Cabaret: 40th Anniversary (Blu-ray) Book Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-31-2013, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: Warner - 1972
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Genre: Drama/Musical

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem, MarisaBerenson
Directed by: Bob Fosse
Music by: John Kander
Written by: Jay Presson Allen
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 5, 2013







"The musical that changed musicals"



Film Synopsis:

Inside the Kit Kat Club of 1931 Berlin, starry-eyed singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) and an impish emcee (Joel Grey) sound the clarion call to decadent fun, while outside a certain political party grows into a brutal force. Cabaret caught lightning )and won Oscars) for Minnelli, Grey and director Bob Fosse, who shaped a triumph of style and substance. Come to this Cabaret, old chum. You'll never want to leave.

My Take:

Cabaret needs little introduction among stage and films fans and is heralded as one of the best musicals adapted to the big screen. The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), which was adapted from the 1945 book The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera which was derived from the same book. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and taking home 8, including Best Actress for Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor for Grey, and Best Director for Fosse, the film featured an intelligently crafted screenplay that combined political satire, romance and humor while interjecting socially challenging themes like promiscuity, homosexuality and abortion. In addition to its dramatic irony and multifaceted storyline the film’s re-imagined musical set pieces as staged by director/choreographer Bob Fosse are energetic, motivational and marvelously entertaining.

Cabaret eschews the “traditional” escapist direction that musicals of its time adhered to and presented audiences with a bolder perspective that remains as provocative today as it did 40 years ago when the film debuted. There is indeed a timelessness to it that is reinforced by the terrific performances of the cast and infused musical numbers. For its 40th anniversary Blu-ray debut, Cabaret has been re-mastered for the first time in twenty years and comes in this premium digibook offering that includes a brand new documentary, Cabaret: The musical that changed musicals, presented in high definition. In addition to vintage special features, this edition includes a 40-page hard cover book, with cast profiles and insightful information on the production.

Cabaret is a stylish and socially evocative classic that was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". I would have to agree and am thrilled that it has finally made its debut on Blu-ray.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material, brief violence and sensuality.



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.**


Audio: 80

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


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

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



Video: 90

(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=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

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

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Cabaret comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.

According to Warner Home Video’s press documentation Cabaret recently underwent a restorative process and the results are impressive. This film’s 1.85:1 framed high definition video presentation on Blu-ray looks terrific on my 100 inch screen. Colors are tonally balanced with inviting primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question. While the film’s elements aren’t the type to yield razor sharp imagery resolution is excellent as the blend of interior shots and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that appear filmic and rewarding. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enlivens bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present and appears undisturbed. Warner is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.

The lossless DTS-HD MA multi-channel mix readily handled the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retains a front loaded perspective with well defined dialogue that has average room penetration. I would have preferred a bit more depth/weight to sounds and voices but that is a limitation of the recording. I would rather have it sound natural than artificially enhanced and I think that this presentation achieves that. The soundfield is one dimensional, with discernible front channel separation and good clarity. The soundstage opens up some during the musical set pieces and provides bass response that is proportionate and adequate. Considering the age of this recording dynamics had fair solidity and impact. Compared to today’s movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated however all things considered I was pleased with it


Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary by Stephen Tropiano

  • (HD) Behind the scenes: Cabaret: The musical that changed musicals – 28 minute documentary

  • Behind the scenes: Cabaret: A legend in the making – 17 minute documentary

  • Behind the scenes: The recreation of an era – 6 minute featurette

  • Behind the scenes: Kit Kat Club memory gallery – An in-depth assortment of reminisces as told by cast/crew/writers including Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Martin Baum, Cy Feuer, John Kander and more

  • Theatrical trailer

  • 40 page digibook keep case with photos, talent files and production info




Final Thoughts:

Cabaret is a stylish, socially evocative and classic musical film that hasn’t lost any of its luster over the last forty years. It makes its Blu-ray debut from Warner Home Video featuring beautifully re-mastered and faithful high definition video that is sure to please even discerning videophiles. This 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Book offering comes housed in an attractive, sturdy, 40-page hard cover book that includes cast profiles and insightful information on the production. This is a top notch release of a top notch film that should have a place in the collection of every film enthusiast. Highly recommended!





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-31-2013, 09:16 AM
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Ralph,
Thanks - another great write-up. I'll be renting first, and will likely end up buy it for my "classics collection"

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-01-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Ralph,
Thanks - another great write-up. I'll be renting first, and will likely end up buy it for my "classics collection"

Y'know, some of my best cinema experiences were due to teachers! An 8th grade science teacher took the class on a field trip to see 2001 in Cinerama...still the one of the most impressive movie-going experiences I've ever had. And some years later, a History teacher took the class to see CABARET. Didn't want to go, since I've NEVER liked musicals...except THE WIZARD OF OZ. But after seeing it, I was floored...so much so that I even bought the soundtrack. And later the remastered laserdisc. This is not really a musical in the sense that people don't start singing and dancing in the middle of having conversations. Here, the songs were mostly done on stage, commenting on events taking place during the film. (TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME being an exception.) And of course, the content is quite adult...a first at the time, if I recall. Needless to say, I'll be checking out the Blu-Ray. (And I still don't like musicals.)

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post #4 of 4 Old 02-02-2013, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post

Y'know, some of my best cinema experiences were due to teachers! An 8th grade science teacher took the class on a field trip to see 2001 in Cinerama...still the one of the most impressive movie-going experiences I've ever had. And some years later, an History teacher took the class to see CABARET. Didn't want to go, since I've NEVER liked musicals...except WIZARD OF OZ. But after seeing it, I was floored...so mnuch so that I even bought the soundtrack. And later the remastered laserdisc. This is not really a musical in the sense that people don't start singing and dancing in the middle of having conversations. Here, the songs were mostly done on stage, commenting on events taking place during the film. (TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME being an exception.) And of course, the content is quite adult...a first at the time, if I recall. Needless to say, I'll be checking out the Blu-Ray. (And I still don't like musicals.)

Greetings,

Great stuff cinema13. Thanks much for sharing...smile.gif


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