Deliverance: 40th Anniversay Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 06-15-2012, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Warner - 1972
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 Minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty
Directed by: John Boorman
Written by: James Dickey
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 26, 2012

"What Did Happen On The Cahulawassee River?"

Film Synopsis:

Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox play "weekend warriors" who set off in two canoes down a mystery-laden Georgia river - and discover a wilderness of terror.

My Take:

Four city businessmen try their hand at canoeing along a soon-to-be-destroyed river deep in the woods of Georgia. What begins as a planned weekend of adventure and fun becomes a desperate battle for survival when they are confronted by the terrors of the raging river and brutal confrontations with backwoods mountain men. I had to be in my teens when I saw Deliverance for the first time. That would have been on television somewhere close to 10 years after its release. I believe I was initially drawn to it after hearing others make reference to it, specifically for its most famous scene involving Ned Beatty. Upon watching Deliverance I found it to be so much more than just that infamous moment.

Based on James Dickey’s novel of the same name this is a human drama that explores how life can go from simple to inordinate in the blink of an eye. How four ordinary Joes seeking a few thrills outside of their element are forced into unimaginable circumstances where their decisions are based solely upon the instinct to survive. Watching their transmogrification from back slapping pals to desperate men driven to unspeakable acts is probably what I enjoy most about the film. The core cast is simply terrific and expertly complimented by John Boorman’s purposeful/staunch direction. Forty years after its release it hasn’t lost any of its visceral impact. Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Deliverance is an iconic and indelible American film that in 2008 was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. This 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Book release of Deliverance comes housed in a stylish commemorative hardcover Digibook that includes photos, production notes bios, and trivia.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, violence and a scene of rape.

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: 74

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

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&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=1210373692

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

Video: 82

(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=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

Deliverance comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

This is a solid looking high def catalog release that presents this 40 year old film in a positive light. It boasts clean, slightly muted primary colors and a fair mix of earth tones and secondary hues that mate well with the film’s theme. Other than the film’s opening sequence I found little to complain about in terms of the overall quality of the video. Resolution is discerning with varying degrees of delineation. The opening sequence is noticeably soft and almost appears out of focus at times. Beyond that sharpness is stable with lucid clarity which enhances depth. Black levels are elevated and contrast is spot on which gives a fair amount of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while mildly washing out darker/low lit segments with no ill effects to shadow delineation. Grain is present and moderately textured. This is a pleasing video presentation that predominantly appears faithful to the film’s original elements.

** It should be noted that this VC-1 encoding appears to be the same one from the original 2007 Blu-ray release.**

Unlike the 2007 Blu-ray release this 40th Anniversary release contains a lossless audio presentation. The multi-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack delivers crisp dialogue in a mostly front oriented presentation that offers a few splashes of atmospheric ambience through the surround channels. There is minimal low frequency detail mixed to the subwoofer and while its effects never reached room engaging levels it was tangibly present in a few instances. The blend music, spoken dialogue and sound effects through the front channel speakers is rendered with good clarity, limited but fair dimensional perspective and average depth. It never sounded thin or dynamically starved and based upon the dated elements in the recording sounded just fine.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary by director John Boorman

  • Behind the story (5 features) :

  • (HD) Deliverance: The cast remembers (new) 29 minute retrospective

  • Deliverance: The beginning – 16 minutes

  • Deliverance: The journey – 13 minutes

  • Deliverance: Delivered – 10 minutes

  • Theatrical trailer

Final Thoughts:

Based on James Dickey’s novel of the same name Deliverance is an engaging and powerful human drama that explores how life can go from simple to inordinate in the blink of an eye. Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it is an iconic and indelible American film that is justly deserving of the accolades bestowed upon it. It comes to Blu-ray in this 40th Anniversary Digibook Edition that features gratifying high definition video, lossless surround sound and an above average supplemental package that includes a brand new retrospective discussion between the four principle members of the cast. Although there isn’t much that separates this high definition release from the previous one (s) the addition of lossless sound, a new featurette and the collectible Blu-ray book packaging might be the ticket for diehard fans.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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