Anna Karenina (2012)

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Released 13-Jun-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 124:21
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Joe Wright
Studio
Distributor
Universal Sony Starring Matthew MacFadyen
Eric MacLennan
Kelly Macdonald
Theo Morrissey
Cecily Morrissey
Freya Galpin
Octavia Morrissey
Beatrice Morrissey
Marine Battier
Keira Knightley
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Dario Marianelli


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Arabic
Icelandic
Polish
Russian
Estonian
Latvian
Lithuanian
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a novel which has been adapted for the big screen and the small screen many times. IMDB lists numerous films and television series based on this classic novel. The latest big screen adaptation is this one based on a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and directed by Joe Wright. Wright first came to my notice as the director of an excellent mini-series on Charles II and was later responsible for films like Price & Prejudice, Hanna and the marvellous Atonement. He makes wonderful and interesting films and this one is certainly no exception.

     The story is set in 1874 Russia, St Petersburg (the seat of government) & Moscow (the centre of high society). The titular character, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is married to the upright but slightly boring beaurocrat, Count Karenin (Jude Law) and they live in St Petersburg with their young son. Karenin is very busy with the government of the country and has little time to spend with his wife and son, despite obviously loving them. When her brother, Stiva (Matthew MacFadyen) gets himself into trouble by having an affair, she heads to Moscow to try to convince his wife Princess Dolly (Kelly MacDonald) to stay with him. Meanwhile, Dolly's sister, Princess Kitty (Alicia Vikander) is smitten with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) despite being pursued by solid country landowner, Levin (Domhnall Gleeson). The arrival of the beautiful Anna in Moscow, however, turns Vronsky's head and he falls in love with her, despite her being a married woman. She initially resists his advances but an illicit affair begins, which eventually comes to the notice of Karenin.

     If you thought that it was not possible to make something different and interesting out of a period drama like Anna Karenina you are very wrong and Wright has crafted something here which takes this classic story to a completely different place certainly in terms of production design, music, costumes and style. This film plays out like a choreographed dance sequence in many ways with movement seeming to be planned but never out of place. The way that scenes transition is marvellous and adds significantly to the overall feel and style of this film. There is a repeated use of a stage upon which some of the scenes play out which I must say I didn't quite get but this is a minor complaint. The beauty of this film is marvellous with sweeping movement, marvellous set pieces, wonderful costumes, a beautiful score by Dario Marianelli and beautiful sets and locations. This is all backed up by wonderful acting especially from Knightley and Law. The young actor playing Vronsky is perhaps a little too young or maybe just a little too foppish to be totally believable. This film is ravishing and sweeps you up on the journey of the story. It is engrossing, perplexing and intriguing, keeping you thinking about the various motifs being used and the rapid changes of scenes with intricate transitions. My only warning would be that if you want a straight rendering of the novel or a stuffy period drama look elsewhere. This is different, challenging and beautiful rather than 'normal'.

     Marvellous Cinema!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent for DVD.

     The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail was excellent.

     The colour is also excellent showing off the beautiful colours of this marvellous film.

     There are no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read. Other subtitles are available in a number of European languages (see above).

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

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus the same in Russian and Polish along with an Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

     Dialogue was not perfect with the rest of the mix overwhelming it at times.

     The score is marvellous as I mentioned above and sounds excellent on this transfer for a DVD.

     The surround speakers provided good directional effects such as for trains and atmosphere and music throughout.

     The subwoofer added bass to the music mostly.

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

Extras

    No extras are included. An ultraviolet copy of the film is included.

Menu

    The menu includes music but no text which I find annoying. The film also auto starts if you leave it unattended.

R4 vs R1

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

    The various Blu-ray releases include some extras but the DVD versions seem to be bare bones as far as I can tell. Draw.

Summary

    A different, interesting and challenging version of a classic period drama.

    The video quality is excellent for DVD.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras fell under a train.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, August 12, 2013
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 amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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