Open Range DVD Review
PictureSimply stunning! This is one of the cleanest transfers I have ever seen. Colours are rich and vivid, from the greens of valleys and open farmland to the ruddy browns of horses and cattle - this is a vibrant transfer with absolutely no bleed. I saw no video noise at all - in fact the only negative thing I could find to say about the image here was what I thought was a single scene that appeared to show a rather severe case of edge enhancement. I found it interesting that Costner mentions this scene in the audio commentary. I've taken a screen grab of this scene (14:23) - where Boss Spearman is framed with light “Marlboro Man” style. Personally, I think it is a case of edge enhancement... but if Kevin Costner says it was simply a beautifully lit, and natural scene then who am I to argue?!
If you like your images to be sharp and detailed with stunning scenery thrown in for good measure, then you will not be disappointed with picture quality. Although the Region 1 release also has excellent picture quality - this Region 2 offering is in the very top league.
SoundEarly on in the movie we are teased, almost, by the promise of what may come. The crack of thunder as the skies let loose their torrential downpour will make your skin goose bump in readiness for the crisp, cool air that follows in such weather... as long as you have your amp turned all the way up. It seems that the Region 2 release of Open Range has had its 448 Kbps Dolby Digital track recorded a good ten decibels quieter than almost any other DVD I've played. I have no idea why things have turned out this way, and although what we have here is solid and purposeful at times, it is definitely not quite as impressive as the DTS offering found on the Region 1 release.
Having said that the shootout scenes are handled superbly, with deep, tight bass that really hist the mark with gunshots sounding fearfully tight and sharp.
ExtrasKevin Costner narrates America's Open Range which is almost National Geographic in style and gives an insight into early cowboy life.
There are twelve deleted scenes, nine with lead in commentary by Costner. For once I feel that many of these scenes would have actually added something to the story had they been left in the finished movie, although it is obvious why some of them were left on the cutting room floor.
Storyboarding Open Range is an interesting, if short, insight into some of the novel ideas that take place behind the scenes of a movie.
Rounding off the supplemental features list is a somewhat out of place... music video!
The commentary and deleted scenes are the pick of the bunch of a nice set of extras, but it's a shame that not only do we in the U.K. lose the DTS track, but also the Beyond Open Range feature from our American counterpart.
VerdictIf you like character driven westerns then I'm sure you'll enjoy Open Range, which has a solid if slightly unremarkable soundtrack allied to an absolutely sublime image quality. Added to some truly breathtaking scenery this alone makes it worthy of the price of admission. Recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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