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A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.
For more about Rosemary's Baby and the Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray release, see Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on October 4, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy
Director: Roman Polanski
» See full cast & crew
Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, October 4, 2012
Winner of Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" (1968) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The supplemental features on the disc include a new documentary film, featuring interviews with director Roman Polanski, actress Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans; radio interview with author Ira Levin; and a feature-length documentary on the life and work of Polish jazz composer and musician Krzysztof Komeda. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Shortly after they move into their new apartment, Rosemary (Mia Farrow, High Heels, The Great Gatsby) and Guy (John Cassavetes, Machine Gun McCain, Opening Night) begin talking about having a baby. They both want one. But is this the right time? Guy does not think so. First he needs to get that great acting job he has been dreaming about; then he could become a father. Rosemary wants a baby now but is willing to wait. Good wives need to support their husbands and this is precisely what she intends to do. When the time is right, Guy will let her know.
In the building's laundry room Rosemary meets Terry (Victoria Vetri, Invasion of the Bee Girls), a charming and bubbly girl. Terry used to do drugs and live on the streets, but the Castevets, Minnie (Ruth Gordon, Harold and Maude) and Roman (Sidney Blackmer, Little Caesar), who live right across Rosemary and Guy, took her in. Without them Terry would have probably ended up in a plastic bag. Those were some truly awful times and she can't believe what she did to her body.
Eventually, Rosemary and Guy meet Minnie and Roman, right in front of their building, where a crowd has gathered around Terry's body. Rosemary's new friend apparently jumped off the seventh floor - but why? Like everyone else, Minnie and Roman are also shocked because to them Terry always looked like a girl who loved life.
In the days that follow Rosemary and Guy and Minnie and Roman begin spending time together. Then Guy gets his dream job and Rosemary becomes pregnant. The first people to learn about the baby are Minnie and Roman. Who knew that they would turn out to be such great neighbors? They even arrange for Rosemary to see Dr. Sapirstein (Ralph Bellamy, The Awful Truth), the best in the city. Rosemary liked Dr. Hill (Charles Grodin, Midnight Run), but if Dr. Sapirstein truly is the best…
Back in the apartment Minnie shows up with a glass full of something - you know, "ships and snails and puppy dogs' tails". It is good for future moms. Rosemary will feel so much better after she drinks it. She does, and soon after begins losing weight.
A few days later Hutch (Maurice Evans, Beneath the Planet of the Apes) visits Rosemary. Hutch is an old friend who has just found out that Rosemary is pregnant. It is great news but he can't believe how bad she looks. They talk and then arrange to meet again. But on the day of their meeting, Rosemary learns that Hutch is in a deep coma. After he dies, she is given a book he apparently wanted her to have. The book is about witches and black magic.
Roman Polanski's adaptation of Ira Levin's novel is often described as a great horror film and for a good reason – the atmosphere in it is damn near perfect. For a long period of time everything in the film seems normal, but just like Rosemary the viewer feels that something is off. But what?
There are clues about what is underway all over the film, but most of them are so bizarre that they can't be taken seriously. Polanski knows it, and plays with the viewer's expectations. Right until the finale, the viewer isn't entirely sure what type of film Rosemary's Baby is. How's that? A few very small changes at the end would have made it a pretty good thriller, or an unusually effective black comedy, or terrific drama.
The cast here truly is phenomenal. Farrow is incredible as the initially naive and then suspicious Rosemary who can't get a break. Cassavetes was also a great pick to play her husband who, how ironic is this, is also a struggling actor. Gordon also unquestionably deserves the Oscar she was awarded for her portrayal of the nosy neighbor. Great film.
Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.
The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:
"Approved by director Roman Polanski, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner from the original 35mm camera negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, splices, warps, and jitter were manually removed using MTI's DRS and Pixel Farm's PFClean, while Image Systems' Phoenix was used for small dirt, flicker, and scratches.
Transfer supervisors: Lee Kline, Maria Palazzola.
Colorist: Sheri Eisenberg/Colorworks, Culver City, CA.
Additional color correction: Gilles Granier/LTC, Paris.
Audio supervisor: Ryan Hullings.
Audio restoration: Gene Park."
The new and approved by director Roman Polanski high-definition transfer is very strong. Not only are detail and clarity dramatically improved, but color stability is vastly superior (a quick comparison with the out of print R1 DVD release, which Paramount Pictures produced in 2003, reveals a massive gap in quality). Furthermore, there are various close-ups of Rosemary's changing face throughout the film that are so good that actually there is an abundance of easy to see details and textures now that are nowhere to be seen on the DVD release. Shadow definition is also greatly improved. What pleases the most, however, is the very solid organic look the film has. There isn't even a whiff of edge-enhancement, while grain is evenly distributed and well resolved from start to finish. It is also easy to see that the folks at Criterion have carefully cleaned up the film as it is virtually spotless (only the opticals in the very beginning show some inherited rougher spots). Lastly, excluding a few extremely light artifacts, compression is also very strong. To sum it all up, much like Criterion's highly anticipated release of David Fincher's The Game, Rosemary's Baby has been given a complete makeover and the final result is indeed mighty impressive. Fans of the film are in for a very, very special treat. (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).
Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 1.0. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The lossless track opens up the film far better than the lossy track found on the R1 DVD release. The sound is thick, well rounded, and there is a very good range of nuanced dynamics. It is also pretty easy to tell that depth is far better. There is no background hiss, pops, cracks, dropouts or distortions.
Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Rosemary's Baby Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Rosemary's Baby has been given a complete makeover and the final result is indeed mighty impressive. Fans of the film who have been asking and waiting for a solid Blu-ray release are in for a very, very special treat. Criterion's release also comes with an outstanding new documentary featuring brand new interviews with director Roman Polanski, actress Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans, as well as a very interesting new Polish documentary about the life and legacy of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda. Enjoy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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