Salvation, The (Blu-ray) (2014)
Trailer-Madman Propaganda x 5
|Year Of Production||2014|
|Running Time||91:56 (Case: 88)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kristian Levring|
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
When Denmark was defeated by Prussia in the war of 1864 many Danish soldiers, including Jon (Mads Mikkelsen) and his brother Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), left to forge a new life for themselves in the American west. Seven years later Jon has bought a small farm near the town of Blackcreek and Jon’s wife and young son arrive from Denmark to join him. Jon meets them at the station but on the stagecoach ride home that evening Jon is thrown out of the coach by two men who rape his wife and kill both his wife and son. Jon catches up and shoots dead both men.
One of the dead men, unfortunately for Jon, is the brother of local gang leader Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who ruthlessly controls Blackcreek. He and his men ride into town and give Sheriff Mallick (Douglas Henshall) and Mayor Keene (Jonathan Pryce) two hours to find out who killed his brother or he will shoot two townspeople dead. When they are unable to comply Delarue carries out his threat. When later the terrified townspeople identify Jon, Mallick arrests Jon and turns him over to Delarue. Now Delarue has in his hands both Jon and his brother’s widow, the beautiful mute Madelaine (Eva Green). But Madelaine is hardly the grieving widow and has an agenda of her own and when Peter rescues Jon the stage is set for a bloody climax.
While few westerns are being made in the US these days the genre still seems to fascinate other cultures and The Salvation is a European financed film with a Danish director / co-screenwriter (Kristian Levring) which features a leading man from Denmark, a French female lead and was filmed in South Africa. At least the main villain is American, although his principal lieutenant is the French soccer star turned actor Eric Cantona. The Salvation is fairly predictable and the revenge / man stands alone against the odds after the town deserts him is nothing new. However the Danish immigrant angle is interesting and Mads Mikkelsen is, as always, impressive. Mikkelsen mixes his roles, appearing in both Scandinavian dramas such as The Hunt (2012), for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 2012, and big budget English language films such as Casino Royale (2006). Eva Green, of course, also had a leading role in that Bond film but in The Salvation, while she looks beautiful, she in reality has little to do.
Those who enjoy westerns will find a lot to like in The Salvation. The South African locations look spectacular in widescreen, courtesy of cinematographer Jens Schlosser, the action is well staged and not overly gory (the film received an “M” rating here in Australia), the villain is suitably nasty and Mads Mikkelsen is worth watching.
The Salvation is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
Filmed using Arri Alexa Plus cameras the film looks great. Detail, both close-up and distant, is crisp and clean while the colours are fabulous; they are glossy, deep and rich, showing off the yellow grass landscapes, the costumes and the town sets. I think a number of the night sequences were shot day for night and manipulated: the result is quite a silvery look which is different but not displeasing. As a result of this, some shadow detail was indistinct. Skin tones have a very bronzed look, brightness and contrast is consistent.
The print was firm in motion while marks and artefacts are not evident.
There are no subtitles, although burnt in smallish yellow English subtitles translate the sections of Danish dialogue.
Audio is an English DTS-MA HD 5.1 track, with sections in Danish.
The dialogue is clear, centred and easy to hear. The surrounds are used appropriately for horses’ hooves, rain, gunshots and the music. The subwoofer added, sometimes quite noticeably, bass to the thunder, wagon wheels, horses’ hooves and the train.
The score by Kasper Winding was effective and well represented in the mix.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for The Homesman, A Royal Affair, Vehicle 19, The Hunter and Jimi: All is By My Side.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is not currently any listing for Region A US or Region B UK Blu-ray of The Salvation. The only other release I can find at the moment is a French version which adds a French dub and burnt in French subtitles to the England dialogue. It has no extras. A win for our Region B release.
The revenge / man stands alone against the odds plotting of The Salvation may not be anything new but the film is well made and very entertaining, with beautiful location widescreen photography and Mads Mikkelsen in good form. The rest of the cast including Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Douglas Henshall, Jonathan Pryce Eva Green are also good. I enjoyed my viewing of The Salvation and for westerns fans it is certainly worth a look.
The video is excellent, the audio good. The only relevant extra is a trailer.
|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|