Directed by Frank A. Cappello
USA 2007

 

Bob Maconel (Christian Slater) endures another eight hours in a dull grey cubicle. Ignored by his co-workers, Bob feels completely invisible and out of sync with the world. On one strange day he crosses the line from potential killer to inadvertent hero when he saves beautiful Venessa (Elisha Cuthbert). His Boss (William H. Macy) transforms Bob into a new man but his good fortune is short lived when the Object of his Desire asks him to end her life.

***

Here's a film that evokes, at different times and in different ways, Joe Versus the Volcano, Brazil, and Taxi Driver. It's an effective and affecting movie about the crushing power of office servitude and the soul-sapping impact of office politics. The film is not an accurate representation in the strictest sense of what it's like to work in an office environment, but it captures the feeling of the experience even if some of the details are exaggerated. One could argue that He Was a Quiet Man is a cautionary tale, but it's more of an autopsy than a warning and eventually evolves into a character study and an offbeat romance before coming full circle via a clever and reasonable twist.

He Was a Quiet Man played a lot of film festivals in early 2007 but never gained enough traction to attract a major distributor. Eventually, Starz Entertainment bought the rights and gave it a short, limited theatrical run in November 2007 to avoid the "straight to DVD" tag. For the most part, the movie flew under the radar, collecting only 14 external reviews at IMDB. (A major Hollywood release will frequently garner more than 200.) While He Was a Quiet Man is not brilliant, it's better than about two-thirds of what makes it to multiplexes and is deserving of a little more attention, especially for those who spend up to half their waking hours in a depressing place similar to the one depicted here.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelViews located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 11th, 2007 - Southwest Film Festival

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Comparison:

Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC Anchor Bay - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:09  1:35:25.636
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 19,217,964,600 bytes

Feature Size: 19,171,891,200 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.91 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1 Video

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

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0) Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles  None  None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary
• Featurette: First Look At He Was a Quiet Man
• Alternate and Deleted Scenes
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: January 15th, 2008

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Disc Size: 19,217,964,600 bytes

Feature Size: 19,171,891,200 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.91 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1 Video

Edition Details:

• none

Blu-ray Release Date: February 2nd, 2010

Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 10

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MGM Blu-ray - January 10': Firstly, I've kind of altered my opinion of this film since first seeing it 2 years ago. I've warmed to it a bit more and can appreciate the intent more than my initial presentation experience. I concur with Berardinelli's comments above in that this is easily no masterpiece but has elements that make it worth seeing - if not thoroughly enjoying.

Okay, the Blu-ray is no great shakes. It advance only minimally over the existing visual appearance of the previous Anchor Bay DVD. The single-layered 1080P transfer tends to look fragile at times. I expect it is reasonably accurate to the theatrical look and colors (skin tones warm a shade) and detail only improve in small degrees - but, to be fair, they do improve (3 X the bitrate). There is a softness there but I won't put it down to DNR as it appears nothing has really been done for this A/V aside from the video bump.

The audio is the same (not HD), there are no subtitles - or even menus and we don't get one single extra feature! So do I recommend? Well, strangely "YES" based on the price which is dramatically reduced from the DVD. It's a weird situation but the film is worth a spin at $10. I don't know if Anchor Bay is planning more of these 'downgrades' but for titles in absentia like this one - it may not be a bad idea.

****

ON THE DVD: The DVD from Anchor Bay is an acceptable one. Image quality is decent and probably as good as this could ever look on SD DVD in my opinion. It had a few camera touches that translated accurately to the anamorphic dual-layered DVD. It's progressively transferred on almost 7 Gig of space and colors seem fairly true and detail shows some interesting close-ups.  As one might expect for such a recent film it is visually clean and free of blemishes. Audio has two options - a rarely utilized 5.1 offering and a 2.0 channel stereo one. Typical of Anchor Bay - there are no optional subtitles available.

Extras include a decent commentary from helmsman Cappello. He did increase my appreciation a bit - some keen moments of production  and actor interaction. There is also a standard 20 minute 'Making of...' featurette and some uninspired deleted/alternate scenes. Overall I'm thankful for the commentary and I have no strong complaints with the DVD at all (well, I do like subs... and the price is kinda high). Great job Anchor Bay for a fairly complete package!

NOTE: You may not want to judge the film according to my jaded tastes - one should see it for themselves (if you are keen) as it is fairly lauded. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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