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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

A Dangerous Method [Blu-ray]


(David Cronenberg, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Recorded Picture Company (RPC)

Video: Sony Pictures



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

Runtime: 1:39:25.960

Disc Size: 30,526,480,366 bytes

Feature Size: 22,494,253,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.86 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 27th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3357 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3357 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), English, Spanish, none



• Commentary by director David Cronenberg

The Making of A Dangerous Method (7:41 in 480i)

• AFI's Harold Lloyd Master Seminar with David Cronenberg (31:22 in 1080P)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:56 in 1080P)

• Previews





Description: Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender star in director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The year is 1904. Carl Jung (Fassbender), a disciple of Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), is using Freudian techniques to treat Russian-Jewish psychiatric patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) at Burghölzli Mental Hospital. But the deeper Jung's relationship with Spielrein grows, the further the burgeoning psychiatrist and his highly respected mentor drift apart. As Jung struggles to help his patient overcome some pressing paternal issues, disturbed patient Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) sets out to test the boundaries of the doctor's professional resolve. A Dangerous Method screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.


On the eve of World War I, Zurich and Vienna are the setting for a dark tale of sexual and intellectual discovery. Drawn from true-life events, A Dangerous Method takes a glimpse into the turbulent relationships between fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, his mentor Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein, the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them. Into the mix comes Otto Gross, a debauched patient who is determined to push the boundaries.

In this exploration of sensuality, ambition and deceit set the scene for the pivotal moment when Jung, Freud and Sabina come together and split apart, forever changing the face of modern thought.



The Film:

Splits/doubles/twinning are all over the place in A Dangerous Method, which makes this a pure David Cronenberg film despite the level of violence being held down to bottom-thwacking and one neat cut delivered to Jung’s face. Cronenberg has always been preoccupied with what he calls the “Cartesian split” between mind and body; he’s a bit of a psychoanalyst himself. He brings his usual pensive rigor to the proceedings, with little flashes of perversity now and then. Most of the drama is the drama of ideas; we can almost hear angry swords clanging in a prideful comment from Freud and its politely dissenting rejoinder from Jung. The irony, not lost on Jung, is that Jung must kill his “father” — a key Freudian concept.

Excerpt from Rob Gonsalves at located HERE


Before it became known as psychoanalysis, the radical new method of dealing with emotional crises pioneered by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and others was known simply as "the talking cure." And it is talk — smart, satisfying and sometimes even thrilling — that is at the heart of "A Dangerous Method."

"Method" stars Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Jung, and a game but somewhat miscast Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, a woman who influenced them both. The confident directing style of David Cronenberg is essential in making this kind of intellectually stimulating cinema look easy, but the critical component in the film's success is Christopher Hampton's classically well-written script.

Excerpt from Kenneth Turan at the L.A. Times located HERE

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

Not a soaring bitrate on Sony's dual-layered Blu-ray transfer - but the 1080P image looks quite strong. Sharpness and contrast are excellent. Visually this is consistent and a pristinely clean representation of the theatrical. There's some depth and the infrequent close-ups impress with strong detail. I don't see evidence of digital tinkering and the accurate 1.85:1 aspect ratio supports a fine, unencumbered, presentation. There isn't anything to overly extol - this just looks very authentic to me - and that should always be the prime goal of the new format transfers.
















Audio :

The audio is a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3357 kbps. It doesn't get a lot of dynamic exercise as it is not any type of action-film although there are a couple of scenes with activity that extend the surround to the rear speakers. Everything is clean and depth is supported when necessary. The track easily handles what the film exports. Howard Shore has been composing good scores for over 25-years (including early work like Scorsese's After Hours and Cronenberg's The Fly) and his supportive music here is just as solid never overtaking the narrative. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Fans always hope for a commentary by director David Cronenberg - which he did with many of his early films to DVD but they have not been as forthcoming of late. With A Dangerous Method we get one and he is his usually forthcoming self. He knows his topic from A-Z and supplies beneficial information in advancing an appreciation for the production. I was also keen on his lack of storyboard usage and his reasons behind it. There is also a standard 'The Making of A Dangerous Method' running under 8-minutes with sound bytes from many of the cast and the director. More appealing is the AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar with David Cronenberg running 1/2 an hour with the director expanding on some of his work. This is in HD as is a 2-minute theatrical trailer and the obligatory previews.



This is a very interesting film but would be most appreciated by those keen on the characters and period. It has great performances (I'm in the positive camp for Keira Knightley), magnificent art-direction and is nicely paced by Cronenberg who continues to evolve as one of the more notable filmmakers working today.  The Blu-ray gives a solid presentation and the commentary and AFI piece give it further value. We can recommend - this is certainly worthwhile viewing. 

Gary Tooze

March 17th, 2012

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 5000 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
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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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