H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

The Informers [Blu-ray]

 

(Gregor Jordan, 2009)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Senator Entertainment Company

Video: Senator

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:37:48.904

Disc Size: 21,393,739,394 bytes

Feature Size: 17,744,074,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 25th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1448 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 /
48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English, English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director Gregor Jordan and actors Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci

Human Intersections: Making 'The Informers' (15:26 in HD!)

• Previews

BD-LIVE enabled

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In his bestselling novels, author Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho, Less Than Zero) established himself as a modern chronicler of decadence, revealing dark shadows behind lives of wealth and glamour. In this new film, Ellis co-writes a script inspired by his own stories. Billy Bob Thornton. Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke star in an interweaving tale in the tradition of Boogie Nights that unfolds in Los Angeles: a city ruled by addictions of every type - from sex, to drugs, to power - where youth is wasted, where love is fleeting, where every night is a headlong rush to the next orgy of sensation. Sooner or later, the party has to end...and the hangover is bound to be a killer. Also starring Chris Isaak, Brad Renfro in his final performance and hot up-and-comers Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) and Austin Nichols (TV's "One Tree Hill").

 

 

The Film:

"The Informers" is about dread, despair and doom, and its characters are almost all about to be hit with more reasons for dread and despair, and a shared doom. It takes place in the Los Angeles show-biz drug subculture of 1983, when AIDS didn't have a name and cocaine looked like the answer to something. It demonstrates the eerie ways that music and movies connect people from vastly different lives in a subterranean way where desire is the common currency.

What do they desire? Drugs, sex, power, wealth and fame or its proximity. These things have made their lives hollow daily punishments, treatable only by oblivion. One character, in a moment of desperate need, says, "All I want is someone to tell me what is good, and someone to tell me what is bad." Hemingway told him, if he had been listening: "What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

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.
 

I'd say The Informers looks acceptable but never outstanding on Blu-ray. Even close-ups can tend to look SD-soft. Colors are duller than we are used to seeing from this format. As a positive, this Blu-ray exports consistent visuals. Contrast, for this exceptionally dark film, never seems to benefit as much as it should from the move to HD. Outdoor sequences fare better but the limitations of the feature file size (a, relatively, puny 17.7 Gig) probably only marginally advances over the simultaneously released DVD. It doesn't look manipulated, nor poorly shot - it just looks very drab - which actually may be more intentional considering the film.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The Dolby TrueHD Audio at 1448 kbps is about as lackluster as the image but luckily the film doesn't export a ton of separation - although there were a couple of subtle usages. Christopher Young's score suits the film alright but beyond that dialogue or any effect sounds are very dynamic or particularly crisp.  The Informers could have used all the help it could get too. There are only English subtitles, no DUBs and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

 

Extras :

A must admit the commentary, by director Gregor Jordan and actors Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci, helped me a little with the film - but I always felt like I needed the writer Bret Easton Ellis' take. Production and sundry are covered. If you are looking for a shining beacon to comprehend the story - this is only a flashlight. Somewhat interesting is the 15-minute featurette in 1080i; Human Intersections: Making 'The Informers'. It has soundbytes from cast and crew but it seems rushed and I'd have thought, although the film was panned, that more could have been said. There are some previews and the Blu-ray is BD-LIVE enabled.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Well, this film is certainly a head-scratcher. Unfortunately, I'll watch anything with Kim Basinger and most films with Rourke or Thornton. But, either I require another viewing (3rd time) - after a long absence... or I suggest that you really need to be in the right mood to appreciate the human corruption in The Informers. Anyway, the Blu-ray is pretty darn weak. The DVD, HERE, is only $4 cheaper - so if you are going to watch it - you may as well go for the Blu-ray, but it's not a film I'd encourage you to see with any enthusiasm. NOTE: A good sign of the less-then-stellar package production is the cover - under Mickey Rourke's face is "Winona Ryder" - and under Amber Heard is Mickey Rourke's name. WTF? This is a thumb's down - too much bad. 

Gary Tooze

August 19th, 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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