Tony Gilroy, co-author of the
superb Jason Bourne film trilogy, makes a stunning directorial debut with
"Michael Clayton," an out-of-courtroom drama that helps solidify George
Clooney's acting bona fides.
Theatrical Release: August 31st, 2007 - Venice Film Festival
DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.36 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English, English (CC), French, Spanish, None|
from director and editor with optional subtitles
All good. Another above-average transfer from Warner - dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic. Detail has some strong moments and contrast and dark scenes are good. There is some minor noise, but again representational of its SD limitations. I expect the Blu-ray to be an improvement in most areas. Overall it is quite dark and the DVD image quality duplicates that downcast 'aura' of the film. Aside from one or two scenes the 5.1 audio is fairly under-utilized - but sounds adequately separated once it's called upon. There are optional subtitles. More good news again on the visual front is that I don't see excessive manipulation and the image is expectantly pristinely clean.
The optional commentary discusses the formation of plot details (John Gilroy - younger brother of the director Tony) and some production attributes (chosen color pallets etc...). There are a few gaps. I really appreciate the optional subtitles for the commentary - BFI have been doing it for a while. I think it's a great idea (especially if you have sleeping kids around). There are some additional scenes not used in the final cut - as a matter of fact, all the scenes with Jennifer Ehle as Clayton's girlfriend were removed (you can see her here).
The film? - I liked it more than a friend of mine. I especially would like to extol accolades of Tilda Swinton's work - her minor role is significant and she gives a fabulous performance. Ditto for Tom Wilkinson. I also saw a bit more range from Clooney than I have seen in the past. The film is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle that unifies fairly tightly in the finale - but we've seen this is the modus operandi of much modern cinema today. It is very competent but I think could have been better in another filmmaker's hands. I do recommend seeing this one but it may possibly not be necessary to bump your viewing to Blu-ray as the film doesn't support dynamic visuals (as say a 3:10 to Yuma or Across the Universe). Definitely worth a spin.