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The Robber aka Der Räuber [Blu-ray]
(Benjamin Heisenberg, 2010)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 29,920,761,191 bytes
Feature Size: 27,778,179,072 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.26 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 18th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
English (SDH), none
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 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.
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
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.
Nothing except an HD trailer for the film (and 4 others) and a modestly impressive 'Stills Gallery'.
October 9th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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