S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The Secret in Their Eyes aka El secreto de sus ojos [Blu-ray]
(Juan José Campanella, 2009)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Canal+ España
Video: Sony Pictures Classics
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 37,892,657,922 bytes
Feature Size: 32,946,407,424 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 21st, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2782 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2782 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 3930 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3930 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, French, none
• Commentarywith Juan José Campanella (Spanish with English subtitles)
•Behind the Scenes of The Secret in Their Eyes (4:12)
• Casting The Secret in Their Eyes (10:38)
• Theatrical trailer (1:22 in HD!)
Description: The Secret in Their Eyes, the gripping
mystery romance that won this year’s Best Foreign Language
Film Oscar and was Argentina’s most popular domestic film in
three decades, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 21 from
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The critically lauded cast
is headed by Ricardo Darin as a man obsessed with a murder
case that’s gone unsolved for 30 years. He’s joined by
co-stars Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino and
Guillermo Francella. Juan José Campanella (Son of the
Bride) directed the Sony Pictures Classic release.
The past continually forces its way into the present in “The Secret in Their Eyes,” an attractive, messy drama riddled with violence and edged with comedy that comes with a hint of Grand Guignol, a suggestion of politics and three resonant, deeply appealing performances. Set primarily in contemporary Argentina with intermittent flashbacks to the 1970s when the country was descending into a military dictatorship, the film is by turns a whodunit (and why), a romance and something of a ghost story. A young dead woman lies at the center of the mystery, but she’s scarcely the only thing here haunting the living.
Mr. Campanella’s eclectic résumé includes several films made in his
native country (“Son of the Bride,” a comedy) and numerous directing
gigs for American television shows, including the “Law & Order”
franchise. Although he executes some flashy moves in “The Secret in
Their Eyes,” routinely calling attention to the camera — as in an aerial
shot of a stadium in which the camera appears to descend seamlessly into
the roaring crowd before chasing after a single character — it’s the
performances that stick with you, along with Sandoval’s booze-soaked
melancholia, an occasional scripted eccentricity and the chaos of the
increasingly impotent justice system. The scenes between Mr. Darín and
Ms. Villamil aren’t subtle (their eyes aren’t especially secretive), but
they appealingly convey the warmth of habit and heat of regret.
The opening flashback scene - in the train station - of The Secret in Their Eyes is infused with intensely heavy grain. From that point on the film has some other intriguing style from a hand-held camera to obtuse artistic angles - often with a golden hue. This Argentinean film looks just brilliant on Blu-ray from Sony. We can see excellent detail in close-ups, colors are vibrant but flesh-tones remain accurate and there is no digital manipulation. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels. This Blu-ray has an authentic feel with the pristine video transfer appearing flawless on the dual-layered disc. This Blu-ray probably looks like the theatrical film The Secret in Their Eyes and supports a magnificent presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We get a solid, and extremely competent, lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio transfer at 3930 kbps - in original Spanish. The film is more a psychological thriller/romance than an 'action-based' effort but there are effects for instances of chase, capture and conflict. The rendering handles the aggression with relative ease. The handheld sequences (football match) have intentionally scattered sound lending a vérité feel to the realism of the scene. There is an unobtrusive original score by Federico Jusid + Emilio Kauderer that subtly establishes appropriate auras. It plays its part well - sounding crisp - without becoming overly noticeable in my viewing. There are optional English, English (SDH) and French subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked disc.
I enjoyed the Spanish language commentary by director Juan José Campanella. He covers a lot of 'inside information' on the production and transposition of the story to the screen. There are, well rendered, optional English subtitles for the commentary - sample:
Beyond that are two standard featurettes on production - less than 5-minutes for 'Behind the Scenes of The Secret in Their Eyes' with a few of the principles and 10-minutes on 'Casting The Secret in Their Eyes' which appear to be just some screen tests. Neither are vital or can approach the value of the commentary. Lastly, there is a 1:22 theatrical trailer in HD.
September 15th, 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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