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A Most Wanted Man [Blu-ray]
(Anton Corbijn, 2014)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: The Ink Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 42,359,215,372 bytes
Feature Size: 33,076,008,960 bytes
Video Bitrate: 30.01 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 4th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3678 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3678 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
English (SDH), English, none
• The Making of A Most Wanted Man (16:09)
• Spymaster: John LeCarre in Hamburg (9:32)
Description: The late Philip Seymour Hoffman gives his final screen performance in this taut yet labyrinthine adaptation of John le Carre's 2008 spy novel. In the years immediately following 9/11, Gunter Bachmann (Hoffman) is a counterterrorist expert based in Hamburg who operates as a rogue agent, independently of the Grenzschutzgruppe 9 der Bundespolizei (GSG-9). He specializes in bringing down jihadists, and as the story opens, he begins to fixate on a Chechen immigrant named Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin), newly arrived in town. Issa's motivations are initially unknown, but he befriends an American social worker (Rachel McAdams) who grows convinced of his harmlessness and sets about persuading Gunter of the same. Meanwhile, Gunter becomes aware of a palpable and imminent threat to national security that involves future jihad activity, and devises an ingenious plan that he hopes will both extinguish the threat and provide amnesty for Issa. The Americans and the GSG-9, however, learn of Gunter's plot and express both impatience and a general skepticism about the scheme's effectiveness. A Most Wanted Man premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Philip Seymour Hoffman isn’t playing the title character in A Most
Wanted Man, but there’s absolutely no doubt who we most want to see,
most want dominating the film, and most want back. Of the various
projects left unreleased when he died – with the next two Hunger Games
sequels still to come – this is clearly the filet.
In real life, espionage is not glamorous. It’s like police work – mostly
plodding detail work and following up and generally boring ninety-nine
percent of the time. John le Carré worked in that field long enough that
when he writes about it, he writes with a real understanding of
mechanics of the spy game. His ability to make the mundane thrilling is
without equal and the creative team behind A Most Wanted Man
translate his work to the big screen faithfully. They, like le Carré
know how to build the mundane to make that one percent that isn’t
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
A Most Wanted Man looks solid on Blu-ray from Lionsgate - it was shot with HDV (Arri Alexa M, Zeiss Super Speed Lenses) and displays that format's strengths and weaknesses. The 1080P image quality supports the kinetic camera movement with a high level of detail in the less-frequent close-ups and general softness when the camera is moving. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. Certain colors (yellows) seem bolder and the visuals transition well in-motion. Contrast is adept but with the cinematography style used there is not an abundance of depth. There is no noise or flaws of any kind. The video is, predictably, clean and produces strong HD video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes vis a robust DTS-HD Master surround at 3678 kbps. It's quite impacting taking all the film offers, effects-wise, and exports it very tightly and with depth. The keen score is by Herbert Grönemeyer (who also composed for Corbijn's The American) and it works very well running beside the film. Excellent sound quality here. There are optional subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
No commentary but there are two relevant video featurettes - The Making of A Most Wanted Man runs about 16-minutes and has snippets from the principals - notably director Anton Corbijn - and plenty of behind-the-scenes footage. There is also a 10-minute piece entitled Spymaster: John LeCarre in Hamburg - essentially an interview with the author about his book/film set in the German port city.
November 2nd, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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