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Day of the Falcon Blu-ray Review

day-of-the-falcon-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1  x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 130 Mins.
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March  26, 2013
  • List Price: $29.97

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

Day-of-the-Falcon-BD_01

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s (Seven Years in Tibet) Day of the Falcon (AKA Black Gold), is an intolerably tedious period drama with pretensions toward being a Lawrence of Arabia for modern audiences. Well, apart from the magnificent cinematography from Jean-Marie Dreujou, Lawrence of Arabia it isn’t. Set in the early part of the 20th century on the Arabian peninsula, the film deals with an ongoing feud between an Emir (Antonio Banderas) and a Sultan (Mark Strong) – both noticeably played by two very non-Arabic actors, I might add. With the Emir holding the Sultan’s son’s as hostage for years and rearing them as his own, the blood feud grows ever more bitter, until one thing comes along to really kick the war into overdrive, the discovery of oil by Westerners. An imposed marriage between the Sultan’s son Prince Auda (Tahar Rahim) and the Emir’s daughter Princess Leyla (Freida Pinto) does nothing to stem the tides of war, leaving the two star-crossed lovers in the middle of the feud.

On paper, the film sounds like it has the makings of a fantastic epic adventure/romance, but forget it. Annaud and company turn Day of the Falcon into a tepid, melodrama that concerns itself with half-baked subplots about tribal divisions on the Arabian peninsula, thin explorations of the religious and secular divide over oil drilling and an impotent forbidden romance. After numerous scenes of wandering over a dry, empty desert wherein nothing happens – at least nothing of much consequence, or nothing that really makes much sense – the films ends with a plot twist that pays off with some grand battle scenes. This offers more opportunities for amazing cinematography and visual effects, but, really, by this time, you won’t really care.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Day-of-the-Falcon-BD_02

Shot mainly on Super 35 Kodak Vision3 200T 5213 and Vision3 500T 5219 film stock with some shots utilizing the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 7D digital cameras, Day of the Falcon looks just as superb as its cinematography would imply in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer from Image Entertainment. The high bitrate encodement yields rich color saturation in the film’s warm, sunny palette. The image is clean, crisp, and full of texture and nuance. Flesh tones are pretty much accurate, although the warmth of the palette does at times make flesh look a little pushed toward red. One can’t complain about the fantastic imagery this transfer yields apart from some occasional softness that is more a byproduct of the production than the transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Day-of-the-Falcon-BD_03

Audio is just a notch down from the video, coming in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) track. While it does have an expansive, natural dynamic range and good atmospheric effects such as the breeze blowing or horses galloping, it tends to go dry quite often, becoming just a bit stagnant. The surrounds could have been raised ever so slightly as well. Apart from that, it offers clear dialogue and a fine, extended amount of low end.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Day-of-the-Falcon-BD_04

There isn’t much on offer here apart from the “epic” making of. The other two featurettes feel like mere afterthoughts, in all honesty.

The supplements:

  • The Making of The Day of the Falcon (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:42:01)
  • Transforming the Desert: The Visual Effects of Day of the Falcon (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:13)
  • From Storyboard to Screen (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:56)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Day-of-the-Falcon-BD_05

This film gets two stars for the beautiful imagery and the nearly perfect high definition transfer to Blu-ray. But unless you are truly a masochist, I’d recommend skipping this entirely.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Day of the Falcon on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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[amazon-product]B00AW8OYYS[/amazon-product]

Purchase Day of the Falcon on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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