S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Markus Schleinzer, 2011)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion
Video: Artificial Eye
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 30,281,674,465 bytes
Feature Size: 28,807,962,624 bytes
Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 28th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio German 2690 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2690 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio German 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
•Interview with director Markus Schleinzer (11:40)
• Trailer (2:00 in 1080P)
Description: A protégé of Michael Haneke, Markus Schleinzer's Michael is a triumph of uneasy cinema. With an unorthodox level of restraint, the director tells the story of a dull office drone who keeps a kidnapped young boy locked in his house. Despite its subversive edge, Michael successfully drains the shock out of a frightening premise and instead delivers a keen observational thriller. From its opening minutes, Michael reveals its alarming plot with a patient, naturalistic atmosphere.
Markus Schleinzer’s debut film MICHAEL created a stir at its
premiere at Cannes in 2011.
We soon learn this man, Michael, has a boy held captive in his cellar. What makes the film so compelling is the ordinariness of their strangely domestic set up, at times they could be mistaken for father and son. Michael cuts the boy's hair, they prepare for Christmas and take trips to local parks.
The true horrors of what is going on are only implied to us.
It may seem shocking to some that such ideas need to be challenged, and
that's just one more way in which the film creates discomfort. Quietly,
in the background, details become almost too horrible to watch. Michael
chatting to boys at a motor sports event; later, asking questions about
a boarding school. The boy in the basement playing with his toys, David
Rauchenberger's vivid yet naturalistic performance reminding us that he
is just a child. He doesn't run, he doesn't try to get help, because he
is vulnerable in far more than just a physical way. But he is growing
up, and small fault lines of tension are beginning to form, potentially
threatening both the inhabitants of the house.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Juxtaposing the passive 'ordinary' visuals of Michael lies a dark, unthinkable, secret. The Blu-ray from Artificial Eye is dual-layered with a high bitrate. This is a clean, clear HD transfer showcasing depth and strong detail. Contrast seems a bit on the lighter side but services the film adequately. The transfer faithfully replicates the straightforward visuals with a shade of noise in the darker areas and some realistic colors. It is exceptionally clean and the 1080P provides a very good presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We get the choice of the DTS-HD 5.1 surround at 2690 kbps which doesn't get a lot of surround / depth work or a leaner LPCM stereo track at 2304 kbps. Original music is by Lorenz Dangel and supports the film sparingly subtle cues creating an undercurrent of suspense - almost bordering on terror. There are frequent pauses. The film is devoid of extensive effects - the German dialogue is sparse and there are optional subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
We get an interview with director Markus Schleinzer lasting about a dozen minutes. It is revealing. There is also a trailer.
May 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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