The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1972
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 124 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Helmut Griem, MarisaBerenson
Directed by: Bob Fosse
Music by: John Kander
Written by: Jay Presson Allen
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 5, 2013
Inside the Kit Kat Club of 1931 Berlin, starry-eyed singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) and an impish emcee (Joel Grey) sound the clarion call to decadent fun, while outside a certain political party grows into a brutal force. Cabaret caught lightning )and won Oscars) for Minnelli, Grey and director Bob Fosse, who shaped a triumph of style and substance. Come to this Cabaret, old chum. You'll never want to leave.
Cabaret needs little introduction among stage and films fans and is heralded as one of the best musicals adapted to the big screen. The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics), which was adapted from the 1945 book The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera which was derived from the same book. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards and taking home 8, including Best Actress for Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor for Grey, and Best Director for Fosse, the film featured an intelligently crafted screenplay that combined political satire, romance and humor while interjecting socially challenging themes like promiscuity, homosexuality and abortion. In addition to its dramatic irony and multifaceted storyline the film’s re-imagined musical set pieces as staged by director/choreographer Bob Fosse are energetic, motivational and marvelously entertaining.
Cabaret eschews the “traditional” escapist direction that musicals of its time adhered to and presented audiences with a bolder perspective that remains as provocative today as it did 40 years ago when the film debuted. There is indeed a timelessness to it that is reinforced by the terrific performances of the cast and infused musical numbers. For its 40th anniversary Blu-ray debut, Cabaret has been re-mastered for the first time in twenty years and comes in this premium digibook offering that includes a brand new documentary, Cabaret: The musical that changed musicals, presented in high definition. In addition to vintage special features, this edition includes a 40-page hard cover book, with cast profiles and insightful information on the production.
Cabaret is a stylish and socially evocative classic that was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". I would have to agree and am thrilled that it has finally made its debut on Blu-ray.
The rating is for thematic material, brief violence and sensuality.
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:
Cabaret comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.
According to Warner Home Video’s press documentation Cabaret recently underwent a restorative process and the results are impressive. This film’s 1.85:1 framed high definition video presentation on Blu-ray looks terrific on my 100 inch screen. Colors are tonally balanced with inviting primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question. While the film’s elements aren’t the type to yield razor sharp imagery resolution is excellent as the blend of interior shots and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that appear filmic and rewarding. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enlivens bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present and appears undisturbed. Warner is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.
The lossless DTS-HD MA multi-channel mix readily handled the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retains a front loaded perspective with well defined dialogue that has average room penetration. I would have preferred a bit more depth/weight to sounds and voices but that is a limitation of the recording. I would rather have it sound natural than artificially enhanced and I think that this presentation achieves that. The soundfield is one dimensional, with discernible front channel separation and good clarity. The soundstage opens up some during the musical set pieces and provides bass response that is proportionate and adequate. Considering the age of this recording dynamics had fair solidity and impact. Compared to today’s movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated however all things considered I was pleased with it
- Audio commentary by Stephen Tropiano
- (HD) Behind the scenes: Cabaret: The musical that changed musicals – 28 minute documentary
- Behind the scenes: Cabaret: A legend in the making – 17 minute documentary
- Behind the scenes: The recreation of an era – 6 minute featurette
- Behind the scenes: Kit Kat Club memory gallery – An in-depth assortment of reminisces as told by cast/crew/writers including Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey, Martin Baum, Cy Feuer, John Kander and more
- Theatrical trailer
- 40 page digibook keep case with photos, talent files and production info
Cabaret is a stylish, socially evocative and classic musical film that hasn’t lost any of its luster over the last forty years. It makes its Blu-ray debut from Warner Home Video featuring beautifully re-mastered and faithful high definition video that is sure to please even discerning videophiles. This 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Book offering comes housed in an attractive, sturdy, 40-page hard cover book that includes cast profiles and insightful information on the production. This is a top notch release of a top notch film that should have a place in the collection of every film enthusiast. Highly recommended!
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JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
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-103 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
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package