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Black Hawk Down cover

Blu-ray Reviews: Black Hawk Down

Not previously published
Last updated 23 October 2009

Black Hawk Down
2001 - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner, Sam Shepard, Gabriel Casseus, Kim Coates, Hugh Dancy, Ron Eldard, Ioan Gruffudd, Tom Guiry, Charlie Hofheimer and Danny Hoch

Movie: 4.5 Picture: TBA Sound: TBA Extras: 2.5

No review as yet.

Running time: 144 minutes
Picture: 2.40:1, 1080p24, MPEG2 @ 25.56Mbps
Sound: English: LPCM 16/48 3/2.1 @ 4608kbps; English, French: Dolby Digital 3/2.1 @ 640kbps; 3 x Commentaries (Mark Bowden & Ken Nolan/Jerry Bruckheimer & Ridley Scott/Veterans): Dolby Digital Surround 2/0.0 @ 192kbps
Subtitles: English, Engish SDH, French, Dutch, Arabic, Czech, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Polish, Turkish, English (Bruckheimer & Scott), English (Bowden & Ken Nolan), English (Veterans), French (Bruckheimer & Scott), French (Bowden & Ken Nolan), French (Veterans), Dutch (Bruckheimer & Scott), Dutch (Bowden & Ken Nolan), Dutch (Veterans)
Extras: Blu-Wizard seamless branching to selected special extras; 6 Featurettes (4:3, 480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 151 mins); 7669 Test Patterns (1080p24, MPEG2 - 1 min)
Restrictions: Rated MA (Australian rating); Region Free

The following video bitrate graph was generated by BDInfo 0.5.2:

Black Hawk Down video bitrate graph

Comparison: Blu-ray vs PAL DVD

Here are some comparisons between the Australian PAL DVD and the Blu-ray versions of this movie. The DVD version was one I had previously purchased, while the Blu-ray version was a commercial copy also purchased by me.

In the following examples, at the top of each is the full frame (suitably shrunk down) used in the comparison, with a 250 pixel wide detail from the frame underneath. The left side is from the PAL DVD. The image was captured digitally from the disc (using VideoReDo Plus), scaled up from its native 720 by 576 resolution to 1,024 by 576 (to present in the 16:9 aspect ratio), and then, in order to be comparable to the Blu-ray version, from that to 1,920 by 1,080. The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray (captured using the command-line media player MPplayer). This has not been scaled at all.

Since different applications were used to capture the two frames, I am not normally comfortable comparing the brightness or colour between the two. For those visitors from NTSC lands, generally PAL DVDs are just a touch sharper than NTSC DVDs.

This text overlay shows the significantly great sharpness of the Blu-ray:

Comparison 1

The crowd shown by the DVD consists of blurry blobs, rather than real people:

Comparison 2

At first glance there isn't a huge amount of difference between these two shots, until you inspect the dogtags chain:

Comparison 3

Comparison 4

Comparison 5

Comparison 6

© 2002-2009, Stephen Dawson