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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2012

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"Manhattan" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-january-2012-manhattan

Synopsis

Manhattan is a story about Isaac Davis (Woody Allen), a man torn between two women, but really is more a love affair about Isaac and New York City.  The central character focus in Manhattan is on Isaac and his high school girlfriend Tracy, and his friend Yale and his mistress Mary.  When Isaac runs into Mary as a social event and begins to develop feelings for her, the love triangle beings to get even more complex and none of the men can consistently decide what they want.

Specifications

  • MGM
  • 1979, B&W, R, 96 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Woody Allen, Mariel Hemmingway, and Diane Keaton
  • Directed by Woody Allen
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

The opening of Manhattan is one of my favorites from any film, with striking black-and-white shots of New York set to the sounds of Gershwin.  The first movie that Woody Allen shot in Cinemascope, all in black and white, with a wonderful soundtrack, it really is a film that I could watch even with no dialogue to go along with it.  The storyline and characters are well done and really make for an enjoyable experience, but it’s the artistic elements that I always remember from the film and make me want to watch it again.  One of the best films of Woody Allen’s long career, and one I’m very excited to finally have on Blu-ray.

Technical

Shot in black and white in cinemascope, Manhattan has never looked better at home.  Night shots feature very heavy grain, and some of the shots in the opening sequence are a bit dark, but overall the film looks fantastic.  Other than a couple of shots that looked a bit soft, this is a wonderful transfer and looks amazing.

Like all Woody Allen films, Manhattan is originally a mono soundtrack and here it is presented in lossless stereo.  A good decision compared to previous DVD releases that were true mono as it lets more people take advantage of the two best speakers in their system.  You will find that dialogue is clear and the score comes across very well.  Manhattan is never going to sound like an action blockbuster, but it might never sound any better than this.

Extras

There is a trailer here, and that’s it, since it is a Woody Allen film and he hates supplements.