S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Ron Morales, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Imprint Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 25,116,964,306 bytes
Feature Size: 17,846,083,584 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: July 23rd, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Tagalog 2161 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2161 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit / DN -4dB)
Dolby Digital Audio Tagalog 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Ron Morales,
Producers Rebecca Lundgren, Sam Rider, DoP Sung Rae Cho and
Gaffer Blaise Miller
• Trailer (1:45)
• 16-Page Booklet
• High quality 720p HD Digital Download of the Film
Description: Intense and unpredictable, GRACELAND is the story of family man Marlon Villar, the longtime chauffeur of Manuel Chango a corrupt Filipino politician. One afternoon, while he and his daughter accompany the politician’s daughter home, their car is ambushed in a kidnapping attempt. During the confusion of the ambush, the kidnapping goes horribly wrong and the wrong girl is taken and held for ransom. Marlon is determined to save his daughter, but between the conflicting motives of the kidnappers and Chango, Marlon is forced into a terrible downward spiral. As events unfold, Marlon, Chango, and their families are forced into a game of deceit and betrayal that will leave no one innocent.
Family man Marlon Villar is the longtime chauffeur of prominent politician Manuel Chango. While he and his daughter accompany his boss' preteen daughter home, Marlon is ambushed and the wrong girl is kidnapped. Suddenly the unassuming driver is propelled into a horrifying downward spiral and, as events in his life unravel, Marlon, Chango, and their families become entangled in a game of deceit and betrayal that will leave no one innocent.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
It feels as though the wheel has been rigged against Marlon from the
start. His job as the driver for congressman Manuel Changho (Menggie
Cobarrubias) involves turning a blind eye to his employer’s vices –
including a fondness for underaged prostitutes – and the boss is none
too pleased when Marlon tells him that Sophia (Patricia Gayod), a
schoolmate of his daughter Elvie’s (Ella Guevera), has been taken by
thugs demanding $2-million in exchange for her life. Marlon’s real goal
is recover his own daughter, taken as collateral. This means kowtowing
to the kidnapper and also running interference with the police, who
suspect that he might be in on the plot, and with Changho, whose
willingness to co-operate ebbs and flows in accordance to his
overwhelming avarice and ego.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Graceland was shot with a Canon 5D (1080P) and put to Blu-ray by Image Entertainment (Drafthouse Films). It tends to have a few more of the weaknesses of this versatile production format looking waxy and soft in-motion. I even notice a touch of edge-enhancement that is probably inherent in the filming process. Predictably it does not handle direct outdoor lighting well but on the positive the appearance is consistent and seems a true representation of the theatrical - warts and all. Obviously no grain texture, mostly a flat, unresponsive image with little depth but close-ups show some decent detail. This sneaks into dual-layered territory with a middling bitrate. I don't expect that a more robust transfer would dramatically improve the 1080P presentation. It is what it is and I don't have any complaints. This Blu-ray provided me with a riveting and suspenseful presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2161 kbps or a standard Dolby surround - both in original Tagalog (Philippines) language. Surprisingly the film doesn't have an abundance of aggression. There is some gunplay but beyond that it is mostly dialogue or the sounds of the street which does create some rear channel separations establishing an aura. The English (SDH) subtitles are burned-in yellow (sample below) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
We get a group audio commentary with Writer/Director Ron Morales, Producers Rebecca Lundgren, Sam Rider, DoP Sung Rae Cho and Gaffer Blaise Miller basically going through the production details as the film runs queuing certain method discussion from the participants. There is also a Making of... entitled A Life For Every Lie running about a dozen minutes. There are 10-minutes worth of deleted scenes, a brief alt-ending, and a trailer. The package has a 16-page booklet and access to a 720p HD Digital download of the film. Quite a lot considering that Image Entertainment usually don't add much in the way of supplements.
July 11th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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