Moulin Rouge (Blu-ray) (2001)

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Released 3-Nov-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Musical Introduction-Baz Luhrmann
Featurette-Making Of
Audio Commentary-B Luhrmann , C Martin, D McAlpine ,Craig Pierce
More…-Picture-In-Picture Feature
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-A Creative Adventure
Featurette-Making Of-The House of Iona
Featurette-The Stars
Interviews-Crew
Featurette-Craig Pearce Reads Early Treatment
Notes-Old Storylines and Script Comparisons
Deleted Scenes-5
Featurette-Director's Mock Previsualizations
Featurette-Extended Dance Sequences (4) plus intro
Multiple Angles-Dance (3)
Easter Egg
Featurette-The Musical Journey; Live MTV Movie Awards
Music Video-Lady Marmalade
Gallery-Set (9),Cost (4),Graphic,Photo (5),Little Red Book,Poster
Featurette-Evolution Of The Intro;Green Fairy; Internat Sizzle Reel
Trailer-4 + Disc Credits + Music Promo
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 122
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Baz Luhrmann
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Nicole Kidman
Ewan McGregor
John Leguizamo
Jim Broadbent
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $32.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Danish
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish
Finnish Audio Commentary
Norwegian
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Swedish Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It is strange that a film that made over $150 million at the Box Office and snared 8 Oscar nominations should have such a divisive reputation. Moulin Rouge! set the world abuzz in 2001 and is justly seen as the dual career pinnacles of Baz Luhrmann and Nicole Kidman - a pair of stars cresting the white hot peaks of their careers. Of course Kidman produced other great films in the ensuing year - The Others, Cold Mountain and her Oscar winning turn in The Hours. But never has she been so luminous, so starlike - so beautiful. It is almost as if the reputation of the film has been coloured by the declining fortunes of the pair, Kidman in a series of flops and unlikeable films and Luhrmann with his big budget folly Australia. Perhaps that is why Moulin Rouge has crept onto Blu-ray with little fanfare, instead of the high kicks it dished out in its original home theatre incarnation.

     That release was comprehensively reviewed on this site many years ago. To that review I suggest the curious should turn to learn about the plot of this important film.

     To lovers of the film the question is simple - should you update to high definition? In fact, true lovers of the film tend to be vociferous in their admiration and probably had it on pre-order for some time. For those who admire the film but are not a slave to it - is this worth purchasing? As always that question comes down to a few simple questions:

  1. Is the vision a significant improvement?
  2. Is the sound a significant improvement?
  3. Are there new and interesting extras?

     The answers? See below...

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Transfer Quality

Video

     It is often said of a certain catalogue title that it was "made for High Definition". Sometimes the hype is unjustified. Well, Moulin Rouge ! was made for High Definition. Seriously.

     It goes without saying that it is in the original cinematic aspect ratio. When the film was reviewed back in 2001 it was widely lauded for its razor sharp image and eye candy colours. Putting the original DVD and the new Blu-ray up against each other shows the huge upgrade High Definition has made to the film. Everything you need to know about the beauty of this Blu-ray can be seen in two excerpts - the Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend mash-up, where Satine descends from the Gods, and the Elephant Love Medley love song pastiche on the top of the elephant. The first shows off the crispness of the Blu-ray to perfection. Check out, if it is your thing, the saliva swimming around Kidman's perfect teeth in the close-up as she begins her song. Marvel at the million sparkles shooting off from her dress. Then in the later scene check out the purity and crispness of the colours.

     This movie has more colour that anything I can remember - there seem to be hundreds of variants of red alone. Trust me, after the final Indian Love Song, with its dazzling and dizzying array of colours you will need a Bex and a good lie down! In fact, the image quality is so clear that tiny moments in the film, such as where it seems that the focus puller was riffling through his bag for a Snickers, are noticeable for falling below perfection. There is a lot of post-production gone into the film, with some sequences treated and aged to achieve a certain look and at times the actors are lit to make the image softer. Overall this is a showcase for Blu-ray, despite the fact that it is almost 10 years old.

     There are a bunch of subtitles: English Hearing Impaired, English Commentary , Danish, Danish Commentary, Finnish, Finnish Commentary, Norwegian, Norwegian Commentary, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Swedish Commentary. They are clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The all important audio for Moulin Rouge! has as its centrepiece an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. There are other tracks:

     The dialogue for the film can be heard clearly. The musical numbers are well presented although it must be said that the songs are often dense, heavily orchestrated numbers - the sort of songs that sent some people out of the cinema elated and others with oncoming migraines. It is perhaps in the quieter moments that this track comes to the fore - when the lovers sing earnestly to each other or the Roxanne tango cover. There is a real snap to the DTS HD track which is missing from the ordinary Dolby Digital tracks.

     There are no technical defects with the track. The bass is ably supported by the sub-woofer and there are some occasional surround sounds which emphasize the spread of the track but generally this is a front and centre piece.

     No one could be disappointed at the audio for the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The 2001 DVD was awash with extra features. This Blu-ray release ports over those extras and jumbles them up so it can be a little bit hard to work out what is new and what is repeated. I commend you to the earlier DVD review for a summary of the merits of each existing featurette.

     So what is new? Not a great deal actually. Is that a bad thing? Again, not really. The extras for the DVD release were comprehensive and interesting and unlikely to be improved upon by the 9 year gap. The commentary tracks have been combined into one and the Picture-in-Picture mode works well bringing established comments and features into the frame throughout the film.It is one of the first of these features that is actually fun to use.

     The new material is as follows:

A Word from Baz 1.58

     Baz introduces the Blu-ray somewhat nervously as though he is not sure how the fans will like the tinkering that has gone on with the film.

A Creative Adventure 11.04

     A featurette about the film and it's context within the Luhrmann canon.

The House of Iona 7.11

     Not exactly Skywalker Ranch or Troublemaker Studios, this is where Baz and the creative team hang-out and make magic happen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This Blu-ray is identical to other Regions.

Summary

      Moulin Rouge! hits Blu-ray with the force of a gale. The film is perfectly suited to the medium and fans will be extracting every ounce of joy from it for months to come.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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