S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(aka 'R: Hit First, Hit Hardest')
Tobias Lindholm, Michael Noer
The prisoner R arrives to Denmark’s toughest prison, where he’s to serve his sentence for a violent assault. R is reduced to a number, a letter, and just another inmate. The prison is a parallel world filled with rules, honor, and debts. A world, in which bars cover the windows and blood stains the floor. R is placed in the most hardcore ward. Here he must find his place in the system, learn to navigate, and fight for survival. This New York Times Critic’s Pick was directed Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm, both making their feature-film debuts.
The jailhouse-picture has a very long, honourable history - but few examples of the genre have ever hit as hard as this... - gripping from low-key opening to convention-smashing climax. Filmed in a notorious real-life slammer near Copenhagen and featuring fearsome squadrons of ex-con extras, The Village Voice described R as "claustrophobic and rank with testosterone and gym-sweat, a smothering lesson in prison-yard pecking order."
Theatrical Release: January 2010 International Film Festival Rotterdam
DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.2 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||Danish | Arabic (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
R can be a very tough film to watch. Somehow the filmmakers have been able to create a very humanist vérité-style effort that you watch out of intense curiosity (like slowing down and rubber-necking at a traffic accident) and you bond with the protagonists out of overwhelming pity - empathizing with their unenviable plight.
As most Olive film releases have been to a capable standard to-date, this follows suit being dual-layered, progressive and anamorphic (in 1.78:1 for the film's original 1.85:1.) The subtitles are burned-in. It looks quite strong shot in digital and printed to 35mm. Detail is at the very high end for the SD format and some obtuse camera angles support the storytelling style.
Audio is clear and consistent and the subtitles seem complete, but there are no extras at all on the region 1 NTSC disc.
This is a pretty draining presentation that has a, debatably, unsatisfying completion. 'R' is an intensely impacting film experience that will tighten a vice-like grip on your attention. Not recommended for the faint of heart - but certainly recommended to everyone else.