S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Informant! [Blu-ray]
(Steven Soderbergh, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Warner Home Video
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,919,284,292 bytes
Feature Size: 19,079,510,016 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.30 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 23rd, 2010
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1306 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1306 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Commentary By Director Steven Soderbergh And Screenwriter
Scott Z. Burns
Description: Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) was fast rising through the ranks at agri-industry powerhouse Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) when he became savvy to the company's multinational price-fixing conspiracy, and decided to turn evidence for the FBI. Convinced that he'll be hailed as a hero of the people for his efforts, Whitacre agrees to wear a wire in order to gather the evidence needed to convict the greedy money-grabbers at ADM. Unfortunately, both the case -- and Whitacre's integrity -- are compromised when FBI agents become frustrated by their informant's ever-shifting account, and discover that he isn't exactly the saintly figure he made himself out to be. Unable to discern reality from Whitacre's fantasy as they struggle to build their case against ADM, the FBI watches in horror as the highest-ranking corporate bust in U.S. history threatens to implode before their very eyes. Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, and Melanie Lynskey co-star.
Two Ocean's Trilogy veterans - Matt Damon and director Steven Soderbergh - reteam for a snappy skewering of big business based on the true story of the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower in U.S. history. Damon plays Mark Whitacre, whip-smart and immensely likable even as his schemes to expose corporate honchos illegally fixing the price of food additives become increasingly untethered. Pay attention to the fun and intrigue of The Informant! and be informed!
Part of this delicious confection of confusion is a tribute to Damon's
acting skills (and to the supporting role played by his facial hair).
Much credit must also go to the director, for two key reasons.
2. The decision to undercut serious scenes with bizarre voiceovers,
apparently originating in Whitacre's brain in real time. Grave
conversations will suddenly fade out, replaced by such random
ruminations as why German has such a long word for pen (it's
kugelschreiber); how polar bears know to hide their noses when they hunt
(a myth, I know); and ideas for prime time: "There should be a TV show
about a guy ..."
This is kind of a ho-hum Blu-ray transfer - single-layered with the feature taking up less than 20 Gig with a nominal bitrate. Shot with the Red Camera first utilized on Che, it shows similar anomalies for certain natural light rendering. But while contrast may be less remarkable than we have seen from the format there are instances of extremely effective detail and good colors. There is no real grain... or noise to inhibit. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically - fairly bright clear and a shade glossy. This Blu-ray gave me a decent if not overwhelming viewing.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track at 1306 kbps is less a part of the presentation being a dialogue heavy film with no excessive action sequences to separate and push effects sounds to the rear channels.It competently handles all that is thrown at it. Marvin Hamlisch's mood setting score (perfect 70's comic beats) along with the deliberate font of the locational title changes (sample above) adds some nice kitsch to the aura. There are optional DUBs and subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The commentary By Director Steven Soderbergh and Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns is very good. Burns seems to give solid input and Soderbergh gives his usual excellent information regarding production. Paired with Burns gives a great foil to the discussion talking about the transfer of the film to the screen etc. There are also 4 reasonably inconsequential, but interesting deleted scenes running 6.5 minutes in HD.
February 8th, 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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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