Romancing The Stone (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=120091&d=1221828872
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

78






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1984
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 106 Minutes
Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. English/French Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin
Starring: Michael Douglass, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Alfonso Arau, Manuel Ojeda
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Music by: Alan Silverstri
Written by: Dian Thomas
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 14, 2008







"She’s a city girl. He’s a soldier of fortune. Together they share the ultimate adventure"



Film Synopsis:

Timid romance/adventure novelist Joan Wilder (Turner) finds herself thrust into real-life adventures in South America as she learns that her sister is being held captive in Colombia by Ralph (DeVito) and Ira (Norman). Isolated and lost in the jungle, Joan is rescued by swashbuckling opportunist Jack (Douglas), and through a series of hilarious adventures, opposites attract and love is found within this unlikely couple.




My Take:

I can clearly remember seeing this film when it originally came out in theaters back in 1984. I liked the movie then and wondered how it would fair against the test of time. Well it has held up pretty darn good. Kathleen Turner plays Joan Wilder a romance novel author who longs for excitement and fulfills that need through her writing and the characters she has created. As it turns out her sister gets wrapped up with some heavys down in Colombia and is ultimately kidnapped. She turns to Joan and asks her to come to Colombia and at the request of her captors bring along a treasure map which had inadvertantly come into Joan's possession. Upon arriving in Colombia she gets lost and meets Jack Colton ( Michael Douglas ) who reminds her very much of the character she created in her novels. Add to that Danny Devito who portrays Ralph a bumbling thief who starts out on the wrong side but ultimately ends up on the right one and you have a recipe for laughs, adventure and of course romance.

The story was pretty original at the time of it's release and in fact spawned a sequel (The Jewel of the Nile). While it may seem dated by today's standards for action/adventure films it is still plenty entertaining. Douglas and Turner have great chemistry together and Devito is perfect as Ralph. He steals just about every scene he is in. This film does not take itself too seriously which is one of the reasons it works so well.








Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material, language, and violence.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 72



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Romancing the stone comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 channel Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

The video presented on this catalog release title looked surprisingly good. Images were clearly defined with crisp textures, and above average shadow detail. Occasionally sharpness waivered which softened the picture slightly but these occurrences were rare. Black levels were slightly elevated which tended to make dark scenes containing mixed content look flat. Colors were well saturated with vivid hues that while not eye popping, had excellent vibrancy and depth. The lush green jungles, and various mountain villages/locations in Mexico, used to shoot the film, exhibited remarkable detail and visual acuity that looked great for a 24 year old film. Skin tones were vivacious with excellent tonal delineation among the varying skin types in the cast. Grain was intact and never appeared visually intrusive. This was a high bitrate encoding that didn’t suffer from any obvious indications of edge enhancement, or compression related artifacts/noise. The DTS-HD lossless soundtrack made the most of what it had to work with in the source elements present in the recording. Dialogue was crisp, well intonated and mixed to a prominent position within the front soundstage. Sound effects and panning sequences emanating from the main channels were seamlessly integrated with discernible separation and average sound field penetration. The 1980’s techno pop music score didn’t have the feeling of authority and quantifiable dynamics that you might find with today’s digital recordings but it exerted tangible influence with crystal clear instrumentation. There was no subterranean bass contained in this mix however low frequency detail was present and detectable during a handful of scenes (such as the chase through the jungle with the pick up truck). The surround channels were used mainly for ambient spatial cues that provided a better sense of envelopment but not to the level of being engagingly immersive. I thought it sounded fine.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) 8 Deleted scenes

  • Rekindling the Romance: A look back featurette

  • A hidden treasure: The screenwriter featurette

  • Douglas, Turner, DeVito: Favorite scenes featurette

  • Michael Douglas remembers featurette




Final Thoughts:



Romancing the stone succeeds at being just what it intends to be which is lots of fun. The chemistry among the three main cast members is unmistakable and a big reason why the film works so well. I am pleased to report that Fox has done a wonderful job with its debut on high definition Blu-ray Disc as it looks great. The inclusion of the bonus features from the 2006 DVD release is pure icing on the cake and should make this an easy upgrade decision for fans.







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 03:34 PM
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Thanks Ralph, I'm glad to hear the film grain is intact with no DNR.
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post #3 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for the short write-up, just what I was looking for. Also glad to hear that this wasn't DNR'd to hell. Looking forward to getting my copy with Indy 4 and Poltergiest from amazon this week.

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post #4 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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Mine just shipped today and i'm glad also to see this wasn't DNRed badly and has the grain structure intact.

