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Out of Time [Blu-ray]
(Carl Franklin, 2003)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: MGMHome Video
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,020,987,800 bytes
Feature Size: 18,589,378,560 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.89 Mbps
Average Total Bitrate: 23.51 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 2nd, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-2 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2490 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2490 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
English, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, none
• Trailer Ronin (2:28 in HD)
Disc 2 (DVD from January 2004)
• Commentary by director Carl Franklin
Out of Time: Crime
Description: Suppose everything you knew – everything you trusted – became a lie. For Matt Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington), that nightmare has become a reality. Matt is the chief of police in small Banyan Key, Florida. A hardworking man who's good at his job, he's respected by his peers and beloved by his community. But when Banyan Key is shocked by a brutal double homicide, Matt starts his investigation – and his life starts to unravel. As details of the case begin to surface, all the evidence points to Matt as the prime suspect. Now with the investigation in full swing and several people working the case, Matt finds himself in a race against time to solve the murders before others uncover the clues he's finding and he himself falls under suspicion. He has to stay a few steps ahead of his own police force and everyone he's trusted in order to clear his name and uncover the horrifying truth.
Washington is one of the most likable of actors, which is essential to this character, preventing us from concluding that he's getting what he deserves. Mendes makes the ex-wife Alex into a curiously forgiving character, who feels little rancor for the straying Matt and apparently still likes him; maybe there would have been more suspense if she were furious with him. Saana Latham has a tricky role as Ann -- trickier the deeper we go into the plot -- and is plausible at many different speeds, and Dean Cain is convincingly vile as the violent husband. John Billingsley is Chae, the local medical examiner who is Matt's sidekick and supplies low-key, goofy support in some tight situations.
Another one of the movie's stars is its Florida location. It was photographed in and around Miami, Boca Grande and Cortez, and reminds us how many Hollywood crime movies depend on the familiar streets of Los Angeles (or Toronto). Banyon Key seems like a real place, sleepy and laid-back, where everybody knows one another and high school romances could still smolder. As the net of evidence tightens around the sheriff, it seems more threatening because there are few places for him to hide, and few players who don't know him.Excerpt Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE
MGM cheapens out again with an MPEG-2 transfer that actually looks okay - if not the quality of it's superior AVC cousin. The Blu-ray image quality is better than the 2004 DVD (included in the package) - sometimes significantly. There are quite a few close-ups that show strong detail and the Floridian beaming sunshine on rich flora/fauna appears very romantic and atmospheric. This is only single-layered and it's hard to say where it might have improved - there are some artifacts but none I found distracting. Daylight scenes are more impressive but nothing is overly dark or too glossy. It's easy to say it benefited from the move to HD but is probably not worth a double dip if you already own the DVD. The Blu-ray underachieves technically but I can't dismiss the decent image quality as hopefully indicated by the expanding screen captures below.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master, like the image, doesn't seem to reach the highest capabilities - in this case of a lossless audio track but it still has some pop in the more aggressive moments of the film. There isn't a lot of subtlety in the mix but dialogue is clear and consistent although nothing is as crisp as some may have anticipated. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu determines this is region 'A'-locked.
The Blu-ray supplements consist of only three HD trailers (including one for the film) but the 2004 SD is here in it's entirety with the director commentary, featurettes, screen tests and photo gallery. This is really a sign of laziness on MGMs part - even with the single layering of the Blu-ray there is more than enough space for those same extras - in SD! It seems MGM had some stock left over and are throwing it in to get rid of it. But it is a viable extra to own the DVD and those keen to venture to supplements at least have them. Most people don't own 2 Blu-ray players yet and it may be useable for play in rooms of the house that only support DVD. Without moving the extras over though - sucks.
May 29th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze