Intersections (Blu-ray) (2013)

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Released 15-Oct-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Trailer-x 2 for other films
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 101:20
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Marconi
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Jaime Alexander
Frank Grillo
Roschdy Zem
Marie-Josee Croze
Charlie Bewley
Moussa Maaskri
Case ?
RPI ? Music Richard Horowity


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Wealthy Hedge Fund Manager Scott (Frank Grillo) and his new wife Taylor (Jaime Alexander) are on their luxurious honeymoon in Morocco. On the first night Taylor leaves their bedroom to meet Travis (Charlie Bewley), her lover. Together they plan to kill Scott the next day when he and Taylor drive out into the remote desert to visit some ruins.

     The next day Travis intercepts their car and a chase across the dunes ensues. Speeding over a rise, Scott and Taylor crash into a stationary bus and a car, killing some of the people there. Seconds later Travis’ car ploughs into the wreckage as well. When the dust settles, as well as Scott, Taylor and an unconscious Travis, the survivors are a woman (Marie-Josee Croze) with a baby and an Arab (Moussa Maaskri) who we see is wearing handcuffs. A little while later another man, Saleh (Roschdy Zem), who we know has been watching from a nearby hill and who has a concealed pistol, walks in from the desert. Thus commences a game of bluff and shifting alliances, for each person at the crash site has their own hidden agendas that play out in the desert.

     Intersections (aka Connections) was written and directed by David Marconi. His only previous directorial effort was The Harvest, which he also wrote, back in 1992. Since then he has written Enemy of the State (1998) and provided the story for the underwhelming Die Hard 4.0 (2007), not an extensive CV.

     As writer / director Marconi does show promise as a director as the action, especially the car chase and crash, is well staged, thrilling and gripping. The scripting is a different matter, however. Critics of Intersections have generally pointed to its overly convoluted, confusing plotting, full of contrivances, inconsistencies and illogical twists; in the main this is right for in Intersections everyone has a secret and an agenda and there are at least three different plotlines running through the film, as well as subplots within these plotlines. However, for the first 70 minutes or so while the group are stranded in the desert the film works pretty well, building up a good level of tension as some of the agendas, and twists, start to be revealed. But at this stage, with the deaths of some of the characters and the remainder returning to civilization, new characters and agendas are added which really takes everything off the rails, as the film does not really know just which characters to concentrate on.

     Another problem is that almost the entire cast are greedy, self-centred and unlikeable, so it is difficult to be involved in their predicaments. For example, Scott is an arrogant prick and a bully, Taylor a conniving tart, Travis is really stupid and the Arab Omar a brutal thug. The possible exception is Saleh, but for most of the picture his motivation is unclear and when it is revealed it feels a bit perfunctory. The acting is also all over the place, although the actors are not helped by some very pretentious and chunky dialogue.

     Yet, for a lot of its running time Intersections is interesting and the Morocco locations spectacular. Just don’t think about it too much.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Intersections is presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Filmed using Arri Alexa digital cameras, fine detail is sharp and crisp. Colours have that glossy digital look which works well in the desert sequences with the brown, red and ochre colour palate. Blacks are rock solid, shadow detail excellent. Skin tones look browny but natural enough, while contrast and brightness is consistent.

     I only noticed some slight ghosting in one scene with green palm trees. Otherwise marks and artefacts were absent.

     There are no subtitles although white subtitles came on automatically to translate sections of non-English dialogue.

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

Audio

     The audio track is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.

     The audio is loud and aggressive during the helicopter and car scenes while the gunshots were sharp and well defined. Otherwise there is ambient sound and music in the rears and surrounds although at times the audio is silent, reflecting the solitude of the desert. Dialogue was centred and clear. The sub-woofer added appropriate bass to the car chase and crash and the music.

    Lip synchronisation was occasionally off and I suspect that dialogue from some characters was overdubbed into English.

     The original score by Richard Horowity was effective and supported the visuals well. It had an Eastern flavour, but this was not overdone.

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

Extras

Trailers

     Trailers for Devil’s Knot (2:02) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2:14) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

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 the film adds a Spanish dub and subtitles and interviews with David Marconi (17:51) and the five main cast members (4:36), plus the film trailer (2:21). In a review the interviews are called “fluffy” but I guess there are some, which gives the US release the edge.

Summary

     Intersections is full of contrivances, inconsistencies and illogical twists but if you just go with the spectacle and action and don’t think about it too much the film provides an entertaining 100 minutes.

     The video and audio are very good, extras only a couple of trailers for other films.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, December 08, 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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