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The Artist (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
4c2dda1e_theartist.jpeg
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell, Missy Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, John Goodman
Written & Directed by: Michael Hazanavicius
Music by: Ludovic Bource
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 26, 2012







"I am not a puppet…I am an Artist"


Film Synopsis:

THE ARTIST is a heartfelt and entertaining valentine to classic American cinema set in Hollywood during the twilight of its silent era. Love, friendship and an exquisite story make it the most feel good, most original film of our time.


My Take:

Set in 1927 Hollywood, The Artist tells the story of film superstar George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who is about to be banished from the movie business by the advent of talking pictures. With the introduction of “The Talkies,” as movies with sound were known at their onset, came the abrupt end to the careers of many silent film stars, including George’s screen persona, which soon falls into oblivion. For young, movie extra Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), the sky's the limit, as major movie stardom looms.

I don’t think that I was even aware of The Artist prior to watching this year’s Academy Awards. After it took home five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor it had my attention. As a film fan I was intrigued by the fact that it was a silent picture. This is a superbly crafted film that at its heart is a love story. This is not only in the traditional sense but also as a reverent homage to a bygone era in American Cinema. The story is a compelling one that grabs a snapshot of Hollywood just as the era of silent film is winding down and talking pictures are introduced and take off. It is easy to see how this transition would have been quickly accepted by filmgoers and very difficult for the old school stars of the day.

George Valentin is the epitome of Hollywood royalty in 1927. He knows his craft, writes his own ticket and has amassed a body of work that assures his place as one of the top actors of his generation. His life off camera is private as he shares an everlasting friendship with is devoted chauffeur Clifton but suffers through an unhappy marriage which has taken a backseat to his career. Unbeknownst to George, a chance meeting with budding actress/movie extra Peppy Miller will see reversals of fortune and the development of a bond that will come to mean more than either knows.

Writer/director Michael Hazanavicius does a marvelous job with the development of the characters as well as capturing the essence of the two sided equation that saw unknowns sky rocket to stardom and stars once considered the toast of Hollywood disappear seemingly overnight. I love the portrayal of the relationship between George and Peppy. Far from the physical and passionate depiction we often see in Hollywood romances today the allure found in their connection is subtle but never in question. The lack of dialogue/sound serves to embolden the reciprocity between the characters as well as our interpretations based upon their ability to physically engage us. This is of course underscored by Ludovic Bource’s beautiful music score and Guillaume Schiffman’s terrific cinematography.

I absolutely loved the cast (including "Uggie" the dog!). Jean Dujardin is simply amazing as his charisma, superlative timing, and (unspoken) dramatic eloquence are integral to the credibility of this character and ultimately the film. Berenice Bejo gives a sprightly and engaging dramatic performance opposite Duhardin as they share wonderful onscreen chemistry. Honorable mention goes out to the always reliable James Cromwell whose expressive face and genuine demeanor compliment every scene he is in. That is to take nothing away from John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller and Missy Pyle all of whom are equally deserving of praise.

I loved this movie. I appreciated its thoughtful, heartfelt story, superb and meaningful production elements and marvelous casting/direction. The total sum of its parts, The Artist is a stylish, evocative and refreshingly entertaining film that is justly deserving of the accolades bestowed upon it.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for a disturbing image and a crude gesture.




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=109943&d=1210373692

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

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



Video: 90

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


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

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

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

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

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


The Artist comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video with an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound with an average bitrate of 2.6 Mbps.

Looking at films from a “colorless” perspective is something that can take a little getting used. It isn’t an issue for me which allowed me to appreciate how wonderful this presentation is. Resolution in this 1.33:1 framed high definition presentation is exquisite as images onscreen appear lucid and sharp with crisp definition. Close ups reveal lots of fine detail in the faces, hair and clothing worn by the cast members. Some have expressive faces that reveal every crack, furrowed brow and wrinkle. Finer detail that might otherwise be missed such as the etched/worn surfaces or the texture in the period costumes are clearly discernible. Blacks and contrast have ample dynamic range which plays very well against the film’s gradational shades of gray. Whites exhibit multistage delineation so that the blend of mixed content onscreen has appreciable depth of field. While there is some natural loss of visibility in dark backgrounds the level of shadow detail is quite good. This is a pristinely rendered video presentation that looks terrific in high definition.

