S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Jeff Malmberg, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cinema Guild
Video: Cinema Guild
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 18,002,700,868 bytes
Feature Size: 14,925,416,448 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.10 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 12th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution:1080i / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1704 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1704 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• Eight Additional Marwencol Story Sequences (11:41)
• 8 Cinema Guild Preview/trailers
• 2-page liner notes introduction by film critic Elvis Mitchell
• Collectible Marwencol mini-print by Mark Hogancamp
Description: Outside a small bar in Kingston, NY, Mark Hogancamp was beaten nearly to death, his memories wiped away. Seeking recovery, he builds Marwencol, a miniature World War II-era town filled with doll versions of his friends, fantasies, and even his attackers. As he documents the town's dramas with his camera, the dolls become living characters in an epic tale of love, adventure, resurrection and revenge. When his photos are discovered by the art world, Mark is suddenly forced to choose between the safety of his imaginary world and the real world he's avoided since the attack.
See some of Hogencamp's photography HERE
When Hogancamp's work is discovered and becomes the subject of a
Manhattan gallery exhibition, complete with Marwencol on display, a
question surfaces about whether Hogancamp will want to start regarding
his work as art rather than therapy -- or whether he can find a way to
reconcile the two.
Happily, Malmberg doesn't use his camera to gawk. Rather, he introduces
the audience to Hogancamp and his eccentricities with unfailing
sensitivity, etching a fine, delicately nuanced portrait of an artist
compelled by mysterious forces to create something utterly unique. While
it's obvious that Hogancamp's hobby allows him to engage in healthy
fantasy and wish fulfillment (he's a character in his own right, in the
form of the courageous, handsome Captain Hogancamp), there are practical
implications as well, as the work helps him regain his fine motor
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Marwencol was shot on digital and is directly transferred to Blu-ray - hence using a 1080i transfer. The film is filled with still photographs of the posed action figures that are often stunning in their quality showing some real depth and strong, true, colors. This is only single-layered with a small feature size but an acceptable bitrate. The interlaced combing in the live action sequences is not overly disturbing but the disparity between them and the static shots are noticeable. It kind of brings the war fantasy to a higher plain. This Blu-ray offers the best presentation for the limited budget film and there are plenty of visuals that are highly impressive - as I hope the screen captures below indicate.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The track is lossless but expectantly modest utilizing a DTS-HD Master stereo rendering at 1704 kbps. There is some nice WW2 music and an original score by Ash Black Bufflo but this is a documentary with narration and not much in the way of effects or separations necessary. There is a bit of expectedly scattered dialogue and no range of depth - authentic to the original production.There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being region FREE.
Cinema Guild have stacked the disc with plenty of extras including eight, short, additional Marwencol Story Sequences running under a dozen minutes - a hefty 17 Deleted Scenes and two sequences more directly related to Mark Hogancamp with 2.5 minutes showing his reaction to the film and at the Red Carpet Premiere. There are 31 impressive photos in a Stills Gallery and a theatrical trailer plus the package contains a 2-page liner notes introduction by film critic Elvis Mitchell and a collectible Marwencol mini-print (postcard size) by Hogancamp.
April 8th, 2011
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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