Dangerous Method, A (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 1-Aug-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biography Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 99:45
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Cronenberg
Studio
Distributor

Transmission Films
Starring Keira Knightley
Viggo Mortensen
Michael Fassbender
Vincent Cassel
Sarah Gadon
André Hennicke
Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Howard Shore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     New home entertainment distributor, Transmission Films, has picked up quite an array of interesting and quality films for local home entertainment release including this 2011 production, A Dangerous Method. Others which we will review in the near term include Deep Blue Sea (not the 1999 shark based action film) and The Eye of the Storm. This film was directed by David Cronenberg and is based on a stage play which in turn is based on a non-fiction book. The screenplay was written by the playwright, Christopher Hampton.

     This film is based on the factual lives and interactions of two famous psychiatrists or psychoanalysts, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). These interactions are mostly driven by Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly), who is a patient of Jung initially but over time becomes both his mistress and a psychoanalyst in her own right. She has been badly affected by her feelings about the spankings her father gave her a small girl. These interactions take place in Austria & Switzerland between 1904 and the start of World War I. Both Jung & Freud were pioneers of psychiatry and psychoanalysis but their opinions differed about what causes the hysteria or neuroses that they treated. Freud thought everything was based in sexuality whereas Jung believed other factors were also involved. The film follows the relationship between Jung & Spielrein and how that affects his relationship with Freud. Another psychoanalyst, Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) is referred to Jung by Freud for treatment but also affects Jung's views on sexuality and monogamy.

     This is an interesting and well-acted film which tells its historical story well. It has received a number of awards including a number of Genie's (Canadian Oscars), film festival awards and a Golden Globe nomination for Viggo Mortensen. It is a German/Canadian co-production. Keira Knightly is marvellous as the initially disturbed Spielrein but is matched in less showy performances by Mortensen & Fassbender. The quality of these performances raises what could be a fairly dry subject into a much better film. Howard Shore contributes some marvellous music which although understated is a significant part of the overall experience. As you might expect this film reflects its basis in a stage play by being dialogue rather than action focused.

     Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good but has some challenges.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture is very sharp and clear although tends to being overly bright at times which reduces the visible detail. This gives the film a somewhat harsh and clinical look, which is possibly intentional. The stark colour scheme adds to this effect. Sometimes, however, this goes a little too far as faces can appear extremely pale or even white such as Keira Knightly at 91:00.

     There are no obvious artefacts other than some minor shimmering at times.

     There are subtitles available in English for the hearing impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good but a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track seems a little like overkill for this film.

     This disc contains a English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA 5.1 along with an Audio Descriptive track in LPCM 2.0. The track is very front focused reflecting the nature of the film.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The music by Howard Shore is beautiful but sparsely used during the film.

     The surround speakers are really not used, except occasionally for music.

     The subwoofer was also used mostly to support the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    No extras.

Menu

    The menu included music, and allowed for scene selection.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Unfortunately our local Blu-ray release is a bare bones affair with the Region A release getting a commentary by Cronenberg, a making of featurette and a 30 minute master class with Cronenberg after a film festival screening. Region A is the best available but it will depend on your ability to play US discs.

Summary

     An interesting and well-acted historically based film about the birth of psychoanalysis.

     The video quality is very good.

     The audio quality is very good.

     The extras were soundly thrashed by Jung and are recovering in a Swiss clinic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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