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True Grit [Blu-ray]

True Grit [Blu-ray]
Studio: Paramount
List Price: $24.99
Street Price:
Amazon.com: $10.99
Release Date: Dec 14, 2010
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Running Time: 127 minutes

3.7 Stars (out of 5)

Synopsis

John Wayne landed one of his last great screen roles as crusty lawman Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, who reluctantly helps teenager Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) pursue her father's killer. True Grit is more a character study than many of Wayne's formulaic Westerns. The rousing final showdown between Wayne and the villains adds to the Duke's long list of outstanding movie moments.

Starring:

John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Jeremy Slate, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Alfred Ryder, Strother Martin

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Blu-ray Release Date:

December 14, 2010

Subtitles:

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 3.0 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer – 1.5 Stars

● Dialog – 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects – 1.5 Stars

● Dynamic Range – 4.0 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English: Dolby Digital Mono (Original), French: Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono

The original audio was mono upgrading it to DTS-HD Master Audio was probably a difficult task. However, this mix is not the best example of upgrading old school audio to a new format. Listening to this movie made me realize how much of a subwoofer junkie I am. I was expecting to hear booming gunfire and the hefty thuds of galloping horses, but instead the closest thing I to bass I heard was John Wayne’s voice. Surround effects were also almost non-existant. I put my ears to the rear speakers and heard a little music and even wind at times. So there was some sound coming out of the rear speakers, but it wasn’t enough to add to the film. However, the dialog was handled superbly, and every unique sounding line the Duke delivered were heard without a hitch.

Video 4.7 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars

● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars

● Clarity – 4.5 Stars

● Skin tones – 5.0 Stars

● Compression – 4.5 Stars

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Paramount did a decent job converting this classic to Blu-ray. However, every once in a while a scratch or dot can be seen showing the true age of the movie. Film grain is surprisingly low, and colors are natural and help feature lush Colorado landscapes of snowcapped mountains, golden fields, blue skies, and deep green trees. Clarity gets a little fuzzy at times but it good enough to bring out fine details of fancy corduroy vests, clothing textures, lose hairs, bricks, and rugged looking beard stubble. Dark colors are handled fairly well, and only lose details in a few scenes.

Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)

● Audio Commentary: Western historians Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell, and J. Stuart Rosebrook speak on the differences between the novel and the movie, charaters, and more.

● True Writing (480p, 4:27): A short video that discusses the original Charles Protis novel.

● Working With the Duke (480p, 10:14): Cast and crew reflect on what it was like to work with the ledged John Wayne.

● Aspen Gold: The Locations of True Grit (480p, 10:18): A quick look at the film's shooting locations.

● The Law and the Lawless (480p, 5:45): A small video about the outlaws and the laws of the old west.

● True Grit Theatrical Trailer (1080p, 3:40).

Movie – 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Review

The first westerns I fell in love with were Sergio Leone’s gritty spaghetti westerns, and I stood clear of anything starring John Wayne fearing they would be too corny. I wish I would have given these types of westerns a chance. They aren’t as realistic or as dark as the westerns of today, but they are charming and fun. This movie in particular is directed as a lighthearted adventure that seams to mask its dark story. Its amazing that a movie that shows so many violent deaths and even a public hanging is rated G. This film earned John Wayne his only Oscar. Some tend to think it’s because he rarely talked in his prior films, but in this one he does most of the talking.

The tone of this film is a little strange to me. Everyone smiles way too much. Aren’t they aware that a drunk gunslinger is bringing a child into the wilderness to fight dangerous outlaws? It almost seams like they tried to make this film safe for families to watch. Even when there is violence, it’s never more than red paint on clothing. Even thought it looks fake, it somehow added to the endearing old school charm and made me like the movie even more.

Posted by The HT Guys, March 5, 2012 7:11 AM

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About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.