Four city-dwelling businessmen decide to take a canoe trip down the pristine waters of the Chattooga River for one last look at its splendor before progress alters its course in Deliverance. Despite warnings from locals about the backwoods areas they will encounter on their trip, the quartet paddles on and soon discovers that they're mentally unprepared for what traumas are about to befall them. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director John Boorman; six featurettes: The Cast Remembers (HD 29:52), Deliverance: The Beginning (SD 16:44), Deliverance: The Journey (SD 13:04), Deliverance: Betraying The River (SD 14:37), Deliverance: Delivered (SD 10:37), and The Dangerous World Of Deliverance (SD 10:13); the theatrical trailer; and a 42-page commemorative book.
Previously reviewed in Issue 123 as an anamorphically enhanced 2.38:1 DVD, that DVD was much improved over the original DVD release reviewed in Issue 35. This latest 40th anniversary release features a 2.40:1 1080p VC-1 codec. While colors are more natural and contrast is more naturally rendered, the entire image maintains the film's hazy shroud, no doubt due to the on-location, natural mountainous conditions. With that as a backdrop, the picture exhibits a perfectly natural look. While much of the imagery appears soft, at times close-ups are well resolved, with finer detail exhibited in textures. Black levels are generally muted and shadow delineation is poorly resolved. Grain and noise also factor into the appearance, though, never annoying. Fleshtones and hues appear mostly natural. Overall, the picture appears dated but engaging. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.1-channel soundtrack features a repurposed surround mix with engaging surround presence and directionalized dialogue. Atmospherics also are more prominent, such as the canopy of forest creature sounds, the running river, and the wind-blown trees. While dialogue sounds ADR and forward and often out of place, intelligibility is never degraded. The .1 LFE output is generally reserved and not particularly impressive. While the soundtrack is a dramatic improvement over past releases, fidelity remains limited due to age and the nature of films of the era. (Gary Reber)