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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


While She Was Out [Blu-ray]


(Susan Montford, 2008)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Insight Film Studios

Video: Starz / Anchor Bay



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

Runtime: 1:25:51.146

Disc Size: 18,033,276,480 bytes

Feature Size: 17,987,217,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.01 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 8th, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video



Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps



English (SDH), none (unaccessible)








Description: A suburban housewife (Basinger) is forced to fend for herself when she becomes stranded in a desolate forest with four murderous thugs. What starts off as a quick trip to the mall ends in the woods with a fight for her life. All she has is a toolbox and her will to survive.



The Film:

Maybe it was the agoraphobic in Kim Basinger that sparked this empty husk of a survival thriller about a woman forced to leave her upscale suburban home for the mall on Christmas Eve as a means of escaping an abusive husband, only to run afoul of parking lot toughs. An early, lengthy scene of Basinger's Della wandering in visible distress around the crowded mall and stumbling through easy social tests like a coffee-shop order and a stop-and-chat with a college chum effectively conveys battered wife fatigue and was presumably aided by the actress's ability to draw on the habitual skittishness of a lifelong anxiety sufferer. But the movie goes downhill from there, as Della returns to the lot where she's accosted by one of the most implausible street gangs ever seen in a non-comedy.

The extent to which first-time writer-director Susan Montford has her ass kicked by a simple establishing scene, in which baby-faced ne'er-do-well Chuckie (Lukas Haas) and his three grad student-looking cronies appear and begin hassling Della at her car, suggests she'll have a brief career in the big chair or at least one that doesn't require her to lean on her own very limited understanding of dialogue. What ought to be a straightforward scene of harassment repeatedly falls on its face thanks to amateur-hour scripting that calls for the gang members to alternately bicker among themselves—the African-American takes offense when Chuckie calls him "my nigga," for example—and threaten Della with questions like, "How about I aim the gun at your pussy?" that may have seemed tough on the page but are cringe-inducing when delivered by these actors, to this actress, in this context.

Excerpt from Ryan Stewart at Slant Magazine located HERE



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

I don't have the DVD to compare but this is a limited 1080P transfer from Anchor Bay. It's single-layered with the feature taking of less than 18 Gig supported by a middling bitrate. It actually doesn't look bad with some decent detail in close-ups. It's mostly noise I see in monochromatic darkness and no textured grain to give us that healthy Blu-ray feel. Colors are acceptable if not stellar and contrast is good. It's a shortish, one dimensional film - but I admittedly enjoyed seeing Kimmie take on the tuffs. This Blu-ray gives an okay presentation but with limited critical rating - we can be sure it probably won't be looking much better anytime soon.















Audio :

Nothing lossless but there is some buoyancy in the standard Dolby 5.1 track. It could definitely been more robust to heighten the suspense and thriller aspects. The effect sounds are not overly crisp and there is little in the way of range or depth - as one might find in an HD audio rendering. My software says there are English subtitle options but I couldn't access them and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.



Extras :

Nothing at all - not even a menu - sure the film may not warrant a commentary but something - a trailer - would have given me something to talk about here.


Any films that shows so much of Kim Basinger's face - I am certainly not against. I could just watch her walking around a shopping Mall all day (which it seems a good 20-minutes of this films is). The biggest positive about this Blu-ray is the price - I liked it better than most but even at $12 - you may wish to think twice for this bare-bones adventure of battling Kim. 

 Gary Tooze

November 25th, 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 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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