The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 1985
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 132 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English, French, Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Scott Glenn, Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Linda Hunt, Jeff Goldblum, Rosanna Arquette, John Cleese
Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan
Music by: Bruce Broughton
Written by: Mark Kasdan & Lawrence Kasdan
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 8, 2009
"Get ready for the ride of your life"
Get Ready for some horse riding gun-toting, whiskey-drinking fun in Lawrence Kasdan's SILVERADO. This spirited Western stars Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, and Danny Glover as four unwitting heroes who cross paths on their journey to the sleepy town of Silverado. Little do they know the town where their family and friends reside has been taken over by sharp-shooting foursome to save the day, but first they have to break each other out of jail, and learn who their real friends are.
I love Silverado and have ever since I first saw it during its theatrical run back in 1985. Being a fan of the genre I had seen my share of westerns up to that point. As a kid of 21 my experience with them seemed broken into two categories. The first was the more typical type where there were distinct lines drawn between the good guys and the bad and the theme revolved around the premise that good would (hopefully) win out. There was usually a love interest, suspense, and the thrill of the show down/gun battle. The second was the comedic style western where some of the aforementioned qualities were present but with little fear of consequence or heightened suspense. When I saw Silverado it had a sort of revised narrative that I didn’t recall seeing in a western before. It seemed to combine the elements of both of the aforementioned categories and offered a current action based style and a wonderful assortment of characters on both ends. To quote its description from the booklet/disc case that came with the movie “Silverado is an exciting tale of the 1880’s frontier – a time that separated men from the boys and made heroes of some of them. This is the story of four reluctant heroes who form and unlikely alliance. When confronted with the injustices around them, they pull together to fight and put things right in the town of Silverado. It’s action and adventure western style.” In my opinion it is quite obvious that this film was a labor of love for writer/director Lawrence Kasdan. He chose actors (several of whom he had previously worked with) that complimented his characters and mixed in a wonderful assortment of seasoned cast and newer faces. At the time the term “all star cast” technically didn’t apply but in looking at it today there is no question that it does.
Character development is strong, especially among the principles players, which establishes a firm connection between them and the audience. The screenplay ties in traditional western themes while its visual style, cinematography, and Bruce Broughton’s memorable music score pays homage to the genre classics that preceded it. I just find that there are so many great moments that tie Silverado’s story together. Here are a few that come to mind; The recovery of the money box, Mal’s introduction, the entire opening sequence, Jake/Paden in the Turley jail, Jake getting even (think stocking feet), and the Paden/Cobb showdown. These are just to name a few but you get the point. I don’t think I could easily pick a favorite character because I think that as a whole they combine as one. If pinned down I guess I found Costner’s Jake to be the most fun to watch. I think that Kline’s Paden had the most depth and Glover’s Mal was the most sympathetic. This is a fun, action packed and well executed western adventure that many consider to be a classic. It is a personal favorite and I am thrilled to own it on Blu-ray.
The rating is for western violence and mild thematic elements.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Silverado comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony/Columbia Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.4 mbps.
Sony’s consistency in the high quality of their catalog release titles on Blu-ray continues with Silverado. I was pleased with this high definition video presentation. Colors were natural and visually satisfying with delineated primaries that, depending on the lighting, could be bold and vivid. Fleshtones were warm, with appreciable tonal separation and lifelike depiction. Images were discernibly detailed and sharp which brought out plenty of nuance and texture within clothing, physical features, and objects onscreen. This made it easy to detect the coarse surface in the wooden structures and the pattern in the weave of the costumes worn by the cast. Long range visuals were resolved with above average clarity and depth which highlighted the film’s beautiful cinematography. The video had a grainy texture that was apparent but its rendering was consistent, film like, and never infringed upon fidelity. Contrast was stable throughout the presentation as detail and variable stages in bright whites and gradations in gray tones were distinguishable. Blacks were slightly crushed but appeared dynamic when onscreen with mixed content. Dark sequences had appreciable dimension and sufficient shadow detail that combined with the video’s higher resolution to enhance depth of field in wide angle shots. Other than a few instances where resolution fell off just slightly I felt that this was a stable 1080p encode that presented this wonderful film in its finest light.
Having seen this movie numerous times on DVD I am familiar with its soundtrack. This isn’t an aggressive surround mix but it gets the little things right which make it all the more engaging. This lossless encoding offers a noticeable improvement in sound quality by opening up the front soundstage, elevating the perception of low level detail and offering broader dynamic range. Dialogue is full bodied, clearly intonated and supremely intelligible through the center channel. Bruce Broughton’s stirring music score invigorates the sound field with its orchestrated strings, smoothly textured brass and authoritative percussion driving the film’s storyline. The score utilizes the entire surround platform via a front oriented perspective that is enhanced by ambient surround activity that encapsulates the listening position and enriches dimension. This is where the track excels dynamically as the music has robust impact, defining aural expression and pinpoint imaging. Some of the effects such as gunfire are a bit dated but I wouldn’t describe it as sounding unsubstantial. Clarity and fine detail are notable which gives lesser sounds within the mix good audibility and articulated refinement. The action based segments are plenty involving as the blend of music and effects combine to deliver a busy and immersive soundscape that fills the room. I had a blast.
This title includes Sony’s new MovieIQ features which requires a BD-Live connection and allows fans the option of viewing continuously updated details on the cast and crew and to explore relevant trivia such as production facts, music, and soundtrack information which are tied into scenes in the movie. This can be turned on or off and is activated by the press of a button on your player’s remote. I think it’s a great concept and I found the interface easy to use and pretty damn cool.
- Along the Silverado trail: A western historians commentary
- A return to Silverado with Kevin Costner – 21 minutes
- The making of Silverado – 37 minutes
- Comes packaged in an 18 page book/case with photos, talent files, production background and more
- (HD) BD Previews
- Da Vinci Code
- Casino Royale
- A river runs through it
- Damages season 1
- BD-Live access
The arrival of Silverado on Blu-ray had me hoping that its presentation would meet my expectations and I am happy to report that it has. I think it would be fair to say that this is a faithful and filmic rendering that delivers the original source elements with aplomb. The lossless Dolby TrueHD multi-channel soundtrack offers a noticeable improvement over the previously released DVD versions and truly sounds great for a film of its age. It includes Sony’s cool new MovieIQ Blu-ray Disc interactive feature as well as most of the bonus materials from the 2005 DVD reissue. I have to admit that adding this disc to my Blu-ray collection has me just a little giddy. This is a must have for fans and is highly recommended.
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Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
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Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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