The Fugitive: 20th Anniversary (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-03-2013, 11:28 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=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: Warner - 1993
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 130 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

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/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pantliano, Sela Ward, Andreas Katsulas, Jeroen Krabbe, Julianne Moore
Directed by: Andrew Davis
Music by: James Newton Howard
Written by: Jeb Stuart & David Twohy based on characters created by Roy Huggins
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 3, 2013







"A murdered wife. A one-armed man. An obsessed detective. The chase begins..."


Film Synopsis:

For Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), a wrongfully convicted fugitive, the trail leads toward the one-armed man he believes murdered his wife. For U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones), the hunt will end with the capture of escaped prisoner Kimble.

My Take:

Catch him, if you can. The Fugitive is on the run as Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones race through this breathless manhunt thriller inspired by the classic TV series which starred David Janssen. Ford is prison escapee Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon falsely convicted of killing his wife and determined to prove his innocence by leading his pursuers to the one-armed man who committed the crime. Jones is Sam Gerard, an unrelenting bloodhound of a U.S. marshal who “doesn’t care” about Kimble’s guilt or innocence. They are hunted and hunter….

I can remember my parents watching The Fugitive TV Series when I was a child and then I saw it here and there in reruns. I liked the show, star David Janssen’s portrayal of Dr. Richard Kimble and of the course the series finale when Kimble actually catches up to the one armed man. I wasn’t sure about making The Fugitive into a film, nor was I certain that Harrison Ford was right for Dr. Kimble especially when I thought of David Janssen. I went and saw The Fugitive when it opened in theaters back in 1993 and my concerns were quickly laid to rest.

It’s a superb thriller that not only captures the essence of what made the TV series good but because it's an edge of your seat ride that ratchet’s up the suspense while also adding some well placed action and wit. Ford is just fine in the role of Kimble but in my opinion it’s Tommy Lee Jones that makes the film and literally steals every scene he is in. I remember finding it odd at the time that he would win the Academy Award for a non-dramatic role but after repeated viewings there is no question that this wouldn’t be the same film without him. I have seen it numerous times and for me it is one of those movies that I can watch over and over and never tire of. Regardless of knowing how it will turn out I still enjoy the suspense, the thrill of the chase and the excellent interplay among the characters both spoken and unspoken.

I watched it with my teenaged son who had never seen it and he absolutely loved it. In its genre I consider The Fugitive to be a classic and timeless film that is among my personal favorites.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, language and thematic material.


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: 86

(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=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

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



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=109946&d=1210373692

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

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


The Fugitive: 20th anniversary comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.

This marks The Fugitive’s second release on Blu-ray. Here we get an AVC encoding versus the MPEG-2 encode found on the original Blu-ray release. This high definition presentation delivers fair to good overall image quality that appear faithful to the film’s original elements. Its video quality offers an appreciable level of detail during close ups and certain wide angle camera shots. The exterior shots around Chicago looked vivid with naturally rendered colors and stable resolution. The majority of the time the visuals don’t have a high level of image penetration with predominantly stable sharpness that occasionally wavers due to some innate softening. The variety of colors and earth toned hues are reproduced well. Blacks in low level scenes are a little washed out but appear punchier when onscreen with mixed light/dark elements. Grain is preserved naturally and is noticeable throughout. I am pleased to report that video related artifacts are no where to be seen. While this presentation lacks the polish of today’s newer films being released on Blu-ray, I think it presents the film well and looked solid on my large screen.

I can remember that when The Fugitive was released on DVD the infamous train crash scene was used by many as THE demo for low frequency effects. Today it still feels and sounds great but is no longer the disc you reach for when looking to show off the prowess of your brand new subwoofer. Presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio this is the first lossless audio treatment this excellent soundtrack has seen on home video and the results are quite good indeed. Dialogue has discernible intonation, with refining clarity and excellent room penetration. This is a more or less front oriented presentation that makes good use of the entire system to deliver a seamlessly integrated audio experience that is highlighted by solid impact, definitive detail, and James Newton Howard’s memorable music score. Dynamic range is quite good and doesn’t seem limited by the dated elements present in the recording. Sounds and effects have copious expression that extend well into the room. Surround activity isn’t constant but when applied can be engaging as discernible spatial ambience and discrete sounds fill the listening area. The LFE channel is similarly used to add weight that extends low bass frequencies. The aforementioned train crash sequence sounds terrific. The soundtrack runs the gamut and contains a variety of sounds/effects. Each is presented with discerning audible presence via a well integrated surround mix that comes to life where appropriate.


