|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Steve Jacobs, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Fortissimo Films
Video: Image Entertainment
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,394,920,121 bytes
Feature Size: 20,165,695,488 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 27th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 24 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3426 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3426 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), English, Spanish, none
• 8 separate interviews with actors John Malkovich, Antoinette Engel, Jessica Haines + Eriq Ebouaney -director Steve Jacobs, producer Emile Sherman, screenwriter Anna Maria Monticelli + director of photography Steve Arnold
•Disgrace: Behind the Scenes (9:48 - SD)
• Trailer (2:13 in SD)
Description: In a landmark performance, Oscar nominee John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, 1993) stars as Professor David Lurie, whose world is shattered when he is fired for seducing a college student. He finds peace at his estranged daughter's modest farm in South Africa until a horrific incident of terror and violence forces Lurie to confront his beliefs and the disturbing racial complexities of the new South Africa. Based on the Booker Prize-winning novel, DISGRACE stands out as a gritty, gripping drama of brutality, survival and hope.
I awaited the closing scenes of "Disgrace" with a special urgency,
because the story had gripped me deeply but left me with no idea how it
would end. None -- and I really cared. This is such a rare movie. Its
characters are uncompromisingly themselves, flawed, stubborn,
vulnerable. We feel we know them pretty well, but then they face a
situation of such pain and moral ambiguity that they're forced to make
impossible decisions. It's easy to ask them to do the right thing. But
what is the right thing?
Considering the Image Entertainment transfer is single-layered with a modest bitrate it really doesn't looks too bad at all on Blu-ray. Detail is strong and there is some grain showing through. Colors appear adequately rendered and contrast is healthy and there is even some depth. I saw a modicum of noise later in the film but generally the presentation appearance was a surprisingly positive one. There are a lot of daylight scenes that look exceptionally good and the South African countryside vistas are quite impressive at times. This Blu-ray has a consistent feel that clearly eclipses SD. It gave me no reasons to be disappointed.
Where the video transfer is a little better than I anticipated - so was the audio as represented by a strong DTS-HD Master 5.1 at an underused 3426 kbps.. There is some original music by Antony Partos and a lot of classical (opera) snuck in sparingly. The film doesn't express a strong range with aggressive depth but the track handles all that is thrown at it with relative ease. Dialogue was clean and crisp but there are also optional subtitles for those less comfortable with the South African accent.My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Extras don't venture too far but some effort has been made with eight separate interviews. Those taking part were actors John Malkovich, Antoinette Engel, Jessica Haines + Eriq Ebouaney plus, from the filmmakers-side, director Steve Jacobs, producer Emile Sherman, screenwriter Anna Maria Monticelli + director of photography Steve Arnold. These are shortish but it's nice to even get some sound-byte information from these principals members of the production. I'd have loved to hear more from Malkovich and Jacobs. There is also a 10-minute Behind the Scenes piece that shows the effort of production. Finally a 2 1/4 minute trailer - and like all the supplements, it too, is in in SD. So no commentary - that would have been important to explain much of the narrative but the tidbits included were better than nothing and certainly worth the indulgence for those keen.
April 25th, 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