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July 13, 2010
Out of Africa Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
6/3/19864/8/2010UniversalSydney Pollack
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MRobert Redford
Meryl Streep

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Robert Redford in Out of Africa on Blu-Ray now.

Out of Africa is a film that was extremely well reviewed and a huge theatrical success when it was released in 1985 and the film managed to win an astonishing seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Director) while being nominated for a further four.

The film tells the true story of Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep), a strong willed woman who, with her husband runs a coffee plantation in Kenya in 1914. Karen actually finds herself falling in love with the land and a strange mystery hunter (played by Robert Redford).

It is easy to to see why Out of Africa was such a success upon its release in 1985. The film has drama and is a good love story, but also pulls the audience in and shows us what life was like merely 100 years ago. At one stage during the film Karen catches syphilis and needs to return to Denmark to use the experimental medicine Salvarsan, as penicillin had not been invented at this time.

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Out of Africa won seven Academy Awards.
One of the things we did notice with the Out of Africa Blu-Ray in particular was that while it does support Blu-Ray Live the actual film takes a long time to load up. There are screens about supporting distributors, languages to select and then a menu to navigate, it is certainly a little disappointing that it takes so long to even just get to the main menu.

Overall, Out of Africa really is a very good film and showcases the acting strengths of both Robert Redford and Meryl Streep and the strengths of the director, Sydney Pollack. If you're after a true story that's captivating and thought provoking, then Out of Africa is a good choice.

The video quality on the Out of Africa Blu-Ray certainly leaves room for improvement. Obviously a 25 year old film is going to show its age somewhat, but the video transfer doesn't appear to have undergone much of a restoration for this release. There are quite a few scenes in the film where it is apparent that green screen technology was used during filming, something that the high definition quality of Blu-Ray highlights all too easily.

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Out of Africa is out now on Blu-Ray.
The video bitrate displayed on our PlayStation 3 hovered between 25–30Mbps during the entire film. Admittedly there are still some great looking scenes and sometimes the scenary and cinematography in Out of Africa is simply incredible, it's just that some of the visual flaws are easy to see with Blu-Ray.

Out of Africa contains a English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track, as well as French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese DTS HD 5.1 audio tracks. The audio on this release is solid and considering the age of the film the movie sounds rather impressive. Ambient noises are clear and sound excellent, simple noises such as the wildlife are just excellent to hear.

The film also contains several subtitles including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Norwegian, Portugese, Swedish and Traditional Mandarin, which should just about any relative you have staying over can watch this film and understand it...… hopefully.

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Meryl Streep in one of her many brilliant roles.
There are only a few basic extras included on the Out of Africa Blu Ray. All the special features included on the Out of Africa Blu-Ray are in Standard Definition.

Feature Commentary with Director Sydney Pollack: Sydney Pollack is an acclaimed director and simply listening to his commentary is well recommended. We're not sure if you'll listen right through to the end of the film (as Out of Africa is quite a long film) but it's great to hear an insight into an excellent director.

Deleted Scenes (15:02): Out of Africa is the type of film that doesn't necessarily need to be any longer, however given the high quality of these scenes they could have easily been included in the film - perhaps via seamless branching.

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Out of Africa's cinematography is great.
A Song of Africa (72:34): A song of Africa is a documentary which features several different parts focusing on the film. The documentary is actually really interesting and definitely worth a watch.

Theatrical Trailer (3:00): The theatrical trailer is also included for the movie on this disc.

Out of Africa deserves all of its successes. It is an incredible, thought provoking film. The Blu-Ray release does seem to have been released hastily though, so there isn't a huge difference between this release and the Special Edition DVD which has been out for a while now and is available cheaper.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Universal. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.