Bonus Features:

  • Introduction by Andrew Davis featuring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones

  • Audio commentary with Andrew Davis and Tommy Lee Jones

  • NEW(HD) The Fugitive: Thrill of the chase – 28 minute featurette

  • On the run with The Fugitive – 23 minute featurette

  • Derailed: Anatomy of a train wreck – 9 minutes

  • NEW (HD) The Fugitive TV Pilot – 45 minutes

  • Theatrical Trailer




Final Thoughts:

Based on the 1960’s TV show of the same name The Fugitive is a thoroughly engaging thriller that grabs hold early on and doesn’t let go until the credits roll. I consider it to be a classic that is among my personal favorites. It comes to Blu-ray in this 20th anniversary release that features excellent/faithful high definition video quality, rewarding DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound, a decent mix of legacy supplements and two previously unreleased features. If you’re a fan I would recommend that you pick this up to replace any previous home video offering in your collection.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-03-2013, 01:56 PM
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Totally agree Ralph. One of my favorites as well.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for the review,

But, I have a question. According to the reviewer on HiDefDigest, the old 2006 BD was from the same master as the 2003 DVD, but this one comes from a brand new 4k master. Which statement is true? I really like this movie, but I do not want to double dip, if the picture is only slightly better.
Please help me (and maybe others) by clarifying that.

Thank you again
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post

Thanks for the review,

But, I have a question. According to the reviewer on HiDefDigest, the old 2006 BD was from the same master as the 2003 DVD, but this one comes from a brand new 4k master. Which statement is true? I really like this movie, but I do not want to double dip, if the picture is only slightly better.
Please help me (and maybe others) by clarifying that.

Thank you again

Greetings,

I didn't see anything in the press documentation that indicated that this was minted from a new master. I am looking into it and will report back.


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post #5 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 12:29 PM
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i own the budget dvd from WHV which is the 2001 version with extras. The transfer aint nothing to scream about but the audio quality is amazing. I'll probably buy this on bluray when it's cheap. Lots of extras including the Fugitive pilot. Wonder if WB will release the series on blu soon? So far the only tv bluray releases I know from them are Big Bang Theory and WB shows that were filmed in hd for hdtv.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 04:41 PM
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I certainly hope it's not from the same master as the original BD... that was 1080i and had all the interlaced artifacts to prove it.

This is one of the really good chase/suspense movies from the last couple decades. Amazing that if it had not been for Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford taking over the low quality and unfinished script and even improvising and ad-libbing scenes on-the-spot, this would have been a terrible movie.

In some respects, this is the same back story as Jaws. The director, music composer, and principal stars took a potential turkey and transformed it into a solid gold classic through grit and determination.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 05:14 PM
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we need somebody with inside information !! do Assange and Snowden take requests for leaks ?
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I have reached out to Warner and am waiting to hear back. I don't believe that this has been minted from a 4k master but there is no question that it isn't from the same as the original release.


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post #9 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 07:06 PM
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This marks The Fugitive’s second release on Blu-ray. Here we get an AVC encoding versus the MPEG-2 encode found on the original Blu-ray release. Minted from the same master this high definition presentation delivers fair to good overall image quality that appear faithful to the film’s original elements......
.... but there is no question that it isn't from the same as the original release....

Ok, so it is NOT from the same master!

That is good to know.Thx for the info
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post

This marks The Fugitive’s second release on Blu-ray. Here we get an AVC encoding versus the MPEG-2 encode found on the original Blu-ray release. Minted from the same master this high definition presentation delivers fair to good overall image quality that appear faithful to the film’s original elements......
.... but there is no question that it isn't from the same as the original release....

Ok, so it is NOT from the same master!

That is good to know.Thx for the info

Greetings,

You're welcome. Should I get anything definitive from Warner I will report back. My review has been edited...


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post #11 of 14 Old 09-06-2013, 02:42 AM
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Thanks for the great review as usual Ralph. This movie is one of my favorites and I've avoided buying the BluRay disc currently available because of it does not have lossless audio. I'll look for this version the next time I visit Amazon!

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post #12 of 14 Old 09-06-2013, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal68 View Post

Thanks for the great review as usual Ralph. This movie is one of my favorites and I've avoided buying the BluRay disc currently available because of it does not have lossless audio. I'll look for this version the next time I visit Amazon!

Cal68

Greetings,

You're very welcome Cal. Enjoy..! smile.gif


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post #13 of 14 Old 09-10-2013, 04:35 PM
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Bought this and watched it. I was a little underwhelmed by the picture. It's not bad, but It seemed to be lacking fine detail. Wouldn't be surprised if the grain had been lightly scrubbed away, taking that detail with it. From the screengrabs of the previous version it seems like a big improvement though.
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-19-2013, 06:32 AM
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I bought this and watched it last night and, I too, am underwhelmed with the picture quality. I have the DVD and it's riddled with artifacts, almost unwatchable, the first Blu-ray got poor reviews so I held off. I believe the 20th AE Blu-ray represents a good re-encode of the original Hi-Def master. The softness and low contrast is inherent to the master and only a modern rescanning of a pristine negative will offer an improvement. Reviews that have compared the Blu-rays have confirmed the improvement.
I'm glad I bought this as it's such a great movie and for the $12 I paid, offers good value for money.
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