H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Control [Blu-ray]


(Anton Corbijn, 2007)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Music

Video: Alive - Vertrieb und Marketing/DVD



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:02:01.314

Disc Size: 24,481,444,469 bytes

Feature Size: 18,169,939,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 14.01 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 27th, 2008



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: VC-1 Video / 23.976 fps



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2007 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2007 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB DTS-HD Master Audio German 2084 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2084 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 16-bit



German, none



• Commentary by director Anton Corbijn

• Making-of CONTROL (25 min)








Description: Control tells the remarkable story of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the influential band Joy Division and one of the most enigmatic figures in all of rock music. Based on his wife's memoir, Control follows Curtis' humble Manchester origins and his rapid rise to fame, tormented battle with epilepsy, and struggles with love that led to his death at the age of 23.



The Film:

Ian Curtis, we are shown in a new film, was one of those introverted teenagers who gaze sadly upon their own destiny. In his cramped bedroom in Macclesfield, England, his schoolboy's desk holds files labeled for Poems, Novels, and so on. The files are filled not so much with his work as with his dreams. He lies on his back on his narrow bed, smokes, ponders, listens to music. He would become the object of cult veneration as lead singer of the late 1970s band Joy Division, and he would be a suicide at 23. There are times when we almost think that was his plan.

"Control," one of the most perceptive of rock music biopics, has been made by two people who knew him very well. It is based on a memoir by his wife Deborah (played by Samantha Morton), a teenager when they married, and directed by the photographer Anton Corbijn, whose early photos helped establish Curtis' image as young, handsome and sorrowful. The title of Deborah's book, Touching From a Distance, could describe all his relationships.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE



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

Firstly, this is a German Blu-ray but the film is in English and the German subtitles are optional (NOT forced). Despite the Blu-ray transfer of Control being limited to single-layering with the film taking up only 18 Gig with a puny video bitrate - the image can look quite strong. The film has wonderful cinematography that definitely benefits from the move to HD. Detail is surprisingly good and the only attribute that I would expect to appear superior with a better rendering is the contrast which has tendencies to appear more muddy than one might anticipate for such a modern film moved to high-definition disc. I don't have a DVD version to compare but it would seem this is a healthy advancement over SD. This Blu-ray is consistent without digital manipulations and along with the audio improvement produces an enjoyable presentation. It's by no means reference but visually looks quite crisp and tight.


















Audio :

As stated this is originally an English language film and there is a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2007 kbps available and it sounds very good. Obviously the music is a big part of the film and the track handles it quite well with decent range and depth with guitar and vocals sounding buoyant and crisp. Fans may notice this improvement as much, or more than the 1080P video. There are only optional German subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.




Extras :

The supplements appear to duplicate the SE DVDs with the fine Corbijn commentary. His Dutch accent is easily understandable. None of the featurettes etc are in HD. There is an informative 'Making of...' with input from many and some videos and interviews. Fans will definitely want to indulge if they have not already from the SD-DVD versions.



Remiss of us not covering the DVD version of this incredible bio-pic film. This German Blu-ray seems the only 1080P game-in-town at present - it looks and sounds strong enough to consider a purchase or even an upgrade - despite the technicals. This is definitely the best way to see this fabulous film in your home theater. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 4th, 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 HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








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