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The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray

United States
Warner Bros. | 1981 | 121 min | Rated R | Jan 21, 2014

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (18.41 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
French: Dolby Digital Mono
German: Dolby Digital Mono
Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German SDH, Italian

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

Region A, B (C untested)

List price: $19.98, Price history

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Movie rating
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Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal


The Postman Always Rings Twice


The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

The sensuous wife of a road stop proprietor and a drifter begin a steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

For more about The Postman Always Rings Twice and the The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray release, see the The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Jack Nicholson (I), Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner, John P. Ryan, Anjelica Huston
Director: Bob Rafelson

» See full cast & crew

The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Rafelson's remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice was originally supposed to be released on Blu-ray in November 2012 along with the 1946 black-and-white classic, but it was repeatedly postponed. One can reasonably surmise that the delay was to allow for Rafelson, Nicholson and Mamet to be interviewed for the new "scene-specific" commentary. Now that the wait is over, the story on the video front is a mixture of good news and bad.

First the good news. Warner couldn't recycle an old DVD transfer, because the only region 1 DVD of this Postman ever released was full-frame. The 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray faithfully reproduces the fine detail, deep blacks and precisely cast shadows of cinematographer Sven Nykvist's photography, along with its evocative earth-toned palette. Postman is set almost entirely in the dry California countryside of the Depression, and Nykvist (and production designer George Jenkins) colored the image to be interesting without being overly pretty. Those who routinely accuse Warner of spreading a "teal wash" over its Blu-rays will have to wilfully ignore The Postman Always Rings Twice, because it doesn't support their theory. If they're seeing teal in this image, their sets need adjustment.

Now the bad news. A BDInfo scan of this disc reveals that the 121-minute film occupies approximately 19.5 Gb of disc space, for an average bitrate of 18.41 Mbps, which is tight compression even by Warner's typically thrifty standards. With only a standard-definition trailer to accompany it, Postman was obviously intended for a BD-25. When the decision was made to include a new commentary, it wasn't added as a new language track, which would have required reauthoring the main feature. Instead, a second copy of the film was added, omitting sections without commentary; this second copy of the film runs just over 81 minutes and occupies almost 13 Gb. The combination of these two copies necessitated the use of a BD-50, but Warner did not go back and reauthor the main feature for better compression, even though the disc now had an additional 16 Gb of unused space.

The result? Despite the growing skill of compressionists, at a certain point there's no avoiding artifacts, and Postman's compression is too tight. Tiny artifacts of the kind commonly called "mosquito noise" are visible at numerous points throughout the film. They can most readily be observed in large expanses of light colors such as sky or walls, but they also appear as a kind of rippling in dark portions of the frame, where they might be mistaken for aliasing. The phenomenon is difficult to capture in screenshots, but the larger the image is projected, the more obvious it will be in motion.

Related to this issue is the notable absence of visible film grain (although some viewers may mistake the compression-related noise for grain). This is not the effect of so-called "DNR", a term that has now been so indiscriminately used that it barely means anything, but more likely results from the kind of sophisticated degraining software now available in the standard digital intermediate suite, which is routinely applied to newly shot film before it ever reaches the multiplex. Grain can now be removed without major sacrifice of detail, and if one is planning to aim for tight compression, degraining is a common first step.

This is not to say that Postman is "unwatchable", "a travesty" or any of the other hyperbolic expressions randomly applied on internet forums. Quite the opposite is the case, especially on screens smaller than 65" in diameter. But what is especially unfortunate is that, after such a long wait and what was obviously a superior image capture, Warner did not go back and at least redo the compression to improve the bitrate and ensure that no artifacts would appear on consumers' displays. After all this time, they owed us (and Rafelson) that much.

The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Postman was released in mono, which is reproduced here in lossless DTS-HD MA 1.0. The track is in very good condition, with fine dynamic range, clear dialogue and a sweetly musical reproduction of the painfully romantic score by Michael Small (Marathon Man), one of the essential composers of the Seventies, who Rafelson says in his commentary never got his due.

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The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray, News and Updates

This Week on Blu-ray: January 21-28 - January 19, 2014

For the week of January 21st, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment streets Captain Phillips on Blu-ray. Other titles include Blue Jasmine, Warner's The Postman Always Rings Twice, MGM's new RoboCop Blu-ray, Magnolia's Bad Milo release, and Criterion's loaded It's a ...

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) Blu-ray Dated - June 8, 2013

Having been delayed in 2012, the Blu-ray release of director Bob Rafelson and screenwriter David Mamet's The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) has a new release date: September 3rd. The film is an adaptation of the 1934 James M. Cain novel and the 1946 Tay Garnett ...

Two Versions of The Postman Always Rings Twice on Blu-ray - July 27, 2012

In November, Warner Home Entertainment will bring two versions of the film noir classic The Postman Always Rings Twice to Blu-ray - the 1946 original and the 1981 remake. These adaptations of James M. Cain's influential crime novel focus on how the torrid affair ...

» Show more related news posts for The Postman Always Rings Twice Blu-ray

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