Berlin Job (Blu-ray) (2012)
|Category||Crime||Trailer-x 6 for other films|
|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Frank Harper|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Cousins Micky Mannock (Frank Harper) and Ray Collishaw (Craig Fairbrass) have been London gangsters and drug smugglers for over 25 years, enforcing their rule by violence and murder although, as Micky tells it, they have never killed anyone who does not deserve it. Micky is old school and just wants things to continue as before but Ray has had enough and wants to go legitimate and buy into a syndicate developing a hotel and golf course in Spain; they agree on a last job smuggling into England across the North Sea a large shipment of drugs belonging to the Russian Mafia led by Vladimir Sukhov (Zlatko Buric).
†††† Things however go badly; a storm at sea capsizes the boat, the drugs are lost and Vladimirís brother killed. Now Vladimir wants his money and revenge, the police led by D.I. Nixon (Jamie Foreman) and Proctor (Sean Pertwee) are on the gangís trail and there is an informer within their ranks. With gang members Albert (Vincent Regan), William (Luke Treadaway) and Jimmy (Neil Maskell) in tow, the cousins decide the best way to settle things with the Russians is rob an assignment of diamonds in Berlin on the day of the England / Germany football match. That is, if they can stay ahead of the Russians and the police for that long.
†††† Berlin Job (also known as St Georgeís Day) is a crime drama / heist film from co-writer / director / star Frank Harper. It is Harperís debut as director but he has numerous acting credits including parts in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) for Guy Ritchie, This Is England (2006) and Rise of the Footsoldier (2007). Indeed this film has a very experienced cast of British actors including Charles Dance and Sean Pertwee in minor roles as well as Craig Fairbrass and Vincent Regan; it is perhaps just as well that Harperís character provides a voice over narration introducing the other characters which, with the name of the character being displayed on screen, at least allows the audience to distinguish one middle aged craggy and lined English face from another. In this sense the voice-over narration works, although it does get a bit trying at times and is never as clever as it thinks it is.
†††† There is nothing wrong with Berlin Job. The plotting with its twists and turns is sufficiently intriguing and the acting by the experienced cast good. The direction by Harper is competent and non-flashy, the locations in London, Berlin and Amsterdam look good and the action is short and sharp without being over the top or excessively gory. So while we have certainly seen English gangster films before, and done better, Berlin Job is interesting and provides a good viewing experience for those interested in the genre.
†††† First the bad news: Berlin Job is another film cropped from the original ratio of 2.35:1 and presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Other than the aspect ratio, Berlin Job, shot using Arri Alexa digital cameras, looks fabulous. The fine detail is pristine, showing the lines on every craggy face. Colours are glossy and digital rich, natural except for the occasional yellowish tinge under lights. Blacks and shadow detail are great: pause the film at 17:08 for example to see every ripple on the black water and the dark cityscape beautifully rendered.
†††† I did not see any marks or artefacts.
†††† There are no subtitles.
††††A beautiful print. Pity about the aspect ratio with characters partly cut off by the frame. One point deducted as per site policy.
†††† Audio is a choice of English DTS-HD MA 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1.
†††† I listened to the HD track. Dialogue is a bit of a problem due to accents and delivery, when subtitles would have helped. However, I doubt that much is lost and one can follow what is happening. The surrounds and rears cater for music, weather effects, ambient sound and gunshots during the action. They provide a nice natural feel and are not overused in a film with a lot of dialogue. The sub-woofer added appropriate bass to the music, weather and action.
†††† The score by Tim Atack was atmospheric and effective.
†††† Lip synchronisation is fine.
†††† The audio track, except for some dialogue, did what was required.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for Tokarev (2:41), The Outsider (2:01), Life of a King (2:08), Ghostmaker (1:21), The Corridor (2:08) and Space Warriors (2:58).
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The Region A US release of Berlin Job is in the correct aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and adds as extras a making of (20 min approx.) and a trailer. If your set-up can play it this is a clear win for Region A. There is no Region B UK Blu-ray currently listed.
†††† Berlin Job is a competent English crime drama / hoist film. It is nothing new, but with decent plotting, good acting and nice locations Berlin Job is a worthwhile viewing experience for those interested in English gangster films.
†††† The video is beautiful but in the wrong aspect ratio, the audio is good. There are only trailers as extras and we miss out on the extras available in Region A.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 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 Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|