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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

77






Studio and Year: Warner - 1971
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.66:1
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: Malcolm MacDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Miriam Karlin
Written & Directed by: Stanley Kubrick based on the novel by Anthony Burgess
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 31, 2011







"Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven"



Film Synopsis:


Stomping, whomping, stealing, singing, tap-dancing, violating. Hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has a good time - at the tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen and back again forms the dynamic arc of Stanley Kubrick's future-shock vision of Anthony Burgess' novel. Controversial when first released, A Clockwork Orange won New York Film Critics Best Picture and Director Awards and earned four Oscar nominations,* including Best Picture. Its power still entices, shocks and holds us in its grasp.



My Take:


When I was a teenager I saw bits and pieces of A clockwork orange on cable TV and found it to be abstract and unappealing. I have never seen it from beginning to end until now. Wow, I can only imagine how this film must have been received upon its release back in 1971. It isn't the kind of film that can be easily summed up. I found an excellent overview from Wikipedia that hits the high points nicely:

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 darkly satirical science fiction film adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. The film, which was made in England, concerns Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose pleasures are classical music (especially Beethoven), rape, and so-called 'ultra-violence.' He leads a small gang of thugs (Pete, Georgie, and Dim), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian друг, "friend", "buddy"). The film tells the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via a controversial psychological conditioning technique. Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat, a fractured, contemporary adolescent slang comprising Slavic (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang. This cinematic adaptation was produced, directed, and written by Stanley Kubrick. It features disturbing, violent images, to facilitate social commentary about psychiatry, youth gangs, and other contemporary social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian, future Britain.

Clockwork is definitely rich in social commentary. It is starkly visual in its use of disturbing imagery to convey its thematic ideology. I found it to be ambitious, ironic and unsettling while marveling at its cinematic grandeur. Kubrick was a master storyteller and this film is most definitely a testament to his visionary style. Malcolm MacDowell gives an amazing performance in his eerily dark and sinister portrayal of Alex DeLarge. This is a fascinating film that is strangely engaging as it weaves its bewildering tale that is meant to provoke thoughts of morality. Its significance as a classic cinematic work is obvious and I look forward to another viewing in order to allow deeper absorption of it subtleties. Although previously released on Blu-ray I am glad to have had the opportunity to review it in this collectible Digibook from Warner.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for strong sexual content, violence and thematic material that would make it inappropriate for young viewers.





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)


Audio: 76


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 78


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

A clockwork orange comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps.

This high definition presentation delivers fair to good overall image quality that appeared faithful to the film's original elements. Images offers an appreciable level of detail during close ups and certain wide angle camera shots. Depending on the lighting exterior shots look vivid with naturally rendered colors and stable resolution. The majority of the time the visuals don't have a high level of dimension. Sharpness is acceptable but occasionally inconsistent as the image softens at times. The variety of period colors is reproduced well but aren't especially eye catching. Blacks are punchy which adds a little pop during some of the low level sequences. Those same scenes have an improved sense of depth thanks to a discernible level of visible detail in dark backgrounds. Grain is preserved naturally and is noticeable throughout. Occasionally it takes on more prominence but I don't find it to be problematic. While this presentation lacks the polish of today's newer films being released on Blu-ray Disc it appears to replicate this 40 year old film's original elements and looks decent in high definition.

The DTS-HD Master Audio mix presents this soundtrack's elements quite naturally. This is a dialogue driven film but it contains a variety of sounds and music score that benefit from the high resolution afforded by lossless sound. The originally recorded elements sound one dimensional and dated but refined and dynamically supported. There are many moments where there is no dialogue and the only auditory used to tell the story, are the music and/or a series of sounds. They are cleanly reproduced and free from strident highs or an edgy mid range. The front soundstage is narrow but opens up nicely when the film's eclectic music takes center stage. There isn't much in the way of surround sound or low frequency effects but there wouldn't have been originally so adding it would have sounded unnatural. Based upon the thematic tone of the film and the age of the recording I think this presentation is right on target.



Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:

  • Audio Commentary with Malcolm MacDowell and Nick Redman

  • Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange - 44 minute featurette

  • Great Bolshy Yarblockos! Making A Clockwork Orange - 27 minute documentary

  • (HD) Malcolm McDowell Looks Back - 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) Turning Like Clockwork - 26 minute featurette

  • BD-Live enabled

  • Digital Copy

  • 40 page collectible Blu-ray Book/keep case

  • Theatrical trailer


  • Disc 2:

  • Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures - 142 minute documentary

  • O Lucky Malcolm! - 86 minute documentary





Final Thoughts:


Based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess and adapted by the visionary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick A clockwork orange stands on its own as a classic cinematic work that is justly deserving of the accolades that have been bestowed upon it. This 40th anniversary edition release from Warner Home Video marks its second release on Blu-ray. It features the same VC-1 encoded 1080p video transfer and DTS-HD lossless sound. The quality of the presentation may disappoint some however I felt it faithfully represented the film's original elements. Warner has included several new bonus features in addition to previously released supplements that include the excellent documentary Stanley Kubrick: A life in pictures. I am not so sure that A clockwork orange is for everyone but film enthusiasts that appreciate it will want to own this anniversary edition Blu-ray offering from Warner.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Samsung BD-C7900 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 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, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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One of the all-time great movies. Will certainly pick this up.
 

