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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Incendies [Blu-ray]


(Denis Villeneuve, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: micro_scope

Video: Sony Pictures



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

Runtime: 2:10:27.820

Disc Size: 41,703,365,807 bytes

Feature Size: 32,336,375,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.89 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 13th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 3220 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3220 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, none



• Commentary with Director Denis Villeneuve
Remembering the Ashes: Incendies Through Their Eyes (44:08)

Theatrical Trailer (2:08)

Second disc DVD





Description: In the highly-acclaimed suspense thriller Incendies, a mother's dying wish creates a painful puzzle her children are forced to solve. At the reading of their mother's will, twins Jeanne and Simon are given instructions to locate the father they believed was dead and the brother neither knew existed. They travel to the Middle East, to piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world only to make a shocking discovery.


When notary Lebel (Rémy Girard) sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) to... read them their mother's will Nawal (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn't know existed. With Lebel's help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate forever marked by war and hatred as well as the courage of an exceptional woman.



The Film:

That's the hook that will lead you into Incendies, a devastating mystery thriller from Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve that grabs you hard and won't let go. Though the film moves from Canada to the Middle East and involves rape, murder and genocide, the crucial territory covered is fixed in the heart. Adapted from a play by the Lebanese-born Wajdi Mouawad, the film gathers momentum from its images, including the three dots Nawal tattooed on the heel of her missing son. I'll say no more. Incendies is best opened fresh. But there's no way that you'll get it out of your dreams.

Excerpt from Peter Travers at Rolling Stone located HERE


Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies,” a film very much occupied with some of the grisly realities of recent history, nonetheless has the structure, and some of the atmosphere, of an ancient folk tale. It is a quest narrative, about children searching out the mysteries of their parentage, and also the story of a resourceful heroine, the mother of those children, surviving an almost unimaginable series of ordeals.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE


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

Incendies appears less crisp than many might be expecting from Blu-ray but it has a very consistent look which I suspect is an honest replication of the theatrical from what I have been able to determine. It is thick and dark. The commonly used Arriflex 535 camera with Kodak stock picks up some detail and there is depth apparent. Colors appear authentic. Grain/noise is a bit blotchy in the background but the overall presentation is a positive one. This is dual-layered with a decent bitrate for the over 2-hour film. Contrast is at a solid level for hi-def. The camera is very kinetic and has few static representations - and the impressive cinematography is a key element. This is a great film and the Blu-ray probably looks like Incendies was intended and it advances well beyond any SD capabilities.
















Audio :

Audio comes in the form of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3220 kbps 5.1 in the original French with some Arabic languages in the film. The lossless rendering is excellent supplying healthy depth to aggressions and subtle separations sneaking to the rear speakers. The original score by Grégoire Hetzel (A Christmas Tale) carries well through the film supporting the intensities and more contemplative sequences. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although it is simultaneously released in Region 'B' in the UK.



Extras :

The supplements offer a commentary from director Denis Villeneuve where he divulges details only someone with his knowledge of the production could relate. There is also an extensive video piece entitles Remembering the Ashes: Incendies Through Their Eyes running 3/4 of an hour with many behind the scenes clips. Also included is a theatrical trailer and a second disc DVD of the film is available in the standard Blu-ray case.



Incendies, based on the play Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad, is quite draining - and is an expertly crafted film producing a memorable cinema experience. This is an important work and one you would want to see benefiting from the best possible presentation with viable elements like the cinematography standing as an important feature. The Blu-ray does that well in my opinion. I consider this a must-see film. 

Gary Tooze

September 6th, 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.

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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