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Crossing Over [Blu-ray]
(Wayne Kramer, 2009)
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)
Disc Size: 21,586,263,338 bytes
Feature Size: 20,127,375,360 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.08 Mbps
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 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.
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
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.
December 3rd, 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 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze