S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(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)
Disc Size: 24,689,948,019 bytes
Feature Size: 23,169,595,392 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps
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.
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
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
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.
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.
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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze