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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Manglehorn [Blu-ray]


(David Gordon Green, 2014)


Also available on Blu-ray from MPI in the US:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Worldview Entertainment

Video: Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 1:37:22.878

Disc Size: 27,846,434,271 bytes

Feature Size: 25,903,202,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 2nd, 2015



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1930 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1930 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit






Cast Interview (5:01)
• Trailer (2:15)





Description: Reclusive small town locksmith, A.J. Manglehorn (Al Pacino) has never quite recovered from losing the love of his life. He feels closer to his beloved cat than the people around him and prefers to find comfort in his work and daily routine. Still, he continues to form tenuous forms of somewhat human connections, maintaining intermittent contact with his son and establishing a cautious friendship with a kindhearted woman from the local bank. As this solitary man approaches the possibility of new love, he finds himself at a crossroads between staying mired in the past and embracing the present.



The Film:

Manglehorn is a character who could really play to Pacino's worst habits, having a tendency to go from charming to blustering rage without necessarily having a whole lot of space in between. Fortunately, he and the filmmakers realize that he doesn't have to charm the audience here, and can instead play up the lower-key ways that someone can be anti-social or consumed by an obsession. Pacino perfectly zeroes in on the tone that will push the person he's talking to away even while A.J. is outwardly trying to be friendly, and it's a performance that makes the audience just put off enough that when Managlehorn shows us his worst, it's not a betrayal but it's still fairly shocking.

Tellingly, it's not even the moment when he turns violent, but when he's at his most socially oblivious. All of his interactions seem to come down to how much of a threat the other person is to his long-gone and idealized romance, which is why his scenes with his granddaughter (or his cat) can be so genuinely charming while other moments can change quickly when he realizes where something might lead. It makes the bits with his son and another man about the same age more interesting on reflection - he's able to feel an easier rapport with someone who is more or less a stranger than the man who represents what happened instead.

Excerpt from J. Seaver at eCritic located HERE

Al Pacino goes deep and disdains eccentricity as small-town Texas locksmith A. J. Manglehorn, a loner obsessed with a long-lost love and coldly, angrily stuck in the past. The rest of the film, from Pineapple Express man David Gordon Green, has more than enough quirk, thanks, including an inexplicable street mime in a largely downbeat character study with flashes of humour.

Excerpt from EmpireOnline located HERE


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

Manglehorn gets a 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. The camera is extremely fluid - and doesn't stay still for very long or very often. It was shot with the versatile Arri Alexa HD cam. Some lower-lit shots exhibits and intentional de-saturation - mostly before the credits. It sneaks into dual-layered territory and has a strong bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. Colors are authentic and truer than SD could relate and there is no noise in the darker sequences. The HD rendering supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy black levels and some occasional depth in the 2.35:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray provides a strong replication of the theatrical appearance of the film.

















Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of Manglehorn offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1930 kbps or a linear PCM 2.0 channel option at 1536 Kbps. It has hints of separation but everything is of a subtle nature with only a couple of more aggressive instances. The score is by David Wingo (Take Shelter, David Gordon Green's brilliant George Washington) and some tracks by Explosions in the Sky. It sounds occasionally unique, unusual and appealing (harmonica, harp, electronic etc.) - suiting the film very well, IMO. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

No much in the way of extras - a 5-minute 'Cast Interviews' segment with Hunter and Pacino which I wish was longer. There is also a trailer.



Manglehorn is an odd film, yes - low key - but highly interesting - mostly intriguing on the substance of Pacino... and Hunter (although she is not in it enough). I'm certain this won't appeal to most mainstream tastes. It's a deliberately-paced character study and I it certainly held my attention. The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides a strong a/v presentation. It's a good, sad, often uncomfortable, film and progresses leisurely - just as the wasps continually build a nest below Manglehorn's mailbox - with interesting camera shots including many overlays etc. If you can appreciate those qualities - you may get the same enjoyment that I did. 

Gary Tooze

October 27th, 2015

Also available on Blu-ray from MPI in the US:


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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