Redball (1999)

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Released 26-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Director
Audio Commentary-Film School
Theatrical Trailer-2
Gallery-Photo
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-The Goddess Of 1967, Tom White, The Return, Nathalie
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 84:29
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:54) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jon Hewitt
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Belinda McClory
John Brumpton
Frank Magree
Peter Docker
Anthea Davis
Neil Pigot
Damien Richardson
James Young
Robert Morgan
Pauline Terry-Beitz
Daniel Wyllie
Chris Hatzis
James Wardlaw
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Neil McGrath


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    This is a gritty, powerful and unsettling low-budget Australian film, shot in Melbourne in 1997 for the princely sum of $6000. It concerns itself with themes of police corruption and child sex killings, which is certainly difficult subject matter. Due (at least in part) to the low budget, there is very little actual violence shown but this certainly does not mean that the film cannot be confronting.

    The plot follows two detectives, Jane 'JJ' Wilson (Belinda McClory) and her partner Robbie Walsh (John Brumpton) as they try to solve the case of 'The Creep', a person who has been responsible for a number of child kidnappings, rapes and mutilations. Wilson is obsessed with tracking this man down and bringing him to justice. Unfortunately, corruption runs deep in their division and they are faced with cover ups and internal politics as they try to solve the case. In order to cope they turn to drugs and drink. The final outcome is powerful and is a fine ending to the film. To tell you more about the plot would spoil the film, however, there is an amusing (and slightly revolting) running joke about a floating body.

    This film was originally filmed on MiniDV, handheld over 10 days on weekends. Later, it was transferred to 35mm for a cinema release. Considering the low budget independent nature of this film, its power and riveting viewing experience are testament to the quality of the writing and the acting of the two leads, who are both excellent. The support cast can be a bit hammy, which is even admitted to by the director in the commentary, but the focus of the film is on the leads. The title refers to a police slang term for a high priority case that everyone wants solved very quickly.

    An excellent Australian independent film which deserves this DVD release. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is a function of its low budget source, however, a couple of things are missing which really would have helped.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio NON 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio. It is a shame that the transfer was not 16x9 enhanced as this would have made a significant difference to the sharpness. Strangely, the final credits are actually in 1.33:1.

    The picture was not overly clear and sharp due to the source material and lack of 16x9 enhancement, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was average, lacking definition in darker scenes, although this is to be expected.

    The colour was reasonable but somewhat dull and there seemed to be occasional colour issues such as lines where the colour was slightly different to surrounding areas.

    Tape tracking errors were definitely the most annoying artefacts here. They were regular and sometimes quite distracting. There was a couple of small patches of aliasing to be seen and some mild macro-blocking in backgrounds.

    There are no subtitles which is a shame.

    The layer change occurs at 73:54 and was not noticeable.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good, surprisingly so for a film of this budget.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s. This soundtrack sounds great featuring lots of sound effects and some good music.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync. Some lines of dialogue were muffled or echoic, which would be an issue with the source.

    The score of this film by Neil McGrath is excellent very atmospheric and adding tension as appropriate. The songs used are also well chosen.

    The surround speakers added some directional effects and music, without sounding like a multi-million dollar Hollywood production.

    The subwoofer was surprisingly well used adding appropriate creepy noises and bass to the music.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included music and the ability to select scenes and audio options. The commentaries can be found on the audio options menu rather than the special features menu.

Commentary - Director's Commentary

    Considering that both commentaries feature the Director Jon Hewitt, this one is slightly confusingly named. This one includes the director along with Belinda McClory with the addition of pre-recorded comments from other cast and crew members. This one is a more traditional commentary which discusses the influence of Se7en on the film, technical information, anecdotes, continuity issues, locations, casting and the tight budget. Quite good.

Commentary - Filmschool Commentary

    In this commentary Jon Hewitt is on his own and discusses the development, production, completion and release of this film in order to encourage young filmmakers to attempt low budget filming. He gives advice on how to work with a low budget, technical issues and focusing on performance. For the casual listener, quite a few comments from the first commentary are repeated so you may want to choose one or the other to listen to.

Theatrical Trailer (1:54)

    Presented 4x3, this trailer is not bad including just music rather than a voiceover and critics quotes in writing.

Japanese Trailer (2:04)

    Presented 4x3, this is the trailer used to promote the film in Japan.

Photo Gallery

    12 stills from the film.

Filmographies

    Text filmographies for McClory, Brumpton & Hewitt.

More From Palace

    Trailers for The Goddess of 1967, The Return, Tom White & Nathalie.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie is only available in Region 4 at this stage.

Summary

    A tough, unsettling and powerful drama about police corruption made for $6000.

    The video quality is restricted by its low budget source but there are also some issues with the transfer.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has a collection of worthwhile extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, November 07, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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