(Tony Gilroy, 2007)
S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze
(Tony Gilroy, 2007)
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 18,333,062,184 bytes
Feature Size: 17,731,037,184 bytes
Video Bitrate: 16.36 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 19th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
/ DN -4dB
English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none
• Commentary from director and editor
with optional subtitles
Synopsis:Michael Clayton is an in-house "fixer" at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, Clayton takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen's dirtiest work at the behest of the firm's co-founder Marty Bach. Though burned out and hardly content with his job as a fixer, his divorce, a failed business venture and mounting debt have left Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. At U/North, meanwhile, the career of litigator Karen Crowder rests on the multi-million dollar settlement of a class action suit that Clayton's firm is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. But when Kenner Bach's brilliant and guilt-ridden attorney Arthur Edens sabotages the U/North case, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.
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.
Image: NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Comment from Leonard (who also owns the Blu-ray): 'My impression of the video for the Michael Clayton Blu-ray is that I found, as you did, a good deal of "monochromatic black" in the picture; and while I longed for more interest in those blacks, I saw no noise there, nor much of a distracting grain in general. There was a certain amount of noise in the bright areas, such as overexposed skies, but it was hardly anything I would have noticed if I weren't looking for it. I would have given the image an overall score of between an 8.5~9. I suspect that my results are different from yours (and from my own prior to a month ago) because I have installed a Crystalio VPS3100 video processor between player and projector, and while most of the improvement in my picture is revealed with SD material, I do get a cleaner picture even with 1080p sources.'
This is not a strong transfer being single-layered and the feature taking up only 17 Gig with a low-ish bitrate. Noise definitely exists and black levels are occasionally crushed but the heavier texture really suits the film look. I would hope that a strong transfer would bring this quality to greater prominence. Since I upgraded my system - the Blu-ray looks much better just as, surprisingly, the film itself improves with repetition.
It's funny how things change as now we say that we only have a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that sounds very competent. Aside from one or two scenes, though, the 5.1 audio is fairly under-utilized - but sounds adequately separated once called upon. There are optional subtitles in English, Spanish or French. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
BOTTOM LINE: The film? - it has really grown on me. I especially enjoyed the performances - Tilda Swinton was amazing - ditto for Tom Wilkinson and Clooney was also excellent. The film is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle that unifies fairly tightly in the finale. Michael Clayton is definitely worth a repeat viewings and while this Blu-ray A/V may underachieve it still gives a decent presentation of an unjustly overlooked film. From that standpoint it is recommended!
Revisited January 2010