(Michael Radford, 2007)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Magnolia Pictures
Video: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,125,477,859 bytes
Feature Size: 18,684,672,000 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 30th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Audio:DTS-HD Master Audio English 1667 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1667 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), Spanish, none
• Exploring the Facets - A Behind the Scenes Look (11:48 SD)
Description: 1960s London: Demi Moore is Laura Quinn, a bright and driven executive at the London Diamond Corporation who finds herself discouraged as male colleagues are repeatedly promoted ahead of her despite her greater experience. Michael Caine is Hobbs, the equally overlooked nighttime janitor with an intimate knowledge of the security - and a score to settle with the Corporation. Sensing Laura s frustration, he convinces her to help pull off an ingenious heist.
At the heart of Flawless lies a mystery - one that takes both the viewer and the characters by surprise and requires some ingenuity to unravel. While some members of the audience may guess at what has happened (it is foreshadowed, albeit in a subtle manner), most will not until director Michael Radford is almost ready for the "reveal." As is often the case with heist movies, this one is riddled with minor inconsistencies and larger holes, but many of these are not apparent during the initial viewing and don't become clear until after the end credits have rolled. The rigorous tying of loose ends is not the goal of Flawless' screenplay.
Michael Caine anchors the film with his portrayal of a man who's after far more than a bump to his pension fund. Caine can make even the most bland character seem interesting and, while Hobbs is not the best-defined protagonist ever to venture into a heist, Caine deepens and enriches him. His short monologue late in the film is touching. This is Caine's second outing with Demi Moore, although both would probably prefer to forget the first one (Blame It on Rio). Moore is considerably less impressive than Caine and it shows most forcefully when they share the screen. She's flat and at times unconvincing. It doesn't help that her British accent irregularly comes and goes. It's so inconsistent that the script has to throw out a line to explain it. (She's an American who has been living in England for 20 years.) Joss Ackland gets to play a ruthless despot - he's especially good at those. Who can forget his "diplomatic immunity" refrain from Lethal Weapon 2? Lambert Wilson is the no-nonsense crime investigator Finch, who shows up in the second half of Flawless and develops a connection with Laura.Excerpt from James Berardinelli's review at Reelviews located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The 1080P image on Flawless looks good if not stellar. Contrast is strong and detail shows some surprising sharpness in close-ups. Nothing is really demonstratively poor... or excellent. You can see it is superior to SD but the single-layered Blu-ray disc from Magnolia has about 18.5 Gig for the feature at a modest 20 mbps video bitrate. Colors seem true but there is a flatness to the visuals but overall the presentation suits the film. Darkness scenes in the sewers show a nice cinematic flair by Richard Greatrex but it's a straightforward film - and the transfer abides. This Blu-ray shows neither heavy grain or plastic glossiness. The majority of the film is set in the early 60's and the hi-def image is quite adequate in supporting the film to a healthy degree of realism. You can't really ask for much more.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
It's a 'nothing special' DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1600 kbps. It's a passive film, and passive track with no gunplay, violence or chase scenes. The track supports the film's dialogue - there are some effect noises that give the rear speakers some subtle activity. There is some classical music in the film that sounds quite nice but, like the image, nothing is overwhelming. Surely though it deserves some recognition for competence. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this disc is indeed region FREE!
No Blu-ray bells and whistles - just astandard 12-minute featurette in SD - Exploring the Facets - A Behind the Scenes Look. You get some brief sound-byte input from cast and crew and I expect it's the same supplement on the DVD. Not bad but that's all folks - not even a trailer for Flawless but there are a, pre-feature, handful for other Magnolia Pictures releases and an HDNet advert.
June 23rd, 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.
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze
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