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In a Better World aka Hævnen [Blu-ray]
(Susanne Bier, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Det Danske Filminstitut
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,618,807,181 bytes
Feature Size: 30,146,998,272 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.83 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 30th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Danish 2617 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2617 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1309 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1309 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 896 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, French, none
• Commentary bydirector Susanne Bier and editor Pernille Bech Christensen
•Interview with director Susanne Bier (15:53)
• 7 Deleted Scenes (13:40)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:02)
Description: The lives of two Danish families cross each other, and an extraordinary but risky friendship comes into bud. But loneliness,... frailty and sorrow lie in wait.
Anton is a doctor who commutes between his home in an
idyllic town in Denmark, and his work at an African refugee
camp. In these two very different worlds, he and his family
are faced with conflicts that lead them to difficult choices
between revenge and forgiveness.
This year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner switches between war-torn Africa and bourgeois Denmark to pose telling questions about violence and responsibility. Medic Anton (Mikael Persbrandt, pictured) saves lives in a refugee camp, but a brutal warlord stymies his efforts. Should he turn the other cheek? That’s his reaction back home when menaced by a local lout, in an impeccable passive resistance lesson for his bullied teenage son Elias (Marcus Rygaard). The latter, though, is far more impressed when his classmate Christian (William Jøhnk Juel Nielsen) takes a seriously kick-ass approach to anyone giving them hassle. What price non-violence when a good thrashing gets results? Ace screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen lines up the opposing arguments in a crisp, no-nonsense manner, allowing the viewer to feel the moral dilemmas as keenly as the characters do, while director Suzanne Bier marshals the cast without a false note. True, the resolutions on offer seem conventionally pat, yet the tough questions stay with you in an absorbing drama which pushes the viewer’s buttons with effective intelligence.Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE
Having just won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this provocative Danish parable from director Susanne Bier (After the Wedding) tries its luck at the U.S. multiplex, where drivel rules. Fight the power. Despite detours into sentiment and preaching, In a Better World is an emotional powerhouse. Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) is a divorced doctor of torn responsibilities. He frequently leaves his son, Elias (Markus Rygaard), at home in Denmark to work in Kenya among victimized women.Excerpt from Peter Travers at Rolling Stone located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Image quality on Sony's Blu-ray of In A Better World is generally strong but sometimes erratic exporting a waxy softness that is probably inherent in the digitally-based film production. The transfer also exhibits a glossiness that I also presume to be a part of the Red One Camera process used. From this I believe Sony's dual-layered Blu-ray is quite effective and accurate in reproducing the original visual representation. Colors are often extreme with bright blues and detail has impressive moments in close-ups. The film has some incredibly serene and idyllic landscapes and there is a sense of depth at times. Overall, I trust this to be an authentic rendering that supplies an effective presentation balancing the building level of emotional tenseness.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 in original Danish at 2617 kbps easily seems to handle all the film audibly exports. There are few instances of aggressive depth or separation and the film is notable for its impressive and contemplative score from Johan Söderqvist (Things We Lost in the Fire). Predictably, there are no flaws in the audio transfer. The disc has optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Supplements include an informative commentary with director Susanne Bier and editor Pernille Bech Christensen, a separate 15-minute interview with Bier and about 13-minutes of, sometimes revealing, deleted scenes (7). There is also a theatrical trailer and some Sony previews.
August 23rd, 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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