Manhattan Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.o Mono (48kHz/24-bit), French DTS Mono, German DTS Mono, Italian DTS Mono, Spanish (Castilian) DTS Mono, Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital Mono
- Subtitles: English SDH, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American)
- Region: A (B? C?)
- Rating: R
- Run Time: 131 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: MGM
- Blu-ray Release Date: January 24, 2012
- List Price: $24.99
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After the intellectual breakthrough that was Annie Hall, the neuroses of Woody Allen took a slightly darker, moodier turn with the almost melancholic Manhattan, a lament over the complexities of relationships of New Yorkers that never seem to work out. A seriocomic look into the lives of the perpetually dissatisfied New Yorkers and an ode to the city itself shot in the full glory of lush black and white, Manhattan can be seen in many ways as the natural extension or conclusion of what began in Annie Hall.
The story follows the comic television writer Isaac Davis (Allen), so tired of the drivel he has been writing for television that he quits his job, only to confront the fear of having no money and being unemployed. Meanwhile, his love life is in disarray. He fears the publication of a tell-all book by his lesbian ex-wife (Meryl Streep) and he is dating the seventeen-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), still in high school, that he cannot bring himself to commit to. Meanwhile his best friend Yale (Michael Murphy) is having second thoughts about his own marriage and has begun an affair with an attractive but overly cerebral writer named Mary Wilke (Diane Keaton). While Yale struggles with indecision over leaving his wife for Mary, Isaac and Mary begin to fall in love with each other against the romantic New York City backdrop.
The 35mm anamorphic black and white imagery of Manhattan comes across rather nicely in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from MGM. While at times grain looks just a tad bit too coarse, the image always maintains a filmic balance and organic splendor with supple blacks, stable whites, lush greys, and very strong overall contrast.
The original monaural soundtrack is offered in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) configuration that provides clean dialogue, reasonable dynamics, and ample room for the splendid music of Gershwin to breathe.
Only the original theatrical trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24) is offered.
The Definitive Word
A rhapsody in black and white set against the bleak caverns of the New York City landscape and the pessimistic outlook of its characters romances, Manhattan may arguably surpass even Annie Hall in Woody Allen’s repertoire for pure cinematic and intellectual genius. It is beautiful to watch, has a stellar cast, with even more subtle comedic overtones. Highly recommended.
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