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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Swerve [Blu-ray]


(Craig Lahiff, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Duo Art Productions

Video: Cohen Media Group



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

Runtime: 1:26:16.504

Disc Size: 21,898,999,323 bytes

Feature Size: 19,376,449,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.80 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: March 18th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1878 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1878 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps



English (SDH), none



Interview with Jason Clarke (Frank) (3:38)

Interview with Travis McMahon (Charlie) (1:43)

• Interview with Robert Mammone (Logan) (1:30)

• Interview with Sean Lahiff (editor) (2:18)

• Original Trailer (1:45)
• 8-page leaflet with photos, chapter titles etc.





Description: A man on a cross-country road trip stumbles upon a briefcase full of cash and an enigmatic beauty at the scene of a horrible car accident, and finds himself drawn into a deadly plot after turning the money over to the local police. Colin was taking a shortcut down a lonely road when he spotted a fatal car crash. Upon investigating, he finds that a woman named Jina is the sole survivor. Amidst the wreckage, Colin discovers a briefcase that's overflowing with cold, hard cash. An honest man, he quickly hands it over to the local authorities. But this is just the beginning of a nightmare in which no one can be trusted, and now the harder Colin tries to flee this mysterious small town, the deeper he falls into its deadly grip. Jason Clarke, David Lyons, Emma Booth, and Travis McMahon star.



The Film:

Driving cross-country to a job interview Colin opts for a shortcut and happens across a fatal car accident. One of the drivers the intriguing Jina is shaken but not hurt while the other lies dead - leaving a suitcase full of money without an owner. Colin resists temptation and hands it into the local cop wanting to get on his way. But what initially seemed to be a good deed prompts a series of strange events to unfold where nothing is quite what it seems*and Colin quickly finds it hard to leave town.

With its ill-gotten loot, femme fatale and ends-of-the-earth locales, "Swerve" looks at first like a promising genre entry from Down Under, where the bar is set high. It might be the country's physical isolation or its penal-colony legacy, but a number of exceptionally robust thrillers have come out of Australia over the years, among them "Animal Kingdom," "The Square" and 1971's "Wake in Fright" (rereleased in 2012).

Craig Lahiff's noir wannabe, alas, isn't one of them. As it zigs and zags, its plot unravels rather than tightens, and its curveball of an ending is bound to leave audiences feeling as double-crossed as some of the characters.

Built of overlapping triangles, the story begins with the image of a tri-pronged fork in the road. A fatal car accident sets in motion the central drama involving a small-town cop, his dressed-for-the-city wife and the stranger who's caught between them.

Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times located HERE

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

Swerve having seen Blu-ray releases in Europe - comes to North American through Cohen Media. This is only single-layered with a reasonable bitrate. It is clean and bright in the 1080P. There were a few instances of noise that dual-layering could have, possibly, removed. Contrast is strong but the image has nothing that can make you swoon - excepting some interesting, and pleasing, desert sequences. This Blu-ray video is not particularity remarkable - but it did provide a consistent presentation - a few steps beyond SD.


















Audio :

Audio comes in a decent DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 1878 kbps. There is definitely some aggressive effects that come through with depth - but nothing remarkably earth shaking. The subtle score by Paul Grabowsky runs alongside the film effectively and it sounds receptively tight via the lossless.. There is also a simple Dolby surround effort as an option. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'.


Extras :

Not much in the way of extras - brief interviews with actors Jason Clarke, Travis McMahon, Robert Mammone and editor Sean Lahiff running, in total, less than 10-minutes worth. There is also a trailer and liner leaflet. On a modest production like this it would have been nice to hear a director commentary - or, at least, more in-depth interviews.



I kinda liked Swerve. It was going for a good old-fashioned Noir-level thriller - and in most ways it works. Sure it has some less-realistic swings but I didn't find any unforgivable. It always seemed, to me, like a somewhat amateurish production - but it came together well enough. The Cohen Blu-ray
is nothing spectacular, excepting it allowed me to see the film in a reasonable HD transfer. I may actually revisit this, but for the current price (over $30!) and value (lack of important extras) we can't give a recommendation excepting to the very keen. I'd endorse watching this twisting film one day - but not this, expensive, manner.

Gary Tooze

March 7th, 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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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