Barbarella Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Mono (48kHz/24-bit), French & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: PG
- Run Time: 98 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Paramount Home Media Distribution
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 3, 2012
- List Price: $29.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Roger Vadim’s (…and God Created Woman) Barbarella might be today more famous (or infamous) for its, at the time, shocking opening title sequence with Jane Fonda performing a striptease in zero gravity as the credits swirl around to barely cover her naughty bits. It is also the film that gave 80s “new British Invasion” band Duran Duran its name (spelling slightly altered). Barbarella, however, is firmly rooted in the campy European comedies of the time and is, perhaps, less shocking from the Euro-perspective than it is (or was) from across the other side of the pond. While it is hardly epic or groundbreaking, its sugary atmosphere, naiveté and almost innocent exploration of sexuality are infectious. Fonda, in the role as the sweetly enticing Barbarella in a futuristic, shaggy carpet-lined spaceship, is joyous to watch as she moves from one candy-colored setting to the next in search of the galactic threat Durand Durand, all the while finding out about the joys of actual physical, sexual pleasure, being from an Earth where the act has long since been replaced with pills. Although this may very well rank for all time on many critic’s worsts lists, it is one of the best “worst” films ever done, especially if approached with the right state of mind and keeping in mind the historical context. It may be campy and mildly erotic, but it never takes itself too seriously or crosses the line into sleaze, such as other films that have come along over the years like Showgirls.
Barabarella looks beautiful in this new Blu-ray release from Paramount. The image is clean and crisp with a good layer of grain still remaining from its 35mm source. There’s nice texture, imparting a filmic quality, detail is strong in close-ups and extends rather far into backgrounds. Flesh tones look natural and the bold 1960s color palette absolutely sparkles on screen without looking over-saturated.
The original monaural soundtrack is offered in lossless Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) it provides clean dialogue, relatively good dynamics considering the limits of the day, and little audible warts.
Only the original theatrical trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24) is provided.
The Definitive Word
A campy cult classic worth sitting through that is amusing, mildly arousing, and gloriously silly, Barbarella stars Jane Fonda in all her youthful beauty. It may not be the film she lists first on her illustrious resumé, but, hey, it still has its place in many a fan’s heart. Paramount has done a wonderful job bringing it to Blu-ray.
Additional Screen Captures