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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Queen of Earth [Blu-ray]

 

(Alex Ross Perry, 2015)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Faliro House Productions

Video: Eureka - Masters of Cinema - Spine #154

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:29:38.000

Disc Size: 32,062,958,933 bytes

Feature Size: 29,600,248,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: July 11th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2720 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2720 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Commentary from Alex Ross Perry and Elisabeth Moss

Behind the scenes (7:11)
Original UK Theatrical Trailer (1:19)
Reversible Sleeve

DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Following on from his indie smash, Listen Up Philip, Alex Ross Perry returns with a much darker thrilling examination of a deeply complex relationship between two women at the extremities of misery.

Catherine (Elisabeth Moss) has entered a particularly dark phase in her life: her father, a famous artist whose affairs she managed, has recently died, and on the heels of his death she's dumped by her boyfriend James (Kentucker Audley). With relaxation and the idea of gathering her thoughts, Catherine heads to her friend Virginia's (Katherine Waterston) lake house for some much needed rest. However, once Catherine arrives relaxation proves impossible to find, as she is overcome with memories of time spent at the same house with James the year before. As cracks in the relationship between the two women begin to appear, Catherine soon starts descending into a downward spiral of delusion and madness.

A bracing, eerie look at the deep bonds of friendship and the horrific effects of such bonds being frayed, Queen of Earth is an extremely dark study of the effects that the two women's misery has upon their own relationship. The Masters of Cinema series is proud to present Alex Ross Perry's latest feature in a special Dual Format edition.

 

 

The Film:

When you first see Catherine, she’s looking upward, her teary, blotchy face filling the frame. She’s suffering, all right, you better believe it, although she doesn’t seem to be doing a particularly good job of convincing the guy who’s mostly off-camera. She looks like a mess — pathetic, really, with her smeared black eye makeup and the tears that just keep pooling and dribbling. The funny thing is that with her wet raccoon eyes and red nose, Catherine — a sensational Elisabeth Moss — also looks like a sad clown. All that’s missing is the black velvet background.

By the time Catherine exits “Queen of Earth,” her frown has turned upside down and a grimace of abject misery has transformed into a vision of manic happiness as if she had traded in her tragedy mask for a comedy one. That it’s unclear which face is scarier, more unnerving, is in keeping with the director Alex Ross Perry’s gift for destabilization, for setting a mood only to violently upend it with cutting looks, dissonant musical chords and off-kilter camera angles.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

Elisabeth Moss is the ‘Actor of Her Generation.’ She is a true chameleon, and can anchor a lead role while still expressing a twitch of consequence. The subject is depression in “Queen of Earth,” and writer/director Alex Ross Perry is able to honestly portray it through Moss.

The setting is a lake house, which gives the heavy subject a simplicity, and allows the actors to use the environment as a stage – they continue to confront each other in that space, despite the inherent distance that grows between them. There is an immediate empathy towards Moss, as the audience is privy to a her her boyfriend leaving her in a stunning scene that opens the film. As she escapes to her best friend’s lake cabin, she cannot deal with the simplest elements of maintaining life, and although any getaway vacation can be defined as therapeutic, nobody in the vicinity of the cabin has a clue on how to reach out to a depressed person, who doesn’t want to be reached. Elisabeth Moss magnificently portrays that downturned subtlety, and the story never allows her to come to terms with it.

Excerpt from HollywoodChicago.com located HERE

 

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

Queen of Earth was shot on 16mm and is transferred to a dual-layered Blu-ray with a max'ed out bitrate by The Masters of Cinema group in the UK. It looks quite thick and textured - probably very similar to how it looked theatrically. The visuals are heavy and rich on the 1080P Blu-ray offering a mesmerizing and authentic 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Masters of Cinema give the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2720 kbps or a linear PCM stereo (both 24-bit). It sounds intentionally scattered adding to the vérité feel but we can assume the rendering is accurate to the production. The score by Keegan DeWitt (Listen Up Philip) is supportive and sounds clean and mood-enhancing via the lossless. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample above - and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Masters of Cinema include some supplements. There is an informative commentary from director/writer Alex Ross Perry and Elisabeth Moss filling in some further details of the production, characters and story. Well worth the indulgence. There is a 7-minute behind-the-scenes focusing on the shooting of one scene. There is the original UK theatrical trailer and the dual-format includes a second disc DVD. The package has a reversible sleeve.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Queen of Earth is very Bergmanesque - like a chamber-piece - and Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake, Listen Up Philip) is, again, wonderful to behold. It's a rich, layered, narrative and makes for an impressive viewing expereince. Queen of Earth is another good choice for MoC to release on Blu-ray. The 1080P presentation is very fulfilling and the package is absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 27th, 2016

 


 

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 3500 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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