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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Wetlands [Blu-ray]

(aka "Feuchtgebiete")

 

(David Wnendt, 2013)

 

   

 

 

   

 

Review by

 

Production:

Theatrical: Rommel Film

Blu-ray: Strand Releasing

 

Disc:

Region: FREE!

Runtime: 1:49:16.416

Disc Size: 24,861,666,827 bytes

Feature Size: 23,507,419,776 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.47 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Amaray

Release date: January 13th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Resolution: 1080P / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 3691 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3691 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (optional)

 

Extras:

• Alternate Artwork Gallery (1:10)

• Pink Band Trailer (2:30)

• International Trailer (2:00)

• Theatrical Trailer (1:48)

• Trailers for 'You and the Night', 'Stranger by the Lake', 'The Way He Looks', and 'I Used to Be Darker'

 

 

 

Description: Helen Memel Carla Juri is one troubled soul. The product of severe emotional abuse early in life, she developed weird, OCD-like attitudes toward sex and cleanliness as an adolescent, and began to harbor serious issues involving trust. As a young woman, she rebelled against the repression that she knew as a youngster, by engaging in unconventional sexual activity such as onanism with vegetables, and practicing horrible scatological acts, such as barefoot strolls through raw sewage, and direct exposure to filthy public toilet seats. When Helen clumsily attempts to shave her nether regions, she ends up with a serious injury and must be hospitalized; bedridden, she begins to reflect on her wild and colorful life and sexual history. Meanwhile, she also develops feelings for a male nurse in the hospital Christoph Letkowski, though it remains unclear if she has the stability necessary to get out of her predicament and make the relationship work.

***

An unapologetically sexy and subversive comedy based on the best-selling novel by Charlotte Roche. When a bizarre shaving accident lands rebellious teen Helen (Carla Juri) in the hospital, she develops an unlikely bond with her male nurse (Christoph Letkowski) who she seduces with stories of her sexual adventures while using her illness to try and reunite her divorced parents. Both shocking and hysterically funny, WETLANDS is a unique roller coaster of erotic thrills.

 

 

 

The Film:

Although most people would find Helen Memel's (Carla Juri, SOMEONE LIKE ME) obsession with bodily fluids unhygienic, it is deliberately anti-hygienic as she carries on a "pussy hygiene experiment" with public restroom toilet seats as part of an ongoing effort to disprove the various pieces of cautionary advice drilled in by her brittle Catholic mother (Meret Becker, MUNICH). When she gets an anal fissure in a shaving accident and has to undergo surgery, she fears incontinence as one of the rare side effects of the operation. With the doctors unwilling to release her until she has a bowel movement, Helen prolongs her stay - with the help of handsome nurse Robin (Christoph Letkowski) - as much out of fear about a change to her body over which she has no control (her menstrual cycle also figuring into her fetish) but also as a last ditch attempt to reunite her mother and distant, philandering father (Axel Milberg, THE INTERNATIONAL) over her sickbed (since "That's the way it has to be for people with children".)

 


Beneath the in-your-face shocking sight-gags involving pubic hair, menstrual blood, vomit, feces, phallic vegetables, illicit drugs, and sperm - including Helen's deliberate attempts to provoke the preparers of her food into contaminating her food - is a disjointed exploration of love and longing. It would be just as simplistic to label Helen as a nymphomaniac and exhibitionist as to interpret her hygiene rebellion and abrasively provocative nature as a cry for help (especially since, in a Freudian sense, her literal anal retentiveness runs counter to her otherwise expulsive personality traits). In fact, the film is told (by the camera and Helen's narration) in a disjointed, non-linear fashion of rhyming images and parallel conversations through which Helen herself recovers memories (not repressed or forgotten so much as previously lacking narrative cohesion in her mind) that alter her perceptions of herself and the relationship between her parents (who she has deliberately avoided understanding in order to preserve somewhat naive conceptions of them).

Excerpt of review from Eric Cotenas located HERE

 

 

 

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

Even with a modest technical transfer, Wetlands looks marvelous on Blu-ray from Strand Releasing. This is only single-layered but detail in close-ups is very impressive. The film was shot using the 'Red Epic' camera. Colors are bright and true and the unique angles - cinematography by Jakub Bejnarowicz. The contrast shifts efficiently with the varying styles utilized (deep focus, tints etc.). The outdoor sequences, naturally, looked the best. There is plenty of depth and the image is frequently striking. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I can't see it looking much better than this.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio & Music: Strand use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a strong 3691 kbps in the original German language. There are effects that sound tight, and occasionally surprising with their range. The score is by Enis Rotthoff and we have Land in Sicht performed by Christoph Letkowski. Like the video the audio is extremely competent, clean and impressive. There are optional English subtitles on the Region FREE Blu-ray disc.

 

 

 

Extras:

Not much in the way of extras (especially compared to the German disc), besides an artwork gallery, three trailers for the film, as well as trailers for YOU AND THE NIGHT, ATTENBERG, THE WAY HE LOOKS, and I USED TO BE DARKER.

 

 

Bottom line: For all its digressive plot advancement, it's hard not to like the energy (both sexual and 'non') and the, often disgusting, lead character 'Helen' in Wetlands. It is at the same time humorous and speaks to many universal truths involving emotions, physical interaction and how we view ourselves. I will revisit this film and hence encourage those interested to indulge in owning this lively, bright, affable comedy. The Strand Blu-ray is an a/v beauty.

 

 

Gary Tooze

February 11th, 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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Gary W. Tooze

 

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