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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Edge of Darkness [Blu-ray]


(Martin Campbell, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures / BBC Films

Video: Warner Home Video



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

Runtime: 1:56:52.046

Disc Size: 23,322,205,098 bytes

Feature Size: 19,992,791,040 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.21 Mbps

Chapters: 30

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 11th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2143 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2143 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 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 Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB



English (SDH), French, Castellano, Spanish, none



BD Exclusive: Past and Present of Edge of Darkness (Warner BD-Live)
BD Exclusive: 9 Focus Point video pods (30:52)
- Scoring the Film
- Revisiting the Edge of Darkness
- Mini-series
- Edge of Your Seat
- Making a Ghost Character Real
- Adapting the Edge of Darkness
- Mini-series
- Director Profile Martin Campbell
- Boston as a Character
- Mel's Back
- Craven's War of Attrition
Deleted and Alternate Scenes (5:23 in HD!)
DVD Version of Feature Film that includes a Digital Copy on the same disc





Description: A cop and widower witnesses what first appears to be the accidental killing of his daughter, Emma. Distraught by the loss and further troubled by his conviction that the bullet was intended for him, he takes on the murder investigation with an obsessive zeal to see justice done. The investigation leads him to uncover an illegal plutonium stockpile.



The Film:

The last time we saw Mel Gibson in a leading role, he was throwing cold water on alien invaders in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs.” Now after a hiatus spent burnishing his reputation as the world’s pre-eminent director of ultraviolent dead-language epics, he tries a return to movie-star form in “Edge of Darkness,” in which he plays a grieving dad trying to solve and avenge the death of his daughter.

This is hardly new territory for Mr. Gibson, who has spent much of his on-screen career — from “Mad Max” (1979) to “The Patriot” (2000) — looking for paternal payback. Speaking of which: In the bluntly titled “Payback” (1999) he was both the agent of revenge and the principal victim, a situation that at first seems to apply in “Edge of Darkness.” Tommy Craven, Mr. Gibson’s Boston police detective, believes himself to be the intended recipient of the shotgun blast that kills his daughter, Emma. (Her mother, as far as we can tell, departed long ago.) And so he sets out to investigate his own attempted murder.

But it turns out the killer did not miss his target. At the time of her death Emma (Bojana Novakovic) was on a visit home from Northampton, Mass., where she worked for a mysterious technology company. She was packing a pistol and manifesting strange symptoms. Before too long Tommy, who occasionally hears his daughter’s voice and flashes back to her childhood, is undertaking the grim, dogged work of unraveling the conspiracy that led to her killing. This involves showing up at various people’s houses and places of work, accosting them with brusque questions and, when all else fails, punching them in the face.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE


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

Edge of Darkness is housed on a single-layered Blu-ray and looks good using the VC-1 encode... but never stellar. Detail seems competent as we view a few more wrinkles on Mel than we may be used to. His eyes are real blue and... the blood very red. Grain and noise seem evenly positioned. Contrast appears strong enough but there is not much in the way of depth. The image actually looks a bit thin.  Daylight scenes are more impressive and some darker scenes exhibits crushed blacks. This Blu-ray will undoubtedly be the best the film looks but is without major flaw or weakness.















Audio :

Audio some in the form of an adequate lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2143 kbps. The first real aggressive sound will knock you right out of our seat and separations, like rain, seem to crisply tap out of the rear speakers competently. It may lose a bit in its robust nature but overall supports the films action sequences very well. I did have to fiddle with the volume control as there is a huge disparity between dialogue (especially Gibson's, often, hard top distinguish Bostonian accent) and the more potent gunplay. There are subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Warner have included some BD-Live content (inaccessible at this time) which looks to be a piece called Past and Present of Edge of Darkness. On the disc is a BD Exclusive: 9 Focus Point video pods running 1/2 an hour focusing on production details like Scoring the Film, characterizations, a profile of Martin Campbell, Mel's return as an actor etc. There are also 5.5 minutes of Deleted and Alternate Scenes in HD and a second disc with both the DVD version of the feature film and a Digital Copy for use with portable devices - on the same disc.



As a one-dimensional film this can work. It seems to hint at gaining more layers and some much needed depth - but essentially it is a revenge tale with constable Mel pursuing the evil meg-corp responsible for his daughter's demise. The sideline of imagining his daughter talking to him and reflections of her as a child never really was developed enough methinks. Ditto for the Ray Winstone guilt evolution. It is entertaining, for sure, but I thought the violence went overboard a few times. It was unnecessary as the crux of the story should have been investigation not bloodshed. My opinion. The Blu-ray produces an adequate, if not stellar, presentation. Mel may have slowed the pace - but he is still the same and fans may wish to indulge in a good'ol cop-seeking-justice popcorn flick. There really isn't much more here. 

Gary Tooze

May 2nd, 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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