Subway Blu-ray Review
'Subway' arrives on the Region B locked Blu-ray platform with a very pleasing looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer that's framed in the theatrically correct widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
While there's a fine veil of grain to behold, it simply reminds us of the fact that it was shot on film in the mid 1980's and it works well as part of the look. In some shots like car interiors in the opening car chase we're treated to some harsh grain in the darker areas to the extent that you might think they were shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm. As the cars descend into an underpass, the grain again jumps out at you, yet it looks intentional and acceptable.
Contrast is good throughout, although in occasional shots such as when Inspector Gesberg and his men go down to the Metro 'en masse', their faces take on a redness around the edges that you'd expect from some film stocks of this period. This is just an observation, not a complaint.
Blacks are nice and deep in the underground, with skin tones being realistically and therefore pleasingly rendered. It's probably not as bitingly sharp as a new film, but it certainly looks good, whether shown on a 50 inch plasma or projected on a 7 foot screen. There's no hint of ringing due to over sharpening, or dirt and dust on the print to spoil the view and we have a great depth to the shots thanks to the wide angle photography.
Overall, this is a faithful representation of a cult movie shot in the 1980's.
The audio on 'Subway' comes in a French LPCM 2.0 Stereo flavour, which is interesting as it was originally released with a Dolby 2.0 stereo track and we don't have a 5.1 surround or High Def sound format remix option on the disc. The disc submitted for review was a pre-production 'Testmold', so it should be the same as on the final release disc.
This isn't a problem however as the sound is nice and clear with crisp, clearly intelligible dialogue and those with a smattering of schoolboy French will spot that the subtitles don't always literally translate what the characters are actually saying. Thankfully we're spared a dubbed English track.
The Eric Serra music score might seem a bit dated, but it supplies the heartbeat for the film that matches its pace in a punchy, enjoyable manner that totally fits in with the look and feel of the picture. There's enough bass to make the music numbers live and breathe, but no earth shattering subwoofer involvement and obviously nothing from the surrounds.
A good track nonetheless.
The only extra on the disc is a French trailer (with no subs) for the movie that has a fairly low key approach to selling the movie.
Other than the ability to turn the subtitles on or off for the movie, this is a bare bones release.
The hugely stylish Luc Besson title 'Subway' arrives on Blu-ray with a very nice looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer that's framed in an eye pleasing 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio.
The excellent wide angle camerawork looks fantastic, complemented by good contrast levels and deep blacks. Skin tones look realistic and the picture is sharp with no hint of ringing to offend the eye.
The audio comes in a French LPCM 2.0 Stereo flavour, with no dubbed English option but subtitles may be turned on or off as required. Softly spoken dialogue is clear and the Eric Serra soundtrack is punchy enough to get your toes tapping without giving your sub-woofer a tough time or waking up your surrounds.
The only extra is a trailer for the movie itself, but this second entry in Besson's portfolio is worth buying just for the collection of strange, quirky characters encountered by stars Christophe Lambert and the lovely Isabelle Adjani in their descent into the Paris Metro as well as the opening car chase.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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