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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Ledge [Blu-ray]

 

(Matthew Chapman, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 4 GmbH & Co. KG

Video: MPI

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:40:50.044

Disc Size: 24,974,371,521 bytes

Feature Size: 18,047,797,248 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.97 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 27th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2526 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2526 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Interview with Charlie Hunnam (26:26 in 480i)

• Interview with Patrick Wilson (18:43 in 480i)

• Interview with writer/director Matthew Chapman (19:40 in 480i)

• Interview with Mark Damon - Producer (28:48 in 480i)

• Interview with Michael Mailer - Producer (12:01 in 480i)

• Trailer (2:06 in 1080P)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Gavin (Charlie Hunnam, Cold Mountain) is on the ledge. Hollis (Terrence Howard, Crash), who just learned that he is not the biological father of his children, is tasked with talking Gavin down. Their conversation eventually reveals Gavin s deep-rooted conflict with his fundamentalist Christian neighbor Joe (Patrick Wilson, Watchmen), whose theological opposition to Gavin was intensified by Gavin s gay roommate and later by Joe s wife's infidelity. The negotiations take a drastic turn when Hollis learns that Gavin has a deadline, and his life is not the only one hanging in the balance. Writer/director Matthew Chapman (Runaway Jury) returns after a long hiatus to helm this unpredictable thriller that asks challenging questions about faith and reason; the nature of belief; and the value of human life.

***

Atop a high-rise building, Gavin, a young hotel manager, is about to end his life. Hollis, a detective whose own world... has just been turned upside down, is dispatched to the scene. As Hollis tries to persuade Gavin not to jump, each man begins to open up about his past, and we discover that neither of them is convinced that his life is worth living.

 

 

The Film:

The Ledge,” it should be noted, is not dumb. What undoes it is its mechanical structure: a stale dramatic formula of the sort taught in elementary playwriting classes. Although it affects an attitude of being fair and balanced as its poses Big Questions about faith and the existence of God, it barely camouflages its contempt for the free-spirited Gavin’s righteously born-again Christian adversary, Joe (Patrick Wilson), a pathetic, bigoted, sociopathic paper tiger of a foe.

The story is told mostly in flashbacks as Hollis (Terrence Howard), a police detective with his own set of problems, tries to cajole Gavin off the ledge. In the movie’s prelude Hollis, a Catholic, discovers to his shock that he suffers from lifelong infertility. He and his wife, Angela, have two young children that he had presumed to be his biological offspring. So who’s the daddy? Hollis is so unnerved that he takes time off from his suicide watch to dash home and confront Angela.

Excerpt from Stephen Holden at the NY Times located HERE

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

The Ledge is one of those HD-to-35mm shoots put to Blu-ray disc and giving an impressive appearance. It has some of the plastic-look of digital but also a strong sense of depth and detail - especially notable in close-ups. The transfer is modest - single-layered but supported by a reasonable bitrate. Colors never stand-out but everything seems to be visually true. This Blu-ray has a consistent feel and by modern standards is fairly tame visually as the 1.78:1 ratio film is almost a chamber piece with a handful of simple sets and no real dynamic action sequences. This Blu-ray probably looks exactly like the film The Ledge and I didn't notice any contrast flaring or anything that deterred from the video portion of the presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We get a competent DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2526 kbps. The film doesn't export any aggressive range or depth - it is really not part of the experience. There are some separations at the subtle end. The score by Nathan Barr is relatively supportive sounding clean with some crisp edges. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

There are 5 lengthy interviews and the participants are generous with their time. The separate discussions with actors Charlie Hunnam and Patrick Wilson, writer/director Matthew Chapman and producers Mark Damon and Michael Mailer last over 1.5 hours (total) in 480i and cover many topics from personal questions about how they got into their profession to specifics about The Ledge. I thought they were all reasonably interesting. There is also an HD Trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Critical response was less than stellar but I found a lot to like about The Ledge. The performances are excellent across the board - I was impressed by Hunnam, I always like Wilson (Little Children, Lakeview Terrace, Hard Candy) a lot and Tyler, Terrence Howard (also a producer of the film) was limited by his role but is always memorable with his glassy, expressive eyes. I didn't find I had to 'give over' to the story as much as the major complaint about the film for some. I thought it was well written but it did smack of seeming like a 'quick' project - although everything technically about the filmmaking was cohesive enough not to detract from the viewing experience. The Ledge has a lot to offer. It reminded me of Beyond Suspicion - perhaps as it focused on emotion rather than treating the viewer as unobservant - not requiring the repetition of plot specifics over and over. The Blu-ray is of middling quality but supplied me with an enjoyable night in the home theater! 

Gary Tooze

September 20th, 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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