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El Norte Blu-ray

United States
DigiPack / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1983 | 122 min | Rated R | Jan 20, 2009

El Norte (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio
English: LPCM Mono
Spanish: LPCM Mono
K'iche': LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English

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

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing
DigiPack

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95, Price history
Amazon: $26.71 (Save 33%)
New from: $19.98 (Save 50%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.0
31
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.2 of 54.2
Audio 4.2 of 54.2
Extras 4.2 of 54.2
Based on 7 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Thriller-
Adventure-
60%
popularity
640
collections
10
fans




El Norte

 (1983)

El Norte Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

"When will we find a home?" Rosa asks her brother Enrique at the end of their long journey. Alone in a strange land, they have only each other. The search for roots and the importance of family inform Gregory Nava's and Anna Thomas's lyrical and emotionally powerful El Norte, just as they will the filmmakers' later My Family, which showed at Sundance in 1995. One of the first films to portray faithfully the plight of Central American political refugees, El Norte is a remarkable fusion of documentary realism and visual poetry. When their father is killed and their mother arrested by the military, Rosa and Enrique flee the coffee fields of Guatemala for el norte, a place they know only from pictures in their godmother Josefita's Better Homes and Gardens magazines. Their trip is often harrowing, taking them through the teeming squalor of Tijuana to the anonymous streets of Los Angeles, but there is time for joy and laughter, too. They learn English in a lively night school, and when Rosa is intimidated by the laundry room in the house she is cleaning at her new job, she washes the clothes by hand and spreads them on the lawn to dry as she used to do at home. Thomas's eloquently crafted characters are brought to vibrant life by Zaide Gutierrez's and David Villalpando's remarkable performances, and the authentic music and James Glennon's moody cinematography create an indelible sense of place.

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

Starring: David Villalpando, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, John Martin, Trinidad Silva, Tony Plana, Larry Cedar
Director: Gregory Nava

» See full cast & crew


El Norte Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC, and granted a 1080p transfer Gregory Nava's El Norte arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of the Criterion Collection.

I was very much looking forward to this disc given the fact that my only exposure to El Norte was via a worn-out VHS tape the film library of a major academic institution had in its collection. The VHS tape was in a terrible condition and, if I recall correctly, the only copy in circulation. So, I was very excited when I found out that Criterion were planning a Blu-ray release of Nava's film. This being said, El Norte certainly looks to have aged quite a bit. The print provided by Criterion reveals some mild contrast fluctuations, color-pulsations, and a generally good level of detail. Furthermore, film grain is intact and I did not detect any DNR alterations either. On the other hand, the actual print is clean - dirt, debris, and damage are not an issue of concern here. As I mentioned earlier, however, I noticed a few interesting contrast fluctuations (mostly during the first twenty scenes, during the village nighttime scenes). I assume that they are, more than likely, embedded into the actual master print. Nevertheless, the transfer looks quite strong and I have absolutely no problem recommending the Blu-ray disc to those of you interested in its content. Furthermore, El Norte certainly looks the best I've seen it look, and I believe that fans of the film will be exceptionally pleased with Criterion's presentation. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc which you will not be able to play on your Region-B PS3 or SA. You will need a Region-Free or Region-A hardware to playback it).


El Norte Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

K'iche', Spanish, and English: Uncompressed Monaural audio track is what you will find on this Blu-ray disc. Generally speaking, the audio presentation is on par with the video treatment. The dialog is crystal clear and very easy to follow and I did not detect any pops, cracks, or hissing. The music soundtrack, a colorful collection of tunes by The Folkloristas, Malecio Martinez, Linda O'Brien, Emil Richards (and a short fragment from Barber's Adagio for Strings, Op. 11), is quite effective in enhancing the dramatic journey the two protagonists embark on. Furthermore, the music appears well-blended with the dialog and I did not detect any balance issues to report here either. The audio is also notably crisp, well-rounded, and without any problematic volume fluctuations. Optional English, white, subtitles are provided for the main feature.



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El Norte Blu-ray, News and Updates



Special Features for El Norte Announced - November 7, 2008

The Criterion Collection has announced the special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'El Norte', which is currently scheduled to hit store shelves on January 20th. Technical specs have yet to be announced, by you can expect to see 1080p video accompanied ...

Criterion Plans El Norte, Adds Revanche - October 29, 2008

The Criterion Collection has revealed that they will bring the Gregory Nava film 'El Norte' to Blu-ray on January 20th. No technical specs or special features have been announced at this time. Additionally, Criterion Collection in conjunction with their sister ...




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