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Arachnophobia Blu-ray

United States
Remastered Disney / Buena Vista | 1990 | 110 min | Rated PG-13 | Sep 25, 2012

Arachnophobia (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (38.58 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Note: All DD 2.0=320 kbps...

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A, B (C untested)

Price
List price: $15.99, Price history

Amazon: $9.28 (Save 42%)
New from: $8.72 (Save 45%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
6.9
153
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 3.4 of 53.4
Extras 1.7 of 51.7
Based on 3 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Horror100%
Teen8%
Thriller-
Comedy-
71%
popularity
1006
collections
30
fans




Arachnophobia

 (1990)

Arachnophobia Blu-ray delivers great video and decent audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A large spider from the jungles of South America is accidently transported in a crate with a dead body to America where it mates with a local spider. Soon after, the residents of a small California town die as the result of spider bites from the deadly spider offspring. It's up to a couple of doctors with the help of an insect exterminator to annihilate these eight legged freaks before they take over the entire town.

For more about Arachnophobia and the Arachnophobia Blu-ray release, see Arachnophobia Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman, Julian Sands, Stuart Pankin, Brian McNamara (I)
Director: Frank Marshall (I)

» See full cast & crew


Arachnophobia Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

After several false starts, Arachnophobia completes its trip to home video in a presentation that finally presents the film to good advantage. The 1999 DVD release of Arachnophobia wasn't enhanced for 16:9 and suffered from a weak video transfer. The initial pressing of the Blu-ray, which Disney withdrew prior to the original Sept. 4, 2012 street date, suffered from incorrect black levels that were especially noticeable in the Venezuelan sequences. The remastered 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray that streets on Sept. 25, 2012 corrects the black levels and features a vastly superior image. The details of the countryside, the various styles of clothing, the Jennings' ramshackle barn, the elaborate spider webs, the spiders themselves (the small ones a harmless New Zealand breed, the large one a giant tarantula, plus an animatronic model) are all readily visible. The resolution is so good that in some shots you can even make out the thin wires attached to the spiders by their wranglers to control them. The image is somewhat soft, which is appropriate not only to the subject matter, but also because the film pre-dates the hard-edged digital look that has become standard twenty-two years later. (The cinematographer was Mikael Solomon, who shot The Abyss.) With black levels appropriately set, the visible detail is even better on the remastered version.

Colors generally run to the pastel and delicate, but they are now better saturated without the unnecessary overlay of gray on the original Blu-ray. The Venezuelan sequences are the most obvious beneficiary of this improvement, because there is no longer a distracting milky background or hazy overlay, and the greens of the jungle are truly verdant. In the shot where the expedition sees two colorful macaws fly by against a neutral background, the intense hues of the plumage stand out now, just as they should. The one aspect of the South American scenes that may give viewers pause—and it may even explain why the brightness levels were initially cranked up too high—is that the opening sequence, before the expedition descends into the "sinkhole", now looks unusually dark. Since the rest of the film appears correct, this has to be attributed to the original element; it may well be a result of the optical superimposition of the credit sequence, which ends just before the expedition reaches the bottom of the sinkhole.

There is only one slightly negative side effect of the correct brightness level, which is that video noise is occasionally more visible than it was when the grayish blacks washed it out. It's a small price to pay for the many benefits of an overall more accurate image, and, on the plus side, it's confirmation that the image hasn't been compromised by filtering or other noise reduction techniques.


Arachnophobia Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

The standard release format for Arachnophobia was Dolby Surround, and IMDb indicates that there was also a 70mm blow-up with six-track sound. Unlike some other DTS-HD MA 5.1 tracks I have reviewed recently for which a six-track mix was prepared at the time of release, the track for Arachnophobia did not exhibit noticeably more bass extension or obvious separation than a Dolby Surround mix repurposed for 5.1. The dialogue and effects are clearly rendered, and there's a general sense of ambiance, but few showy rear channel effects grab your attention. (This may be because the film's villains are stealth aggressors who attack in silence.) The most obvious exception is a brief early sequence in Venezuela when the expedition uses smoke to cause insects to fall from a large tree, and the impacts can be heard around the room. The dialogue is always clear, even when John Goodman deliberately slurs and swallows his words for comic effect. The tongue-in-cheek horror score by Trevor Jones has been well-recorded and pitched at just the right level of urgency.



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Arachnophobia Blu-ray, News and Updates



Recall and Delay: Arachnophobia & The Great Mouse Detective - September 2, 2012

The Blu-ray release of Arachnophobia, which was due to hit store shelves on September 4, has been delayed to September 25, 2012 so that Disney can address "encoding issues" with the disc. The Great Mouse Detective has also been delayed to October 9, 2012, although ...


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