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Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review

Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: November 09, 2022, 07:39:43 PM »


Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: November 8, 2022
Rating: PG
Film: 5/5

Plot
 Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more – personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance. Can the man who refuses to “stick his neck out for nobody” throw away his cynicism and do the right thing?


 My Thoughts

The story is based on the unproduced play, "Everybody Comes to Rick's" by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, Casablanca was just one of the hundreds of back-lot studio productions churned out by Warner Brothers filled with contract actors. Jack Warner initially wanted George Raft to play Bogart's part, but producer Hal Wallis prevailed and solidified Bogart as one of the greatest actors of his generation. While AFI ranks this as the #2 film of all time, it's at the top of my list due to its timeless plot, first-rate performances from the entire cast, and of course, some of the most memorable lines in movie history.

From the studio:
The new Casablanca 4K Ultra High-Definition image was restored and remastered from a 2022 4K 16bit film scan of the best-surviving nitrate film elements. The 4K-scanned digital images went through an extensive digital restoration process to clean and repair the picture for an unprecedented and pristine ultra-high-resolution presentation.  The restored images were then graded in High Dynamic Range for today’s premium 4K display experience, providing the highest fidelity in image contrast and detail retention.  This work was meticulously handled by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging.  The original theatrical mono audio has also been newly restored as well, providing a richer and broader frequency response than previously possible.

I own the 70th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film and never thought it could look better—boy was I wrong. Black and white films seem to shine in 4K and this one is no exception. This film looks like it was shot yesterday, not 80 years ago. The studio blurb above explains the process the film went through for this presentation and the engineers at Warner deserve a raise. They’ve made the classic picture look brand new. Sure, there’s grain (it was shot on film), so it doesn’t look like the ultra-clean digital presentations of today, but I’d rather have that than some butchered DNR-fest that some studios like to employ.

Video 10/10

Audio 9.5/10 (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono)

Special Features:
  • Commentary by Roger Ebert
  • Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
  • Introduction by Lauren Bacall
  • Warner Night at the Movies
    • Now, Voyager trailer
    • Newsreel
    • Vaudeville Days (1942 WB short)
    • The Bird Came C.O.D (1942 WB cartoon)
    • The Squakin’ Hawk (1942 WB cartoon)
    • The Dover Boys at Pimento University (1942 WB cartoon)
  • Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988 PBS special)
  • Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You’ve Never Heard Of
  • Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic
  • You Must Remember this: A Tribute to Casablanca (1992 TEC documentary)
  • As Time Goes By: The Children Remember
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Who Hold Tomorrow? (1955 “Casablanca” TV episode)
  • Carrotblanca (1955 WB Cartoon)
  • Scoring Stage Sessions (audio only)
  • Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast – 4/26/42 (audio only)
  • Vox Pop Radio Broadcast – 11/19/47 (audio only)
  • Trailers
  • UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray
  • Movies Anywhere Digital Copy



Conclusion
I’ve been eagerly anticipating this film’s release in 4K and it has finally arrived. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen this film over the years, and it never gets old. I love the dialog and engaging story and it deserves a place in every film collection. Highly recommended.

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
M&K Sound X15+ Subwoofer
Dual JL Audio F-110 (stacked and treated as one sub)
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

bmoney

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2022, 10:23:33 PM »
Let’s go. Now this is a classic I’ve actually seen :)
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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2022, 10:49:22 PM »
Thanks for the review. I greatly enjoyed this film and I have seen it many times.

In fact, this was one of the best propoganda films that America produced during WWII.

When I was in high school, in history class, while studying the use of propoganda, we had to disect this film scene by scene with all the symbolism present in the film. Of course, back then, we didn't have internet or anything so we had to find as many as possible and the one's that were able to find the most, got the highest grade.. It was a group collaboration and I must say, it was hard to find each and everything in the film since there were so many hidden messages in not only the characters but also in the lighting and the background..
« Last Edit: November 09, 2022, 10:56:40 PM by tripplej »
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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2022, 01:36:28 AM »
Thanks for the review. I greatly enjoyed this film and I have seen it many times.

In fact, this was one of the best propoganda films that America produced during WWII.

When I was in high school, in history class, while studying the use of propoganda, we had to disect this film scene by scene with all the symbolism present in the film. Of course, back then, we didn't have internet or anything so we had to find as many as possible and the one's that were able to find the most, got the highest grade.. It was a group collaboration and I must say, it was hard to find each and everything in the film since there were so many hidden messages in not only the characters but also in the lighting and the background..
That's an awesome story! Did you get an A?
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tripplej

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2022, 09:08:39 AM »
That's an awesome story! Did you get an A?
To be honest, I can't remember the grade but I think our team did well, most likely a B, possibly B+, but most likely something more realistic in the B range. :)  I don't think anybody got an A. Just too hard of an assignment for high school kids!

