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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Thale [Blu-ray]

 

(Aleksander Nordaas, 2012)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Anderson Merchandise

Video: Xlrator

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:17:57.589

Disc Size: 19,978,752,350 bytes

Feature Size: 18,951,149,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.76 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 23rd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Norwegian 1730 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1730 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Trailer (2:00)

DVD of the Feature

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Two crime-scene cleaners discover a mythical, tailed female creature in a concealed cellar. She never utters a word, unable to tell her story, but the pieces of the puzzle soon come together: she's been held captive for decades for reasons soon to surface… Fun fact: THALE is based on a mythical character in Nordic folklore called the "huldra". According to the myth, a huldra is a beautiful creature with female attributes living deep in the woods. It is said that it seduces men that works in the woods by humming a beautiful song, and they never return to their village. You can recognize a huldra by its cow tail.

 

 

The Film:

The characterisation is strong throughout. A nicely observed script has us rooting for Leo and Elvis when we barely know them, and Jon Sigve Skard impresses with particularly strong work in the penultimate scene. It's Silje Reinåmo, however, who is the standout, utterly convincing as the traumatised girl, eliciting much more than lust or pity. Strikingly unselfconscious, she moves like a wild animal. The girl's intelligence is clear but she's also dangerous, unpredictable, vulnerable - a sympathetic other. Though writer/director Aleksander Nordaas uses this to talk obliquely about perceptions of women more generally, and thereby about the way they are used within the genre, Thale never ceases to be an individual with a mind of her own.

Despite its occasional technical problems, this is a smart and unusual take on a scenario too often rendered as cliché. Its simple storyline disguises complex themes and its strong characters balance a tendency to romanticism. Nordaas has captured that rare magic most directors only dream of.

Excerpt from Eye For Film (Jennie Kermode) located HERE

If you had to stumble upon an angry, vicious mythic creature, you could do worse than the sexy monster found in Thale by Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), two guys who clean up after crime scenes. At their latest gig, the duo stumble upon Thale (Silje Reinåmo), a stunning woman in a secret basement who emerges out of a milky bathtub and who, it turns out, was kept captive for decades by a man who experimented on her while hiding her from mysterious pursuers. Audiotapes and a severed tail kept in a fridge prove clues to Thale's folkloric origins, though the mystery is soon altogether sapped by writer-director Aleksander Nordaas's decision to have Thale provide Elvis with psychic transmissions that bluntly lay out her backstory.

Excerpt from The Village Voice located HERE

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

The Norwegian fantasy, horror, mystery Thale , shot on HD, comes to Blu-ray from Xlrator. It's a short film at a little over an hour and a 1/4 and the single-layering (with only a trailer as a supplement) has a supportive bitrate and the resulting image transfer is very impressive. This is 1080P and I saw few-to-none of the weaknesses of the production format (i.e. contrast flaring etc.)  Colors (greens and yellows) are vibrant - detail, in less-kinetic shots, is crisp. The cinematography of the unspoiled Norwegian forests and countryside look fabulous. It is presented in the original 1.78:a aspect ratio and the only minor weakness is the creature effects which are shade transparent in HD. Really, this is a function of the production, not the transfer. This Blu-ray produced highly pleasing visuals and is probably a strong replication of the theatrical appearance.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1730 kbps in the original Norwegian with an optional standard Dolby English DUB that I didn't even bother with (there is not an excess of dialogue.) Most creepy are some of the soundless moments but notable were a few crisps separations. Depth wasn't a huge factor in the film. There is some original music by Raymond Enoksen and Geirmund Simonsen that never eclipsed the video but ran, delicately beside the narrative. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a trailer but the package also contains a DVD of the Feature.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Not a bad effort at all for what appears to be a modest budget. Thale has some exploitive suspense techniques but positives include the acting and the impressive cinematography. I was thinking - if this was US made I probably wouldn't have bothered watching but being Norwegian I decided to give it a spin... and kinda liked it. Maybe I am a snob. Thale is quite short and the pace is uneven but others may see the merits that I did. I think it is more 'cool' than 'spooky' and it's a beautiful film. The bare-bones Blu-ray gave me a great presentation and to those with an inkling of interest - you shouldn't be disappointed if you indulge. In my round-about way - that is a recommendation. 

Gary Tooze

April 10th, 2013

 


 

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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