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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Submarine [Blu-ray]


(Richard Ayoade, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Film Agency for Wales

Video: Anchor Bay



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

Runtime: 1:37:28.300

Disc Size: 21,271,998,080 bytes

Feature Size: 19,036,243,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.02 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 4th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2536 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2536 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)



English (SDH), Spanish, none



• Nine Deleted or Extended Scenes (12:53 in 480i)

• The Making of Submarine (10:57 - 480i)





Description: Young Oliver Tate's coming of age is coming even sooner than expected. Prone to daydreaming, listening to French crooners and indulging other self-absorbed fantasies, Oliver (Craig Roberts) suddenly finds himself submerged in real-life, dual challenges -- plotting to lose his virginity with a quirky new girlfriend (Yasmin Paige), while also struggling to reconcile his parent's (Golden GlobeŽ winner Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) marriage, even though his mom seems smitten with the self-help guru next door (Paddy Considine). This charmingly original comedy from executive producer Ben Stiller and writer/director Richard Ayoade, has been pronounced by Vogue magazine ''a charming mix of quirk and cool.''



The Film:

This is a spirited and warm film debut from TV comic Richard Ayoade, best known as an actor on ‘The IT Crowd’ and a little less as a one-time writer and director of ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ for Channel 4 – as well as a maker of music videos for the likes of the Arctic Monkeys. Ayoade’s background is in telly, but his film is proudly cinematic – so much so that its big-screen influences are almost its defining characteristics.

Adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s 2008 novel, ‘Submarine’ is a retro coming-of-age tale about a teenage boy shell-shocked by everyday life in 1980s Wales. This is the story of Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a schoolboy whose life is a movie in his head, which explains why his parents, played brilliantly by Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins, are such impenetrable but telling caricatures, weighed down by the hang-ups and deficiencies Oliver affords them.

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

Submarine,” the debut feature directed by Richard Ayoade, a well-known English television comedian, is as smart and self-conscious as its protagonist, a 15-year-old Welsh schoolboy named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). This is only fitting, since the movie, in the manner of precursors like “Rushmore” and “Garden State,” is more or less the movie Oliver would make about himself.

“ ‘Submarine’ is an important film. Watch it with respect,” an introductory note from this peculiar, engaging young man suggests. After obeying the second part of that message, I can’t quite agree with the first, which I doubt was meant entirely in earnest. Significance can be overrated, and “Submarine” makes the most of its whimsical triviality.

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.

Submarine appears surprisingly adept on Blu-ray from Anchor Bay.  Detail is impressive in close-up and black levels are very strong.  This is only single-layered but gave me a solid presentation in 1080P. Colors can be tight and rich without over exuberance. Skin tones seem true. This 1.85:1 transferred Blu-ray exports the attributes of the film's often inventive cinematography extremely well. I found no reasons for complaints and this Blu-ray probably gives the wonderfully human and amusing film Submarine an authentic and pleasing visual representation. All good.



















Audio :

Submarine is devoid of any demonstrative audio aggression and the DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2536 kbps handles all the action quite easily. There is an original score by Andrew Hewitt which comes through without obviousness and the film lacks any real need for crisp separation or depth. It sounds as it sounds. There are optional English subtitles - perhaps necessary for some to interpret the Welsh accents and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although a Blu-ray has been available in the UK for a while.


Extras :

Supplements consist of nine, fairly irrelevant but still interesting and amusing, deleted or extended scenes that last about a dozen minutes - transferred in 480i. There is also a Making of Submarine featurette running slightly shorter and includes snipit interviews with Yasmin Paige, Craig Roberts, director Richard Ayoade, Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor interspersed with clips from the film. There is no trailer but the disc starts with some previews.



Submarine is a thoroughly enjoyable film experience edging through humanity and humor with equal appeal. I was pleased by all the performances especially Sally Hawkins (who I love!) and Noah Taylor. This film has so much going for it - you wish you had your initial viewing all over again. The Blu-ray is better than I would have anticipated from Anchor Bay with an adept a/v transfer and two viable digital extras. For the single-layered package the price is a bit exorbitant but the film is surely worth multiple spins. Go for it.

Gary Tooze

September 28th, 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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