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Great review Ralph. I will have to pick this up as well for my collection. This definitely makes my top ten list of movies NOT for kids. I don't even think dark describes it. Much darker than movies like 1984, Natural Born Killers or Taxi Driver. But a work of art non-the-less.
 

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Yes, it is quite a film, but one that I have to be in the right mood to watch. This is one of those movies I first owned on vhs, then laserdisc and then dvd. I haven't replaced my dvd version as yet, but will probably do so when the Blu-ray becomes available in a bargain bin.
 

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Definitely need to get this if you do not already have it. My single favorite film. Time to buy another coy! Time for a bit of the old in-out, eh?
 

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Very disturbing, demented, graphic and....awesome!
This is one of those movies that will leave footprints in your memory as you watch certain scenes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgeb /forum/post/20484728


Yes, it is quite a film, but one that I have to be in the right mood to watch. This is one of those movies I first owned on vhs, then laserdisc and then dvd. I haven't replaced my dvd version as yet, but will probably do so when the Blu-ray becomes available in a bargain bin.

Just for your information, as Ralph pointed out, this is A Clockwork Orange's second edition on blu ray, and according to Ralph, the same transfer. The difference is that this version is in a "Digibook" (plus more extras), whereas the other was one disc in a standard blu ray keepcase. For what it's worth, if you're looking to save money, I was able to buy the keepcase version for under $8. I think that's a great price, especially for a Kubrick blu ray!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 /forum/post/20485446


Very disturbing, demented, graphic and....awesome!
This is one of those movies that will leave footprints in your memory as you watch certain scenes.

I'lll wait for a remaster. This sounds like a re-packaged edition of the previous BD. I've seen this movie theatrically 3 times since it was first released...and I KNOW it looked better than on the pre-existing Blu release.
 

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"That is I, Alex, and me three Droogies were at the milk plus bar having a bit of Dencrom plus...that would really sharpen us up for a bit of the ole Ultraviolence."


Also has my favorite rendition of Singing in the Rain



Great Movie!
 

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One of my favorite movies!!! I did buy the book, thankfully I could keep up with the Nadsat (the slang of the movie) from having seen the film plenty of times. The book Kubrick derived the screenplay from was missing the final chapter (21) as the American publisher at the time didn't like the last chapter. If you can tear yourself away from your home theater, check out the book, specifically one with the 21st chapter. Kubrick and the author, Anthony Burgess have strongly different opinions about each others versions.
 

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I always found "A Clockwork Orange" a bit curious. Its always reminded me more of a Lindsay Anderson film rather than a Kubrick film. Admittedly some of this is undeniably the resonance of McDowall and the quirky often cheesily drab UK setting.


I did watch an interview with McDowall who said he had such a hard time trying to interpret Kubrick's direction (or lack of it) that he would phone up Anderson for advice on how to portray the character of Alex consistently.


I do think you can watch "A Clockwork Orange" and be forgiven thinking its directed by Anderson as a result.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life /forum/post/20494386


I never saw this movie start to finish either....the parts I have seen seemed intriguing though. Maybe I'll add it to my queue

Even more timely today than it was back when it was originally released.
 

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This film is one of my favorites, and is one film that prompted me to read the book after seeing the movie.


It is also one of my most consistent recommendations to others. Nobody I have recommended this film to has liked it one bit. Most didn't make it past the 1/2 way point.


I fondly think of this film everytime I hear Gene Kelly's "Singin' In The Rain".
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_jitsu /forum/post/20492173



Also has my favorite rendition of Singing in the Rain



Great Movie!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu /forum/post/20495807



I fondly think of this film everytime I hear Gene Kelly's "Singin' In The Rain".


Are you guys joking?



I've seen Clock Work Orange, never Singing in the Rain.. I might have to rent SitR to see the similarities between the films.



Djoel
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu /forum/post/20495807


I fondly think of this film everytime I hear Gene Kelly's "Singin' In The Rain".

You're a sick man. I like you already.


(I mentally sing "Singin' In the Rain" as Alex a little too often for comfort).
 

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Will definitely pick this one up. My favorite scene is the one where Kubrick fast-motioned the sex scene with the girl - hilarious!! Also would love to see the Kubrick documentary on disc 2.
 

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Ok, the Main feature (2007) preserves the original AR,


but where did it end the grain and dust typical acquisition from OCN,

sharpness and dynamic, white balance,

colorimetry less saturated and more natural,

content in the video excerpt from the bonus features Turning Like Clockwork ?


Main feature Bonus features

Main feature Bonus features

Main feature Bonus features

Main feature Bonus features

Main feature Bonus features



Note

(the main feature is always the same encoded video 2007 in VC-1, the new bonus features is presented in AVC and much lower bitrate)


Is coming perhaps a further edition, less or rather filtered ?




Meanwhile, I hope for a new encoded,

with the video of the new bonus features

but naturally with proper AR and enough bitrate

we want open a petition ?
 

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How does this transfer compare to the HD DVD VERSION? If it's the same transfer I will stick with my HD DVD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by eizenga13 /forum/post/20507202


How does this transfer compare to the HD DVD VERSION? If it's the same transfer I will stick with my HD DVD.

Greetings,


I suspect it is the same VC-1 encode.



Regards,
 
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