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The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray

United States
Unrated Director's Cut Warner Bros. | 1997 | 144 min | Unrated | Sep 18, 2012

The Devil's Advocate (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (25.95 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

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

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish… (more)

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

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $19.98, Price history
Amazon: $13.99 (Save 30%)
New from: $12.29 (Save 38%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.4
203
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.1 of 54.1
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.5 of 53.5
Based on 2 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Supernatural100%
Mystery-
Thriller-
Drama-
70%
popularity
992
collections
32
fans




The Devil's Advocate

 (1997)

The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A hotshot lawyer gets more than he bargained for when he learns his new boss is Lucifer himself.

For more about The Devil's Advocate and the The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray release, see the The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Tamara Tunie, Judith Ivey
Director: Taylor Hackford

» See full cast & crew


The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

In his commentary, director Hackford praises The Devil's Advocate's cinematographer, Andrzej Bartkowiak, for understanding precisely the rich, dark look that he wanted for the film. Bartkowiak had done courtroom dramas for Sidney Lumet, but Hackford clearly was after something more seductive, so that even the courtroom scenes would have some degree of sensual allure (which is how Kevin experiences them). Aside from one specific issue, which I'll discuss separately below, Warner's 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray beautifully reproduces Bartkowiak's work, with excellent detail, deep, rich blacks and an almost tactile sheen on many of the expensive surfaces in the overdecorated New York apartments, offices and high-end stores that are the natural habitats of the successful lawyers and their clients and wives. A fine grain pattern is readily visible and does not appear to have been disturbed by filtering or other manipulation, nor is there any indication of artificial sharpening. Despite the large number of audio options, compression errors were not in evidence, probably because the extras are scant.

The one area where the image quality isn't quite up to these standards is in the large sculpture behind Milton's desk in his penthouse. As has been discussed at some length on the Blu-ray.com forum (and reflected in a somewhat cryptic note on the back of the Blu-ray case), after the film's release, sculptor Frederick Hart and the Washington National Cathedral sued Warner Brothers, claiming that the sculpture was an unauthorized copy of Hart's sculpture "Ex Nihilo", which is on permanent display at the cathedral. As a result of the litigation, Warner was required to remove the sculpture from all shots in which it appears, until the final section of the film when it comes to life, at which point it no longer resembles Hart's work.

The Warner effects department has replaced the sculpture in all prior scenes with an abstract display that resembles white clouds. For its era, the effects work was state of the art, but by today's standards, it's less than ideal. At Blu-ray resolution, there is minor image instability in these portions of the frame whenever the sculpture is in view. The work may have been good enough for DVD, but it isn't good enough for Blu-ray.

Finally, I note that the prior version of The Devil's Advocate containing these court-ordered alterations continued to be designated as R-rated on video, whereas this Blu-ray has been dubbed an "Unrated Director's Cut" with a note on the back: "This unrated version contains material different from the original R-rated version." I was not able to identify any change from the theatrical version (of which 475,000 DVDs were issued before the changes were made) other than the removal of Hart's statue. If anyone else identifies a difference, please let me know, and I will update the review.


The Devil's Advocate Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The sound mix for The Devil's Advocate, presented here in DTS-HD MA 5.1, demonstrates repeated and inventive use of "subjective" effects to convey the supernatural presence of evil, which may just as easily be in one's head as in the real world. An early example occurs when Kevin Lomax asks for a break in the Florida molestation trial and goes to wash his face in the men's room. An unearthly whoosh slides in from the right rear, where the reporter who will goad Kevin into continuing his defense is currently standing. Eddie Barzoon experiences similar sonic apparitions (to accompany the visual ones) during his fateful run in Central Park, and of course Mary Ann hears many odd things. Listen, as well, for the changes in sound when Kevin first sees Christabella in her office; it's as if her distant voice moves forward into his head.

In addition to these subtler effects, there are the obvious ones, such as Milton's voice circling the surround array when Kevin enters his penthouse near the end of the film. All of this is clearly delineated, along with the often elaborate dialogue, which is mostly centered but occasionally pans left or right. James Newton's Howard's score sounds appropriately foreboding and at times even operatically solemn.



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