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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Crossing Over [Blu-ray]


(Wayne Kramer, 2009)


Coming out in North America from Vivendi Ent. June 1st 2010:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: The Weinstein Company

Video: Entertainment In Video



Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:53:04.652

Disc Size: 21,586,263,338 bytes

Feature Size: 20,127,375,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.08 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 23rd, 2009



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2398 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2398 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Forced Previews





Description: Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd star in Running Scared (aka Crossing Over) writer/director Wayne Kramer's harrowing look at life amongst illegal immigrants and the immigration enforcement agents whose job it is to ensure that the U.S. borders remain secure. Every day, a new batch of immigrants comes flooding into Los Angeles in search of the American dream -- and every day the price of that dream rises exponentially. As the desperation of these newcomers continually tests the humanity of Los Angeles immigration enforcement officers, the face of a 21st century L.A. gradually begins to take form.



The Film:

The U.S. offers hope--but that often comes at a price. Many can earn citizenship legally through a lengthy bureaucratic process, but others find themselves out of luck in a country where virtually anything can be bought. Sex, violence and betrayal become their currency. Some wait in line for permission to enter the U.S. while others take matters into their own hands. Working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Los Angeles, Max Brogan is an agent sworn to protect our borders, he deals with the thousands that try to cross over into the U.S. in search of a better life. The lives of Brogan, his ICE partner, Hamid, immigration defense attorney, Baraheri Denise Frankel, and her husband, Cole Frankel, intersect, by necessity, accident or fate, with Mexican factory worker Mireya Sanchez; Hamid Baraheri's sister Zahra; young Bangladeshi Taslima Jahangir; British musician Gavin Kossef; Australian actress Claire Shepard; and Korean teen Yong Kim. Each has a different struggle: a single mother deported without her child; a high school girl whose provocative essay draws FBI attention; an actress who willingly prostitutes herself to earn her green card; a struggling musician trying to build a career while working his day job; and finally, a Korean teen caught between two worlds, while his family is desperate to naturalize.


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

Firstly, I really liked this film - or should I say 'parts of it'. The image on this Entertainment in Video transfer is single-layered but suffices in producing some desirable quality. The Blu-ray has healthy detail, depth and realistic, un-manipulated, colors. Skin tones seem true and there is some minor background grain. I can't be sure that dual-layering this would produce substantially better visuals but I really have no strong complaints as it goes. Noise is minimal to non-existent, no blockiness - darker scene black levels may be marginally crushed but it is nothing that interfered with my viewing experience. Contrast holds its own, and then some, but this won't be a transfer that 'wow's you' - it simply does it's job - and does it very well.

















Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2398 kbps 5.1 is called upon in some boisterous action sequences and exports some desirable separation. Gunshots have responsive punch that can snap you to attention. Mark Isham is a veteran and his score does exactly what you may want - running beside the film like a river keeping musical pace with the various moods utilizing under-spoken intent. There are only English optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.



Extras :

I have a bone to pick with Entertainment in Video here. I am less concerned with the total lack of viable extras for such a marvelous film (although this is not acceptable either) but you cannot seem to start the movie without forced trailer previews that I could neither skip through NOR fast forward. Argghhh! This is extremely irritating when you really just want to watch the film. I find it a total invasion running over 8-minutes. Aside from that Crossing Over deserves some discussion - be it a director commentary or something equally substantial - and there is nothing at all. 


I've rewatched scenes from this film many times now. Cliff Curtis is a wonderful actor and seems unfairly under-recognized. Director Wayne Kramer has pieced together some of these separate story segments beautifully. It doesn't tend to hold as well together as it does individually but I still think this is a refreshingly human film that deserves a wide audience. The Blu-ray is imperfect but once into the film - does its job well produces a rewarding viewing. This is only on DVD in North America (but another Blu-ray is coming in 'B' in Germany HERE)! 

Gary Tooze

December 3rd, 2009



Coming out in North America from Vivendi Ent. June 1st 2010:



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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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