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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Carnage [Blu-ray]

 

(http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/polanski.htm, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: CinéCinéma

Video: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:19:37.773 

Disc Size: 29,202,461,524 bytes

Feature Size: 18,735,267,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.80 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 20th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2479 kbps 5.0 / 48 kHz / 2479 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1955 kbps 5.0 / 48 kHz / 1955 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, none

 

Extras:

• Actor's Notes (10:38 in 1080P)

• An Evening with John C. Reilly and Christopher Waltz (38:03 - in 1080P)

• On the Red Carpet (3:30 - in 1080P)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:03 in 1080P)

• BD-Live

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Following a playground scuffle between their 11-year old children, the parents of the "victim" have invited the parents of the "bully" to their apartment to sort it out. Cordial banter gradually develops a razor-sharp edge as all four of the well-heeled American parents reveal their laughable contradictions and grotesque prejudices. None of them will escape the ensuing carnage in this hilarious new comedy.

***

After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the "victim" invite the parents of the "bully" over to work... out their issues. A polite discussion of childrearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage.

 

 

The Film:

So not only is "Carnage" not opened up, it feels even more intensely focused on its quartet of protagonists than the play was. The tight close-ups of cinematographer Pawel Edelman, the way his camera moves within the detailed living space designed by Dean Tavoularis, adds to the let-me-out-of-here claustrophobia of the scenario co-written by Reza and Polanski.

But it wasn't only the tight confines that likely attracted a filmmaker often drawn to bleak, amoral themes. Reza's play is a high-style, abrasive comedy of chaos and hostility that mercilessly skewers its characters' pretensions and aspirations. This kind of material is never going to warm anyone's heart, but done as well as it is here, this pitiless verbal farce can provide bleak satisfactions of its own.

Excerpt from Kenneth Turan at the LA Times located HERE

One name for which might be the God of Carnage, the title of Ms. Reza’s play when it came to Broadway in 2009 by way of Paris. The glib alluring notion that spins through 80 minutes of contentious dialogue is that beneath the surface of civilized behavior lurks an unquenchable animal impulse, a principle of aggression we labor in vain to suppress. As the Cowans and the Longstreets go through the motions of mature, reasonable conflict resolution, that old primal force asserts itself in various forms. These nice, complacent people turn angry, competitive, contemptuous and stupid. The spectator, gliding and feinting around the edges of the room with Mr. Polanski’s nimble camera, anticipates violence and perhaps hopes for it to erupt.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE

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

Carnage looks decent on Blu-ray from Sony. Visually there is not much diversity with 95% of the film shot inside an apartment.  With the extras included the disc is dual-layered and the feature has a middling bitrate. There is no digital manipulation and the presentation doesn't require dynamic visuals - it is not that type of film. Skin tones and colors are true. There is no noise nor any overly dark scenes. The Blu-ray gives theatrically representational viewing experience. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.0 track at 2479 kbps supports the dialogue-driven film as well as can be expected. Everything is clean and consistent with no requirements for crisp separations of punchy bass. There is virtually no musical score (only in the opening and ending). There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Extras include a 1-minute piece entitled Actor's Notes where the 4 main performers talk about their characters and roles. An Evening with John C. Reilly and Christopher Waltz runs almost 40-minutes and is a quaint, relaxed video with the two actors moderated by Jenelle Riley. On the Red Carpet has 3.5 minutes of sound-bytes before the premiere. There is also an HD Theatrical Trailer and the disc is BD-Live functional.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I watched Polanski's Carnage without any expectations. I wasn't even aware that it has such strong comedic elements. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of language although it can appear somewhat contrived. The in-your-face themes of selfishness and self-absorption are often hilarious. The Blu-ray gave me a very entertaining hour and 20-minutes - the 'Evening With Reilly and Waltz' was also good. There are plenty of friends I would lend this to - who would also appreciate it. 

Gary Tooze

March 10th, 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
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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