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-   -   Bonnie & Clyde (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/187-official-avs-foruma-blu-ray-disc-reviews/1514283-bonnie-clyde-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review.html)

Ralph Potts 01-26-2014 01:17 PM

The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 174 minutes
Genre: Drama/Crime/Biography

Disc Format: BD-50 (BD-25)
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Emille Hirsch, Holliday Grainger, Sarah Hyland, Elizabeth Reaser, Holly Hunter, William Hurt
Directed by: Bruce Beresford
Written by: John Rice & Joe Batteer
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 28, 2014

"He held the gun. She called the shots"

Film Synopsis:

Though Bonnie Parker (Holliday Grainger, Jane Eyre) & Clyde Barrow’s (Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild ) crime spree is legendary, their story has never been told quite like this. Fueled by their passion for each other and Bonnie’s obsession with fame, the couple committed increasingly dangerous robberies, leaving a trail of blood – and headlines – behind them. Aided by Clyde’s sixth sense, they stayed one step ahead of the law until their final, fateful showdown.

My Take:

I would say that it is fair to assume that if you’re reading this that you have at least heard of Bonnie & Clyde the notorious American outlaws and robbers from the Dallas area who traveled the central United States during the Great Depression. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, only in their early twenties, lusted after fortune, killed for fame and embarked on an adrenaline-filled crime spree that lasted two years and left over a dozen, including nine police officers, dead in their wake. The couples heinous run came to an end in Louisiana in 1934. During their time together Bonnie & Clyde became the first celebrity criminals of the modern era as their exploits were reported in the media both press and tabloid. As the levels of their crimes grew, so did their public enemy status in the law enforcement spotlight, making them less endearing to the public as a whole.

Their exploits including their deaths have left them with an iconic place in American history as their “bad ass” profile left an indelible mark and continues to live on in today’s pop culture references. Bonnie & Clyde aired on A&E, History Channel, and LifeTime TV networks and recounts the story of Bonnie & Clyde from prior to their meeting through to their deaths. The script touches on the main events and significant encounters over the course of their time together but takes many liberties in furtherance of the Hollywood spin which diverges from historical accuracy.

The romanticizing of wanton criminals like Bonnie & Clyde is something that I could never understand yet along condone. Watching the film provides alarming perspective into the thought processes of the era when it came to criminals of their ilk. The production elements, direction and casting are all quite good which brings the world and characters to life in a genuine light. I couldn’t help but feel as though it ran a little long filling in minutia that didn’t add much to the proceedings. That would probably be my only gripe as I found the film to be engaging, disturbingly eye opening, and an entertaining docudrama/thriller that was worth watching.

Parental Guide:

This film contains pervasive violence, sexual content and brief language.

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: 88

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

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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

Video: 88

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

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

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

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

Bonnie & Clyde comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 mbps.

This high definition video presentation offers clear, refined images and an intentionally subdued color palette that is rarely eye catching. I found this to convey the rustic, time period specific clothing, locals and sullen complexions with aplomb. The earth tones found in the landscapes are naturally reproduced and look great. The rendering of fine detail can range from exquisite to moderate. This leaves certain long range and mid level shots with less dimensionality but not to the point of appearing soft. Black and white levels are nicely balanced and handle to variety of mixed light dark elements with aplomb. Shot digitally the image is devoid of film grain which imparts a clear/smoothness that seemed out of place especially considering the source material. I would have preferred a more film like texture but that’s a stylistic choice. The end result is an excellent high definition presentation that looked great on my big screen.

This DTS-HD Master Audio presentation features extended dynamics built around a nicely balanced surround mix that sounds great. This isn’t what I consider to be an aggressive soundtrack. Dialogue and music play more of a role than then the gunfire exchanges but there are several sequences that allow this mix to flex its dynamic muscle. Clarity and detail are exemplary which reveal lots of subtle nuance in the recording. Bass isn’t pulse pounding but it definitively augments the richness and tangibility of small arms and automatic weapon fire. Dialogue is crystalline with excellent intonation and descriptive character. The period style music sounds smooth and airy with a room filling quality that mates nicely with the source material.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) *Exclusive A legendary story revisited – 16 minute featurette

  • (HD) Iconography: The story behind Bonnie & Clyde – 15 minute featurette

  • (HD) Becoming Bonnie – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) Becoming Clyde – 5 minute featurette

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Bonnie & Clyde puts a slightly modern and dramatized spin on the story and exploits of two of the most notorious figures to come out of the public enemy depression era. Dramatized or not it’s an engaging and earthy miniseries that tells a dark and elucidating historical tale that makes for a worthwhile viewing experience. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a fair supplemental offering that consists that looks behind the scenes at the production and its subjects. Drop Bonnie & Clydein your rental queue and check it out on Blu-ray.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

cinema13 01-26-2014 03:38 PM

I actually watched this during the original broadcast. I found it quite scattered , boring, and the characterizations seemed WAY off (from what little I know about the real-life couple...who I wouldn't quite characterize as "wanton." The banks deserved it.) For example, Bonnie wasn't looking for the "bigger, better deal" with some other guy. And I don't think she was the type to "play" Clyde...by all accounts, she was crazy about him...head over heels. Regardless, seeing this just made me want to run out and buy the incredibly superior Hal Ashby film. Now THAT movie rocked!

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