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|Category||Thriller||Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary - Craig Monahan (Director)
Cast & Crew Biographies
Cast & Crew Interviews
Notes - Film Festivals
Notes - Reviews
Notes - CD Soundtrack
Deleted Scenes (2, with Director's commentary)
Alternate Ending (with Director's commentary)
Featurette - Production Design/Storyboards
|Running Time||100:08 Minutes|
The AV Channel
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The film begins in the apartment of one Eddie Rodney Fleming (Hugo Weaving), a seemingly harmless man who was retrenched before the time the film is set in, and is struggling to make ends meet. Nobody is more surprised than he is when the police come barging into his home and take him down to the local station for questioning. The questioning process is entrusted to Detective Sergeant John Steele (Tony Martin) and Detective Senior Constable Wayne Prior (Aaron Jeffery), who use the old good-cop-bad-cop routine in an effort to shake information out of Eddie. Their boss, Detective Inspector Jackson (Paul Sonkkila), is anxious to see this case wrapped up because it has been an embarrassing mystery for some time. What little evidence they do have points to Eddie having stolen a car that was owned by a man called Beecroft (Doug Dew), who now happens to be missing. Beecroft's wife (Libby Stone) can't identify any of the items that were found in Eddie's apartment as having been stolen from him, and Eddie soon requests that a solicitor (Leverne McDonnell) be provided for him. Meanwhile, local reporter Barry Walls (Michael Caton) shows up to question and annoy the two detectives as to whether they're questioning the right man.
Things become complicated when Detective Prior drops the wrong words to Barry, creating a rift between him and Detective Steele, and then Eddie begins confessing to crimes that he may or may not have committed. Then the standard Internal Affairs detectives come in and raise questions about the manner in which the two detectives conducted the whole interview in the first place. When Detective Jackson attempts to salvage the whole interview from enquiries about police corruption, Eddie sees his chance to get out of the interview room and put egg on the faces of the detectives at the same time. That's where I'll leave things so you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the film for yourself.
188 IMDB users have given this film a solid eight out of ten rating, with comparisons between this small-scale drama and The Usual Suspects being offered by some critics. All in all, this is a fine piece of work from some of Australia's best actors, with their performances making it worth the effort to sample this film by themselves. If only I could say the same for this transfer...
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. I think the majority of the problems to be found in this transfer could well be blamed upon this fact, although the date of the film's production makes it very unlikely that this is another recycled laserdisc master. The foreground of the transfer was sharp and vibrant at all times, but the backgrounds were often lacking in resolution. The shadow detail is great when required, although the vast majority of the film takes place in brightly lit conditions. Low-level noise was not a problem, but film grain appeared in large amounts during some outdoor shots.
The colour saturation of this transfer is dark and subdued, in keeping with the setting of the film. Most of the story takes place in a room within a police station, which in turn is inside a building that could well be a hundred or more years old, giving the people responsible for the transfer a cold, dark palette of colours to work with.
MPEG artefacts were not a problem for this transfer, and most of the film is not all that tightly compressed. Film-to-video artefacts, however, were a major problem in this transfer and soon reached unacceptable levels, especially given the high bitrate of the transfer. There was no scene that was free of aliasing, with the edges of objects shimmering away with annoying regularity. I counted no less than forty-seven instances of aliasing during the first hour of the film, with a real shocker noticed on the edge of some papers at 19:25. Given that this could almost be an average of one instance of aliasing per minute, we can mention this transfer in the same breath as such shockers as The Thing and Backdraft. Film artefacts were not too bad, however, with the only significant one being a white scratch in the lower middle of the frame at 28:56.
This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change taking place between Chapters 14 and 15, at 69:57. Sadly, this is a few seconds into a musical cue, making the pause very jarring indeed.
The dialogue was always clear and easy to make out, partially because there weren't that many other sounds in the mix to intrude upon it. The only other sounds in the film that occur with any regularity are those of feet pounding against different types of floor, and the clicking of an audio cassette recorder. This would have made life quite easy for the compression, although it does add up to a rather boring soundtrack in comparison to what the format is capable of. This is to be expected, however, since the film was originally presented with a simple Dolby SR soundtrack. There were no discernible problems with audio sync, and I doubt that much dubbing would have been required.
The music in this film is credited to David Hirschfelder, although I really never knew that it was there to begin with. This either means that it was very good, or very bad, and I am not entirely such which. Considering that it is the only significant sound besides the dialogue, the fact that I can hardly remember any of it after the film is not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The surround channels were not used by this soundtrack, although I'm not really sure that the film itself throws anything at the Dolby Digital codec which it would consider worthy of such channel separation, anyway. Even the use of stereo separation seems to be a bit of a waste with this film, and I am sure that one could enjoy the sound as much on a monaural television as they would by engaging their digital amplifier. The subwoofer was similarly redundant during this film, offering only the occasional dose of bottom-end to such sound effects as passing cars or doors being broken down. If you're looking for a disc with which to demonstrate your system to friends, this is definitely not it.
The video transfer is simply unacceptable.
The audio transfer is competent, but uninspiring.
The extras are good.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|