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Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (19.98 Mbps)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (256 kbps)
Single disc (1 BD-25)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
A rogue detective is as devoted to his job as he is at scoring drugs -- while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves. Together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience.
For more about Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and the Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Blu-ray release, see Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Blu-ray Review published by Dustin Somner on April 8, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: William M. Finkelstein
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Fairuza Balk, Val Kilmer, Xzibit, Jennifer Coolidge
Producers: Randall Emmett, Avi Lerner, Gabe Polsky, Edward R. Pressman, John Thompson, Alessandro Camon
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in 1080p utilizing the AVC codec (at an average bitrate of 20Mbps), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans sports an image quality that's just a hair above average. Fine object detail varies from scene to scene, with some shots appearing incredibly crisp while others seem a touch on the soft side. Likewise, the coloring of the picture appears a bit sporadic, with many scenes drenched in a particular flavor dominating the palette on the walls. For instance, if the characters are eating in a restaurant with yellow walls, facial tones and other independent features within the environment will take on a yellowish hue. One of the cringe-worthy settings is located within a neon-drenched sports bar where McDonagh meets with his bookie. In those scenes, you'll witness a touch of color bleeding in the bright pink shading around characters outlines. The only other time I noticed this issue was in the closing shot of the film where the aquarium dominates the background. The deep blue of the water is allowed to leach into the outline of the two silhouettes sitting in the foreground, and creates a somewhat off-putting quality. Regarding black levels, I was a little disappointed by the lack of depth within some of the interior or nighttime shots, which made it difficult for contrast to differentiate between shade variance in shadowy segments of the image. Likewise, several outdoor shots during the daytime appear a bit too bright, as if a degree of enhancement or boosting was applied to the image. On the positive side, I never noticed instances of edge enhancement or artifacts, and although there's a suspicious lack of grain throughout the duration of the film, I found the clarity of most shots sufficient to rule out the overuse of DNR scrubbing.
I'm aware my assessment of the video quality might sound overly harsh, so I'd encourage you to keep in mind my final assessment of 3.5/5. There are certainly aspects of the visuals that prevent the film from reaching eye-popping bliss, but given the grungy nature of the production, I'd wager this is at least partly intentional in the stylistic trappings of the cinematography.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The primary track on the disc is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I can't say I was blown away by the subtle nuances within the mix, but it still demonstrates adequate strength in several elements to warrant a relatively high score. We all know this isn't a big budget Die Hard imposter, so going into the film with expectations of an action-heavy mix will certainly leave you wanting more. What we're given instead is a film that's heavy on dialog, occasionally punctuated by rousing musical interludes, and environmental effects that consistently remind us we're in the heart of New Orleans. Fortunately, every element is handled with appropriate care, creating a listening experience that remains clean, crisp, and well-balanced. I never detected a hint of distortion, hiss, or drop-out, and aside from struggling to make out the tight-lipped dialog from Cage, the volume always remained in check. Surround use is sparse at times, consisting almost solely of environmental effects and the musical score, but when a certain unnamed character pops off or winds up waist-deep in a gun battle, the full soundstage comes alive with the precision we'd expect. In the end, the audio experience is everything I hoped it would be, and should please most fans of the film.
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