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Directed by David Slade
USA 2005

 

A smart, charming teenage girl, Hayley probably shouldn't be going to a local coffee shop to meet Jeff, a 30-something fashion photographer she met on the Internet. But before she knows it, she's mixing drinks at Jeff's place and stripping for an impromptu photo shoot. It's Jeff's lucky night. But Hayley isn't as innocent as she looks, and the night takes a turn when she begins to impose a hard-hitting investigation on Jeff in an attempt to reveal his possibly scandalous past.

***

Still, what precisely is going on here, and is it anywhere near as clear as it seems? Is Hayley perhaps getting some pleasure of her own out of the situation she has created for Jeff? Are there two perverts in the room?

The film succeeds in telling its story with no nudity; the R rating comes "for disturbing violent and aberrant sexual content involving a teen and for language." The young girl is not objectified but has free will throughout, lives in the moment and improvises.

There is undeniable fascination in the situation as it unfolds. It is an effective film. Although I may be concerned about how some audience members may react to it, I cannot penalize it on the basis of my speculations about their private feelings. Seen as a film, seen as acting and direction, seen as just exactly how it unfolds on the screen, "Hard Candy" is impressive and effective. As for what else it may be, each audience member will have to decide.
 

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 2005 - Sundance Film Festival

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Comparison:

Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Lions Gate - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:56  1:43:44.009
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,858,530,355 bytes

Feature: 19,742,306,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3280 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3280 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Lions Gate

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

Commentary by director David Slade and writer Brian Nelson
Commentary by actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page
Deleted and extended scenes
"Creating Hard Candy" featurette
"Controversial Confection" mini-featurette 
Trailer


DVD Release Date: September 19th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Lions Gate

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,858,530,355 bytes

Feature: 19,742,306,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:
Commentary by director David Slade and writer Brian Nelson
Commentary by actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page
Deleted and extended scenes
"Creating Hard Candy" featurette
"Controversial Confection" mini-featurette 
Trailer

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 5th, 2010
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 20

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 2010: It should be apparent from the screen shot comparisons - that they 1080P transfer exports superior color (especially in flesh tones with yellow/orange on the DVD) and the image has much more detail often showcasing some bona-fide depth. This is a pretty big difference and may be a strong case advocating the Blu-ray format in general. Every visual facet seems to improve to varying degrees but overall the HD image gives a vastly superior presentation.. The DVD looked good, comparatively softer, but the Blu-ray looks... fabulous - not glossy but very sharp and smooth.

Audio also improves with a lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3280 kbps. There are moments of keen separation for the audio and the HD rendering has no trouble supplying desirable range. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Extras are excellent, and duplicated from the previous DVD with two solid commentaries - the first by director David Slade and writer Brian Nelson dissecting the intricacies of the storyline and the second - fairly laid back, with actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page. I like both of them. There are deleted and extended scenes, a 52-minute, 7-part "Creating Hard Candy" featurette including casting and the director's visuals style etc. as well as a "Controversial Confection" mini-featurette (9:22) - both with the caveat to see after the film as there are spoilers - and lastly a trailer. The Blu-ray has the ability to 'bookmark' scenes and there are Lions Gate Previews.

Hard Candy pulls no punches and, almost like a chamber piece, relies heavily on the excellent performances and well-thought out dialogue. I initially thought that the film wouldn't hold as strong an impression on re-visitation - but it certainly did... and then some. This may been in part to the advanced a/v of the Blu-ray. Once you see it looking so impressive you have trouble ever accepting a lesser video viewing. The price here is fabulous for a solid package of an intense but intriguing film experience and substantial supplements. We strongly recommend - doubly so if you haven't seen the film yet. Wow! 

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Lions Gate - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


Lions Gate - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


Lions Gate - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Lions Gate - Region 1 - NTSC Lions Gate - Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

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