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FIELD OF DREAMS

If you build it, he will come.

FIELD OF DREAMS ($30) is probably one of the most endearing fantasy movies made about the game of Baseball. Written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, FIELD OF DREAMS is an adaptation of the novel by Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella. In FIELD OF DREAMS, Kevin Costner portrays novice Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who hears a voice whispering to him in his cornfield. The whispering voice tells Ray "If you build it, he will come," which gives him a vision to build a baseball diamond on his farm. Plowing under much of his corn crop, Ray builds the baseball field and even adds lights for night games. While he does have the support of his wife Annie (Amy Madigan) in this odd enterprise; the other farmers, as well as Ray’s brother-in-law Mark (Timothy Busfield) think that he is crazy an the ill used land will lead to the farm’s financial ruin.

Just when things start looking really bad for the Kinsella family farm, Ray discovers a man out on his ball field, who turns out to be Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta), a player from the 1919 Black Sox scandal that was banned from the game, but was still idolized by Ray’s baseball loving father John (Dwier Brown). Thankful for a place to play the game again, Shoeless Joe later returns from out of the cornfield with the seven other players banned in the scandal. Although the baseball field would appear to be serving its purpose, Ray again hears the whispering, which leads him on an adventure to locate reclusive 1960’s author and activist Terence Mann (James Earl Jones), as well as 1920s ballplayer named Archibald "Moonlight" Graham (Burt Lancaster), who had the distinction of playing in only one major league game, but never batted. Where FIELD OF DREAMS eventually leads is best discovered by sitting down to watch the movie for yourself…

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made FIELD OF DREAMS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. This twenty-year-old film seems very nicely served by the 1080p presentation. Sure, FIELD OF DREAMS will never make the "show it off to your friends hi-def demo pile," but I can honestly say that when you pop this disc into your player you’ll know you are watching a movie and not an digitally over-processed video. The image isn’t as sharp as other titles from the same period, but this is a pretty accurate reflection of the cinematography, which has a slightly dreamy quality. There seems to be plenty of detail in the image and many of the outdoor sequences are quite dimensional. Colors are generally warm and nicely saturated. Blacks are accurate and the whites are stable. Contrast is smooth and shadow detail seems just fine. The elements from which FIELD OF DREAMS have been transferred appear quite clean. Grain is ever present and shows up in varying degrees depending on how individual sequences were shot, as well as the film stocks involved.

FIELD OF DREAMS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Considering that the film originally appeared during the Dolby Surround era, one can’t expect a sonic dynamo here. On top of that, FIELD OF DREAMS is a talky drama; so much of the sound design is localized to the front, and at many points, primarily the center. Still one does get the usual complement of atmospherics and fill going to the rear channels. The lossless encode does assist the musical component, but the age of the recordings doe constrain things a bit. Dialogue reproduction is clear and fully intelligible. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Phil Alden Robinson and director of photography John Lindley. Featurettes include the following programs: From Father To Son: Passing Along The Pastime (thirty nine minutes), Roundtable With Kevin Costner, Bret Saberhagen, George Brett And Johnny Bench (thirty minutes), The Diamond In The Husks (eighteen minutes), Galena, IL Pinch Hits For Chisholm, MN (six minutes), Field Of Dreams: A Scrapbook (one hour thirty minutes) and BRAVO Special: From Page To Screen (forty six minutes). Deleted Scenes and a Theatrical Trailer close out the standard supplements. FIELD OF DREAMS is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

FIELD OF DREAMS is an endearing fantasy film that has been given a wonderfully film like presentation on Blu-ray. Highly recommended.

 

FIELD OF DREAMS 


Field of Dreams [Blu-ray] (1989)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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