The Numbers Station (2013)
|Year Of Production||2013|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kasper Barfoed|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English dts 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Number Station is a spy thriller set in the modern day. It is not a traditional action style thriller but rather a psychological thriller with some action scenes. It is mostly set in one location, a bunker style communications outpost in rural England.
The story involves black ops CIA agent, Emerson Kent (John Cusack) who is getting weary of his life as a professional killer and finds it hard to complete his latest mission, basically bailed out by his boss, Grey (Liam Cunningham). A bad psychological evaluation sees him getting reassigned to a security detail looking after a code relayer, Katherine (Malin Akerman), in a remote code relay station in rural England. He and Katherine work three day shifts together manning the station waiting for messages to be relayed to field agents in continental Europe. At the start of one shift they are ambushed by unseen assailants and only just escape to the safety of the bunker. They must work out what is going on, who is outside and why they desire to kill them. Can they trust anyone or even each other?
This thriller is difficult to engage with, the characters are not overly interesting, with the Cusack character being the very usual broken down CIA agent who is weary of his job. Cusack and Akerman are fine in their roles but the film needs more meat on it to make it truly engaging. There is some moody atmosphere, however the dark lighting scheme and hand held cameras don't make for great viewing. I think the look of this film has been badly impacted by the decision of the DVD distributor to crop it from 2.35:1 to 1.78:1. It feels too enclosed and too close to faces.
Hard to recommend.
The video quality is poor.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is not the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. Eagle seems to be making a habit of cropping widescreen films which should have gone out with the ark. As per our site policy I will remove one star from the video rating for this.
The picture was not very clear and sharp with quite a bit of grain. Shadow detail was average.
The colour is dull and affected by chroma noise and colour bleeding.
Artefacts include significant motion blur plus some grain and blocking.
There are no subtitles.
The audio quality is good.
This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus one in DTS 5.1.
Dialogue was hard to understand at times and the lack of subtitles was particularly annoying due to this.
The score by Paul Leonard-Morgan does not stand out.
The surround speakers provided some good directional effects and atmosphere.
The subwoofer added bass to the music plus for bullets and explosions.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is pretty standard.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The various Blu-ray releases seem to be in the correct aspect ratio so would be a better choice if you want to see this film. The US DVD seems to be in the wrong aspect ratio too.
The video quality is poor and in the wrong aspect ratio.
The audio quality is good.The extras are confined to a featurette.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-533K, using Component output|
|Display||InFocus Screenplay 7200 with ScreenTechnics 100" (16x9) screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVC -A11SR|
|Speakers||Jamo D6PEX wall mounted Speakers and Powered Sub (7.1)|