Swiss Army Man (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Released 19-Oct-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy/Drama Featurette-The Actors
Featurette-Daniels
Featurette-Making the Score
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 97:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dan Kwan
Daniel Scheinert
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Paul Dano
Daniel Radcliffe
Mary Elizabeth Winstead




Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Andy Hull
Robert McDowell


Video Audio
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
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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.

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

Audio

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.

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

Extras

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.

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 release has a wealth of extras sadly missing from our local version.

Summary

  

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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayJVC 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 DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC -LX 78K 9.2 Channel
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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