9.7 C
New York
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Advertisement

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC  (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 110 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 4, 2012
  • List Price: $20.00

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All 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:3.5/5]

With The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, director Curtis Hanson crafted a memorable even if hardly original entry in the psychological thriller/revenge genre about a widow who comes back to seek justice against the family she feels are the ones responsible for the losses she suffered, which also include a miscarriage. Rebecca De Mornay puts in what is probably the best performance of her career, Risky Business notwithstanding. She plays the outwardly angelic Peyton Flanders/Mrs. Mott, widow to the Gynecologist who took his own life after being accused by Claire and Michael Bartel (Annabella Sciorra; TV’s The L Word; Cop Land; and Michael McCoy) of sexual misconduct. Infiltrating their family by posing as the perfect nanny for the Bartel’s newborn son, Peyton begins to slowly destroy Claire’s life by ruining her friendship with her best friend Marlene (Julianne Moore; The Hours; Magnolia; The Big Lebowski; Boogie Nights), seducing her husband, and replacing her in the eyes of her young daughter Emma (Madeline Zima; TV’s Californication; TV’s Heroes). As the Bartel’s idyllic life begins to crumble around them without any logical reason why, Peyton’s terror increases. Several thrilling scenes unfold in this perfectly paced thriller, including Peyton’s violent confrontation with the Bartel’s mentally challenged handyman Solomon (Ernie Hudson), and the unexpected reveal of Peyton’s true identity. The film has its flaws and can verge on campiness at times given the highly unlikely twists and turn of events, but it is De Mornay and Sciorra’s performances combined with Hanson’s keen sense of mood and an uncannily effective score from composer Graeme Revell that make this a worthy thriller.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle arrives on Blu-ray as one of the strongest of the recent spate of catalogue releases coming out of Disney, which includes the underwhelming Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity, and most recently reviewed Arachnophobia that lands in stores the same day as this. This AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement is by no means perfect, but given the 1992 vintage of the film, the 35mm source looks rather good most of the time. The layer of grain is somewhat subdued while the image doesn’t appear to have been overly DNR’d and film softness isn’t too much of a distraction. In fact, detail is rather sharp and textured, especially on close-up and midrange shots. Shadow detail is very nicely extended while color reproduction looks natural and consistent. There are perhaps some issues that come into view against the solid backgrounds like the off-white walls of the Bartel’s home, but that isn’t enough to knock down the rating for what is the overall effect of viewing.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio is supplied in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack, which, while it doesn’t do much with the surround channels, is still a rather excellent track for the material. The dialogue is clear, panning of dialogue and effects across the front three channels is effective and engaging, there is a good sense of dynamics and, most of all, the score from Graeme Revell that so evocatively sets the mood is wonderfully balanced and natural.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

Unfortunately, all we get on this disc is the original theatrical trailer in standard definition, which doesn’t warrant any ratings points at this point in Blu-ray’s progression, in my opinion.

The supplements:

  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Clichés and plot holes notwithstanding, The Hand the Rocks the Cradle is a psychological thriller worth watching if only for the steady unfolding of its plot and the magnificent, career defining performance from Rebecca De Mornay. This Blu-ray also happens to be one of the better looking catalogue releases to come out of Disney’s camp recently.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0088EDMVY[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Hand that Rocks the Cradle on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0088EDMVY[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Hand that Rocks the Cradle on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Advertisement

Related Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

2 COMMENTS

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.
%d bloggers like this: