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(aka "D'Ardennen" or "Les Ardennes")

 

directed by Robin Pront
Belgium 2015

 

Promoted as coming from "the producers of BULLHEAD", THE ARDENNES is exactly that. The feature debut of Robin Pront, THE ARDENNES is an initially intriguing but ultimately uneven mishmash of familial tension (the sequences featuring Viviane de Muynck as the mother are the most entertaining), techno-scored transitional sequences, and slapdash, half-baked action (apart from a throwaway bit with some attacking ostriches) that fails to make interesting or atmospheric use of the titular setting during the third act. When a home invasion goes wrong, Dave (co-writer Jeroen Perceval) leaves his brother Kenny (Kevin Janssens, STORMFORCE) to be caught by the police. Hothead Kenny never says anything about the involvement of Dave or his own girlfriend Sylvie (Veerle Baetens, THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN) in the crime and is sentenced to four years in prison. When he gets out, Kenny is anything but reformed yet does not seem to hold any grudges against his brother (who has gone the straight and narrow) and girlfriend (who has been clean and sober for two years). Unbeknownst to him, however, Sylvie is pregnant with Dave's child and they are looking to settle down. Out of guilt, straight and narrow Dave helps Kenny find a job but his brother cannot stay out of trouble. When Kenny discovers that Sylvie is working at a rave club for Moroccan Khalid (Rachid El Ghazaoui, INFILTRANT), the jealous and xenophobic Kenny kills the other man and then blackmails his brother into helping him transport the body to the Ardennes forest where his former cellmate Stef (Jan Bijvoet, BORGMAN) - along with his crossdressing lover Joyce (Sam Louwyck, EX DRUMMER) - can dismember and dispose of the body. Kenny's destructive (and self-destructive) behavior complicates things even further and Dave finds his resolve to be a better person pushed to the limit as he realizes that there is more than just a woman come between them and that he is just as capable of violence as his brother.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 6 January 2017 (USA)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:33
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Flemish/French Dolby Digital 5.1; Flemish/French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
�  Audio Commentary by director Robin Pront and star Kevin Janssens
� Making-of Featurette (14:06)
� Interview with director Robin Pront and star Kevin Janssens (8:13)
� Theatrical Trailer (1:38)
� Short Film 'Injury Time' (15:49)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

 

Comments

There was certainly room on this 5.45 GB dual-layer disc for a higher bitrate encode of the 1.5 hour feature but Film Movement has given us a mid-range bitrate progressive, anamorphic encode of a neo-noir deliberately dark and gritty film. It gets the job done (as does the Dolby Digital 5.1 track), but a BD presentation might have been more inviting. Fortunately, Film Movement have included an audio commentary with the director discussing material he ultimately cut from the film and changes from the original concept while the star relays his enjoyment of filming scenes that were shot in long takes as they allowed for more freedom of interaction with his co-stars. The two also appear in a video interview as well as a behind the scenes featurette. The director's previous short film is also included as an extra.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC



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