|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Kim Farrant, 2015)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Worldview Entertainment
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,328,823,144 bytes
Feature Size: 30,259,814,400 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipacase
Release date: August 18th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 2.4:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3074 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3074 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, Spanish, None
• The Cast Featurette (8:23)
• The Story Featurette (5:36)
• Previews for 5 films including Strangerland (1:45)
Description: Newcomers to the remote Australian desert town of Nathgari, Catherine and Matthew Parker's lives are flung into crisis when they discover their two teenage kids, Tommy and Lily, have mysteriously disappeared just before a massive dust storm hits. With Nathgari eerily smothered in red dust and darkness, the townsfolk join the search led by local cop, David Rae. It soon becomes apparent that something terrible may have happened to Tommy and Lily. Suspicions run riot, rumors spread and public opinion turns savagely against the Parkers. With temperatures rising and the chances of survival plummeting with each passing day, Catherine and Matthew find themselves pushed to the brink as they struggle to survive the mystery of their children's fate.
In the portentous outback thriller Strangerland, a giant dust storm engulfs the film's small-town setting just as the central mystery is introduced. Everything gets caked in reddish desert filth and stays that way for the duration of the film. Art-house cinema has a long tradition of signifying the ambiguities of human nature with climatic abnormalities: Torrential rains, fog clouds, and snow storms blow through the history of modernist narrative filmmaking, upsetting cosmic balances in the worlds of Fellini, Antonioni, Angelopoulos, Tarr, and many others. By the same token, there's also a precedent for art-house frauds orchestrating atmospheric turbulence in the interest of distracting from the fogginess of their themes or hinting at a larger significance that's missing from the text. Strangerland falls into the latter category, as the inciting haze that rolls into town ultimately just serves to underline how covered in dust the film's commentaries on gender, sexuality, and parenting are.
Australia's filmmakers have exported their fair share of personality
disintegration dramas, from "Wake
in Fright" in 1971 through "Picnic
at Hanging Rock" and last year's "The Babadook."
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
A missing-children film from Australia; Strangerland arrived on Blu-ray from Alchemy. Unlike Walkabout (another 'older sister, young brother battling the Australian elements' premise), Strangerland focuses on the parental viewpoint. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and some of the cinematography is quite impressive. It was shot with the Arri Alexa HD camera and produces a very crisp image. There is a tightness and depth. Colors seem authentic and there was no noise to speak of. Excellent visual appeal. This Blu-ray video looks like an authentic replication of the film Strangerland.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Alchemy offer the option of a robust Dolby TrueHD in 5.1 surround at 3074 kbps (24-bit) of a simple Dolby Digital stereo track. The surround sounds very good with natural effects (wind etc.) travelling to the rear speakers and the wonderfully supportive score by Keefus Ciancia building upon the barren landscapes and tension in the film. There are optional English (SDH) or Spanish subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
There are two, standard, featurettes - one with the cast - about 8-minutes running time - (Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving) and director Kim Farrant giving brief discussion of the film or their characters etc. - and a second, running less than 6-minutes, with Farrant again, cinematographer P.J. Dillon and others. There are also some previews/trailers of Alchemy features including Strangerland.
August 5th, 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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