Nine Queens (Nueve Reinas) (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-Amores Perros; 24 Hour Party People; Samsara; Dinner Rush
Trailer-The Tracker; Spirited Away; Brotherhood Of The Wolf
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||109:12 (Case: 114)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (38:06)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Fabian Bielinksy|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
You think you can work this out before the end? Good luck to you.
Nine Queens is the ultimate heist caper movie. A couple of edgy con men – the older, more learned Marcos (Ricardo Darin) and the younger, more cautious Juan (Gaston Pauls) – team up for a day of swindling together. What starts out as a day of petty crime turns into the opportunity of a lifetime when a botched deal falls into their lap, involving the sale of a forgery of The Nine Queens, a set of rare stamps. The only problem is that the deal is being held at the hotel where Marcos’ sister Valeria (Leticia Bredice) works, and there is some bad family blood.
Everything about this movie is good: the scripting is fantastic, with snappy dialogue and more twists than you can keep track of; the performances, from the three leads in particular, but also the supporting cast, are excellent; and the cinematography is reminiscent of the work of an early Tarantino movie. I could make many comparisons with films from the mainstream, but honestly, this stands on its own as a very clever movie in its own right. In fact, the Argentine setting just adds more to the ambience.
To tell any more would ruin the experience for you. Pick this up.
Presented in 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio.
The quality of the picture is very good, but it is obvious this film had the budgetary constraints which come from not being financed by a major Hollywood studio. Colours are well saturated, and shadow detail is good, but there is a bit of persistent graininess.
MPEG artefacts are few and far between, with only some noticeable aliasing at 28:09. There is also some very faint low-level noise.
Dirt pops up every now and then through the film, but nothing terribly distracting. There was however, a rather obvious reel change at 37:59 which, although lacking ‘cigarette burns’, came with a fair amount of dirt and a minor pop in the soundtrack.
As this film only comes with a Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track, subtitles are a necessity for people like me who don’t speak Spanish. There is only one set of subtitles, which come on automatically, and that is the English set. They are yellow with a black border and are clear and easy to read throughout, although at times the dialogue is so fast paced you have to be able to read at a glance to keep up with everything.
The dual-layer pause is at 38:06. It occurs during a quiet moment in a scene, but the background ambience is noticeably silent for a fraction of a second. Still, it is not terribly distracting.
There is one soundtrack available: Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, and there are no audio sync problems that I could detect. This is very important, because the entire film is dialogue driven, and even if you need the subtitles to understand what is being said, the inflections in the tone of voice are quite important to the mood of the film and the character of the performances.
There is a surprising amount of ambience in this film, with lots of left to right directional cues and the like, and people bustling by in the background. There was surprisingly little of the score by Cesar Lerner, the film relying instead on the aforementioned ambience and the persistent dialogue. When the score was used, however, it was quite subtle, exhibiting a moderate range and not dominating the soundfield. This was undoubtedly intentional.
Unfortunately, there is no subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has clips from various scenes throughout the movie with the score playing in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. All other menus are static.
Presented in 1.66:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This is a rather interesting behind the scenes look at the film, containing interviews with writer/director Fabian Bielinsky. Unfortunately, the picture quality is quite appalling.
Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. The picture is pristine, even better than the print used for the feature.
Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This is a very poor NTSC transfer, blurry and discoloured the whole way.
Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. Another clean transfer
Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. A series of short spots for TV.
12 stills presented within the menu frame and mostly obscured.
Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. If you haven’t seen this film, rent it, buy it, borrow it, whatever. Brilliant, passionate, intense. The trailer is admittedly quite good promotional material.
Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This film looks like a laugh riot if you are into the British music scene.
Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.
Presented in 1.85:1,non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This trailer is a very bad NTSC transfer.
Presented in 2.35:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.
Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.
Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. For those of you who have not seen this film, it is fantastic. This trailer, however, is another example of Hollywood’s inability to market ideas from overseas. If I had seen this trailer first, I would have thought the film was a joke.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R1 release has much the same promotional material to do with the film, but also has a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack and French subtitles. Given that it is released by Columbia Tristar in R1, it probably also has a better transfer done by Sony off a superior master print. Even if not for the better picture, the 5.1 Dolby Digital track makes R1 the clear winner, as much of the other promotional material available on the R4 release is superfluous.
Nine Queens is a brilliant heist caper, rooted firmly in the characters of the con men and their uneasy relationship. You will be had.
Video is very good but not to the standard of contemporary Hollywood films.
The sound is a good 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo mix, but it was a crime not to include the 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital mix available on the R1 release.
The extras were largely promotional material, but the featurette had some interesting insight.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Energy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer|