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Army of Shadows Blu-ray

United States
L'armée des ombres / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1969 | 145 min | Not rated | Jan 11, 2011

Army of Shadows (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (21.10 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.84:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio
French: LPCM Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles
English

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

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95  

Amazon: $39.95
Best Buy: $34.99 (Save 12%)  

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.4
138
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.6 of 54.6
Extras 4.9 of 54.9
Based on 6 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Foreign62%
War13%
80%
popularity
1464
collections
25
fans




Army of Shadows

 (1969)

Army of Shadows Blu-ray delivers great video and superb audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

The film follows a band of resistance fighters in German-controlled France. As the war continues, the grip of the occupying force tightens, and friendships, loyalty and trust give way to suspicion, secrecy and loss.

For more about Army of Shadows and the Army of Shadows Blu-ray release, see Army of Shadows Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Writer: Jean-Pierre Melville
Starring: Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret, Claude Mann, Paul Crauchet

» See full cast & crew


Army of Shadows Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.84:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"Supervised by director of photography Pierre Lhomme, this high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit Datacine from the original 35mm camera negative, restored by Studio Canal. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS system and Pixel Farm's PFClean system, while Digital Vision's DVNR system was used for small dirt, grain, and noise reduction.

Telecine supervisor: Pierre Lhomme.
Telecine colorist: Raymond Terrentin/Eclair, Paris."

This Blu-ray release represents a strong upgrade in quality over the R2 Pan-European SDVD release of Army of Shadows Studio Canal released quite some time ago. Fine object detail is very good, clarity dramatically improved, and contrast levels consistent throughout the entire film. It is the color reproduction, however, that impresses the most - the variety of cold blues, browns, grays, and blacks look fantastic. The nighttime scenes in particular have benefited enormously; on the R2 SDVD many of them look blocky and even smeared, but now they are well detailed and full of healthy colors. Edge-enhancement is not an issue of concern, though I noticed traces of it popping up here and there. Additionally, some minor noise corrections have been performed, but the fine film grain has been retained. Many of the close-ups for instance look wonderful. There are no serious stability issues either; however, early into the film, and at the very end (where the main characters' profiles are listed), I noticed some extremely light background shimmer. All in all, I am indeed very pleased with the technical treatment. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).


Army of Shadows Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French LPCM 1.0 and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (with potions of German and English). For the record, Criterion have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"The monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm magnetic tracks. The stereo track was created by Studio Canal from the original stems. Clicks, thumps, hiss, and hum were manually removed using Pro Tools HD. Crackle was attenuated using AudioCube's integrated audio workstation."

The French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is excellent. The dialog is crisp, clean, stable, and exceptionally easy to follow. There are no balance issues with Eric Demarsan's moody music score either. I also did not detect any disturbing pops, cracks, or audio dropouts to report in this review.

I ran a couple of quick comparisons between the French LPCM 1.0 track, the French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track, and the French Dolby Digital 2.0 track from the R2 SDVD. The French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track clearly has the stronger dynamic amplitude - when Philippe Gerbier is getting ready to jump from the British plane, the engine noise is most effective on the French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. The underground execution scene also sounds better with the French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. The dialog, however, is just as clean, stable, and easy to follow on the French LPCM 1.0 track.



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Army of Shadows Blu-ray, News and Updates



Criterion Blu-ray in January 2011: Brooks, Fuller, Haskin, Melville - October 15, 2010

After a quiet December, Criterion will kick off the New Year with renewed energy, as five very varied titles have been announced for Blu-ray release in January. On January 11, The Army of Shadows (L'armée des ombres; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969) and Robinson Crusoe ...


Army of Shadows Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



Topic Replies Last post
Army of Darkness 192 Sep 13, 2011
Army of Darkness -> Sept 15 171 Nov 14, 2011
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