Opera (1987) Koch Mediabook & Screengrabs

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


I was asked by my Twitter friend @tommyknocker16 to do a comparison post of Koch Media's release of Dario Argento's 1987 giallo Opera. I've not posted in a while so I was up for the challenge and spent an afternoon therapeutically capturing images from both the Arrow and Koch releases for comparison. I've decided to write a little bit about what the release contains in case anyone is interested but I won't be covering the film itself although I intend to in the future. I'd like to give a big thanks to @GiornataNera who introduced me to Koch Media and mediabooks in general and who always gives me great advice on what releases to buy from Germany as well as information on language options and content. If you ever need specific information about German Italian horror/giallo releases then he'll be more than happy to assist!

The Mediabook

Koch's release is well presented in a glossy hard case with the original artwork from the film. The content of the mediabook is spread out across 3 discs featuring the film on Blu-Ray and DVD as well as an impressive selection of special features. The release also contains a booklet that features new writings on the film by Oliver Nöde - this is in German but if like myself, you're eager to gleam new information and analysis on Argento's work, you can probably run a photo of each page through Google Translate and read between the lines. The booklet also contains various black and white images from the film - it would have been nice if these were in colour but I appreciate that printing costs may have prevented this. All in all, this release is beautifully presented and will look great on your shelf alongside your other Argento releases. 

Unfortunately the special features are all in Italian with German subtitles. This is a real shame as there's some great featurettes and interviews included in this release with prominent figures in the Italian film industry such as Franco Ferrini and Sergio Stivaletti. It would have been nice to see Koch include English subtitles but I appreciate that time and cost constraints might have made this difficult. It's also understandable that a German release wouldn't cater to English speakers. Here's hoping that the newly announced US Scorpion release will contain some of the special features on the Koch release but with English subtitles. Despite the lack of English special features, I still think the release is worth the price for the film alone due to the superior image quality.

Special Features


  • "Blood Red Curtain" Interview with Dario Argento (22 mins)
  • "Who Has Done This, and Who am I?" Interview with writer Franco Ferrini (36 mins)
  • "Notes and Nightmares" Interview with composer Claudio Simonetta (30 mins)
  • "Revenge of the Crows" Interview with animatronics specialist Sergio Stivaletti (15 mins)
  • "The Curse of Macbeth" Interview with publicist Enrico Lucherini (14 mins)
  • "With Open Eyes" Interview with film historian Fabrizio Spurio (36 mins)
  • "Terror in the Cinema" Q&A with Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini and Lamberto Bava
  • Audio commentary with Dr. Marcus Stiglegger and Kai Naumann (Opera - 95 min version)
  • Daemonia music video 

Fortunately the film itself has four language options including remastered Italian, German and English audio tracks. The subtitles for the film only come in German so if you want to watch Opera in Italian with English subtitles you won't be able to do so which is frustrating as it's always nice to have this option. I watched the film in English and found the sound quality to be of a good standard - I didn't find the music overpowering, the voices were clear and the sound effects were even more gruesome than I remembered - who could forget the noise of the scissors in Giulia's death scene?! 

Screengrabs

I've compiled some screen grabs from the Koch mediabook as well as the Arrow DVD (released under the title "Terror at the Opera") to show you the difference in quality between the two releases. I hope the images below give you an idea of how great Opera looks on Blu. I found that the scenes set inside the opera house looked particularly impressive and the details of Marco's version of Macbeth really came to life in HD. I look forward to using screen grabs from the Koch release in future posts and will probably do a further post of screen grabs in the near future. This is my first time doing a comparison post so if you'd like to see more in the future, please let me know. 

ARROW DVD

KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY 

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY


    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY

    ARROW DVD

    KOCH MEDIA BLU RAY


    Final Thoughts

    I bought this release a week before the Scorpion release was announced and in hindsight this might have deterred me from buying the Koch release if I'm being perfectly honest. I don't believe there's official confirmation over whether the Scorpion release will be region locked although it looks like it will be. If like me, you can't play locked blus than I'd definitely urge you to buy the Koch release despite the lack of English options on the special features. As you can see from the screens above, the film really does look spectacular and the improved image quality does bring a whole new level of appreciation for Argento's last great giallo. I'd say buy this if you're interested in the film alone but hold off and wait for Scorpion's release if you're looking for a more complete edition of the film.

    2 comments:

    1. So many releases, so little money! Thanks for helping us to make an informed choice, Rachael...

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Cheers! Thanks for all of your support - means a lot coming from an expert such as yourself!

        Delete

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