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Reds (Blu-ray) review

Reds (Blu-ray) review
« on: November 23, 2021, 11:04:45 PM »

Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 30, 2021
Rating: PG
Film: 2/5
Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton portray activists Louise Bryant and John Reed, two journalists whose romance is punctuated by the outbreak of WW1 and the Bolshevik Revolution.
My Thoughts
The first time I watched this movie was on VHS back in the late 1980s when I wasn’t particularly politically astute. Seeing it now over 30 years later it definitely rubbed me the wrong way as a right-leaning guy. From a cinematic point of view, I can appreciate the passion that Beatty had for this project that took over a year to shoot and cost a boatload of money, but as a film, I think it’s a bloated mess that hasn’t aged very well at all. The Oscars has always been political in their choices, but I’m shoed that this film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and winning three—director Warren Beatty, supporting actress Maureen Stapleton and cinematography by Tittorio Storaro. Of the three awards, only the cinematography was warranted, in my opinion.
My biggest gripe with the film—other than the overtly long 195 minutes—is that it really doesn’t know what it wants to be…a love story, a documentary, or a period piece about the Russian revolution. Unfortunately, it dabbles in all three of these areas and doesn’t particularly do any of them any justice. I harbor no sympathies for communist promoters and could give a rat’s ass of the travails that Reed encountered as he promoted communism around the world. Communism has killed more people in the past 100+ years than any other form of government in the history of time, but good luck getting this point across to the brainwashed millennials who actually think “it just wasn’t done right.” Sorry for the political rant, but I just couldn’t help myself.
In regard to the video presentation, Paramount has hit a home run with this title. Frankly, I’m shocked this didn’t get included in the Paramount Presents line given the film’s pedigree, but it looks every bit as good as their showcase titles. Grain is kept in-tact with an accurate color palette. Skin tones are lifelike and revealing, black levels are to die-for, and the Oscar-winning cinematography is a sight to behold.
Like the video, the audio has been restored with a newly minted Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack and while it lacks the depth and detail of a modern-day mix, it does an excellent job of bringing new life to the audio track. As expected, it’s very front focused but there is occasion use of the surround speakers that brings some atmospheric heft to the production.
Video 5/5 (AVC)
 Audio 4.5/5 (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)

Special Features:
  • Witness to Reds: The Rising
  • Witness to Reds: Comrades
  • Witness to Reds: Testimonials
  • Witness to Reds: The March
  • Witness to Reds: Revolution, Part 1
  • Witness to Reds: Revolution, Part 2
  • Witness to Reds: Propaganda
  • Reds Trailer
  • Blu-ray + Digital Copy

It’s interesting that this film debuted in 1981, right when the Reagan Revolution was taking hold in American politics. If this was a historical drama about the Russian Revolution, I wouldn’t have had as many issues with the film, but this film could have come straight out of the Kremlin propaganda machine. Thankfully, the USSR folded less than a decade later because you can only keep your people under the thumb of tyranny for so long before the thirst for freedom finally breaks free. Politics aside, I found the film to be overall boring and unfocused, but what do I know?
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen
Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: URC MX-990
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
SVS SB-3000 Subwoofer
JL Audio Dominion F110 Subwoofer x 2
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: Reds (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 11:43:06 AM »
Thanks for taking one for the team. Hard pass. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Reds (Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2021, 08:21:43 AM »
Al David takes a lot of the team. And for that we thank you
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