(aka "The Swindle" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/chabrol.htm
France / Switzerland 1997

 

In this chilly thriller THE SWINDLE -- his 50th feature-- he teams contemporary star Isabelle Huppert and veteran star (of 80 films!) Michel Serrault as small time con artists. Serrault is charming in a goofy way; an irritable loner looking for laughs. Huppert now aging gracefully displays her usual cold nonchalant beauty.

They a have a respectful father/daughter type relationship and pull innocuous little swindles. Then, Huppert hatches a plan with another guy to dupe the old man. Only she doesn’t know that the guy she is planning to join is making his own double cross. Pretty soon everyone involved is planning some kind of con.

As in many of Chabrol’s movies there is a psychological ambiguity running throughout the story. Characters are never just good or bad but a combination of both. Yet despite this ambiguity each scene is cleanly shot with no dark shadows or eschewed angles as one gets used to in American crime drama. Usually, Chabrol uses this effect to shock the audience with disturbing violence, but perhaps age has tempered him a bit because there is nothing excruciatingly violent here. Instead all the crooked deals are lightweight and don’t seem too mean spirited.

Besides the solid performances the movie should be seen for its precise direction and light charm. It’s the kind of movie where no matter how mean the ‘real’ bad guy is you can’t help but laugh when he uses threatening lines like; “Shut up or I’ll pack your ass with dynamite.”

MATT LANGDON's comments located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: France 15 October 1997

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison: 

Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Review!

(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Second Sight

Region 2 - PAL

New Yorker

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:12 (4% PAL speedup) 1:40:51
Video

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.47 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.12 mb/s

NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate Second Sight

Bitrate  NY'er

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0) French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English (Forced) English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Sight

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Selected scene commentary by Claude Chabrol (23:20)
• DVD-5 (SS-SL)

DVD Release Date: April 17, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Second Sight

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• L Farfale (1:40)
• DVD-5 (SS-SL)

DVD Release Date: August 29th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 20

 

  

Comments ADDITION: - New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC - August 06' : New Yorker have not converted the PAL master to NTSC before rendering to DVD and hence it has all the deficiencies associated with that slipshod practice - combing and related artefacts (see images below). The New Yorker is cleaner, but less sharp in spots and appears to have been slightly over-digitized - skin tones are a bit reddish. Even modestly dirty - I prefer the Second Sight image. I don't see any significant cropping issues - both have transferred in 1.66 anamorphic, progressive standard. Both are single layered.

As Per-Olaf mentioned below the Second Sights subtitles are forced but not ingrained where the NY'er's are totally removable. For extras the Second Sight offer the scene specific commentary by Chabrol (23 minutes worth) where NY'er only offer a 1907 color short based on the 'serpentine dance' shown near the end of the film. It is less than 2:00 long.

Overall the Second Sight is the way to go, but tube owners will probably find the New Yorker acceptable viewing (till they upgrade... and they will one day).  

 - Gary Tooze

***

The source for this DVD is from MK2, but I'm not sure if it's a direct port. It looks like the material has been run-thru a Digital restoring program, that gives you sharper image, but also a little blurriness during motion scenes and occasional contrast boosting. The grainy picture is also most probably from the program, it doesn't look like film grain. Some larger images of landscape also exhibit aliasing. The picture is brightened to fit home viewing, but there is still decent black levels. The DVD is acceptable screened with a projector, not good, but far from bad.

The DD 2.0 sound track is dynamic, and flawless.

On my computer the English subtitle's are removable, but not on my DVD player. The translation is a little lazy, and leave some dialog gaps.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg

 

 






DVD Menus

 

 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

NOTE: Combing prevalent on New Yorker...

 

 

 


(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

 


  (Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Second Sight

Sound:

Extras: Second Sight
Menu: -

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Second Sight

Region 2 - PAL

New Yorker

Region 1 - NTSC





 

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