directed by Shane Carruth
USA 2004

 

Time travel films are rarely this intelligent. This one is borderline brilliant, and the fact that it was made for only $7,000, by a first time filmmaker (Shane Carruth who also wrote, shot, scored, edited, produced, and starred in the film) and took home the Grand Jury prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival goes to prove that sharp, thought-out films can still be recognized by American audiences.

There are going to be two different fans of this film—those who watch it fervently, trying to unravel the unbelievably complicated plot, and those who sit back and take in the narrative on a simple point A to point B fashion, seeing the chaos that ensues as a sort of sci-fi meditation on existential malaise. I started out in the first camp but later succumbed to the mind-fuck, and with my brain in a pretzel and a notepad full of frenzied timelines, ended up comfortably settled into the latter category. Granted, I believe that Carruth has the whole thing figured out for himself, but like the characters in the film, has left himself a fail-safe in the form of the Thomas Granger character, who has the potential—depending on how you may look at it—to render any possible explanation useless with the fact that the film never fully explores the implications that his off-screen activities might hold on the overall scheme of things.

Carruth has a subtle yet austere visual style that never succumbs to the restrictions of his limited budget, with his cramped, claustrophobic mise-en-scene perfectly suiting the rapid-fire narrative. At only 78 minutes, this might seem like filmmaking at it’s most efficient, but believe me; this little box Carruth has invented is bursting with big ideas.

Adam Lemke

Posters

Theatrical Release: Jan. 16, 2004 Sundance Film Festival

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Adam Lemke and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

New Line Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:17:06 1:14:04 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: ??? mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.33 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

New Line Home Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Tartan

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English

2.0 Dolby Digital English

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: New Line Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Director’s Commentary
• Director, Cast, and Crew Commentary
• Trailer

DVD Release Date: April 19, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Director’s Commentary
• Director, Cast, and Crew Commentary
• Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: February 20, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments Adam Lemke on the NTSC
Excellent image here! Shot on Super-16 and later blown up to 35mm for
theatrical exhibition, this is about as good as one can expect for sharpness and depth of image from a DVD-5 release. Those hoping that director Shane Carruth will explain the entire film for them on the commentary track will be sorely disappointed, not that he doesn’t offer up a few valuable insights. A more than suitable release and modestly priced--one viewing is simply not enough, forget about renting, and just purchase this one.

Henrik Sylow
Almost perfect image from Tartan. Zooming in, one notice minute mosquito noise around objects, and that is all the artifacts noticeable. Details are crisp. Overall, almost perfect image.

Opposite to Tartan, the transfer from New Line is significantly weaker. Artifacts are clearly visible, especially mosquito noise and color banding. I have not seen the film theatrically, so I have no other elements to compare to, other than the New Line DVD, which also is darker, less detailed and grainier.
 

 

 


DVD Menus
(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample - Capture is resized from 1016px to 800px

 


(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(New Line Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Tartan - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Tartan

Sound:

--

Extras: --
Menu: Tartan

 
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

New Line Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Tartan
Region 2 - PAL




 

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