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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Point Blank aka À bout portant [Blu-ray]


(Fred Cavaye, 2010)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Gaumont

Video: Magnolia



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

Runtime: 1:24:12.172

Disc Size: 27,469,200,446 bytes

Feature Size: 21,767,688,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.13 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 6th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2175 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2175 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2109 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2109 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English Titles and Text Only, English (SDH), Spanish, none



• Behind the Scenes Documentary (50:01)

Trailer (2:04)





Description: Samuel is a nurse working at a hospital when his pregnant wife is kidnapped before his very eyes. Knocked unconscious, he comes to and discovers that a dangerous criminal named Sartet is responsible, and if he's ever to see his wife again, he must do Sartet's bidding. Samuel quickly finds himself pitted against rival gangsters and trigger-happy police in a deadly race to save the lives of his wife and unborn child.



The Film:

"Point Blank" is not a French remake of the classic 1967 John Boorman flick that starred Lee Marvin; that would require being mean down to its very bones, and this one is a shade or two warmer than that - although that's a double edged sword; letting us like these characters means we can get hurt along with them.

Take Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche); he's a good guy. He pampers his pregnant wife Nadia (Elena Anaya), looks the other way when the other nurse's aide is goofing off, and responds quickly when somebody cuts the respirator one of the patients is attached to. He's just arrived home from that eventful day when someone breaks into his house, kidnaps Nadia, and tells him to get the unconscious man, one Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem) out of the hospital by noon. That puts him in a heap of a mess, not only from two different groups of criminals, but two competing detectives (Gérard Lanvin and Mireille Perrier).

Excerpt from Jay Seaver of eFilmCrrtic located HERE

Point Blank” is an exhilarating adrenaline rush with breakneck momentum so shrewdly calculated that you could imagine its French director, Fred Cavayé, standing by with a heart-rate monitor. Just when the beats per minute have accelerated beyond 160, and you are gasping for air, a momentary respite gives you a few seconds to wipe your brow, catch your breath and take a sip from your water bottle. Then you’re shoved back into the race. I can’t recall another thriller that has maintained this kind of velocity without going kablooey and losing its train of thought.

Excerpt from Stephen Holden of the NY Times located HERE

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

The image on Point Blank elevates beyond SD - but not by a significant margin. Skin tones can appear somewhat orangey on Blu-ray from Magnolia. It is possible that the film looked like this theatrically but either/or it doesn't come across especially crisp in 1080P looking somewhat green. This creeps into dual-layered territory with a decent bitrate. Colors seem a shade muted although most of the film is in darker locales. Contrast is acceptable with some notably strong black levels in the later daylit scenes. This Blu-ray isn't visually overwhelming but perhaps the film itself isn't either. There is nothing glossy or artificial here and the image quality remains consistent.



















Audio :

Magnolia provide a decent lossless, French language (original), DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 2109 kbps and a similar, but not recommended, uncompressed English DUB. Klaus Badelt's score is like a relentless metronome of intensity - building, distracting and building some more. It has remarkable depth and some keen separations for the bountiful aggression. There are optional subtitles (including the option for English Text and Titles) and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although the film is available on Blu-ray in Europe (region 'B'.).


Extras :

Supplements include a 50-minute, French language (with subtitles) Behind the Scenes documentary that seems a bit of a mish-mash including some production development. It has some value but its a lot to ask to wade through the entire thing. Aside form that is a theatrical trailer. Nothing else.



Point Blank is an intense and entertaining thriller. I think it would have been a dynamically realized film without additional layers but I didn't find them as excessive as Hollywood might employ - they never seems to know 'when' to say 'when'. This was like a satisfying meal of action-filled cinema that doesn't forget to include character development and plot details that enhance the film's presentation value. The imperfect Blu-ray gave me an enjoyable viewing - one I may repeat soon. I wish all thrillers were this substantial. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

December 2nd, 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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