reproduction. The early sequence of Oscar Wilde’s birthplace also looks suspiciously like there is some subtle edge enhancement as the background windows standout unnaturally as do the people against the generally soft background.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack nicely captures the glam rock soundtrack with beefy, yet musical lows and just a bit of reverberation in the surround channels. There isn;t much going on in the surrounds otherwise, but dialogue is clean and dynamics are good if a bit naturally limited in range.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

There isn’t much here at all, but Miramax has provided a new audio commentary with the director and producer – that’s it, besides the theatrical trailer in standard definition.

  • Audio commentary with director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

You’ll find you won’t be able to watch Velvet Goldmine and take it in without comparing it to certain real-life individuals aforementioned in this review, and although that tends to hamper the film somewhat as a work of fiction, it doesn’t diminish it as a work of rock and roll art.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005Q4CKJY[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Velvet Goldmine - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Purchase Velvet Goldmine on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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