has an average rating of 7.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
with booklet, “movieIQ” & featurettes
– 132 minutes
This uses 35.7GB for the movie out of 40.3GB total.
Street Date: September 8th, 2009
Overall Verdict – A Western Worth A Look
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was Co-Wrote and Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who previously had directed “Body Heat” in 1981 and later went on to direct “Wyatt Earp” in 1994 and “Dreamcatcher” in 2003. The film was an eighties re-invention of the western in ways, which was much needed and started a flood of western films to follow in the decades after it’s release.
The film follows four main characters that all by chance cross paths and work together to win in gunfights and make it to their destinations. The first character is named “Emmett” (played by Scott Glenn) who as we see in the opening scenes has just survived a gunfight. Emmett is determined to catch the guys who were shooting him in the opening scene so he gets his things together, jumps on a horse and starts on his way. Along the way Emmett comes across a man with a beard laying in the desert, looking to be about to die from dehydration. The man is named “Paden” (played by Kevin Kline) and he’s a previous gunslinger who has in the past worked with a man named “Cobb” (played by Brian Dennehy) who offers him a job. Paden turns down the job and joins up with Emmett to ride to Silverado.
While our new friends are on their way they come to a small town where they immediately meet some more folks. At first they are mistaken for a couple of guys who are set to guard a wagon carrying a large deal of money on it’s way to Silverado. Emmett and Paden watch the wagon train get on it’s way and go into the saloon. They sit down and have themselves something to eat and drink. In walks an African-American gentleman who is obviously looked at with prejudice in these times. He asks for a bottle of whiskey, he pays and then the trouble begins. In walks a “Sheriff John T. Langston” (played by John Cleese) who breaks up the bar fight that occurs and sends the man on his way. The man is named “Malachi ‘Mal’ Johnson” and an expert with the rifle. He may be gone for now but he’ll soon meet up with our two main characters.
Emmett is in this small town for a reason, he’s looking for his brother “Jake” (played by Kevin Costner). He ends up talking to the Sheriff and finds out where to find his brother, locked behind the city’s jail’s bars. Emmett has a plan to get his brother out and eventually even our friend Paden who ends up getting himself arrested. Long story short, they make a jail break and join up with Mal from earlier and are on their way to Silverado (as planned).
Overall, looking back on “Silverado” some 24 years old now, it’s easy to say that it’s a good western and definitely worth watching if you were like me and never had took the time to give it a chance. Especially when you take into consideration it’s all-star cast and even the co-stars like Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt & Rosanna Arquette.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte, dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. IMDb‘s aspect ratio “technical specifications” list this as being shot on 35mm film using Panavision’s Panaflex cameras and lenses. There’s definitely a good amount of detail found here that was not present in the previous couple DVD releases and even the “Superbit” DVD release. I’ll first mention that this does have some problems visually at first due to lighting conditions but once Scott Glenn walks through the door after his gunfight, you’ll feel more confident in the video quality. The black level here is solid, fleshtones are accurate and believe it or not, for an “old west” setting the color palette has some vibrancy to it at times and looks nice — especially scenes where you can see the mountains in the background and beautiful skylines. The transfer from 35mm to Hi-Def does look good for the most part but it does have a few iffy moments but it’s really nothing all too majorly distracting. There’s a good amount of film grain or soft tone present here which is to be expected from a mid-1980′s film. There are really no signs of any filters being used like DNR (digital noise reduction) or EE (edge enhancement) — nor any signs of compression artifacts, pixilation or other various flaws. It seems to be making good use of the disc and delivers a pretty solid “4 Star Rating” video presentation overall. There are some moments later in the film that feel they almost deserve a 4 star rating but the consistency isn’t solid enough to earn it that. Still with that being said, if you previously owned this on DVD, I think you’ll find it as a nice improvement.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround. The first thing you’ll notice here is the sounds of gunshots and even explosions have a lot of “oomph!” to them and sound very loud and realistic in the introduction fight sequence. Next thing you’ll notice, once things quieten down a tad, is the wonderful Score done by Bruce Broughton in the main title sequence. The Score gets lots of rear channel and a very strong bass presence here making very good use of the 5.1 soundscape. Once the credits are done and the intro music fades out you’ll notice that dialogue is mixed perfect through primarily the center channel with a bit of presence in the front left and right channels. Foley (background noises, sound effects) and such as a coyote howl to crickets chirping all come through nice here with a tad rear channel presence. The major action sequences throughout this 2 hour+ western make for some really nice, as well as loud at times sound quality. While it’s nowhere near something I’d consider reference material or a “demo disc“, it still does have a very impressive sound mix. “Silverado” earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality. Kudos to the folks at Sony in the sound department.
Bonus Materials are presented in Standard Definition video quality and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound @192kbps.
- BD-Live is included on this release which requires the user to be on a “Profile 2.0” internet capable Blu-ray Disc Player.
- “movieIQ” (powered by gracenote) is a new feature that uses BD-Live to retrieve live in-movie information about the film, the cast, the crew, music and production. This also would appear to be using Bonus View to deliver the pop-up facts. That means it requires a “Profile 1.1” or higher capable Blu-ray Player — which in this case you need BD-Live (Profile 2.0) to access the feature so chances are you’ll have a capable player. If not, I don’t think you’ll be able to access this content at all.
- “Along the Silverado Trail: A Western Historians’ Commentary” is an audio commentary track that can be toggled on / off in the menu. The panel on this commentary is made up of western historians and writers. This proves to be very informative and definitely worth watching in combination with “movieIQ” if you can.
- “A Return to Silverado with Kevin Costner” (21:01 – SD) is a nice retrospective with the co-star of the film who’s now went on to become a big name in Hollywood. This also features a lot of behind-the-scenes still photography as well.
- “The Making of Silverado” (37:01 – SD) is pretty lengthy and very informative. Co-Writer/Director Lawrence Kasdan offers some excellent interviews as well as the film’s cast and crew. If you enjoyed the film, this is a definite must-watch.
Overall, the bonus materials we get here are pretty decent when you factor in the booklet and packaging type (similar to “DigiBooks” from Warner), plus you have the new “movieIQ” feature that uses BD-Live and a handful of standard definition featurettes ported over from the DVD. Fans of the film will be somewhat pleased with the supplemental material here.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.