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Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray

United States
Sony Pictures | 1967-2005 | 2 Movies | 248 min | Unrated | Feb 17, 2009

Capote / In Cold Blood (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: see individual releases

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
French: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch
1 more titles… (more)

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (2 BDs)

Region A (B, C untested)

List price: $54.95, Price history

Amazon: $39.93 (Save 27%)
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Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 3.8 of 53.8
Extras 2.0 of 52.0
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal


Capote / In Cold Blood


Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray offers solid video and audio in this overall recommended Blu-ray release

In November, 1959, the shocking murder of a small town Kansas family captures the imagination of Truman Capote, famed author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

For more about Capote / In Cold Blood and the Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray release, see Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Robert Blake, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Scott Wilson, Catherine Keener, John Forsythe, Chris Cooper
Directors: Richard Brooks, Bennett Miller

This Blu-ray bundle includes the following titles, see individual titles for specs and details:


Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Brace yourselves... it's time for another classic, action-packed round of good news, bad news. First, the good. Both Capote and In Cold Blood feature 1080p/AVC-encoded transfers that completely outclass their murky DVD counterparts. Sadly, in a cruel twist of fate, Sony has granted In Cold Blood a proper and thorough remaster while giving Capote nothing more than a dodgy spit-shine. The result is a hit-or-miss double feature in which a 1967 catalog transfer bests its 2005 companion.

Cinematographer Adam Kimmel floods each frame of Capote with recessed shadows that drain his palette of color and gives Miller's scenes considerable dimensionality. Sony's transfer captures his every swath of light, replicating the cool contrast and moody primaries of the film's theatrical presentation. There are moments when warm hues rush to the forefront of the image, but skintones rarely flush, reds never falter, and whites never grow too hot. Delineation is a regular issue -- black levels aren't always fully resolved, noise clutters a few nighttime sequences, and detail is sometimes absorbed into the backgrounds -- but I didn't get the sense that it was the result of a faulty technical presentation. Unfortunately, other issues pointed to a bigger problem. Detail is sharp and refined one moment, and soft and indistinct the next; gaudy edge enhancement clings onto objects in the foregrounds and backgrounds (the most obvious instances reminded me of Warner's The Assassination of Jesse James transfer) in almost every scene; and faint artifacting and crush regularly appear in the darkest corners of the image. I would guess Sony simply took the previously-released DVD transfer, gave it a brief once over, and tossed it onto a Blu-ray disc to reap the inherent benefits on a high-def presentation. While it excels in some regards, I really wish the studio had taken their time with Capote and given it the transfer it so rightly deserves.

In Cold Blood, on the other hand, looks fantastic. Sure, it shows its age each time a speck, scratch, or bit of minor damage graces the screen, but the image is quite clean and, at-times, impeccable. Softness creeps into a few shots as well, but unlike Capote, such losses in clarity appear to be the product of the original print rather than the technical transfer. Detail is surprisingly exact -- textures are earthy, on-screen text is quite legible, and fine environmental elements like stones are underbrush are nicely defined. Blacks are deep and inky, midrange grays add excellent definition to skin and fabric, and whites are comfortable. I also didn't catch sight of any significant artifacting, noise, banding, or any disruptive grain inconsistencies. Some crush robs high-contrast scenes of minor detail, but it doesn't undermine the otherwise rejuvenated picture. I wouldn't go so far as to place the transfer at the top of the high-def heap (not with Casablanca and Good Night, Good Luck sitting just a few store shelves away), but it's definitely worth a fair amount of praise.

Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

Both Capote and In Cold Blood feature newly-mixed Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround tracks that represent their original sound design well. However, as is so often the case with quiet modern dramas and dated catalog films, the overall audio package can be a bit underwhelming.

To its credit, Capote delivers where it counts, fusing crisp dialogue, precise prioritization, atmospheric ambience, and convincing acoustics into a cohesive surround experience. If anything, its hushed tones and vacant spaces don't benefit from the polish or power that would leave audiophiles nodding their heads in approval. The LFE channel does little more than lend weight to car engines and prison doors, support the film's musical score, and make abrupt effects all the more unsettling (a gruesome third-act gallows drop comes to mind). Likewise, the rear speakers are rarely tasked with anything more aggressive than buzzing insects and swaying trees. Admittedly, the results are effective and immersive, producing an eerily naturalistic soundfield that never disconnects the viewer from the film itself. However, it's tough to get too excited about such subdued sonics.

In Cold Blood sounds relatively impressive for a forty-year old production, but its TrueHD track loses too many battles to the film's noticeably degraded source. Issues like popping and air hiss are distracting to say the least, clarity occasionally suffers from warbling and poor vocal prioritization, and a non-existent rear soundstage makes Sony's decision to issue a 5.1 remix rather arbitrary. Don't misunderstand, it's a solid effort with a reasonably clean soundfield and efficient presentation (especially considering the film's age and condition), but anyone looking for the latest-n-greatest catalog audio track will shrug their shoulders over what they hear. All in all, I'm sure most fans will be quick to forgive and forget its shortcomings... I suppose I just expected more shock and awe from a $40 release.

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Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray, News and Updates

Capote Double Feature Gets Detailed - December 22, 2008

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the technical specs and special features for the upcoming double-feature Blu-ray release of 'In Cold Blood / Capote', which is due to hit store shelves on February 17th. This two disc set will feature 2.35:1 1080p ...

In Cold Blood/Capote Blu-ray Double Feature - December 15, 2008

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the Blu-ray double feature 'In Cold Blood/Capote' to Blu-ray on February 17th. 'In Cold Blood' is the Oscar-nominated film based on Truman Capote's novel, and 'Capote' is the Oscar-award winning ...

Capote / In Cold Blood Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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