Tower Block (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Category||Thriller / Violence||
Trailer-Start-up trailer for Warm Bodies
Calibration Signals-DTS-HD MA 5.1 & DTS-HD MA 7.1 Calibration Test
More…-DVD copy of the film
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Jamie Thomas King
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Several months after witnessing a murder, residents of Tower Block 31 find themselves being picked off by a sniper, pitching those lucky enough to be alive into a battle for survival. It sounds like a strange synopsis for a movie, but Tower Block, directed by James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson and written by James Moran, is a tense thriller until the final few scenes of the movie.
The film stars Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Ralph Brown and Russel Tovey, all familiar British television actors. Writer James Moran worked on Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood prior to writing this film and Cockney vs. Zombies. Directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson have both worked as assistant director and producer respectively, with this film representing Nunn's debut feature.
Tower Block 31 is a dilapidated apartment block in London, ready for demolition, with the building empty except for the tenants on the top floor. The action starts when some tenants witness the murder of a young boy. They keep quiet, though, when the police come to question them, not wanting to get involved out of fear of possible recrimination. One year on and someone is still holding a grudge as a sniper starts to pick the residents off one by one from an adjacent building.
The film contains a diverse group of characters from different backgrounds, all from the working-class it seems, yet varied in age, family, marital status and race. These characters soon learn that they need to put their differences aside if they are going to survive the trap they find themselves in, as they soon learn that the sniper has booby-trapped all the exits out of the building.
The characters are all very much stereotypical, the drug dealer, the wise old timer, the strong-willed mother and an antagonist with a penchant for justice. The confined space of the top floor unit block makes for some tense and sharp exchanges from the residents, who are looking to get down to escape anyway they can!
Tower Block is not a Hollywood blockbuster in any way, but this British B-movie is not a bad effort for a cast and crew who, in my mind, are still 'cutting their teeth' in the film industry.
Tower Block was shot on a low budget, so the visuals here are not demo-quality.
Tower Block is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC codec.
Shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras, the image transfer is detailed where required for close-up shots, although there is minor low level noise and posterization evident.
Due to the setting of the film, the claustrophobic feel of the plot is conveyed through a desaturated colour scheme and, at times, minimal internal lighting which is intended to highlight blacks.
There are no film or video artefacts present, however.
Unfortunately, there are no subtitles included which would have been useful for Australian audiences as some characters speak in Cockney English slang, and some dialogue is hard to make out at times.
As was the case for the image transfer, the audio transfer is serviceable enough; it does the job required to maintain tension for the viewing audience.
The main audio track is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track.
The dialogue is synchronised throughout, but not always clear due to the accents of the cast. I still cannot fathom why the United Kingdom and United States Blu-ray releases get subtitles but Australian viewers don't!
Owen Morris' musical score has minimal impact; in my opinion you certainly won't remember it after viewing the film!
The surround mix is quite good, with ambient effects in every channel and sniper shots zooming quickly across the soundscape.
The subwoofer does a good job of accurately portraying shotgun blasts and sniper gunfire.
|Surround Channel Use|
A start-up trailer for Warm Bodies plays prior to the main menu.
This is quite a handy extra that I think you'll find using more than once for your home-theatre system. This extra allows you to calibrate your 5.1 or 7.1 speakers using test signals and is easy to follow. The calibration test will assist you with speaker levels and sound directionality.
Although I did not receive a DVD copy of the film for this review, Australian distributor Icon has released Tower Block in Australia in a combined Blu-ray/DVD 'combo' package.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A United States Blu-ray contains an audio commentary with screenwriter James Moran, some behind-the-scenes interviews (6:21) and the film's trailer (1:40). The Region B United Kingdom Blu-ray contains the behind-the-scenes interviews as the only extra.
Tower Block contains an interesting premise that I felt was let down in its ending. This unfortunately will have an effect on your enjoyment of the film as the obvious showdown with the sniper will leave you questioning the plausibility of the plot.
Although the Australian Region B Blu-ray release does not contain the audio commentary by James Moran and the behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast found on the Region A United States Blu-ray, I found the audio calibration test a useful extra, one that I certainly appreciated!
Tower Block is not a bad first effort from directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson and writer James Moran and I can envisage some stronger creative output from them in the future.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||Sony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)|