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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Missing [Blu-ray]

 

(Tom Shankland, 2014)

 

   

   

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Broadcast: Starz Entertainment / BBC

Video: Anchor Bay

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 59:20 X 8 episodes (4 per disc)

Disc One Size: 46,921,832,377 bytes

Disc Two Size: 48,644,638,378 bytes

Average Episode Size: 11,827,587,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.82 Mbps

Chapters: 8 X 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcacse

Release date: April 14th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080i / 29.970 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2829 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2829 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Time Changes All (2:02)
Transformations (1:59)
Behind the Scenes (2:32)
 

Sample Episode Bitrate:

 

 

Description: When five year-old Oliver Hughes disappears while on holiday in France, it sets off a nearly decade-long search for his whereabouts. “The Missing,” a STARZ Limited Series, is a dramatic thriller that takes you inside the mind of a father, Tony (played by James Nesbitt of The Hobbit trilogy and Jekyll), desperate to locate his lost son. With help from a legendary detective (played by Tchéky Karyo of Goldeneye and The Patriot), Tony embarks on an obsessive quest to find his son and those responsible for his disappearance. A gripping puzzle with twists and turns at every stage, Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his relationship with his wife, Emily (played by Frances O’Connor of “Mr. Selfridge" and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence), and threatens to destroy his life. Told through a complex narrative, “The Missing” unfolds over two time frames simultaneously.

 

 

The Film:

Imperiled children have been central to other dark, quality cable series of late, including "The Killing," "Top of the Lake" and "Broadchurch." It does give a story a certain weight and heat. After having lived through so many murder mysteries, police procedurals and slasher films, what's one more grown-up murdered or missing? We carry on. A child victim shocks us back to attention, shifts the ground under our feet, etches loss with acid.

Cutting back and forth between the summer of 2006 and the winter of 2014, "The Missing" is at once an unfolding mystery and a cold-case story. James Nesbitt and Frances O'Connor play Tony and Emily Hughes, a London couple vacationing in France with their 5-year-old son, Oliver. Their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere (a familiar horror movie trope), and they are forced to put up in a country town whose populace has been temporarily deranged by the 2006 World Cup as the French team battles toward the finals.

The opening scenes — in which the facts of the case are slowly established in the present tense, while in the past the family proceeds toward a loss you know is coming — have the suspense and swing of good Alfred Hitchcock; indeed, Hitchcock made his own lost-child movie, "The Man Who Knew Too Much," and liked it enough to make it again, and there is some tonal resemblance between Nesbitt here and the driven James Stewart in the 1956 version of the Hitchcock film. 

Excerpt from the LA Times located HERE

But it’s that way with almost every character in the series: Those whose eyes you happen to be looking through seem to reveal the world as it is, or ought to be, but only at that moment. When you first see Emily circa 2014 and realize just how much her circumstances have changed since 2006 — and what probably needed to happen in order to change them — you identify with her, and see Tony’s mission as one of denial transmogrified into distracting madness.

The series continues to do this as it unfolds, giving you the points of view of townspeople, public officials, friends and relatives of the leads, and characters who have joined the story in 2014 but didn’t know any of the key players eight years earlier. Amazingly, this multiplicity of viewpoints doesn’t fragment the show but seems to strengthen and deepen it.

And for all of its almost scientific attention to the granular details of shifting emotion and point of view, The Missing also has an eye for beauty. Every few minutes, there’ll be a shot or series of shots that are lovely in and of themselves, or that seem to express a profound love or sorrow that’s beyond words and perhaps beyond narrative: a car stalled at a crossroads, a father and his son floating in the deep blue water of a swimming pool, a woman’s finger dragging along a polished tabletop. This is one of the year’s very best TV programs, hard as it sometimes is to endure.

Excerpt from Vulture located HERE

 

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

Firstly, The Missing was one of the best mini-series I have ever had the pleasure of watching. A wonderfully produced series leading you onto the next clue in an intelligently conceived manner. It is more like a long film. This package is actually 2 dual-layered Blu-rays (50i) with four, hour-long, episodes on each disc. The interlacing is how the series was broadcast and doesn't negatively impact the presentation and I saw no 'trailing' or artifacts associated with it not being progressive. The bitrate is modest but the quality, and Ole Bratt Birkeland's cinematography, has impressive moments. Close-ups show solid detail and the use of the locations moving from the time periods (2006  / 2009 / 2014), is striking in the 1.78:1 frame.  It's, predictably, very clean showcasing solid colors and layered contrast. This Blu-ray probably looks exactly how is appeared when broadcast in the fall of 2014. It doesn't have any unforgivable flaws and the visuals are consistent and satisfying although not a premium levels.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio in the series is via a competent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track at 2829 kbps. It is quite strong with many deft and subtle separations. The score is by Dominik Scherrer and the show's 'theme' is excellent and the surrounding music supports the suspense and mystery of the narrative. Reasonably clean and crisp. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' - locked (and the the UK edition is region 'B').

 

Extras :

All the supplements are on the second Blu-ray. We get three short featurettes with some interviews with the creators, producers and a couple of the performers. Nothing more than long trailer/commercials. Unfortunately, nothing in-depth about the series.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Absolutely brilliant mini-series - one of the best I have seen. It is totally engrossing. While I was enamored with Top of the Lake - I think this is even more fully realized and the linear timeline is intelligently portrayed to the viewer. I can't say enough about The Missing - performances too are great - and, yes, that is Émilie Dequenne of Rosetta fame playing detective Laurence Relaud. A very strong recommendation for the mini-series!

 

NOTE: The disc is packaged (Blu-ray 1 on the left under a leaflet and Blu-ray 2 on the right) in such a way as you may accidentally start with disc 2 if you don't remove the flyer.

Gary Tooze

April 11th, 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.

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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