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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Prey aka La Proie [Blu-ray]

 

(Eric Valette, 2011)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: StudioCanal

Video: Cohen Media Group

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:44:46.321

Disc Size: 32,269,143,047 bytes

Feature Size: 26,084,130,816 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January 21st, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio English 2219 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2219 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2029 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2029 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Behind the Scenes Featurette  (38:09)

• Interview with Eric Valette (13:29)

• Original Trailer (2:11)
• 8-page leaflet with photos, chapter titles etc.

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A convicted bank robber breaks out of prison to protect his family after confiding sensitive information to a fellow cellmate, only to realize he's actually a madman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

 

 

The Film:

The Prey is a trim and exciting beach-read of a movie—silly and formulaic, but executed with so much confidence that you can't help but applaud the filmmakers' moxie. It's essentially a neo-noir about a wrong man on the run from the police to clear his name, overstuffed with incidents and asides from seemingly every subgenre under the crime-film umbrella. The film should be a hopelessly convoluted slog, but director Eric Valette has a gift for maintaining a pop-narrative momentum that draws you in, and there are dashes of legitimate wit and perversity on display.

The wrong man in this case is Franck Adrien (Albert Dupontel) and he's having a run of luck that's phenomenally shitty even by the standards of the crime-movie antihero. Franck's in prison for pulling off a bank heist with a requisite collection of amoral psychopaths, and the money's still floating around somewhere on the outside while the whole gang's in the can. Franck's almost due for release, and some of his goons are pursuing alarming forms of high-pressure persuasion to ensure that he gives them the loot.

Excerpt from Slant Magazine located HERE

 

Many of you reading this will have had mornings when you've woken up unable to recall quite what happened the night before. For Tom (Fergal Philips) it's more worrying, because something may have happened that could land him in deep trouble. There's a smear of blood in the bathroom. He's having flashbacks about the woman he took home. A brief conversation with his flatmate implies that he has a history of violence against women – or, as he puts it, “I get a bit carried away sometimes.

Excerpt from Jennie Kermode at Eye fort Film located HERE

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

The Prey on Blu-ray from Cohen Media looks very strong - shot, presumably, on DV. It has a bit of gloss but looks quite strong with a high level of detail. There is plenty of depth and close-ups are remarkable. This is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate. It is pristinely clean and the 1080P provides a very pleasing visual presentation. Contrast looks fine and there may be a slight teal leaning.  There aren't many night sequences. I noticed no intrusive noise. This Blu-ray video is quite impressive without the weaknesses of the DV format (flaring, overly waxy etc.).

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The opening menu screen gives you the choice of English or, original, French versions - both are transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at around 2200 kbps. I tried the DUB for a few minutes and it has the usual foibles - the French track is adept pushing some effects to the rear speakers and Noko's score (also did Valette's State Affairs) keeps pace with the intense action. There is some healthy bass. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

Included are 40-minutes of Behind the Scenes footage with a lot of preparation work and snippets from the cast/crews. There is also a 13-minute interview with director Eric Valette talking about how the film came to fruition and some production details. We get an original trailer and the package has an 8-page leaflet with photos, chapter titles etc (no essay).

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Decent, if not exceptional, crime/prison drama. The Prey suffers from being a bit formulaic but I think it recovers enough to supply some, intense (with some of the usual prison violence,) entertainment in the right mood. It's high action, some believable tension and looks quite impressive on the Cohen Blu-ray. If you are less of a critic and inclined towards this type of film (I am) - you will probably enjoy it.

Gary Tooze

January 16th, 2014

 

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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