One of my favorite eighties films and looking forward to watching it again as it's been over ten years since i last watched it. I have heard persistent rumours that Michael Douglas may do a third one. ( without Turner of course )
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 04:23 PM
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Wow...I'm glad to hear this is on BR bring it new life to this Indianish style.
I avoid this flick when ever it's on the telly because my found memories of watching it in the theater as early teen. The commercial and the edit take something away from the adventure...I guess it's true film magic..

One fine movie..

Thanks Ralph
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 05:07 PM
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Sounds like a good BD presentation of the film. This was a childhood favorite that I would watch over and over on cable. I'm looking forward to seeing the BD, I haven't seen this film in years.

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post #7 of 21 Old 10-13-2008, 05:56 PM
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-14-2008, 07:18 AM
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Did this release have the subtitles when the bad guy is at Joan Wilder's apartment and is confronted by the mailman? All recent releases have not had the subtitles for that scene. The laserdisc and VHS do have the subs.

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-14-2008, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Did this release have the subtitles when the bad guy is at Joan Wilder's apartment and is confronted by the mailman? All recent releases have not had the subtitles for that scene. The laserdisc and VHS do have the subs.

Greetings,

Matt, I don't believe so. I will double check and confirm...


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post #10 of 21 Old 10-14-2008, 08:42 AM
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Good review, Ralph. I'll pick this up on your recommendation and my fond memories of seeing it on the big screen (has it really been 24 years?).

You're absolutely right about the terrific chemistry between Douglas and Turner, and of course that DeVito shone so brightly on screen. Besides the sequel The Jewel of the Nile you mentioned, the tri-partite partnership of Douglas-Turner-DeVito appeared in an MTV music video in the 80s. They also re-partnered in 1989 for the under-rated black comedy about a bitter divorce in The War of the Roses, starring Douglas and Turner as the ruthless divorcing couple and DeVito as the divorce attorney who serves mostly as the narrator for the story, and directed by DeVito. Obviously, the three of them had a great time working together while they did.
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-14-2008, 04:49 PM
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Thanks Ralph.

Got me thinking, is "Body Heat" out on BD? I'll have to check. Would be great to see Kathleen Turner in that one in HD. Talk about steamy.

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post #12 of 21 Old 10-14-2008, 04:52 PM
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Re: Body Heat. Yep on BD. Just added it to my Netflix queue.
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-18-2008, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Did this release have the subtitles when the bad guy is at Joan Wilder's apartment and is confronted by the mailman? All recent releases have not had the subtitles for that scene. The laserdisc and VHS do have the subs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Matt, I don't believe so. I will double check and confirm...


Cheers,

I know this thread is old, but has anyone verified this?

Brian
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-18-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchalebk View Post

I know this thread is old, but has anyone verified this?


Greetings,

No subs....


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post #15 of 21 Old 11-19-2008, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

No subs....


Cheers,

What a shame. It's a small thing, but, at the same time, not a small thing.

Thanks for the reply.

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post #16 of 21 Old 01-06-2009, 01:41 PM
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Romancing The Stone is one of those 80's movies I've always had a soft spot for. I'd love to have this Blu Ray but at around $25 for a catalog title the price is gonna have to come down to around $15 before I lay down any cash. Nice review Ralph and the grabs over at DVD Beaver look good. Looking forward to owning it one day.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-28-2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

No subs....

Cheers,

Quote:
Originally Posted by benes View Post

Actually there ARE forced subs at 3 points in the movie:

0:27:59 - You must be French.
0:31:04 - Assemble your men!
0:58:12 - The one who writes the books I read to you on Saturdays.

Okay, so the subs are there after all? I'd like to be clear on this. I'll stick with my DVD copy if they're not, but will probably upgrade if they are.

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post #18 of 21 Old 01-29-2009, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benes View Post

Well that's what I said didn't I.

I assume Ralph was only speaking of that apartment scene which as I mentioned has no need of subs.

Greetings,

You assume correctly..


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post #19 of 21 Old 01-29-2009, 07:40 AM
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Thanks for setting me straight.

I guess I misunderstood which scenes were under question for subs when I posted a while back. It shouldn't be that big a deal, but the places where the DVD did not have the forced subs that were on my old video tape really bothered me. Looks like I'll be needing to upgrade this title.

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post #20 of 21 Old 10-11-2009, 08:25 PM
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Great review Ralph! I just bought this one at Costco at a nice price..
I agree with your review and it looks surprisingly good for it's age...

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post #21 of 21 Old 10-12-2009, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3 View Post

Great review Ralph! I just bought this one at Costco at a nice price..
I agree with your review and it looks surprisingly good for it's age...

Greetings,

Thanks Chris. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one.


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