Pig (2011)

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Released 14-Aug-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Trailer-30 + Accent Entertainment trailers
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 86:21 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Henry Barrial
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Rudolf Martin
Heather Ankeny
Keith Diamond
Ines Dali
Patrick Fabian
Steve Tom
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Alexander Burke
Nick Fevola


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during end credits

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Plot Synopsis

     A man (Rudolf Martin) wakes up in the middle of the desert with a black hood over his head and his hands tied behind his back. Passing out again, he wakes up in the isolated house of Isabel (Heather Ankeny) who lives there with her three year old son Jason. She says she found the man in the desert and nurses him back towards health. But he cannot remember his own name, anything about himself or how or why he was in the desert; all he has is a note in his pocket with the name “Manny Elder” written on it although at certain times some object may trigger a violent and distorted partial memory. Isabel tracks down a man named Manny Elder who runs an apartment block in Los Angeles, and drives the man there. Manny (Keith Diamond) is surprised to see the man, but calls him Justin and tells him that he lives in an apartment in the building but has been away for 3 months. From records and letters in his flat Justin learns that he had been a relief teacher and he sets out to track down his past life. Then in the street he is hailed by a woman, Anouk (Ines Dali), who says that his name is Lukas and that they had grown up together in East Germany. Furthermore, when she speaks German to Lukas / Justin he understands and replies in fluent German. So who is he, who can he trust and what did he do that resulted in his plight in the desert?

     From writer / director Henry Barrial, Pig is a disorienting and intriguing film. For all but the last ten minutes of the running time we mostly see everything from the viewpoint of Lukas / Justin and learn only what he finds out about his past life and identity. To add to the disorientation Barrial throws in a number of unsettling moments as flashes of the man’s memory resurface; sudden and loud sound effects with out of focus jumpy vision. We also see the scene in the desert repeated about 5 times, but each is slightly different and in some the man is wearing different clothes. These are tricks that have been used many times in films, yet in Pig they work well. Other things also do not seem right. Can one believe a young woman who finds a man almost dead in the desert and takes him home rather to the Police or the hospital? A man who keeps a client’s apartment untouched for 3 months even though the rent is unpaid and who seems to have something to hide? A woman from his past who just happens to appear at the right moment to fill in some background?

     Films that create a mystery premise like Pig sometimes fall down with the explanation and the resolution in the last reel, but whatever you may think of the reveal in Pig when it comes, it is certainly logical and follows from the clues we have been given during the course of the film, so in that sense it works. Pig also wastes little during its running time and the film is well served by Rudolf Martin who brings the right degree of confusion to the role, although one might suggest that his character is a bit too trusting, given what he had been through.

     Pig is a low budget film about identity, memory and pain. I did not know what to expect from Pig, but Henry Barrial has delivered a tense and unsettling film that is tightly scripted, well-acted and very watchable.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Pig is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This low budget film makes the most of its limitations. Detail is acceptable, blacks and shadow detail fine but some scenes are deliberately out of focus and jumpy, with washed out colours. Somehow this makes the variations in contrast, brightness, skin tones and colours during the rest of the film less of an issue that they might have been: it sort of suits the film.

     There was occasional motion blur but no marks or other obvious artefacts, except those in the memory scenes that were deliberate.

     There are no subtitles. White subtitles came on automatically to translate the bits of German dialogue

     An acceptable print for a low budget film.

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 is mostly clear although there are a couple of instances, mostly from Heather Ankeny, when it was hard to hear. There is not a lot of ambient sound in the rears, but the sound design utilises a number of abrupt and loud effects to disorient during the flashes of returning memory, effects that are aided by the rumble from the subwoofer.

     The original music by Alexander Burke and Nick Fevola was used sparingly but was effective.

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation problems.

     The audio track delivered what was required.

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

Extras

Menu

     The only menu selections are “Play” or “Trailers”.

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for The **** Conspiracy, Hotel Noir, Shadows of Liberty, Noobz and Reuniting the Rubins, that collectively run 10:59. 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 Pig 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 a listing for Pig in either Region 1 US or Region 2 UK.

Summary

     Pig was a surprise: a tense and unsettling film that is tightly scripted, well-acted and which delivers on its premise. It is certainly worth seeking out.

     The video and audio are acceptable. A raft of trailers is the only extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, September 12, 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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