October Gale (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Category||Drama||Trailer-x 4 for other Eagle Entertainment releases|
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Ruba Nadda|
Callum Keith Rennie
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Newly widowed doctor, Helen (Patricia Clarkson), against the wishes of her grown up son travels to the isolated cottage on an island in the Canadian wilderness. The cottage is full of memories of life with her husband and Helen wants to be by herself to clean out the cottage and to grieve. Her solitary life changes when in a storm she discovers a stranger, William (Scott Speedman), bleeding badly from a bullet wound. Helen extracts the bullet and tends to William. But whoever shot William is coming to finish the job and, trapped on the island with the storm ranging and no communications, Helen must decide where she stands.
†††† October Gale, by Canadian writer / director Ruba Nadda, is less of a thriller and more a two handed psychological drama. The pace throughout is leisurely; it is 20 minutes before William appears and over 60 before the hunters Tom (Tim Roth) and Al (Billy MacLellan) arrive. However, this is not such a bad thing as it allows us to get to know and understand Helen and later her interactions with William, two mismatched individuals caught way in over their heads.
†††† The drama is aided by the experienced cast and stunning location photography. Patricia Clarkson, nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress for Pieces of April (2003), and Scott Speedman (perhaps best known for the Underworld franchise) are good together, even though the motivations they are given by the script are somewhat sketchy and some of the philosophical dialogue they are required to say sounds decidedly phony. Tim Roth, Oscar nominated for his villain in Rob Roy (1995) and Tarantino favourite (he was in Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994) as well as the recent Hateful Eight (2015), does not have a lot to do but still manages to be charming and menacing at the same time.
†††† The extra character in October Gale is the stunning landscapes. Filmed by cinematographer Jeremy Benning, the waters and islands of Parry Sound and Lake Joseph, Ontario, in both calm and storm, are stunning in their beauty and simplicity, their sheer size and power highlighting the isolation and tininess of the characters, building the atmosphere, suspense and tension as the gale rages and the rain falls. The climax, when it comes, is almost an anticlimax, but this is in keeping with the nature of a film where the characters are dwarfed by nature.
†††† October Gale is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close the original ratio of 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† Filmed on location, October Gale looks very good. The colours are natural although with that digital glossiness, and are generally muted as the film is mostly set during storms. The sky and the water are a steely grey, the foliage on the trees dull green. Interior colours are also mostly browns, but there are flashes of colour. Detail is very good; contrast does vary deliberately being brighter in the flashbacks. Blacks and shadow detail are very good.
†††† Other than some very slight ghosting with movement against mottled surfaces such as trees I did not notice any artefacts or marks.
†††† There are no subtitles available.
†††† Audio is an English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
†††† Dialogue is generally clear and easy to understand, the exception being some mumbled lines by Speedman. There are a number of silences early in the film, and some surround use for the score, but the surrounds and rears came to life during the storm with thunder and rain. The sub-woofer added depth to the thunder and to the music.
†††† The original score by Mischa Chillak was low key, but effective, mostly utilising a piano and later adding strings. An additional song, Close Watch, by John Davies Cale sung by Agnes Obel, was also used effectively.
†††† There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† Trailers for Howl (2:11), How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town (1:30), Electric Slide (2:16) and Grassland (1:58) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The only other Blu-ray currently listed for October Gale is a Region B Dutch release which also only has trailers as extras.
†††† October Gale is a low-key character driven drama / thriller with a good cast and stunningly beautiful Ontario lake locations. Donít expect full on action; this is a film that develops slowly, but the atmosphere, characters and locations mean that the film is of interest if you are prepared to be patient.
†††† The video and audio are fine. Trailers for other films are the only extras.
|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|