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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Two Males for Alexa aka "Bitterer Whisky (Im Rausch der Sinne)" aka "Fieras sin jaula" or "2 Masks for Alexa" [Blu-ray]

 

(Juan Logar, 1971)

 

   

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Arvo Film

Video: VZ-Handelsgesellschaft

 

Disc:

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

Italian Runtime: 1:25:03.125

Spanish Runtime: 1:26:36.583

Disc Size: 44,020,928,204 bytes

Feature Sizes - Italian: 25,643,535,168 bytes / Spanish: 16,184,835,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.95 Mbps / 19.83 Mbps

Chapters: 6 + 6

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: May 15th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 2.0 / 48 kHz / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 2.0 / 48 kHz / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Commentary (on Italian version):
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English, non-removable, for Italian language (both versions) - none for German DUBs (both versions)

 

Extras:

Commentary (German only) by Gerd Nauman, Matthias Künnecke and Bodo Traber

Alt-opening/title (2:56)
•  Textless opening (1:30)
B-Roll (6:09)
Music track (6:12)

DVD
 

Bitrates:

 

 

Alt-Spanish version

 

 

Description: Well-to-do, older business man, Ronald Marvelling (Curt Jurgens), forgivably falls for nubile Alexa (Rosalba Neri), an attractive friend of his daughter (Emma Cohen) who isn't afraid to flash her smile and legs. She knows 'what side her bread is buttered' and gets hooked to the sophisticated gent but proceeds to have an affair with young stud Pietro (Juan Luis Galiardo). Ronald is also a master of visually spying and audio recording his trophy wife and seeks an elaborate revenge by sealing the deceptive lovers in the bedroom together, with his expired, bleeding, body after an attempted gunshot suicide, after he catches them in the act. The young lovers soon begin to hate each other, Alexa has hallucinations believing she saw Ronald's body move, and Pietro's starts losing his grip as violent events begin to transpire as they are locked-in... with no way out.

Juan Logar's stylish Spanish/Italian Giallo uses a non-linear timeline to expose details of Alexa's past. It explores themes of guilt, selfishness, seduction, paranoia, trust, and Ronald's self-delusion and Alexa as she fools herself into believing she loves Ronald for his 'intelligence' - expanding to a delicious claustrophobic thriller - with murder a definite potential at every later turn. Alexa's hallucinations become surreal apparitions of her husband exposing her frailty - while wishing she'd never met Pietro. It's as if she falls in love with Ronald - only after he is dead.

1) Spanish title - Blu-ray TOP

2) Trailer (Esperanto?) title - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Italian title - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

The Film:

Curd Jurgens as the betrayed husband is incredibly expressive and believable; Rosabla Neri, as the philandering Alexa, delivers her usual thoughtful performance and, in doing so, makes her potentially cardboard cut-out character multi-dimensional, and Juan Luis Galiardo, as Alexa’s heartthrob Pierre, also cares enough about his craft that he avoids the trappings of a potentially stereotypical character and, like Neri, makes him real and full of depth.

Excerpt from Letterboxd located HERE

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

This is a limited edition that was released in three different covers - this being the third - and last available.

 

             

 

Amazon lists it as being released by VZ-Handelsgesellschaft, but seems like X-Rated Eurokult - the same company that produced The Sweet Body of Deborah on Blu-ray. This edition has two versions (Italian and slightly longer Spanish version) sharing the lone dual-layered Blu-ray disc.  The picture quality leans to the, marginally shorter, Italian version transfer being a bit better with 50% higher bitrate (both are 1.85:1 and 1080P) and what I noticed between the versions is a different order to scenes, and the Rosalba Neri's nudity (sex on beach, in front of mirror) was absent in the Spanish version but are in black and white in the Italian/Spanish version (see samples below). I don't know why the Spanish cut is slightly longer but it could be some of the flashback scenes of Alexa's old boyfriend - with his new girlfriend.

 

Image quality, in general, is actually quite strong with clear, reasonably tight visuals, rich colors and plenty of depth. I saw no compression or noise issues. It had some inconsistencies - perhaps noting the version cuts - but I was surprised at the high level, all things considered. There are some rare speckles notable in some of the nudity scenes (cut from the Spanish version).

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

1) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Italian) - Blu-ray TOP

2) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Spanish) - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Italian) - Blu-ray TOP

2) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Spanish) - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Slightly different shot

 

1) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Italian) - Blu-ray TOP

2) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Spanish) - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Italian) - Blu-ray TOP

2) VZ-Handelsgesellschaft - (Spanish) - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Different shots

 

 

More Italian Version Blu-ray captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

A DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at (16-bit) is utilized in a German DUB (Spanish language cut) or Italian language - available for both versions. I found the audio had fluctuations - one notable drop-out and variable volume levels with the music, often, very loud in relation to dialogue - notable at the club scene where Alexa and Pietro first meet. The score is by Italian composer and jazz musician Piero Piccioni (Fox With a Velvet Tail, Three Brothers, The 10th Victim, Adua and Her Friends, Hands Over the City, L'assassino, The Moment of Truth) with some violent chords during infidelity and has some additional, unidentified female singing in the film (More Than I Loved You ?!) in English, for the opening. There are non-removable English subtitles for both Italian tracks but none of the German DUBs (both versions) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

There is a German-language commentary by a couple of individuals, plus the alt-opening/title, and textless opening sequences, 6-minutes of B-Roll and also 6-minute of the music track (Piero Piccioni? and the opening song - no vocals) - played quietly while a poster is shown. There is also a DVD and a booklet with German text and color photos.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I liked the inventive punishment-angle and the surreal aspects of Two Males For Alexa as we often are wondering ourselves what is real and what is imagined - in the story. It also has a neat, theatrical, ending (both versions) that I won't spoil. There was definitely something deep intended for the film's characters but it ends up being quite subtle. The
Blu-ray package has a lot to offer - even with the German-language commentary being English-unfriendly. Giallo-lovers should consider.

Gary Tooze

September 8th, 2017

   

  

 

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.

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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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