Later, once everybody submitted and was graded, our teacher actually went thru scene by scene with the entire class and a lot of the items, all of us completly missed and you would be surprised by how much "subliminal messaging" is in the film!

Here is a great example something that folks would not notice..

Note: Only one is analyzing chess in the film, not playing!
from: https://en.chessbase.com/post/chess-in-film-casablanca
https://i.imgur.com/MjyIp2A.png
Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review


Quote
But if you notice carefully, the chess  pieces, Rick Blaine is alone in front of the board and analyzing a difficult position in terms of black, while the convention in chess publications always considers analysing the diagram from the white position. The position that is seen is called "the French Defence"! 

Rick Blaine is a character apparently ambiguous or neutral - I stick my neck out for nobody. - but it's the chessboard that begins to outline his complex personality. The fact that Rick Blaine appears analyzing the position (not playing), and seated on the defender's side (Black), are key elements for deciphering the true and hidden intentions of Rick Blaine.


Most everybody in the class failed to capture the above including our team!

Below is something else nobody caught but it is seen in the link here: https://dc.cod.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1185&context=essai

https://i.imgur.com/sgC0CAN.png
Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review


There are just too many items to mention since the film from start to end is filled to the top with symbolism, a great film to see and understand!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 10:40:37 AM by tripplej »
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bmoney

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2022, 11:24:33 AM »
thats insane.  is it confirmed they were all done on purpose?
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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2022, 11:43:52 AM »
thats insane.  is it confirmed they were all done on purpose?
From one of the earlier links that I pasted above... Short answer. Yes.

Quote
Between 1942 and 1945, Hollywood released 1,700 features, 500 of which dealt directly with war-related material. The U.S. government took an active role in the screening (and of course the censorship) of these films through its Office of War Information, and went as far as creating a production rubric which the studios were compelled to follow. This rubric included a “suggested” list of six feature film themes which would “benefit American morale.” Washington suggested producing films that would: glorify the “American way of life;” “depict the enemy and their philosophy;” “reflect well on our allies;” “portray the industrial war effort at home;” “illustrate what individuals could do on the home front to support the war effort,” and show “our fighting forces at work.”3 As intended, the films produced under these guidelines (Casablanca included) not only provided the masses with popular entertainment but also reinforced the nation’s support for the Allied war effort.

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2022, 12:26:33 PM »
Thanks tripplej, that's great info. I ordered this yesterday after seeing David's review. I've seen it once before, many years ago, but didn't realize the depth of detail and symbolism it contained. I'll have to read up some more on it as there's obviously a lot there to chew on and digest. I've got a movie night with a niece and nephew (early-mid 20s) scheduled for this Saturday and set this as the pick. Really making me look forward more to researching and then seeing it.

tripplej

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2022, 01:28:21 PM »
Thanks tripplej, that's great info. I ordered this yesterday after seeing David's review. I've seen it once before, many years ago, but didn't realize the depth of detail and symbolism it contained. I'll have to read up some more on it as there's obviously a lot there to chew on and digest. I've got a movie night with a niece and nephew (early-mid 20s) scheduled for this Saturday and set this as the pick. Really making me look forward more to researching and then seeing it.
Enjoy the film and try to find all the symbolism.
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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2022, 01:37:48 PM »
Thanks tripplej, that's great info. I ordered this yesterday after seeing David's review. I've seen it once before, many years ago, but didn't realize the depth of detail and symbolism it contained. I'll have to read up some more on it as there's obviously a lot there to chew on and digest. I've got a movie night with a niece and nephew (early-mid 20s) scheduled for this Saturday and set this as the pick. Really making me look forward more to researching and then seeing it.
Another amazing aspect of the film is that a lot of the dialog was written on set and in some cases, right before the scene was shot. It also wasn't meant to be a "hit," when it was made. It was a studio production that was seen as a "filler" title and no one expected it to be the hit that it turned out to be. In those days, most movies were shot in a couple of weeks or so and were very much like a lot of TV shows today...mindless entertainment. 
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tripplej

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2022, 01:47:28 PM »
Yeah, overall an exellent movie. Great acting, great script (storyline), great symbolism, just plain great! :)
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bmoney

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2022, 06:49:36 AM »
From one of the earlier links that I pasted above... Short answer. Yes.
Obv I didn’t click the link haha. Thanks!
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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2022, 10:28:51 AM »
Regardless of the origins, the movie is a great movie to own and watch, never gets old. :)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 10:31:55 AM by tripplej »
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bmoney

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Re: Casablanca (4K UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2022, 10:52:28 AM »
Regardless of the origins, the movie is a great movie to own and watch, never gets old. :)
100% such a great timeless movie
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