Presented via a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio surround mix this is an open and airy soundtrack where the musical accompaniment is integral to the story’s telling. I would say this is a dynamically reserved and definitively refined audio presentation that rewards with sibilant free highs and a warm midrange that compliments the orchestrated variants in the recording. There are moments in the film where traditional/broader elements are present and all are delivered with satisfying and complimentary results.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) 2 minute Blooper reel – Extra fun with the silent movie theme

  • (HD) The Artist: The making of an American Romance – 21 minute production featurette

  • (HD) Q&A with the cast & filmmakers – 45 minutes

  • (HD) Hollywood as a character: The locations of The Artist – 5 minutes

  • (HD) The artisans behind The Artist (four segments totaling 11 minutes) :

    1. The costumes
    2. The cinematography
    3. The production design
    4. The composer

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy
7121399b_theartistrear.jpeg


Final Thoughts:

Winner of five Academy Awards The Artist is a superbly executed and stylish homage that harkens back to classic American Cinema via an evocative and refreshingly entertaining story that is enhanced by a marvelous cast, excellent direction and beautiful photography. It makes its debut on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, gratifying lossless sound quality and a decent assortment of bonus supplements that offer insights from the cast/crew on the production. Film enthusiasts are sure to appreciate this wonderful genre entry that is most assuredly deserving of the accolades that have been bestowed upon it. It comes highly recommended. Enjoy!







attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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
post #2 of 21
Thanks for the review, Ralph! cool.gif

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one regarding video and audio.

It's been in my pre-order queue at amazon.com for a while now and I'm certainly looking forward to watching it.
post #3 of 21
Just to be clear, there's absolutely no talking in this movie?

If so is there subtitles? redface.gif
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Just to be clear, there's absolutely no talking in this movie?
If so is there subtitles? redface.gif

Greetings,

It's a silent movie. Yes, there are subtitles where applicable.


Regards,
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,
It's a silent movie. Yes, there are subtitles where applicable.
Regards,
Wouldn't it be more like title cards with (English) dialogue written on them inserted between shots of actors mouthing the words as was typically done in pre-sound silent movies rather than "subtitles" superimposed at the bottom of the screen, though?

Really enjoyed this movie. Thanks for the review, Ralph.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitchfan View Post

Wouldn't it be more like title cards with (English) dialogue written on them inserted between shots of actors mouthing the words as was typically done in pre-sound silent movies rather than "subtitles" superimposed at the bottom of the screen, though?
Really enjoyed this movie. Thanks for the review, Ralph.

Greetings,

Yes it is but I knew what he was referring to. smile.gif


Regards,
post #7 of 21
Five stars for dialog reproduction ????
post #8 of 21
I can just see Joe 6Pack renting this and putting it in his new Blu-ray player and watching it on his new widescreen lcd tv and weondering what's wrong with the sound and why isn't the screen image completely full. biggrin.gif

All that aside, I can't wait to get this for my collection.
post #9 of 21
Hey guys, what's wrong with the sound on this thing and why isn't the screen image completely full? tongue.gif
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norde View Post

Five stars for dialog reproduction ????

Greetings,

Since it is a silent movie I couldn't deduct rating points for that as that would be an unfair representation of the sound quality.


Regards,
post #11 of 21
My copy of The Artist arrived today and I just finished watching it. This movie was far better than I ever imagined it being and I'm very glad to have it in my movie library. Highly recommended...

Thanks for the review, Ralph!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post

My copy of The Artist arrived today and I just finished watching it. This movie was far better than I ever imagined it being and I'm very glad to have it in my movie library. Highly recommended...
Thanks for the review, Ralph!

Greetings,

Glad you enjoyed it oz! smile.gif


Regards,
post #13 of 21
Not my kind of movie, no way could I enjoy a movie that is black and white, no sound or dialogue and in standard aspect ratio. No way, at least that is what I thought until I was desperate for a movie fix the other night and after standing in line behind a couple girls at the Redbox box that could not make up their mind if they had one, I finally got to see the blu ray selection. Of course the Artist was the only one left, so-.

Later that night I set out my standard movie stuff, put the movie in the PS3, set the 70" Sharpe to Movie mode, sat back in my vintage leather club chair and suffered through the previews and other filler and then, there it was, the movie. After about five or ten minutes I started thinking about Netflix streaming but then something happened, something unexpected. I started to get into the film, slowly at first and then I just sat back and let it overwhelm me.

The two main characters, George and Peppy, make this film. They are magic and maybe black magic at that but they just seem grow on you and ease you into into the story. Acting so real and effortless, characters so rich and deep, scenarios so affecting and involving that I now could not take my self out of the movie. A 20's melodrama taken to a higher level, a melodrama that we have all seen before but never, ever this way or this good.


(the following might be a spoiler) Again the two leads had me spellbound and I think the defining scene, the one that film students should take note of every subtle move and action is the scene where George, while acting in a movie scene, is working his way through a crowded dance floor. He must pretend to dance with anyone available while searching the crowd for his target. He does the scene and comes upon a lone dancer, Peppy, he starts to dance and look around searching for his quarry but catches Peppy's eye, he stops and stares at her much too long and blows the scene and must do it over and over several times but each time they end up laughing or staring into each other's eyes as two lost souls that have just found each other.

A simple scene but so well done. Jean Dujardin who I have never seen before playing George the great silent actor looks like the perfect version of a Hollywood male star of the period. With Flynn/Barrymore looks and flexible face he is amazing to watch as he comes unglued and tries to get back into the scene but every time he comes up to Peppy they have to cut. Every move and facial expression is perfect and conveys such command of the scene that I had to watch it over several times.

