Welcome to Mark Barry's Review Blog - SOUNDS GOOD, LOOKS GOOD. It features in-depth reviews for Quality CD Reissues/Remasters - all with Discography Info (Amazon UK Top 10 Reviewer).
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Friday, 7 March 2014
“The Remains Of The Days” on BLU RAY – A Review Of The 2013 Sony Pictures 20th ‘Anniversary Edition’. Part of SONY COLLECTOR SERIES on BLU RAY
Here is a link to the right issue on Amazon UK to get the best price:
“…It Is Not My Place…” – The Remains Of The Day On BLU RAY
I own 7 titles in this Sony Pictures BLU RAY series (see PS
below) and the picture quality on some of these reissues has been hit and miss
for me – "Guns Of Navarone", "Close Encounters Of The Third
Kind" and "Stand By Me" are good rather than great – while
"Gandhi", "The Bridge Of The River Kwai" and "From
Here To Eternity" look utterly amazing. So it’s with relief that I can say
the transfer of 1993’s "The Remains Of The Day" looks truly beautiful
on this well laid out and well thought out 2013 Anniversary Edition BLU RAY.
Tony Pierce-Robert’s masterful cinematography is brought out
in a way you’ve never seen it before in this quality transfer. It’s defaulted
to 2.40 (bars top and bottom) - but even stretched to full aspect – the grain
on the huge number of indoor shots is very minimal. It fact giving the picture
a bit of distance – it could be “Downton Abbey” in High Def – it’s that well
filmed. Boarding House signs, the family Daimler car, the crunch of the gravel
outside the huge Darlington House door, a bead of sweat dripping off the old
man’s nose as he serves at table, the squeak of leather shoes, chucking water
over a kitchen table to wash it – it all looks and sounds glorious.
Anthony Hopkins (playing James Stevens) and Emma Thompson
(playing Miss Kenton) had just come off "Howard's End" in 1991 – so
they knew each other very well – and were ideal casting for this kind of
material (Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep were once muted for the parts with Mike
Nichols as the Director). Equally impressive is James Fox as Lord Darlington, a
young Hugh Grant (pre "Four Weddings" fame) and English stalwart
Peter Vaughan playing Hopkins’ frail father. There are also small parts for Ben
Chaplin (ITV’s "Mad Dogs") and Lena Headey (Queen Cersei Lannister in
"Game Of Thrones"). This is a world where people say “my dear boy” at
dinner, there are 12 for tea and a scullery maid who’s eloped with a footman is
described as a ”bad business”.
The principal Extra “The Filmmaker’s Journey” features
interviews with Hopkins, Thompson, James Fox and Christopher Reeves, Director
James Ivory, Producers Ismail Merchant and James Calley and novelist Kazuo
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, German,
Italian and Spanish Dolby Surround
SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish,
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.
1. Ultraviolet Code – To Download the movie for mobile
4. Love & Loyalty: The Making Of The Remains Of The Day
5. Deleted Scenes
“The Remains Of The Day” is such a quality piece of
filmmaking – a life wasted in servitude (dialogue above) – not taking a chance
on love when it’s presented to you. And the ache that Hopkins and Thompson are
able to bring to the piece is almost red raw.
This is a top class reissue – and I wish there were more of
Film fans will probably have noticed that original
issues of this ‘UK’ Sony Pictures series of releases have generic artwork –
usually a gold-banded card wrap on the outside with a number on the top of the
spine (blue band on top, gold stripe set against a white sleeve). Although it
doesn’t say so on anywhere on the artwork – this ‘UK’ set of BLU RAY releases
has become known as the “Sony Collectors Series”.
“The Remains Of The Day” is number 19 so far (as of March
2014). Here are the other titles in the series – all of which originally came
with ‘card wraps’:
1. Taxi Driver (35th Anniversary Edition) (1976)
2. The Bridge On The River Kwai (Collectors Edition) (1957)
3. Stand By Me (25th Anniversary Edition) (1986)
4. Gandhi (2 Disc Special Edition) (1982)
5. Easy Rider (Special Edition) (1969)
6. Midnight Express(Special Edition) (1978)
7. Boyz N The Hood (20th Anniversary Edition) (1991)
8. Das Boot (2 Disc Director’s Cut) (1981)
9. The Guns Of Navarone (50th Anniversary Edition) (1961)
10. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (2 Disc Special
11. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And
Love The Bomb (Special Edition) (1964)