Greetings to the Devil (Saluda al diablo de mi parte) (2011)

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Released 9-Jan-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Madman Propaganda x 4
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 86:53
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Juan Felipe Orozco
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Édgar Ramírez
Ricardo Vélez
Carolina Gómez
Salvador del Solar
Patrick Delmas
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Jermaine Stegall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

"In this world we all have to pay
for what we’ve done"

     In 2005 the Colombian government offered an amnesty to any Marxist guerrilla who laid down their weapons. Many accepted the amnesty, but not everyone was happy with the forgiveness granted by the government.

     Angel Sotavento (Edgar Ramirez), nickname the “Devil”, is an ex-guerrilla who has accepted the amnesty but his life is not easy as he tries to care for his young daughter Angela (Maria Luna Beltran). “Murderer” has been smeared in blood on his front door and he cannot get a job because of his past; he is then abducted by a group led by Leder (Ricardo Velez) and his sister Helena (Carolina Gomez). Leder is now a cripple, a victim from Angel’s former life where he was tortured and his father murdered. Now Leder tells Angel that he has three days to track down and kill three former members of his old guerrilla group or his daughter will be killed. To make his point, Leder has Angel’s ex-wife shot and killed before his eyes. With a tracking chip embedded in his neck, Angel is set free to kill his former comrades, one of whom is now police Captain Moris (Salvador del Solar), a murderer and torturer in his own right. Carnage ensues on the streets of Bogota, and no-one is above retribution for their past sins.

     Greetings to the Devil (Saluda al diablo de mi parte) is a bleak, brutal, violent and uncompromising film from Colombian filmmaking brothers Juan Felipe Orozco, who directed, and Carlos Esteban Orozco, who wrote the script. The brothers were born in Medellin, Colombia, and this fact may well have informed the violence that occurs in Greetings to the Devil. There is nothing pretty or balletic in this violence, it is grim, bloody, loud and brutal without, it must be said, being overly gory as some of the worst takes place off screen. As well, few are innocent in this world. Ramirez’s Angel is a man who says very little, but there is no doubt that he is guilty of some horrendous acts during the guerrilla war. Even worse is his old comrade Captain Moris, a vile, bloody man with no conscience or pity. Leder clearly has reason to seek revenge upon his previous captors and tormentors, but his murder of the innocent ex-wife and his threats to kill the innocent daughter show that he too is beyond redemption. None of these men show any remorse, and it is only the character of Helena who grows and changes during the course of the film.

     The plot of Greetings to the Devil is illogical. Angel sets out to kill his former comrades with little emotion, including his friend Serge (Patrick Delmas), the one man who seems to care for and support him. Angel does this because his daughter is held captive – yet as soon as he has completed his killings he lets Leder know he is coming to kill him. If this was the plan, why go ahead with the murders of his old comrades at all? At the end of the film, when most people lie dead, the bleakness of the film is, thankfully, subverted by an act of compassion, while the black and white interview which commences and ends the film suggests strongly that there is indeed an alternative to vengeance.

     Greetings to the Devil is not an easy film. It is, however, well made with many tense, gritty sequences and the action is well staged, sharp, real and bloody. It has a very uncompromising view of humanity and there is really almost no-one to like and care for and, if it were not for the ending, it would be a very bleak film indeed.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Greetings to the Devil is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Greetings to the Devil was filmed using hand held Red One and Sony HDW- F900 digital cameras. Close-ups show good detail, although the colours are dull and flat with a digital sheen, and skin tones can look yellowish. There is also an excess of digital noise in darker scenes (such as at 10:38 or 43:13) which does effects the blacks and some of the shadow detail and this is a film with a lot of dark scenes. There is some slight aliasing and ghosting, but marks and other artefacts are absent.

     The layer change at 43:15 resulted in a slight pause.

    English subtitles are in an easy to read yellow font. They seemed timely and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

     The print gets the job done but could be better due to the digital noise reduction.

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

Audio

     The only audio choice is Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.

     Dialogue was clear and centred and the film makes good use of silences before gradually introducing music and ambient effects. The surrounds were not overdone but did add an enveloping feel with music, gunshots and ricochets around the sound stage. The subwoofer added good bass to music, effects and a rumble in the action sequences and tense moments without ever unbalancing the sound stage.

    Lip synchronisation was good.

     The original score by Jermaine Stegall was very good and atmospheric, adding tension to the visuals.

     The audio track was effective and good.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (1:38)

Madman Propaganda

     Trailers for Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (1:43), Carlos the Jackal (2:13), Easy Money (2:00) and Point Blank (2:21).

R4 vs R1

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

     Amazon.com lists a Region 1 US NTSC version of Greetings to the Devil without details plus our Region 4 Australian release. There seems no reason to go beyond the local release.

Summary

    Greetings to the Devil is well made although it has a very uncompromising view of humanity and there is really almost no-one to like and care for. If it were not for the ending, it would be a very bleak film indeed.

     The video could be better, the audio is good and a trailer is the only relevant extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, June 14, 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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