Factory, The (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 12-Dec-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 104:05 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Morgan O'Neill
Studio
Distributor
Dark Castle
Eagle Entertainment
Starring John Cusack
Mae Whitman
Jennifer Carpenter
Ksenia Solo
Michael Trevino
Sonya Walger
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Mark Isham


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Can You Find Him In Time?

     The city of Buffalo in New York State is a cold and dark setting for a similarly cold and depressing straight to DVD thriller titled The Factory. John Cusack stars as Mike Fletcher, a city detective who is obsessed by a series of unsolved crimes involving the disappearance of prostitutes over a number of years. The similarity of the disappearances leads Mike to believe that it could be the work of a serial killer. His partner Kelsey Walker (Jennifer Carpenter) shares his dedication and is particularly concerned with the welfare of the prostitutes who frequent the dark streets of Buffalo. Kelsey fought to be assigned this case with Mike, and seems to spend most of her time at work to the detriment of her social life.

     Mike's continued absence from home does little to help the family dynamics where rebellious teenage daughter Abby (Mae Whitman) is in continual warfare with her mother Lauren (Katherine Waterston) over her relationship with boyfriend Tad (Michael Trevino). Meanwhile street crawler Gary Gemeaux (Dallas Roberts) picks up prostitute Divine (Lita Tresierra) and gruesomely kills her back at his house after discovering that she is not what she seems. Apart from murdering random street walkers Gary is also receiving medical supplies from hospital orderly Darryl (Gary Anthony Williams). Darryl wants to break the arrangement because of hospital suspicions, but Gary is blackmailing him with an incriminating video. After another fight with her mother Abby secretly leaves her room at night for a rendezvous with Tad at a local diner. After Tad announces that he wants to break up the relationship Abby leaves the diner where she is picked up Gary after asking him for a light. Abby's appearance that night leads Gary to assume that she is a prostitute.

     When Mike learns that his daughter has possibly been abducted by the serial killer he is looking for no holds are barred and no methods off-limits in his search for clues. Meanwhile, back at Gary's house Abby is introduced to fellow house guests Shelley (Sonya Walger), and Brittany (Mageina Tovah), and soon learns that Gary's plans for them have a perverted twist.

     Despite the highly improbable plot The Factory manages to create enough tension to make the running time pass entertainingly enough. Directed by Australian Morgan O'Neill with writing credits by O'Neill and Paul A. Leyden, this is no classic thriller like the Silence of the Lambs or Seven. There is nevertheless enough substance here to be worthy of more than just a casual viewing, even if the final plot twist is frankly a bit ridiculous. In the acting stakes Cusack is adequate, although a bit one-dimensional. Carpenter is far more interesting with Whitman also pretty convincing as a highly strung teenager in a lot of trouble. The closing scenes suggest a possible sequel was being contemplated during filming, however I'm not so sure that The Factory quite deserves another act.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video is presented in MPEG-4 AVC high definition 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen. The bleak Buffalo weather results in a lot of outdoor shots with a bluish palette and magenta tones. Indoor shots are noticeably more golden with lots of rich reds and yellows. The detail is clear and precise without being outstanding. Black levels are good, with dimly lit scenes not hiding any detail - although as you would expect these are not as crisp as when the scene is well lit. Skin tones are realistic although intentionally pallid in the cellar.

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

Audio

     A DTS Master Audio 5.1 audio track encoded at around 4,300 Kb/s is the default and is quite adequate without being outstanding. There is also an alternative track using Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640 Kb/s. The Dolby Digital track was sampled on occasions, and as you'd expect it is nowhere near the depth of the DTS Master Audio track.

     The movie score by Mark Isham complements the on-screen action well, and the ambient sound stage using a subtle LFE presence is very effective. The surround channels are not used aggressively so when they are called into play the effect is more dramatic. More than a couple of times I looked behind for the source of certain sounds such as footsteps or banging. Dialogue is always easy to understand and is synchronised to the video.

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

Extras

       

Menu

   

     Animated menu with audio.

R4 vs R1

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

   

     The Factory Blu-ray does not seem to be available in the US or UK at the time of review. Canada has a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack available but I couldn't find any information on what is included on the discs. I'd suggest that the local version is probably the best option.

Summary

     The Factory is a more than passable thriller which is well worth a look. The story is advertised as being "based on actual events", however the plot is far-fetched and the end twist more than a bit unbelievable. I guess the term "based on" allows a lot of wriggle room. In any case I suggest you ignore any critical analysis and go along for the ride. You'll probably enjoy it.

     The video quality is very good.

     The audio quality is very good.

     The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
Amplificationdenon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub

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