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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Boiler Room [Blu-ray]

 

(Ben Younger, 2000)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: New Line Cinema

Video: New Line Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:59:32.206

Disc Size: 22,834,401,552 bytes

Feature Size: 21,889,075,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.94 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 4th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 5295 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 5295 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Ben Younger, Jennifer Todd, Giovanni Ribisi and Angel

• 5 Deleted Scenes including 'Original Ending' (8:35)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In this drama that explores greed and corruption in American business, Giovanni Ribisi plays Seth Davis, an intelligent and ambitious college dropout who runs a casino in his apartment. Eager to show his father that he can succeed, Seth lands a job with a small stock brokerage firm. He is given a space in the company's "boiler room," where he makes cold calls to prospective clients. As it turns out, Seth has a genuine talent for cold calling, which gains him the approval of his superiors, the admiration of his father, and the attentions of one of his co-workers, Abby Hilliard (Nia Long). However, the higher up the ladder Seth rises, the deeper he sinks into a quagmire of dirty dealings, until he's breaking the law in order to keep his bosses happy and his paychecks coming. The Boiler Room also features Tom Everett Scott, Scott Caan, Jamie Kennedy, Nicky Katt, and Ben Affleck in a cameo as the headhunter who brings Seth into the firm. Ribisi and Scott also appeared together in That Thing You Do; Ribisi was the drummer replaced by Scott, who then led The One-Ders to fictional pop stardom.

 

 

The Film:

This beady-eyed morality play is set in the hothouse environment of an illicit share-ramping operation, which 19-year-old numbers whizz Seth Davis (Ribisi) takes to the NY stockbroking firm JT Marlin after his father, a stern judge, shuts down his home gambling den. JT Marlin is a quicksilver enterprise founded on the get-rich-quick dreams of its customers and recruits alike. Everyone can become a millionaire here, Affleck's recruiting officer tells the new intake, 'the only question is how many times over.' Of course, other questions arise: Seth's secret affair with his boss's ex, company secretary Abbie (Long); his dad's continuing stern attentions; the customers fleeced of their life savings; and the attentions of the FBI. Not all of this works - the Oedipal angst of Seth's relationship with his dad is unnecessary and close to unbearable - but enough's credible and thought through to mark the film as a praiseworthy and auspicious achievement for first time writer/director Younger. Turns of dialogue ring compellingly true, and the well chosen cast (especially Ribisi) carry the inflections of the drama with some style.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

 

About a third of the way into ''Boiler Room,'' Seth Davis (Giovanni Ribisi), a young stockbroker-in-training at a fly-by-night company called J. T. Marlin, drops by a co-worker's house for an evening of pizza and beer.

The house, a huge, expensive stucco affair somewhere on Long Island, is completely unfurnished except for a tanning machine, a leather couch and a big-screen television set, around which the power players of hard-sell stock trading, all men in their early to mid-20's, are gathered. They are watching a tape of ''Wall Street,'' and it's clearly a movie they've seen many times before, since they all seem to have the whole script committed to memory.

''Boiler Room,'' written and directed by the 29-year-old Ben Younger, is both an homage to Oliver Stone's 1987 fable of innocence corrupted by avarice and a critique of it. The baby sharks of J. T. Marlin like to play Gordon Gekko karaoke, bloviating along with Michael Douglas's mephistophelean arbitrageur and mocking his windy grandiosity. Compared to them, though, the reptilian Gekko is a great intellectual and a devoted humanitarian. His mantra, ''greed is good,'' strikes a sententious, faintly absurd note in the amoral world of ''Boiler Room,'' in which greed is simply axiomatic. When Gekko thundered ''I own!'' he meant he controlled large and consequential pieces of the world: companies, factories, the lives of thousands of workers. But Jim Young (Ben Affleck) -- Marlin's designated drill sergeant and, at 27, one of its wise old heads -- prefers to boast about his Ferrari, his mansion and his toys.

Excerpt from the New York Times located HERE

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

Boiler Room arrives on Blu-ray from New Line. The 1.78:1 image quality shows some improved detail over the past SD version. My only complaint would be that it has a minor blue-leaning - more noticeable in the mid-portion of the film. This is only single-layered with a low bitrate. Could it look more dynamic? probably but accepting the less robust transfer - I don't have too many complaints. It can tend to look a bit glossy/waxy but not enough to whine.  Skin tones seem realistic - contrast exhibits decent black levels. This Blu-ray has a consistency in terms of exporting the visuals.  The transfer won't win any awards but it made for a solid presentation on my system with hints at compression artifacts - projected this will, obviously, be more noticeable.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Gangbusters audio with a DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a whopping 5295 kbps. This comes alive almost solely for the music as the film is fairly dialogue-driven without abundant aggressive effects. The Angel's score sounds wonderfully rich and deep and we get riffs from the film Wall Street and 50 Cent's That Ain't Gangsta as well as other modern music suitable to the activity of the aggressive young men onscreen. There are optional DUBs and subtitles ad my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Supplements are duplicated from the past SD release with a full commentary by director Ben Younger, producer Jennifer Todd, Giovanni Ribisi and composer 'The Angel'. I believe that Younger and Todd were recorded together with the other two recorded separately and edited in. I thought it was revealing - especially both Younger and 'The Angel's' comments. There are also 5 Deleted Scenes including 'Original Ending' running 8.5 minutes (one sexually graphic - most aptly removed) and a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this film in 1080P. I've always liked Boiler Room - and I continue to appreciate Ribisi as the lead. This seems to be a very realistic representation of another of the many forms of corruption in the financial sector. Despite the technical weakness the Blu-ray has replay value in my house. I think this film may have been unjustly neglected - it is quite a keen study - a well told story. For under $15 this is certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 24th, 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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