DVD Corner's blog

News, dvd and blu-ray reviews

Notorious Blu-ray Review

“Notorious” is essential Hitchock.

The plot: An American agent named Devlin recruits Alicia (the daughter of a Nazi spy) to infiltrate a German spy ring in Brazil. Her mission? To seduce Alex Sebastian (a Nazi leader who was a friend of Alicia’s father). As Alicia risks her very safety in this dangerous undercover mission, tensions and romance begin to flare up between her and Devlin. What happens next? Well, you’ll just have to see.

The best thing about “Notorious” is what you don’t see. This is the type of film that doesn’t put everything out in the open which is refreshing in this “show it all” day and age. The film has a lot going on under the surface which allows the viewers to not only read into the film and or characters, but to use their imagination as well. Kudos to writer Ben Hecht for a unique script to be sure.

The main draw, however, is (of course) Alfred Hitchcock. While Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman give incredible performances here, it’s Hitchock’s vision and direction that make this film work so well. From the suspenseful scenes involving wine bottles and poison, to the heartbreaking, tension-filled romance unlike any other you’ve seen between Alicia and Devlin, there’s not a wasted frame in this film. Using sweeping and creative shots and coaxing stand-out performances from the cast, Hitchcock proves once again why he is one of the greatest directors around.

Video/Audio:

“Notorious,” which is presented in 1.33:1 1080p, sadly disappoints on Blu-ray. Grain, scratches, and wavy images are present throughout which is a bit frustrating. To be honest, “Notorious” looked better on the Criterion DVD release.

The DTS-HD Mono audio track, on the other hand, is worthy of praise. The audio has been cleaned up tremendously and this is the best the film has ever sounded.

Extras:
* “Notorious” theatrical trailer.
* “Restoration Comparison”- A comparison of the original transfer and the new restoration.
* Commentary by film professor Rick Jewell. This track lacks the fluidity of some of these film historian commentaries, but it’s the better of the 2 tracks.
* Another commentary by film professor Drew Casper. Drew talks nervously, quietly and fastly which makes listening to the track a little difficult.
* Isolated music and effects track.
* “The Ultimate Romance: The Making Of Notorious”- A standard making of with interviews with film historians chatting about the story, the production, the romance, the themes, the characters, etc.
* “Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Spymaster”- A featurette about Hitchock’s contributions to the spy genre.

* “The American Film Institute Award: The Key To Hitchcock”- Hitchcock’s granddaughter talks about the ceremony.

* 1984 “Notorious” Radio Play starring Joseph Cotton and Ingrid Bergman. As a radio drama fan, this was a real treat to see on this set. It’s interesting to contrast and compare the film and the radio drama.

* Hitchcock Audio Interviews With Peter Bogdanovich and Francois Truffaut. Film geeks will absolutely love these 2 audio clips.

Advertisements

February 24, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: