S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Messenger [Blu-ray]
(Oren Moverman, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Video: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 45,101,754,693 bytes
Feature Size: 27,181,467,648 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.61 Mbps
Case: Custom case with two slipcases and double fold out
Release date: May 18th, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2274 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2274 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
• Commentary with Director/co-writer Oren Moverman, producer
Lawrence Inglee and actors Ben Foster + Woody Harrelson
• 5 Oscilloscope trailers
Description: Co-written by Oren Moverman and Alessandro
Camon, THE MESSENGER is a powerful and tender story
about a returned war hero making his first steps toward a
At one point in “The Messenger” a soldier, just back from an
overseas tour of duty, is telling a story during a welcome-home party
with some friends. It starts out as a funny reminiscence of a local
character he knew in Iraq, but when the anecdote takes a gruesome turn,
the laughter is replaced by uncomfortable silence. Nobody gets the point
of what he’s saying, or maybe nobody wants to hear it, and the happy
mood of the reunion fractures.
This divide is perhaps most painful when it splits lovers, friends and close family members. But as “The Messenger” demonstrates with sensitive acuity, it is not necessarily a clear and simple line, and people who seem to live on the same side — servicemen on duty together, a veteran and a widow, a husband and a wife — can find themselves estranged and unable to communicate what they have in common.Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE
The Messenger has a very impressive transfer to Blu-ray. Detail is highly remarkable and it exhibits depth at times. This is dual-layered with a soft palette color scheme perhaps reflecting the battle fatigues often worn. The image is slightly blue-green. Everything seems superior than, the included, SD-DVD can relate with a fine sheen of textured grain giving the image some substance. There are pragmatic touches that keep the production appearing more limited but the transfer quality is superb. It produces a solid presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2274 kbps isn't a barn-burner but to be fair the film hardly exports extended separations. This is mostly, front channel, dialogue driven with some scattered effect noises that aren't really aggressive. The Messenger leans to more of a performance piece and hence is certainly not in the action genre so don't expect any dramatic depth or range from the inherent track. Conversations can be slightly scattered reinforcing the vérité feel of the film. There is also a lossless 2.0 stereo channel track available that should also suffice for most. Dialogue is clear enough but there are optional English subtitles for those who might require it and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Oscilloscope Laboratories have added some solid supplements with a decent-to-strong commentary with director/co-writer Oren Moverman, producer Lawrence Inglee and actors Ben Foster + Woody Harrelson. We are told when the improvised lines are and the actors give input about prep for certain scenes. Short segments are allowed for the film to run - overall it is a bit sedate but worth the extra spin and its inclusion is appreciated. We get the 25-minute short documentary Notification - the last work by the late Joe Kelly. It explores people on both sides of the causality notification process. It is stated that Joe was a member of The Messenger family and I found this short work as a great companion piece to the feature film. Going Home: Reflections From the Set has brief interviews with behind-the-scenes footage and lasts just over 10-minutes. In HD is a Variety Screening Series Q&A with the cast and crew just shy of 1/2 an hour. There is an enclosed SD-DVD in the package which has the film and same extras and adds on the shooting script in a PDF file. Lastly there are 5 Oscilloscope trailers. The cardboard package is quite extensive - perhaps more so than it needed to be and many might have preferred the standard Blu-ray case.
May 1st, 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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