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Manhattan
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD 2.0 Mono
  • French Mono
  • Spanish Mono
  • English subtitles
  • French subtitles
  • Spanish subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical trailer

Manhattan

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Michael Murphy, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep
1979 | 96 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $24.99 | Series: MGM
Fox Home Entertainment

Release Date: January 24, 2012
Review Date: January 31, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

Forty-two-year-old Manhattan native Isaac Davis (Allen) has a job he hates, a seventeen-year-old girlfriend, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), he doesn't love, and a lesbian ex-wife, Jill (Meryl Streep), who's writing a tell-all book about their marriage...and whom he'd like to strangle. But when he meets his best friend's sexy intellectual mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton), Isaac falls head over heels in lust! Leaving Tracy, bedding Mary and quitting his job are just the beginnings of Isaac's quest for romance and fulfillment in a city where sex is as intimate as a handshake - and the gateway to true love...is a revolving door.


PICTURE

MGM and Fox give Woody Allenís Manhattan a complete work over, delivering a new black-and-white high-definition 1080p/24hz digital transfer that looks absolutely incredible and is one of the more striking upgrades Iíve seen over a previous DVD edition. It is presented in its original aspect ratio of about 2.35:1 on a dual-layer disc.

This is probably one of the more filmic high-definition transfers Iíve seen on Blu-ray and MGM has wisely decided to not use noise reduction, or at least used it to an acceptable level. Film grain remains intact and while it is a little heavy itís not at all intrusive. Definition is excellent, staggering in a lot of cases, with the finer details like patterns in tweed jackets or fine hairs popping off the screen. Gray levels are clean and distinct and blacks are inky but are not overly dark allowing you to still make out some details. The print has a few minor blemishes but this is a lot cleaner in comparison to the DVD.

Overall Iím very impressed with it. MGMís Blu-ray transfers for black-and-white films have been sort of average overall, looking as though theyíre simply reusing outdated high-def transfers made for their older DVD editions that have gone through excessive digital clean-up (The Apartment still does sort of have that look.) But this one is really stunning, and up to what I pretty much expect from companies like Criterion. Kudos to everyone involved in this.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The 2-channel DTS-HD MA mono track we get is also a surprise. Though I thought voices may be mixed a little low itís still clear and easy to hear. Gershwinís music, which is used as the filmís score, comes alive, despite the limitations of the track, and it has excellent range and depth. Sound quality overall is strong and I didnít detect any noise. Overall an above average mono track.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

All we get is a theatrical trailer since Allen isnít particularly fond of supplements for his films. Iíd love to hear a couple of statements on the film by Allen (especially since he considers it overrated) but whatíchya gonna do?

1/10

CLOSING

Absolutely beautiful looking release, a striking upgrade over the previous DVD edition and one of the more film-like transfers Iíve seen on Blu-ray. No, there arenít any features, but this still comes with a very high recommendation just for its transfer. Now, after this and Annie Hall, Iím ready for MGM and Fox to start getting more of Allenís work out on the format, especially if these two are going to represent the standard for what to expect.




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