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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Italian PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Interview with director Francesco Rosi from 2004

The Moment of Truth

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Francesco Rosi
Starring: Miguel Mateo,
1964 | 107 Minutes | Licensor: Intramovies

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #595
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: January 24, 2012
Review Date: January 28, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi (Salvatore Giuliano) is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero-played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelin. Charting his rise and fall with a single-minded focus on the bloody business at hand, the film is at once gritty and operatic, placing the viewer right in the thick of the ring's action, as close to death as possible. Like all of the great Italian truth seeker's films, this is a not just an electrifying drama but also a profound and moving inquiry into a violent world-and perhaps the greatest bullfighting movie ever made.

Forum members rate this film 7/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Francesco Rosiís The Moment of Truth comes to Blu-ray from Criterion with a stunning new 1080p/24hz high-definition digital transfer presenting the film in its original aspect ratio of about 2.35:1 on a dual-layer disc.

The source can limit the presentation mildly but the digital transfer itself is almost pristine. The film is fairly grainy and it can get heavy but the transfer never falters in its handling of it, keeping it clean and natural and never noisy. Sharpness and detail is very impressive, with some of the finer details found on the Torero outfits popping off of the screen. Though the focus can go in and out during the bull fighting sequences, more than likely because of the quick movements, the image mostly remains sharp and crisp throughout. Colours are beautifully rendered, and look natural, but blacks donít entirely hold up, coming off a bit murky and crushed in places.

The print has some issues that can hamper the viewing. As stated it can get very grainy in places, which some might take issue with, and there are stray hairs that get caught in the frame here and there (a big one flickers about at the bottom of the frame for a short time close to the end) along with some other minor marks scattered about. But all told I really thought this presentation looked marvelous and very filmic, beautifully presenting the film.

8/10

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 audio for the film, which is presented in lossless linear PCM mono, shows its age. Like most Italian films voices have been recorded over in post-production, so they sound detached from the film and unnatural. Thereís a slight hiss thatís noticeable and the music sounds to pop on occasion, and all of this is not helped by the fact itís very weak, with no power or range. Overall itís not hard on the ears but is still a little disappointing.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

There isnít much on here but Criterion thankfully keeps this edition priced lower with an MSRP of $29.95. All we get is an interview with Francesco Rosi taken from an interview recorded with the director in 2004. Here, for about 14-minutes, he talks about this film, his first colour feature, how he came to want to make a film about bull fighting, and shares some stories about the photography, filming the bull fights, and points out some of the accidents that were captured. Itís actually a fairly informative interview and is a strong, sole inclusion on the disc, though doesnít make up for the lack of anything else.

Peter Matthews then includes a fairly lengthy essay in the booklet that accompanies this edition, going over the film, its protagonist, Rosiís work, and the presentation of bull fighting.

Iím a little surprised Criterion didnít go more out on this film, maybe even exploring the subject matter of bull fighting a little more, but Criterion has at least priced it right, making it a little easier to overlook.

3/10

CLOSING

The audio is weak and the lack of supplements is disappointing, but the video presentation is stunning. With its transfer, and the fact itís a at a lower price point, which means on sale you can probably find it for $15-$21 in some places, it comes recommended.


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