S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'Spy(s)' or Spy(ies)')
Vincent is a brilliant and reclusive young man, a graduate from one of the top universities, who rejects an ambitious career to work in airport security. To pass the time, Vincent and his co-worker Gerard pickpocket from passengers' suitcases. But when a diplomat's bag explodes in Gerard's face violently killing him, the game comes to an end. The Secret Service gets involved in the case, and Vincent is forced to execute a mission in London under a secret identity, investigating a British businessman suspected of illicit trafficking, Peter Burton. The key to cracking the case lies in seducing Burton's beautiful but vulnerable French wife, Claire. But who will fall prey to whom? Everything spirals downward as Vincent must choose between his heart and his freedom.
A moody London-set thriller in which the thrills are more about bedrooms than bullets, Gallic-helmed "Spy(ies)" dips its USB key into the romantic side effects of international espionage, to partially satisfying effect. French heartthrob Guillaume Canet (who directed hit "Tell No One") stars as a scrappy underachiever-turned-secret agent who seduces an expat housewife to thwart an attack of those infamous "bottle bombs" that make toiletry packing so annoying nowadays. Debut feature by critic-cum-filmmaker Nicolas Saada opened to strong local reviews and B.O. and should deftly infiltrate local theaters, with additional overseas missions a strong possibility.
Theatrical Release: January 20th, 2009 - Angers Film Festival
DVD Review: Seville - Region 0 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
Also available in France on DVD:
|Distribution||Seville - Region 0 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 5.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English/French (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
|Subtitles||English (For spoken French) OR French (for English), None|
Highly impressive debut film from director/writer Nicolas Saada - whom I have known for a few years via email communication. What appears as a reasonably simple film has some unforeseen conflict, desire, counterintelligence, unrequited love, and yes, 'espionage' - in the offing. Made with what appears to be a modest budget Espion(s) is able to adeptly shift gears - credit Saada's control and Stéphane Fontaine's inventive cinematography - creating some pure, but understated tension and eroticism at defining moments. Guillaume Canet is excellent in a 'Vincent Cassel-ish' French-stud manner, Géraldine Pailhas + Archie Panjabi add exotically pleasing femininity - while it is nice to see Stephen Rea (not Stuck in a car window) looking, but not sounding, especially British. As a first feature it is quite remarkable and I look forward to more from Saada. This is the sign of a filmmaker who knows and understands the process and how to complete a fully realized final product.
Upon insertion, the disc immediately gives the option of 'French' or English' - but this may only be for the menu language and a default subtitle selection. The video transfer from Seville Films in Canada is single-layered (feature takes up about 4 Gig) and bare-bones but the image quality is surprisingly acceptable. Artifacts and noise are present but it didn't impinge on my viewing. It's a fairly consistent appearance and the anamorphic, progressive visuals produced an entertaining viewing. I'm unsure whether the French DVD or Blu-ray editions are 'English friendly' but, regardless, much of the film is in the English language.
Audio is 5.1. although not separating with any notable definition - there is some and the thriller portions of Espion(s) can have some aggressive effects. Music is curiously placed helping define the aura in scenes exceptionally well. You may choose English subtitles which appear only for the French dialogue or - from the Quebecois menu - French subtitles which appear for the English language. It is region 0 in the NTSC standard and I don't suspect an unconverted PAL source as there is no ghosting of combing present.
This is a very entertaining film experience - we may even review the French Blu-ray if given the chance. The Canadian DVD is pricey but try to see Espion(s) if you get the opportunity!