Z for Zachariah (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Released 6-Jan-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Post Apocalyptic None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 97:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Craig Zobel
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Margot Robbie
Chiewetel Ejiofor
Chris Pine
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Heather McIntosh


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     This film was little seen on theatrical release, taking $120,000 at the US Box Office and seemingly only getting released otherwise in Croatia, The Philippines & Thailand. However, there is certainly a film worth seeing here for audiences not looking only for action or laughs, you know, grown-ups. The film is a post-apocalyptic character drama featuring beautiful cinematography and high quality acting. It is based on a novel but the story is somewhat different I am led to believe.

     The story starts with Ann (Margot Robbie), a young woman who lives on her own in a remote part of the United States (filmed in New Zealand actually). The remote farming community she lived in have all left or died following a nuclear annihilation which is not explained. Most of the country is contaminated with nuclear fallout but this valley has remained pretty much untouched and Ann survives by subsistence farming and what she can forage from around the valley. Her parents and brother have left the valley looking to establish contact with civilisation (unsuccessfully as far as she is aware). One day as she is out with her dog, hunting, she comes across a man is a nuclear contamination suit, pulling a wagon. He is obviously looking for somewhere safe from nuclear radiation and after testing realises that the valley is free from radiation. He pulls off his suit and after initial fear and misunderstandings they make contact. His name is John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and at the time of the nuclear catastrophe he was working in a top secret government facility one mile underground as a scientist. Ann takes him into her home and looks after him as he recovers from radiation sickness and his journey. A tentative relationship develops between them as they work together to grow crops and even a plan to create electricity. It seems like they might be able to survive on their own.

     Things take a different turn when someone else arrives in the valley, sneakily at first. His name is Caleb (Chris Pine), a young miner from a few counties over who has also been searching for somewhere safer. Tension grows as Ann finds herself attracted to Caleb despite already having a relationship with John.

     This is not a full on psychological thriller as you might think from the description. It is more of a character drama with some mild thriller touches. The cinematography is beautiful showing the natural beauty of the area where they are living despite what has gone on. They are quite a few great shots of landscapes, cloud patterns and more which break up the character sequences. This really adds to the film. The drama is also well done keeping restraint on the melodrama, rather focusing on a quiet threat which rises during the film. Some may be disappointed by the ambiguous ending of the film but I think it is one of the interesting features of the film. The score by Heather McIntosh is also excellent providing another element to this interesting film. The only challenge I had with the film was some of the actions of the Caleb character as these sometimes didn't seem to be a normal reaction. Interestingly the novel only featured two characters, not the third.

     A interesting, thought provoking post-apocalyptic character drama.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video looks marvellous with wonderful colours, deep blacks and nice detail. It is sharp and clear throughout with excellent shadow detail. It is presented in 2.35:1, the original aspect ratio at 1080p.

     There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired which are very clear and easy to read.

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

Audio

     The audio is good but due to the style of film doesn't set the world on fire. Technically, it is the Blu-ray standard of DTS HD-MA 5.1. There is also an Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2.0 track available. The dialogue can be a little hard to understand at times mostly due to accents. The surrounds and subwoofer do a good job with what they have to do. The music is given great presence and fills the room on this soundtrack. Otherwise the surrounds carry atmosphere and minor incidental noise.

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

Extras

    There are no extras at all.

Menu

    The menu included a still photo and music.

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 Blu-ray includes a variety of special features including a making of, deleted scenes and interviews. Easy win to Region A.

Summary

    An interesting post apocalyptic romantic drama.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras died of radiation poisoning...or did they?

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, February 19, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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