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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Aloys [Blu-ray]

 

(Tobias Nölle, 2016)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF)

Video: Eureka Entertainment (UK)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:30:36.625

Disc Size: 29,561,191,452 bytes

Feature Size: 28,984,570,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 24th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 3323 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3323 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

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

Trailer (1:48)

DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Aloys Adorn is a middle-aged private detective who lives and works with his father. He experiences life from a safe distance, through a video camera he keeps recording 24 hours a day, and the massive collection of surveillance tapes he organises and obsessively watches at home. But when his father dies, Aloys is left on his own and his sheltered existence begins to fall apart. After a night of heavy drinking, Aloys wakes up on a public bus to find that his camera and precious observation tapes have been stolen. Soon after, a mysterious woman calls to blackmail him. She offers to return the tapes if Aloys will try an obscure Japanese invention called telephone walking with her, using his imagination as their only connection. As he is drawn deeper and deeper, falling in love with the voice on the other end of the phone, the woman opens up a new universe that may allow Aloys to break out of his isolation and into the real world.

Making its premiere at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival in 2016, Tobias Nölle's film has been compared to the work of Charlie Kaufmann. Beautifully lensed and scored Aloys is a feast for the senses, Eureka Entertainment are proud to present this film for the first time in the world on Blu-ray and DVD.

 

 

The Film:

Capturing Aloys as the film goes on falls to Georg Friedrich, and while portraying someone who is initiall a blank may seem like a matter of doing extremely little, he manages to make the man an intriguing mix of frightened curiosity about the world despite an inability to interface with it. It's not exactly appealing - Friedrich seldom indulges in wide-eyed wonder and erupts in petulant anger when what he has is threatened. There is something child-like to Aloys, but Friedrich makes sure that while he's not the sort of walking temper-tantrum that middle-aged man-children are often portrayed as being, but he does skew more toward the difficult side of people who haven't fully developed than the charming, and Friedrich shows how the character's progress is fearful and uncertain.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE

There have been loner private eyes before, people like The Conversation's Harry Caul, who keep others at arm's length. But Tobias Nölle's Aloys Adorn (Georg Friedrich) is even more fragile than that, lonely in a way that feels stifling, less in control of his isolation than pushed out somehow from the rest of the world. The fact that he causes few ripples makes him good at his job, able to slip into the fringes of adulterers' lives unnoticed.

When we see him on a station platform or walking across the concrete precinct in front of his towering apartment block, Nölle's framing is immaculate, as though the world has retracted from Aloys, drawing back from this silent figure whose pencil moustache even has the air of half-hearted melancholy.

Excerpt fromEyeForFilm located HERE

 

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

Aloys is as pristine on Blu-ray from Eureka out of the UK, as you might expect for a modern film transferred to a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate to be. Cinematographer Simon Guy Fässler creates a very sterile and desolate impression with gentle pans and full use of the 2.39:1 frame.  The mise en scène is a large part of the film's impression upon the viewer. I believe it was shot on digital - but it looks more like a soft, heavy film-like appearance. Regardless, the 1080P provides a rewarding, consistent, presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Eureka offer both a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a healthy 3323 kbps (24-bit) and a linear PCM stereo track. Aloys is a passive film without much use for the surround separations although it was noted on, at least, a couple of scenes. The score is by two newcomers Tom Huber and Beat Jegen and it adds the same cold atmosphere, as the visuals, supporting the narrative. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Not extras aside from a lone trailer but being 'Dual-Format' a PAL DVD of the feature is included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Aloys is an excellent film - and the comparisons to Charlie Kaufman are spot-on. I kept thinking of Synecdoche, New York as I watched this. Perhaps as much about the wry tone as well as adeptly exporting emotions of loneliness, emptiness and hope. Aloys has a fascinating and unique edge to it - I almost wished it would have gone on longer. It's a great choice for Eureka to release on Blu-ray. The 1080P presentation is greatly appreciated by this reviewer.  Very strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 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 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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