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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Robber aka Der Räuber [Blu-ray]

 

(Benjamin Heisenberg, 2010)

 

There is a German Blu-ray - reportedly region FREE - but I am unsure whether it has English subtitles:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion

Video: Kino

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:41:23.067

Disc Size: 29,920,761,191 bytes

Feature Size: 27,778,179,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.26 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 18th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 3428 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3428 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Trailers

• Stills

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A champion marathoner leads a double life as a serial bank robber, sprinting between fixes (and away from police cavalcades) as many as three times a day. A lean, visceral study of pathological compulsion from Austrian director Benjamin Heisenberg, featuring a riveting central performance by Andreas Lust (Munich).

 

 

The Film:

The Robber tells the story of a multitalented man: Johann Rettenberger is a successful marathon runner and a serial bank robber. Soberly and precisely he measures his heart rate, strain, stamina and efficiency - both during training runs and bank raids, from which, concealed beneath a ludicrous mask and armed with a pump gun, he takes flight from the police. He lives, undiscovered, with his girlfriend Erika in Vienna. However, his addiction to the passion, the kick, the exercise and the symmetry of the perfect robbery propels him to take off for a regular fix - as much as three times a day. When he is discovered, he bolts, as fast as his legs will carry him, from a massive police cavalcade. Somebody like Johann has no goal: he keeps on running because what he seeks is a pure and permanent state of motion. His flight forces him to press on and on - but he has no intention of ever arriving.

***

Recently released from prison, there's really only one thing on this recidivist's mind, and it's certainly not his girlfriend,... Erika... Based on the novel by Martin Prinz, and in turn on real-life 80s Austrian criminal sensation Pump-gun Ronnie', Benjamin Heisenberg's tense, terse, kinetic thriller is much like the character it portrays: precise, lean and obsessive and for pure man-on-the- run thrills, it's hard to beat.

***

When we first see him, Johann is running laps around a prison courtyard. Upon release he embarks on long-distance training, checks in at the job office and, without missing a beat, steals a car and holds up a bank. The robberies proliferate; the cash piles up under his bed like a collection of useless souvenirs. He also accumulates trophies for marathons, beginning with the Vienna competition, where he's "the unknown runner," beating the favorites and setting a new record. Monitoring his heart rate with the latest tech, he studies the digital evidence of an afternoon's dash from cops in broad daylight.

Andreas Lust (who played a devoted cop in the Oscar-nominated thriller "Revanche") portrays Johann as a precariously calibrated mixture of control and impulse. Worried about his stability, his earnest probation officer (Markus Schleinzer) dogs him about becoming more involved with other people.

Excerpt from The LA Times located HERE

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

The Robber has a very kinetic camera and although competent on Blu-ray from Kino doesn't really impress with its visuals.  This is no fault of the transfer - the film itself doesn't lend itself to important awe-inspiring image quality. I really don't have anything bad to say about the dual-layered Blu-ray with a healthy bitrate. There is a modicum of noise, detail and contrast are acceptable, there isn't much depth but this, in no way, hurts the film's interest or entertainment. The Robber tells its story through images but it doesn't rely on the 'eye-candy' principle to sweep up your intrigue. It's a simple work with an interesting human subtext and the Blu-ray probably has the same modest appearance that the film did theatrically.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3428 kbps in original German plays very well. There is a very rhythmic, pulsating score by Lorenz Dangel that pumps through riveting chase scenes and has some depth to it. The film doesn't support a lot of separation although there is subtle aggression - range is not a key factor. This probably lossless rendering has no flaws and adds solid aura to the presentation. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Nothing except an HD trailer for the film (and 4 others) and a modestly impressive 'Stills Gallery'.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thought The Robber built-up tension extremely well but that waned a little towards the, less-eventful, climax. This was still a strong, thought-provoking film. The story was realized very well and it makes for a great night in the Home Theater. The Blu-ray from Kino is bare-bones but the film is a worthy spin. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 9th, 2011

There is a German Blu-ray - reportedly region FREE - but I am unsure whether it has English subtitles:


 

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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