S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Rhombus Media
Video: Lions Gate / Curzons Film World
Region: 'A'/ Region FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:30:52.488 / 1:30:49.902
Disc Size: 23,419,172,553 bytes / 46,801,961,701 bytes
Feature Size: 17,352,671,232 bytes / 27,673,657,344 bytes
Video Bitrate: 20.98 Mbps / 33.00 Mbps
Chapters: 16 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 24th, 2014 / February 9th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps /
English (SDH), Spanish, none
•Lucid Dreams: The Making of Enemy (17:22)
• LionsGate Previews (14:28)
• Making of (49:58)
• Interviews (44:28)
• Trailer (2:01)
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.
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.
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.
The new, dual-layered, Curzon's 1080P transfer is significantly more robust than the Lions Gate and this shows in a slightly brighter, more detailed image that looks excellent in-motion. It is maybe minutely less-green than the US transfer. The screen captures below are all the exact frame matches and only a very discerning eye would take issue with the differences, but if forced to choose, Curzon's obviously wins.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Blu-ray Captures
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.
Curzon's gives the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo at 2304 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3276 kbps. The latter sounds exactly like the Lions gate but it is nice to have an option for those who don't appreciate, or have the capabilities, for surround. The UK disc offers no subtitle options and is region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
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.
Curzons go the extra mile although I would have loved a commentary with Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal. We instead get almost 50-minutes of B-roll, behind-the-scenes making of details with input from the director which is quite interesting plus we get interviews with Gyllenhaal, Isabella Rossellini, director Denis Villeneuve, and Sarah Gadon for almost 3/4 of an hour. Lastly, there is also a trailer.
Lions Gate - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Curzon Film World - Region FREE - Blu-ray
A lot of Enemy was shot in the city where I live and one of the addresses used is within walking distance. I've watched the film five times now and I am really fascinated by it. I am glad to have the supplements of the Curzons to fill in more explanatory details of this oddly compelling film. It is my 'go-to' Blu-ray now for further re-visitation. An amazingly rich, deep film. My highest recommendation!
June 17th, 2014
February 9th, 2015
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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