Privacy (2012)

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Released 13-Dec-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-30 plus trailers for Accent titles
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 94:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jorg Ihle
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring John Shepard
Gina Busch
Brenton Duplessie
Clayton Myers
Setor Attipoe
Danny Boushebel
Reilly Rose
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Mark (John Shepard) is software designer with a broken leg who has split up with his girlfriend. Stuck in his flat he creates a surveillance program that allows him to access the camera in every mobile phone in New York; each mobile sends back to Mark a live feed of what people are doing which he can access on his computer.

     In his random search through phone cameras he comes across the beautiful Alexis (Gina Busch). She appears furtive and worried and seems to be having clandestine meetings in a certain place at a specific time each day. Mark becomes fascinated by her and persuades his best friend Toby (Clayton Myers) to place a bug at her meeting place. When Mark finds out that Alexis is looking for a place to stay, he has Toby meet her and tell her about the vacant apartment in his block. Alexis moves in and a relationship starts to develop.

     But Alexis has a past: there are indications that she is involved in blackmailing a prominent Senator and she is being sought by rogue FBI operative Scott (Brenton Duplessie). It seems that Mark and Toby have stumbled into a web of deceit, lies, murder and politics that they will need all their wits and technical skills to survive.

     Privacy is another film about the invasiveness of cameras and surveillance in our lives. Yet, it is not a bleak or disturbing film but rather a light-hearted thriller with romantic elements. It is entertaining enough and one plus is that, except when for the “phone cam” shots, the film has wonderful deep natural colours and is beautifully sharp and detailed. It is great to see a recent film where the look is not excessively colour manipulated and the New York locations, including Union Station, look fabulous. This is one of the nicest, sharpest DVD prints I have seen in some time.

     Not that Privacy is without problems. The acting, especially from Brenton Duplessie and Setor Attipoe (as Mark’s landlady), is weak. Gina Busch, one of the three main leads, is also poor which does not help the film, however the two main male leads, John Shepard and Clayton Myers, are better. The scripting also leaves a lot to be desired, with plot holes wide enough to drive a truck through. I know thrillers require a suspension of belief but the logic in this film tends to fly right out the window. On the other hand the film does make good use of switching rapidly between “phone cam” POVs, which does create some tense moments, although the music cues tend to signal events too obviously.

     Privacy is a low budget film from first time feature director Jorg Ihle, who also wrote the story. With a more experienced director and more control over the acting and script the film could have been much better as the premise is interesting. However, the film looks great and is still kind of fun if you suspend belief and just go with the flow.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Privacy is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, given as the original theatrical ratio in IMDb, and is 16x9 enhanced. I will say that to me a number of scenes seemed cropped at the sides with only half the speaker within the frame, and I don’t mean the “phone cam” shots where it is deliberate. But that may just be me.

     As noted in the review, it is great to have a recent film that is not overly colour manipulated. Except where we see “phone cam” shots, detail in faces and sets is great, while colours are rich and natural and the New York locations look fabulous. Contrast and brightness are consistent. Blacks and shadow detail are fine.

     The print showed some ghosting with motion but otherwise marks and artefacts were absent.

     There are no subtitles.

     This is one of the most natural, sharpest DVD prints I have seen in some time.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand. The surrounds are not overused but provide some ambience with crowd and traffic noises. I did not notice any directional cues. The sub-woofer supported the music.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     The original music by Jeff Jordan tended towards the obvious at times but was not otherwise overly intrusive.

     The audio track was appropriate for the film and got the job done.

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

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for Lucky, The Innkeepers, Chasing Madoff, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom and Now Forager that collectively run 9:46. A total of 30 trailers of Accent Film Entertainment releases can be selected from the menu - some, but not all, of the start-up trailers are repeated and we do get a trailer for Privacy included. There is a “play all” option.

R4 vs R1

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

     I cannot find any version of Privacy listed on sales sites in either Region 1 US or Region 2 UK.

Summary

     Privacy looks fabulous and has some good moments but is let down by indifferent acting and poor plotting. However, the film is still kind of fun if you can suspend belief.

     The video is very good, the audio fine. A mass of trailers is the only extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, February 15, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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