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Norte, The End of History aka "Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan" [Blu-ray]
(Lav Diaz, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Kayan Productions
Video: New Wave Films
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,177,443,628 bytes
Feature Size: 46,464,786,432 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 29th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio Tagalog 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Tagalog 1660 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1660 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: In this reimagining of Crime and Punishment, set in the northern Philippine province of Luzon, Fabian, a law-school drop-out, frustrated with his country's never-ending cycle of betrayal and apathy, commits a horrific double murder; a gentle family man, Joaquin, takes the blame and receives a life sentence, leaving behind his wife Eliza and two children, whilst Fabian roams free, and is taken over by evil. Joaquin is a simple man who finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious and strange starts happening to him.
Art-house favorite Lav Diaz's latest epic profoundly explores everything from the state of present-day rural Philippines by way of Dostoevsky (Diaz's favorite writer) to the 1890s Philippine Revolution against the Spanish. Actor Sid Lucero will leave you stunned by his haunting performance as an existential law school dropout .
Yes, 250 minutes. A smidgen over four hours. That is not a misprint, or
a joke, even if it certainly counts as a challenge.
Norte, The End Of History, Lav Diaz’s four-hour-plus tweak of
Crime And Punishment, scrubs the book’s reverse-detective-story
elements, leaving its version of Raskolnikov—the
intellectual-turned-murderer protagonist of Dostoevsky’s novel—to roam
free. He experiences guilt, but not consequences; those have been passed
on to two people he doesn’t know: the man wrongfully convicted of the
crime, and the man’s wife, who must make a life for herself while her
husband sits in prison.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Norte, The End of History gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from New Wave Films in the UK. It's solidly in dual-layered territory for the 4 hour feature. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 2.35:1 frame. Lauro Manda's cinematography is so impressive with many unique touches. This Blu-ray provides a super presentation of a film with many dynamic visuals.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred in 2 options; a linear PCM stereo at 1536 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround 1660 kbps. The surround does get some work - often subtle. Perhaps better known as an actor, Perry Dizon, composed the score for Norte, The End of History. The sound is clean and crisp - full marks with no flaws. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Only a trailer. This is partially understandable as the film is so long it takes up a massive amount of space on the dual-layered Blu-ray disc and something like a commentary wouldn't be feasible. A booklet might have been a nice touch but I was thankful to simply see the film in 1080P.
September 13th, 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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