Swiss Army Man (Blu-ray) (2016)
Featurette-Making the Score
|Year Of Production||2016|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It is a great pity that when Swiss Army Man Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival it immediately earned the nickname of "the farting corpse movie". Whilst Daniel Radcliffe does indeed play a corpse, and the corpse has a tendency towards flatulence, the jokey nickname would be a source of confusion to many potential viewers.
Most would understandably suspect that this is a modern day remake of that other corpse classic Weekend at Bernies. Instead it is a sometimes moving, often funny and deeply philosophical film. Those wishing a filmic reference would find a better comparison in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York.
Paul Dano plays Hank, who, at the start of the movie is in desperate straits. He is marooned on a small island and, by the looks of him, has been there for some time. Disconsolate he puts a rope around his neck and prepares to meet his maker. Providence intervenes when a corpse washes up on the beach. Hank initially hopes for a living companion and is downcast again when he realises the visitor is deceased. However when the corpse begins farting Hank finds it amusing. When the gas emissions begin to propel the corpse around the waves Hank realises that he may just have a way out of his solitude.
Riding the corpse like a jet boat Hank makes his way to the mainland however it appears that he and his buddy are a long way from civilisation, the only signs of life are the detritus of earlier travellers. Having to journey through the dense forest Hank begins to realise that the corpse has many uses. He can prop it in the rain for a seemingly endless supply of water and use it to eject hooks for climbing - he is the veritable Swiss Army man of the title.
As Hank's affection for the corpse grows it starts to come to "life" and slowly begins to talk. Adopting the name Manny the corpse and Hank deepen their friendship. He can talk a little but has no conscious movement and Hank must still manipulate him like a puppet.
But Manny has no memory of his past and Hank goes to great pains to create a world where he can learn to be human again. Hank still has his mobile phone with a few bars of life left in it and he shows Manny a picture of a girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and falsely tells Manny that it is in fact his girlfriend. It is this thought of this loved one waiting for him that sparks joy in Manny. Hank hopes that Manny will be able to lead him to his own girl on the phone using the corpses direction-seeking p**** (yes, you read that correctly) as a compass.
First time feature directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan have done a great job in creating an interesting and different story from their original script. Dano and Radcliffe are superb as the odd couple. If the whole conceit does not quite maintain itself for the length of the film it is nevertheless an engaging experience. Special bouquets must go to Radcliffe who no doubt endured considerable inconvenience in playing his part.
Swiss Army Man was shot on high-definition digital video. It comes to Blu-ray in a 2.35:1 transfer consistent with the original aspect ratio.
The film was shot in a swift 22 days. The total budget was $3m.
The film looks good throughout. The image quality is crisp and clear.
The colours are wide and varied.
The flesh tones are accurate from Hank's dirty face to the pale visage of Manny.
There are no subtitles.
Swiss Army Man carries an English DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack with 5.1 channels.There is also an LPCM 2.0 track.
The sound quality is fine.
The dialogue can be heard clearly throughout.
There is not a great deal for the sub-woofer to do other than provide some subtle ambience.
The surrounds are used during some of the outdoor scenes for sonic depth.
Music for the film is by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell of indie rock band Manchester Orchestra. An unusual approach was taken to the score as it was written prior to production starting and some of the music was playing during filming.
In some scenes Dano and Radcliffe are singing the tunes a cappella.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras on the Blu-ray are extremely brief.They are
The extras are probably cribbed from a larger Making of featurette. They are interesting and show a bit of the behind the scenes action,but just a bit too brief.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A release has a wealth of extras sadly missing from our local version.
Swiss Army Man is nothing if not a high concept blend of the profane with the philosophical. It struggled at the cinema to find a universal audience and may face the same problem on home video. It is however definitely worth an investment of time.
|DVD||Cambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||JVC DLX 700 with 4K e-shift on 140" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC -LX 78K 9.2 Channel|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|