The tears and the blame mix
uneasily in “Reservation Road,” a grim, mechanistic thriller about death and
suffering, life and healing among the civilized. Based on a well-received novel
by John Burnham Schwartz, who shares screenwriting credit with the film’s
director, Terry George, this is one of those sadistic exercises that puts its
characters through the wringer without saying anything true or meaningful, like
what it takes to get out of bed those mornings when you think the sun will never
again rise with you.
Theatrical Release: September 13th, 2007 (Toronto Film Festival)
DVD Review: Universal (Spotlight Series) - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.33 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), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English (SDH), French, Spanish, None|
Looking Back on Reservation Road (14:44)
I think this is a shade superior to usual standard definition transfers from Universal. Detail is quite strong and it appears fairly dark and a bit thick. Contrast is very acceptable and noise is dissolved in the out-of-focus backgrounds. All in all, very good I think with no visible manipulations or gross transfer weaknesses. The disc is anamorphic, progressive and dual-layered coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Audio gives a, now standard, 5.1 track that is rarely utilized. Dialogue was always clear and consistent and there are optional subtitles for English, French or Spanish.
Supplements include a 15 minute featurette entitled Looking Back on Reservation Road. It has expected input from director/writer and cast. There are almost 8 minutes worth of deleted scenes plus a few promo trailers (In Bruges, Charlie Wilson’s War, etc.). In a weird extra addition Universal have included a 45 minute Friday Night Lights episode called Last Days of Summer. I watched only 10 minutes of it - not for me. Someone somewhere may appreciate the inclusion I suppose.
The film? - Many critics turned a cold shoulder to this but I was more forgiving for its obvious and manipulative nature. I enjoyed the three strong lead performances as well (Connelly is a bit overboard at times). The trouble with it may be the subject matter - parents may find this hitting far too close to home but as a film it certainly works on certain levels - but not so on others. If you can't overcome the, often, contrived narrative - then nothing is going to make you like it. Perhaps I'm not jaded enough yet (or too easy a sell?). I found it no where near as bad as some state and although I was uncomfortable at times - it was moderately entertaining. Enough so to warrant a spin I suggest.
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