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We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray

United States
Oscilloscope Pictures | 1973-2011 | 2 Movies | 170 min | Not rated | Nov 13, 2012

We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much (Blu-ray)
Large:


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

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Note: Only the opening Oscillos...

Subtitles
See individual releases

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

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $34.99, Price history

Amazon: $19.18 (Save 45%)
New from: $14.99 (Save 57%)
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Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.5 of 53.5
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
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We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much

 (1973-2011)

We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray offers solid video and audio in this fan-pleasing Blu-ray release

Restored and reconstructed from its 1973 version, legendary director Nicholas Ray's We Can't Go Home Again embodies the director's practice of filmmaking as a "communal way of life." Made with his college students in upstate New York, the film features Ray as mentor, friend, and reference point to his students and their stories of love, sex, rebellion, and lost innocence.

For more about We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much and the We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray release, see We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.


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


We Can't Go Home Again
(No Release Date)
 

Don't Expect Too Much
(No Release Date)
 

We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

There's no use critiquing We Can't Go Home Again based on any of the usual perceived standards of "picture quality." The film is what it is, and the best we can do is describe how it looks and how true Oscilloscope's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is to intent. As for the latter, the presentation is free from the usual culprits—heavy compression, digital noise reduction, edge enhancement—and has a natural patina of visible grain. No problems there. As you can see from the screenshots, the 1.33:1 "background" image—which varies between four or five different still photos—has a smaller black mask inside it, onto which multiple streams of footage are projected, usually slightly overlapped. The source mediums span the spectrum— 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, video—so, naturally, clarity varies greatly, but given how small the images often are onscreen, this doesn't matter much. There are two or three instances where Ray breaks out of the synchronous overlapping images routine and displays full-screen content, and these also vary in sharpness. (Shot by student filmmakers inexperienced with focus pulling, you can expect lots of unintentionally blurry foregrounds.) The color balance seems accurate, with good contrast and dense hues. As far as I can tell, this recent restoration seems to nicely represent Nicholas Ray's vision for the project.

Susan Ray's Don't Expect Too Much is a similarly take-it-or-leave-it affair, presented in 1080p/AVC. She cobbles together behind-the-scenes and archival footage from a number of sources—most transferred in high definition, some not—and uses photographs as illustrations as well, many of which seem badly compressed or up-rezzed. Even the contemporary "talking head" interview sequences look a bit grungy, clearly shot against a green screen that's been replaced by a black background. On the whole, the picture is quite soft and noisy, but it's watchable at any rate.


We Can't Go Home Again / Don't Expect Too Much Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

Like the picture, We Can't Go Home Again's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is defined by its low-budget, lo-fi source material. (And I'm honestly baffled why this isn't just a stereo mix—I can't recall hearing much of anything out of the rear channels.) Recorded on location with a reel-to-reel machine, the audio often peaks, cracks, hisses, or cuts out suddenly, but in defense, it was and will always be this way. The best I can say is that it's almost always easy to make out what the actors/students are saying, and that the occasional narration and musical cues sound as good as they ever will. Don't Expect Too Much is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and while the vintage behind-the-scenes footage is subject to the same variations in "quality," the the modern interviews are clean and clearly recorded. Both the film and the documentary include optional English subtitles.


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