The Unsaid (2001)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 105:19
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tom McLoughlin
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Andy Garcia
Vincent Kartheiser
Linda Cardellini
Teri Polo
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Don Davis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, the sound of a ball bouncing against a wall.

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

Plot Synopsis

    When Michael Hunter (Andy Garcia) loses his son to suicide, his family disintegrates and he is left with just his work as a lecturer in child therapy to sustain him. Three years later, his former star pupil, Barbara (Teri Polo), brings him a case which she is having difficulty managing. Tommy (Vincent Kartheiser), one of the boys at the home where she works as a child therapist, appears to be repressing the grief and true nature of his mother’s murder at his father’s hand. He is due for release upon his 18th birthday, which is only a few short months away and Barbara thinks he may be a risk to society. Michael reluctantly agrees to see Tommy, fearing correctly that dealing with this case will drag up many unpleasant parallels with the loss of his own son. As he and Tommy grow to know each other, Michael soon begins to realise just how closely related the two incidents are.

    The Unsaid is in all honesty a fairly B-grade movie. It gets high marks for effort, and the performances by Garcia and Kartheiser are strong given what they have to work with. However, it is fairly predictable and the production values are inconsistent – sometimes reflecting a moderate Hollywood movie, and at other times reminiscent of made-for-TV releases. It lacks the emotional heights and depths and the brilliant scripting of Good Will Hunting, which deals with much of the same subject matter, and fails the realism test by trying to deal with too many dark and morally reprehensible matters in a fairly off-hand and glib way. Furthermore, the various uses of alternative filming techniques, such as black & white or video, did not mesh with the rest of the film, and indeed cheapened the whole experience. Unlike the use of similar techniques in Oliver Stone’s infamous Natural Born Killers, which was done to parody the whole music video experience, there was simply no reason for it in this film – it detracted rather than added.

    I am not saying that this is a bad movie. It is watchable Sunday afternoon entertainment. But sadly, that’s all this really is. Worth a rental to kill a rainy day or to cuddle up in front of the fire with when you’re sick, but hardly an affecting masterpiece.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    This is quite a clean and crisp transfer, suffering only from some very minimal grain and perhaps some low-level noise in the background of some not-so-well lit shots.

    For the most part, the image is crisp and clean. Shadow detail is excellent. Colours are not vibrant and glowing, but I believe much of that was intentional – there are a lot of drab colours in the clothing that people wear and in the various places visited. I suppose this was done to bring the mood of the piece down, and it works fairly effectively.

    There is the odd dot and I noticed a small hair in the middle of the screen at 54:28 - 54:34, but otherwise film artefacts were kept to a minimum.

    MPEG artefacts were pretty much non-existent.

    There is a set of subtitles in English. They are white with a black border, and easy to read.

    The dual-layer pause is at 67:52. It is during a scene change and, while noticeable, is not really disruptive.

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

Audio

    There is only an English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack available.

    Dialogue is not always clear on this track, although that is, I believe, primarily a problem with the source. During the scene at 36:10 - 36:26, the dialogue is muted as if it was swallowed. There were, however, no audio sync problems I saw.

    The musical range was okay, and Don Davis' score and the music at the rave scene certainly gave the system a work out.

    The surrounds are not heavily utilised, generally adding depth to the score, but they could be felt at the rave party and during the car chase sequence.

    The subwoofer was used to add ambience to the music, especially during the rave scene, and to add depth to the rumble of the freight trains passing by, but not for much otherwise.

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

Extras

Menus

    All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, and static. The main menu has the theme music underscoring it in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R1 release of this feature includes an English 5.1 DTS track.

    The R2 German release has a German 5.1 Dolby Digital Track and a German 5.1 DTS track but not a DTS track in the original English. On top of that, though, the German release has an Audio Commentary by Director Tom McLoughlin, Interviews with Cast & Crew, Deleted/Alternate Scenes, Alternate Ending, Soundtrack CD and an Easter Egg. I guess that makes it the winner.

    It should be noted that this review is of the rental release and we are as of yet unaware of any plans to release a special edition that includes a DTS track or any extras.

Summary

    The Unsaid is a watchable psychological thriller, if a little bit clichéd at times, and very predictable. Maybe that’s just me being picky, though.

    The picture is surprisingly good, even if it is not a contemporary glossy Hollywood style print.

    The sound is acceptable, but a DTS track would have been nicer – particularly given the releases in R1 and R2 have that track available.

    The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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