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The Green Inferno (Blu-ray) (2013)
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Details At A Glance
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Shooting On Location
Featurette-Promoting The Green Inferno
Featurette-DJ Ashba Chats To Eli Roth
Year Of Production
||Cast & Crew
||Ads Then Menu
Kirby Bliss Blanton
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††† The Green Inferno is writer/director Eli Rothís tribute to cannibal horror movies of the í70s and í80s, most notably Cannibal Holocaust and Woman from Deep River. And indeed, this type of flick is a good fit for Rothís cinematic tendencies, as he enjoys indulging in excessive gore, and his horrors are often labelled as ďtorture porn.Ē Even though Roth produces countless features on a yearly basis, this is actually his first helming endeavour since 2007ís limp misfire Hostel: Part II, and the filmmaker clearly hasnít learned a great deal from his mistakes. Thereís gore aplenty in The Green Inferno, but it lacks actual terror and chills, and itís visibly hampered by its restricted budget. The Cannibal Holocaust influence is readily apparent throughout, as Roth has basically created the closest replication possible without directly remaking the controversial classic.
††† The daughter of a United Nations lawyer, college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) has a crush on handsome campus rebel Alejandro (Ariel Levy), who heads a student activist group. Spurred on by her interest in Alejandro, Justine joins the group, and reluctantly agrees to a trip to Peru to protest the bulldozing of rainforests. The protest goes off as planned, making headlines around the world, but Justine is left disillusioned, realising that Alejandro cannot be trusted and doesnít care about her safety. Making matters worse, the students are soon captured by a cannibal tribe, who intend to butcher and eat them all, one at a time.
††† The Green Inferno is the fourth movie that Roth has directed, and it follows the same formula, with dim-witted young people marching into unfamiliar territory where they are systematically killed off. Cabin Fever featured rural rednecks as the killers, while the Hostel films used Third World chaos to punish the naivetť of the leading characters. And now Roth turns his attention to indigenous South American tribes, though it still feels like more of the same. Considering that this is his first directorial outing in a few years, itís disheartening that Roth isnít interested in a challenge, and though he does attempt to inject some satire and commentary into the proceedings, itís text rather than subtext, and itís far less effective than the still-potent Cannibal Holocaust.
††† Despite impressive make-up effects by veterans Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, The Green Inferno feels cheap to its core, with ugly digital cinematography that carries an amateurish look. This may be a $5 million horror flick, but 2015ís Bone Tomahawk was produced for a fraction of that cost, and still looks far more authentic and cinematic. Thereís no snap or spark to elevate The Green Inferno above the ordinary, with plodding, workmanlike pacing and unconvincing performances across the board. Although Roth fills the frame with blood and guts, the result is thoroughly joyless, with no thought towards tact or style to make it palatable. To be fair, however, Manuel Riveiroís original score is effective, and there are some comedic touches that do work, including stoned cannibals who get the munchies.
††† Itís actually somewhat miraculous that The Green Inferno ever saw the light of day. Filmed all the way back in 2012, it was set for release in 2013, but wound up being shelved for two years due to financial issues. With all that time between shooting and release, thereís really no excuse for such a poor final product. The movie does admittedly boast nice locations, with filming having taken place deep in the Amazon jungle featuring real natives as extras (who had no idea what a movie was), but Rothís filmmaking is too slipshod, and the writing is hard to defend.
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††† For whatever reason, Pinnacle Films presents The Green Inferno on Blu-ray framed at 1.78:1, as opposed to the movieís original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Comparing this release to screenshots of the Region A disc, itís clear that this transfer was created through a combination of open matte, re-framing and cropping, which is simply bizarre. Some shots feature more visual information, but only at the bottom of the frame. Other shots have been zoomed-in, losing some video on either one or both sides. Itís mentioned in the commentary that the movie was cropped to its theatrical 2.39:1 aspect ratio in post-production after being shot at 1.78:1, so perhaps this is just an old master, but thatís no excuse. This framing doesnít look very cinematic.
††† In other areas, this AVC-encoded 1080p presentation is very middle-of-the-road. I did notice a fair amount of unsightly macroblocking (itís almost omnipresent), and the video carries a very flat, basic look from start to finish, lacking that spark of cinematic polish. At least the transfer doesnít fall victim to aliasing or crush, but the macroblocking is too big of an issue. In addition, the video does look a tad smeary, which may be attributable to the encode, or perhaps some digital noise reduction was applied in the creation of this transfer. Even in close-ups, the presentation is still lacking, exhibiting only the barest of HD detail. It simply lacks refinement. However, sharpness is usually above-average, with fair object delineation.
