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Chinatown Blu-ray Review

“Chinatown” is a neo-noir classic.

If you’ve never seen “Chinatown,” I really don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s the type of film that you need to know as little as possible about before seeing because the story is so full of surprises. I can say that the film involves a private eye named Jake Gittes being hired by a woman (Evelyn Mulwray) to find out if her husband (Hollis) is cheating on her. From there on out, Jake becomes embroiled in a case filled with lies, dark secrets, corruption, L.A. water supply revelations, and murder.

There’s not much more I can add about Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” that hasn’t already been said. There’s a reason the film has been endlessly talked about, endlessly quoted (namely with the line “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown”), and endlessly studied in film schools across the world. It’s that good. Robert Towne’s rich, complex screenplay, Jack Nicholson’s iconic performance, and Roman Polanski’s direction are some of the best work of the trio’s entire careers. Add in the incredible period recreation, the shocking plot twists, and some knockout supporting performance by Faye Dunaway and John Huston, and you’ve got yourself a cinematic treat. They simply don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Summary: If you’ve never seen “Chinatown,” you owe it to yourself to give it a watch.

Video/Audio:

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with this transfer. Although the colors and clarity are certainly a step up from past release, there is a noticeable amount of grain, dirt specs, fuzzy picture, and jumpy frame issues.

“Chinatown” has never sounded better than it does with this Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track. Nothing more needs to be said.

Extras:
* An HD verison of the theatrical trailer.
* “Chinatown: The Legacy”- Cast and crew members chat about the film’s popularity and acclaim.
* “Chinatown: Filming”- A featurette that covers the studio and location shooting, the cinematography, etc.
* “Chinatown: The Beginning And The End”- A close to 20 minute featurette about the story, how the film got made, film alterations, etc. Interviews with the likes of Nicholson and Polanski are included.
* “Chinatown: An Appreciation”- Fans (like Steven Soderbergh) talk about the film in-depth.
* “Water And Power”- A 3 part featurette about the L.A. aqueduct, Los Angeles (and the history of L.A.) and so on.

*Commentary by Robert Towne and David Fincher. A must listen to track for film fans.

March 30, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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