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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Enemy [Blu-ray]

 

(Denis Villeneuve, 2013)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Rhombus Media

Video: Lions Gate

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:30:52.488

Disc Size: 23,419,172,553 bytes

Feature Size: 17,352,671,232 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.98 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 24th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3069 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3069 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Lucid Dreams: The Making of Enemy (17:22)

• LionsGate Previews (14:28)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Adapted from author Jose Saramago's novel The Double, director Denis Villeneuve's enigmatic drama Enemy stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a detached college professor whose life becomes hopelessly intertwined with that of his doppelganger - a sexually insatiable actor. Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is a socially isolated man who's more comfortable lecturing to college students than he is making love to his lustful girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent). One day, on the advice of a colleague, Adam sits down to watch a romantic comedy and what he sees on the screen leaves him deeply disturbed: A supporting player in the film credited as Anthony Clair (also Gyllenhaal), is Adam's spitting image - right down to the distinctive scar on both of their chests. Compelled to track down his onscreen look-a-like, Adam soon locates Anthony in Mississauga, and begins obsessively tracking his every move. Later, Adam's ongoing search for answers prompts him to pay a visit to his own eccentric mother (Isabella Rossellini), as well as and Anthony's pregnant wife (Sarah Gadon). But it isn't until Adam and Anthony finally come face-to-face that the details connecting them become truly uncanny.

 

 

The Film:

In “Enemy,” Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of a novella by the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese novelist José Saramago, Jake Gyllenhaal plays two uncannily identical residents of an unnamed Canadian city. They are physically identical, in any case, but temperamentally distinct in ways that begin to suggest Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, to name another famous literary pair. And the question that haunts the film is whether they are really different people at all, or just sides of a single disordered personality.

Mr. Villeneuve is for the most part less interested in solving that puzzle than exploring its implications, especially for Adam, the first guy we meet. He is a history professor who seems to lead a solitary, disciplined and less than entirely happy life. He lectures his students on Hegel and returns to the spare, high-rise apartment where he is sometimes visited by his girlfriend, Mary (Mélanie Laurent). One night, while watching a DVD, Adam spots an extra who looks exactly like him. After a bit of Internet stalking — and some of the more traditional kind — he finds his way to Anthony, who lives in a better-furnished high-rise apartment with his pregnant wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon).

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Enemy, based on José Saramago’s 2002 novel The Double, is about Adam’s obsessive stalking and pursuit of his mysterious doppelganger, a kind of existential detective mystery that plunges straight into the deep end of murky psychic disintegration. Best to take a deep breath before immersing yourself in Denis Villeneuve’s (Incendies, Prisoners) extended exercise in suggestive, first-person paranoia, because it never comes up for air.

Shot before the Canadian director made the major-studio, suburban-vigilante drama Prisoners, Enemy operates on a level of carefully calibrated unease, where the very elusiveness of motivation and logic is exploited for purposes of sustained cinematic disorientation. Like Adam, we’re insinuated into a world where everything is at once heightened, blurred and inexplicably threatening, from the quiet nocturnal hum of domestic appliances to dreams that bleed indistinguishably into wakefulness.

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail located HERE

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

Enemy is a visually stylized film with interior golden hues and the new LionsGate Blu-ray supports the film's darkness and meticulous art direction. This is only single-layered for the 1.5 hour film but supports the video presentation capably. The 1080P shows its resolution quality in the, few, extreme close-ups. Much if the film utilizes a kinetic camera avoiding tight shots. Skin tones seem true and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. There is a lot of darker sequences but no noise was intruding on the visuals.  This is, predictably, very clean and seems a faithful replication of the theatrical. This Blu-ray doesn't offer a particularly dynamic image, but supports the film's style quite effectively.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred in an intense DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a robust 3069 kbps. The film's effects have some surprises that deftly punch to the rear speakers and the score, by the team of Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, adds more eerie flavor to the already sanitized atmosphere. There are optional subtitles (which I appreciated as some dialogue is hushed) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Along with almost 15-minutes of LionsGate Previews we get a well-made featurette entitled Lucid Dreams: The Making of Enemy running over 17-minutes. It has snippets of interview soundbytes from Gyllenhaal, Isabella Rossellini, director Denis Villeneuve and others. We get a little of the filmmakers vision although a commentary would have been ideal.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I found Enemy a very thought-provoking film experience - so much that I am re-watching it a second time this evening. We get Kafka-esque hints (Metamorphosis) as well as evoking Lynch's Lost Highway.  This is certainly not for everyone - the story is fragmented (purposely) and significant details are left unexplained. Frankly, I really enjoyed it. Gyllenhaal is great and the art direction lends itself to the perfect blend of futuristic, and sterile, mystery. The Blu-ray does its job in providing a strong a/v presentation and we definitely recommend!

Gary Tooze

June 17th, 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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