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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Spiral [Blu-ray]


(Adam Green + Joel Moore, 2007)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Coattails Entertainment

Video: Anchor Bay / Starz



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

Runtime: 1:30:39.600

Disc Size: 20,447,597,320 bytes

Feature Size: 20,447,597,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 2nd, 2010



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 / DN -4dB



• None



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Description: Joel David Moore stars with Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia and THE GRUDGE 2) in the harrowing story of a shy and possibly disturbed telemarketer/painter, his arrogant longtime friend and boss, and the carefree new co-worker whose love may offer a portrait of normalcy. But in a life scarred by dark secrets, can the truth be the most horrifying pose of all? Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica co-stars in this acclaimed psychological shocker co-directed by Adam Green and Moore that FrightFest hailed as "almost unbearably tense... a Hitchcock-tail of precision direction and startling imagery packing a final shock punch!".



The Film:

There’s something weird about the lead character in Spiral. Played by Joel David Moore, “Mason”comes across as one of the creepiest movie characters since Norman Bates in Psycho. Still, it’s easy to feel sorry for him. He lives alone, works in a dull job as a telemarketer, seems very shy, and has only one friend -- his boss, who went to high school with him. This lonely man is also a talented artist. He sketches women and paints them, but all in the same poses. After meeting his latest potential model, events spiral out of control and lead to a surprising conclusion involving reality vs. fantasy. Bluesy background music plus a rainy Portland setting enhance the atmospheric feel of this creative thriller and help draw us into Mason’s strange, dark world.

Excerpt from Betty Jo Tucker At ReelTalk located HERE



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

Spiral is another in a series of 'pragmatic' Blu-ray editions from Anchor Bay / Starz. Probably the most positive attribute (besides the price) it has is the film itself and that it looks modestly superior to DVD. Colors are a little brighter than the SD format, detail a notch improved but overall the image is fairly unremarkable.  It is true HD at 1080P and contrast has some decent response. This is only single-layered and represents another of these films that have fallen through the cracks without a heavy marketing machine behind it. It's a worthy spin, especially for the price of $10, but keep your visuals expectations in check.

















Audio :

No lossless, no HD audio but there are some modest separations in the 5.1 Dolby. Aside from the beautiful jazz, the creepy background music and some exposed effect noises this is strongly dialogue dependant. For the jazz alone I'd love to have heard this in a stronger offering with more range or depth but I guess it wasn't in the cards. There are no subtitles available and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.



Extras :

Like He Was A Quiet Man and The Man From Earth this is devoid of any extras - or even menus. There is a commentary and featurette mentioned on Amazon but this is incorrect and must have been for the more expensive DVD. There is nothing at all here except the film which starts immediately upon inserting the disc.


I'm not totally against this form of inexpensive bare-bones Blu-ray package as it allowed me to see the film - which I give some kudos to. It has an indie feel but is much more polished - I think Moore's performance is a bit heavy-handed, but this has a fair amount going for it with some interesting camera angles and solid support from Zachary Levi and cutey Amber Tamblyn (Russ' daughter!). It's more interesting than 'horror' in my opinion. So again it is worth the indulgence for a) the film value, b) the price. 

Gary Tooze

January 29th, 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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