The List (2013)

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Released 23-Jan-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Trailer-30+ trailers for Accent Entertainment releases
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 86:40 (Case: 88)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Klaus Hüttmann
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Anthony Flanagan
Sienna Guillory
Bill Paterson
Nigel Planer
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Walter Mair


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Christopher Corwin (Anthony Flanagan) is the owner of a small advertising company. He establishes The List on the internet, a site where any member of the public can name or vote for corrupt politicians or businessmen, the intention being to publically shame them for their corrupt conduct. The site goes viral and wins awards but when the businessman who was Number 1 on the list is abducted and murdered, and his execution shown on U-tube, Christopher and his wife Alison (Sienna Guillory) come under increasing media scrutiny. Worse, it seems that some of those people on the list are not above organising physical and financial intimidation of the Corwin business, private life and family. Christopher, Alison and their two young daughters flee and hide out in the country and Christopher tries to shut down the site, but is unable to do so. Then when the next Number 1 is also murdered, Christopher becomes a suspect and is wanted by the police. He must avoid being arrested until he can prove his innocence: and just to complicate things, his own name has been added to The List and he is rapidly climbing towards being Number 1.

     The List is a low budget thriller written and directed by Klaus Huettman. I would have to say that on the evidence of this film he is a better director than writer, because while the set-up of The List is interesting, the plot is all over the place with characters and plot points that go nowhere, such as D.I. Reg Troughton (Bill Paterson), loose ends and an ending that is as contrived as it is predictable. The identity of the murderer is known after 30 minutes and while there is some attempt to provide him with motivation and background, including the fact that he lives with his aged mother, it is perfunctory at best. However the direction is another matter. The List is not a film that relies on jerky cameras and jumpy editing to develop its tension: instead Huettman utilises long steady takes, often on faces, accompanied by the score to build and deliver tension. This works fairly well, and is aided by the beautiful widescreen photography of the rain swept rural landscape of barren hills, forests and lakes.

     The List is not an action driven thriller and the action when it does occur is sudden and brief. Instead The List follows more of a Hitchcockian model and builds tension and pressure slowly as an innocent man, who had good intentions, tries to prove his innocence and protect his family. In part it succeeds, despite the predictable ending.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The List is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The List is a low budget film shot using digital cameras and there are some problems. The print is sometimes sharp, but is often quite soft and hazy, a look accentuated by the high level of digital noise reduction that makes the night scenes especially fairly grainy. This does also affect the blacks, which look mottled, and the shadow detail. The print also looks on the lightish side, with skin tones and contrast glary. The colours, again mostly those at night, are quite garish with that digital yellow sheen. Daytime colours are not affected in the same way, and the colours of the rainy rural landscape are muted but natural.

     The print shows occasional motion blur. There are no marks.

     There are no subtitles.

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 a couple of sentences by Anthony Flanagan were a bit difficult to hear. This is not an action film requiring extensive surround usage, but the surrounds and rears were constantly employed with the score and effects such as the rain and thunder. The gunshots when they occurred were sharp and with depth. The subwoofer provided appropriate support for weather effects and the music.

     As noted, this is a film that makes good use of music to support the visuals and build tension. The score by Walter Mair was a combination of orchestra and synthesizer; it was moody, interesting and effective.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     The audio track did what was required.

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

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for Two Jacks, At Preston Castle, In the Shadow, The Conspiracy and Static that collectively run 10:27. A total of 30 trailers of Accent Film Entertainment releases can be selected from the menu - all of the start-up trailers are repeated and we do get a trailer for The List included. There is a “play all” option.

Behind the Scenes (11:20)

     This featurette consists of on set and film footage plus interview sound bites with the director Klaus Huettman, the editor, the producers plus most of the cast. It is primarily an EPK and the interviewees say little of importance, but the on-set footage is quite interesting, including some effects shooting, set construction and the weather, so this short featurette is worth a look.

R4 vs R1

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

     There is not currently either a Region 1 US or Region 2 UK release listed on sales sites. The only version of The List that seems to be available is a Region 2 Netherlands release with English 2.0 audio, an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and no extras. This is a clear win for our Region All version.

Summary

     Despite the less than stellar plotting and the predictable ending, The List is worth watching as it nicely builds the tension as an innocent man tries to prove his innocence and protect his family.

     The video has some issues, the audio is fine. The extras consist of a slight but reasonable making of and a raft of trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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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