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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Vincere [Blu-ray]


(Marco Bellocchio, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Rai Cinema

Video: Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 2:04:36.510

Disc Size: 24,689,948,019 bytes

Feature Size: 23,169,595,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 27th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 3441 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3441 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Interview with Filippo Timi (10:29)

• Trailer (1:57 in HD!)





Description: Though seldom discussed in history books (and reportedly undisclosed for half a century), fascist dictator Benito Mussolini conceived an illegitimate son by a woman named Ida Dalser -- a son Mussolini allowed to be born, acknowledged, and then promptly denied for the duration of his life. This unusual and offbeat historical drama rests on a little-known conceit.



The Film:

If you thought Mussolini’s record as a statesman was patchy, wait until you see how he treated his lovers. Italian veteran Marco Bellocchio delivers an operatic slice of historical muckraking which exhumes the tale of Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), spurned wife of the lantern-jawed lothario who would become Il Duce (Filippo Timi). Smitten by the rhetoric of the young socialist firebrand, Ida’s courtship with Benito takes place in the shadows until he is drawn into national politics and she is left destitute but certain she can win him back. Much like Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Il Divo’, the dizzying technical flair employed to tell Dalser’s story (back projection, animated intertitles, a bombastic score) is as much a clue to what’s going on with these characters as the fragmentary details of the story. Timi channels Klaus Kinski in his virtuoso reading of Mussolini, projecting with the full force of his muscular frame. In contrast, Mezzogiorno superbly expresses Dalser’s decline from sultry assurance to anguished obsession.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE


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

Vincere on Blu-ray from Artificial Eye in the UK seems a solid transfer to 1080P. Black levels are adept and there is visible grain producing some texture to the visuals. A lot of Vincere is dark but the transfer handles it with minimal noise. Detail rises to a level beyond what SD could relate. Color is infrequently used in the film - setting a 'black/white' era tone but when they do surface they look pleasantly bright. This Blu-ray is consistent in its appearance and I approve of the thickness - instilling a film-like representation. While single-layered, the transfer supplies an adept and flaw-free presentation. Even the archival footage looks impressive in HD. It's, predictably, clean and looks very good in-motion.



















Audio :

Artificial Eye supply a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3441 kbps in original Italian. Being more a bio-pic than action film there isn't an abundance of separations or aggressiveness. The strong lossless track handles Vincere's effect sounds easily adding a punchy quality to Mussolini's dialogue and crispness when called upon. There are excellent, optional, English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Supplements include a 10-minute interview with actor Filippo Timi - who plays Benito Mussolini magnificently. He seems to be quite an interesting chap - to say the least. He is speaking Italian in this interview but there are optional English subtitles. There is also a 2-minute HD trailer.


NOTE: Both extras played without issue on my region 'A' Oppo Blu-ray Player.



Like many, I didn't know much about the personal life of Mussolini - before or during his rise to power - and anything his first wife, Ida Dalsar. Vincere (aka 'Win') uses some archival footage to remind us of the timeframe and, while I expect it takes some liberties, is still highly interesting and educational. I really like the way this film moves between tones and the narrative doesn't seem to take too many liberties with its artistic avenues. I'd agree in its comparison to Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Il Divo’ or more aptly Bellocchio's own Good Morning, Night.



The Blu-ray gave me an excellent presentation of an important portrayal of a key historical figure. I, honestly, have researched further details on 'Il Duce' since seeing Bellocchio's impressive film. 'Fascinating' is not necessarily a positive word in describing this enigmatic leader. We give this Blu-ray a strong recommendation. 

Gary Tooze

October 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 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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