As the movie ended and credits rolled past I thought about what I had just watched, a movie so well crafted, so well played that it could be and should be seen over many times. Yes it really wasn't my kind of movie but I found out it was better than my kind of movie and one of the rare movies I will actually buy.
Edited by Teisco - 6/30/12 at 5:49pm
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teisco View Post

Not my kind of movie, no way could I enjoy a movie that is black and white, no sound or dialogue and in standard aspect ratio. No way, at least that is what I thought until I was desperate for a movie fix the other night and after standing in line behind a couple girls at the Redbox box that could not make up their mind if they had one, I finally got to see the blu ray selection. Of course the Artist was the only one left, so-.
Later that night I set out my standard movie stuff, put the movie in the PS3, set the 70" Sharpe to Movie mode, sat back in my vintage leather club chair and suffered through the previews and other filler and then, there it was, the movie. After about five or ten minutes I started thinking about Netflix streaming but then something happened, something unexpected. I started to get into the film, slowly at first and then I just sat back and let it overwhelm me.
The two main characters, George and Peppy, make this film. They are magic and maybe black magic at that but they just seem grow on you and ease you into into the story. Acting so real and effortless, characters so rich and deep, scenarios so affecting and involving that I now could not take my self out of the movie. A 20's melodrama taken to a higher level, a melodrama that we have all seen before but never, ever this way or this good.
(the following might be a spoiler) Again the two leads had me spellbound and I think the defining scene, the one that film students should take note of every subtle move and action is the scene where George, while acting in a movie scene, is working his way through a crowded dance floor. He must pretend to dance with anyone available while searching the crowd for his target. He does the scene and comes upon a lone dancer, Peppy, he starts to dance and look around searching for his quarry but catches Peppy's eye, he stops and stares at her much too long and blows the scene and must do it over and over several times but each time they end up laughing or staring into each other's eyes as two lost souls that have just found each other.
A simple scene but so well done. Jean Dujardin who I have never seen before playing George the great silent actor looks like the perfect version of a Hollywood male star of the period. With Flynn/Barrymore looks and flexible face he is amazing to watch as he comes unglued and tries to get back into the scene but every time he comes up to Peppy they have to cut. Every move and facial expression is perfect and conveys such command of the scene that I had to watch it over several times.
As the movie ended and credits rolled past I thought about what I had just watched, a movie so well crafted, so well played that it could be and should be seen over many times. Yes it really wasn't my kind of movie but I found out it was better than my kind of movie and one of the rare movies I will actually buy.

Greetings,

Terrific..thanks for sharing. smile.gif

Regards,
post #15 of 21
@Tiesco: I've watched The Artist a few times now and agree with all that you said, but would like to add that the dog did a great job with his role, too. Most of those that refuse to give this movie a chance are going to miss out on something really special, but it will be their loss. I'm very happy to have this title in my own movie library! cool.gif
post #16 of 21
Had friends over last night to watch The Artist. To get folks in the proper mood, I showed the Harold Lloyd short film High and Dizzy, which turned out to be a great lead-in! As Lloyd was also a huge physical comedian in the silent era, and also didn't make a great transition to talkies - it made everyone appreciate what The Artist was doing The emotions, body language and camera moves in The Artist are easily recognized after watching a true "vintage" film first.

One of the things I really noticed (about both films, and obviously the silent era as a whole) was how the musical accompaniment, while matching the mood for the scene, didn't match up cue for cure. Meaning it doesn't describe the action(s) directly, merely sets the stage for them. Contrast that to any modern comedy, where there's a rimshot (effectively) for every gag. Makes perfect sense, as the pianist / orchestra in the theater wouldn't likely have the time investment required in rehearsal to perform such works "live"...

Highly recommended, and I'm glad I showed it (first B&W, 4:3 showing for friends in my theater, too!).

Jeff
post #17 of 21
The wife and I both loved "The Artist". A superbly crafted film. Just minutes into this movie we were hooked. The best night-in at the movies in years!
post #18 of 21
BEWARE: REGION LOCKED.

Although this disc is being touted as 'region free', it would appear to be region locked.

It actually states 'ABC' on the case, but it will not play on my Region B player: when I attempt to play it I just get a 'REGION ERROR' message & it will not play mad.gif
post #19 of 21
Thanks Ralph, I loved the movie and the actors, including the dog. After seeing Jean Dujardin I went looking for more of his movies and found a breezy 60's style caper movie on streaming that he did. Not a great movie and no where near as good as his work in The Artist but still fun to watch and see him work his charm. The movie is called Ca$h and is on NF streaming.
post #20 of 21
I really expected this to be another overrated Oscar movie but instead I found a wonderfully sweet, really well done film. I loved it!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post

I really expected this to be another overrated Oscar movie but instead I found a wonderfully sweet, really well done film. I loved it!

Greetings,

Glad to hear it. cool.gif


Regards,
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