††† Colours seem true to the source, looking overly bright, but it simply appears amateurish. Perhaps this is the point of the cinematography, but a more visceral, gritty look reminiscent of Cannibal Holocaust would have made far more impact. The Green Inferno was actually shot using consumer-grade equipment; Canon C300s and Canon 7Ds as opposed to a more expensive rig like the Red Epic, so one supposes that the shortcomings can be traced back to either the original photography or the digital intermediate in post-production, but I cannot be certain. Either way, this is not a good HD presentation.
††† To unfussy casual viewers, The Green Inferno might be watchable, but anybody with so much as a beginnerís knowledge of video artefacts will find this transfer to be unforgivable. Even if you can ignore the altered framing, the macroblocking is hard to miss, and the lack of refinement in almost every area renders this one of the poorest new release transfers in recent memory. Oh well, the movie itself is not worth watching, so itís preferable that this receives a shoddy transfer over a superior motion picture. No subtitles are available.
Video Ratings Summary
††† The Green Infernoís audio is much better than the video, but itís still nothing spectacular by any means. The sole audio option on this disc is a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track thatís about as good as can be expected considering the low-budget nature of the production. Thankfully, dialogue is consistently easy to hear throughout, with no lines that are muffled or overwhelmed by other sound effects or music.
††† There are a lot of gory sound effects during the latter half of the flick in particular, and itís all handled very well by the track, ensuring that each slash and act of dismemberment sounds icky. There is a nice amount of surround activity in the jungle as well, with subtle ambience filling the rear channels. Also notable are the intense scenes in which the cannibals cheer and chant, as their unnerving noises come through with precision.
††† Itís not a demo-worthy track, but this is a respectable audio presentation.
Audio Ratings Summary
|Surround Channel Use|
††† Not a great deal to see here.
Audio Commentary ††† A group commentary with Eli Roth, producer NicolŠs Lůpez, and actors Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Daryl Sabara. Roth essentially takes control of the track, and bestows a whole heap of production trivia. Of particular note is how much Burns was involved in the technical side of things, even recovering footage from an SD card that was accidentally erased. The commentators talk about casting and locations, and there are many scene-specific discussions as well, with the commentary continually flowing. Indeed, there is no dead air here, which is terrific. If you enjoyed the movie, this commentary is well worth listening to.
Shooting on Location (HD) ††† Rather than a more sizeable single featurette, we have a handful of YouTube-grade videos about the production. Video quality is poor on the whole, with artefacts all over the place. And even though the three ďShooting on LocationĒ segments are only a minute long each, there is overlap and repeated footage, which is ridiculous. There isnít much insight into the production to gain here.
- Shooting on Location Eli Roth - Part 1 (1:08)
- Shooting on Location Eli Roth - Part 2 (1:18)
- Shooting on Location Eli Roth - Part 3 (1:16)
- Lorenza Izzo on Playing Justine (00:58)
- Lorenza Izzo on Working in the Amazon (1:06)
Promoting The Green Inferno (HD) ††† Every piece of promotional material imaginable can be found here, for those interested. Itís a nice inclusion, I guess, despite the mediocre video quality.
- US Theatres Reaction Trailer (00:39)
- Fatherís Day Promo Clip (1:03)
- Official Theatrical Trailer (2:11)
- US Theatrical TV Commercial (00:32)
- The Green Inferno Showcase Video (1:38)
Motion Poster (HD; 00:22) ††† Literally a motion poster, nothing else.
DJ Ashba Chats To Eli Roth (HD; 1:28) ††† Another very short and not overly insightful piece, in which Roth and DJ Ashba talk about doing an original song for the movie. A piece of the song is then played.
Trailers (HD) ††† Additional trailers for Momentum, Return to Sender, and The Night Crew.
R4 vs R1
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† † The Region A release from Universal only features the audio commentary and a 200-image production photo gallery, but it also flaunts the movie in its original aspect ratio, probably in better quality. And it has subtitles. So, I'm giving the win to the American release, because all the tiny video extras on this disc can probably be found on YouTube. Fans are welcome to draw their own conclusions, but if I liked this movie, I would be buying the Region A disc for its superior video presentation.
††† The Green Inferno is a standard-order Eli Roth movie, for better or for worse. It has its moments, but it lacks tact and style. I cannot recommend it.
††† This Blu-ray release is very below-par. Video is unforgivably problematic, while audio is fine, and supplements are extremely lightweight. It's barely a rental.
© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Thursday, March 03, 2016
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
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|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.
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|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|