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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Victoria [Blu-ray]


(Sebastian Schipper, 2015)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: MonkeyBoy

Video: Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 2:18:29.592 

Disc Size: 45,129,888,258 bytes

Feature Size: 40,510,119,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.95 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 23rd, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio German 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio German 3286 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3286 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio German 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit



English (only for German dialogue), English, none



Audio Commentary with Director Sebastian Schipper
Casting Scenes (4:19)
Camera Test (10:14)
Trailer (2:00)





Description: Shot in one continuous and unedited long take, this stunning thriller from director Sebastian Schipper centers around Spanish club-goer Victoria (Laia Costa) on holiday in Berlin. After leaving a nightclub, she meets a clique of Berlin natives, including the endearing Sonne (Frederick Lau). The group continues to drink and explore the city until the recently-released from prison Boxer (Franz Rogowski) gets a troubling call from a former associate. With time running out for Boxer to repay a debt, Victoria drives the men to an underground meeting, and unwittingly becomes the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Aided by astonishing camerawork, the tension rises to a fever pitch as the group tries to avoid detection.



The Film:

The film starts in a techno club in Berlin’s Mitte district around 4am; as the bass thumps and the lights flash, we spot Victoria (Laia Costa) dancing alone and carefree. She’s from Madrid, a pianist recently dropped out from conservatoire and taking time out in Berlin, working in a cafe. After a while, the camera follows her to the exit, where a dorkish-looking bloke named Sonne (Frederick Lau) sticks his head in and asks her if the club’s worth the price of admission. When Victoria leaves, Sonne is outside with three dodgy-looking pals. They spin her the weariest lines in the book, offering to show her the real Berlin. For some reason Victoria decides to join them – making us wonder whether she’s hopelessly naive, fearlessly open to anything the night will bring, or very possibly the craziest person in the picture.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

If only we could yell “cut” in real life. Victoria, a heist film shot in one continuous take by German director Sebastian Schipper, thrills with its tense, awkward velocity but wins even more because of its emotional honesty and voyeuristic reality.

Victoria (Laia Costa) is a young woman from Madrid who meets a fun-loving quartet of men at an underground German nightclub in the wee hours. They are “real Berliners,” they tell her. What they are not are daylight bank robbers, but that’s what they’re pressured into being, with the collegial Victoria deciding to help her new-found friends at dawn. They speak in a universal language – broken English – and the dialogue is clearly not overrehearsed.

Excerpt from The Globe and Mail located HERE


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

Victoria gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It's dual-layered with a strong bitrate for the 2 1/4 hour feature. It was, obviously, shot with the flexibility of an HD cam (Canon EOS C300, Zeiss Standard Speed Lens) and I expect the 1080P Blu-ray transfer gives a highly accurate representation of the 2.35:1 framed image. The camera's fluidity gives frequent haze but often more stable, and brighter, sequences are impressively crisp. Most of the film is very dark but there is no noise. It's pristinely clean this Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film Victoria. It seems devoid of transfer imperfections of any kind.





Commentary subtitles:












Audio :

Artificial Eye give the option of a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 2304 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3286 kbps both in original German and in 24-bit. Beyond German/English/Spanish dialogue, we get audio music and crowd noises from the Club scene and, later, gunplay from the heist - impacting and realistic enough to rocket your attention. The score is credited to Nils Frahm (mostly documentaries and shorts) but you can also hear music from DJ Koze (Burn With Me) and you may recognize The Mephisto Waltz by Franz Liszt Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are English subtitles as an option for the German dialogue only (there is significant English in the film) or for both in a slightly skinnier font. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Supplements include an audio commentary with director Sebastian Schipper in German with English subtitles (italicized - see sample above) and some dialogue via a phone plus a few minutes of casting scenes, a camera test and a trailer.



Victoria is pretty cool. I don't know why but I was expecting something like Run, Lola, Run or maybe even single-take films like Iñárritu’s Birdman, but certainly not in the vein of Sokurov’s Russian Ark. Victoria was different. It's strength is its vérité expression and realistic characterizations. It's a very good film! The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with valued supplements. I give this an extremely strong recommendation. Watch it! 

Gary Tooze

May 18th, 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 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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