The Quiet (2005)

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Released 15-Jan-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Animation
Featurette-Dissecting The Dissection, Locations: Shooting In Austin
Featurette-Sans Celloid: The Quite And Digital Cinema
Featurette-Script Development, The Cast
Trailer-Art School Confidential, Capote, Running With Scissors
Trailer-The Squid And The Whale
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 92:40 (Case: 89)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (61:29) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jamie Babbit
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Elisha Cuthbert
Camilla Belle
Martin Donovan
Edie Falco
Shawn Ashmore
Katy Mixon
David Gallagher
Case ?
RPI $37.95 Music Jeff Rona


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Spanish
Arabic
Serbo-Croatian
Hindi
Polish
Romanian
Slovenian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    A deaf mute named Dot (Camilla Belle) moves in with the family of her godfather (Martin Donovan) after her father passes away, her mother being long in the ground. Unfortunately for Dot, her new family are rather dysfunctional - and not in an entertaining way, a la The Simpsons. Her new mother Olivia (Edie Falco) is addicted to prescription medication and spends her life in a daze. Her godfather and his natural daughter Nina (Elisha Cuthbert) have an incestuous relationship that burns with a muddy mixture of love and hate.

    Nina is initially unhappy to have a new sister and treats Dot like an unwanted family pet. She becomes more hostile to Dot at school, where she is one of the most popular cheerleaders and doesn't want the stigma of being the girl with the weird deaf sister. Things start to change when Nina discovers that Dot may not be all she seems and she confides in Dot about her plan to murder her father. Meanwhile, Dot is falling for Connor (Shawn Ashmore), a boy at school who has also chosen to confide in her.

    The Quiet is a low-budget, shot on digital, indie thriller with an erotic twist. Don't take the "erotic thriller" tag to mean soft-core porn though, the erotic side is actually a legitimate a plot device (and an effective one at that) rather than an excuse to get a couple of hot teenagers naked. The plot is a little thin for the concept, but excellent performances from the whole cast coupled with good characterisations make up for most of the shortfall. High marks are also deserved for the production quality of this digital feature, which is well ahead of many similar digital features.

    The film is worth a look on a rainy afternoon, particularly for fans of any of the cast, but not worth purchasing without watching it beforehand.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is quite sharp, particularly for a low budget digitally-shot feature, however a reasonable amount of fine grain and low level noise is noticeable (as is common for digital features). There is a good amount of detail visible in darker areas and shadows. That said, many of the scenes set at night are a tad foggy and blue-tinted, which is most likely a limitation of the digital photography. Most scenes set at night are functional, but never look "quite right". The colours in the film are quite natural outside of the dark scenes (although those scenes do make up a significant portion of the film). Despite these minor issues, the film does look better than many independent features shot digitally or otherwise, and the DVD transfer is of a high standard.

    I suspect the transfer was completely digital, as there are no film artefacts to be seen. There are no noticeable MPEG compression-related artefacts.

    There are a wide range of subtitles available, including both English and English for the Hearing Impaired. The English subtitles are white with a grey border. The English for the Hearing Impaired Subtitles are white with a black strip behind the text, consequently they are functional but very ugly. From the section I sampled, the subtitles appear accurate and well timed.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer change occurs mid-scene at 61:29 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

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

Audio

    There are five audio tracks provided for the feature, English and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384 Kbps and Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kbps.

    The dialogue is quite clear and in good sync throughout. There is not much in the way of a score, but a minimalist use of classical piano is put to reasonable effect.

    The surround channels get very little use, save for a handful of environment audio effects and voice pans. There is no particularly discernable surround channel use, save for a small amount of bottom end on some of the piano tracks. Given the low budget appearance of the film it is not surprising that the audio is quite basic and, thankfully, there isn't a lot of call for audio effects in the film. The audio is quite functional and nothing more.

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

Extras

Fetal Pig, Fetal Pig, Let Me In - Dissecting the Dissection Featurette (4:50)

    A brief featurette on a scene of the film that involves the characters dissecting fetal pigs in a science class. Unbeknownst to some of the actors, real fetal pigs were used with the aid of the science department of the school at which the film was shot.

Locations: Shooting in Austin Featurette

    A featurette on the advantages of shooting in Austin, Texas. Actually, a featurette about why not to shoot your low budget film in LA is more accurate. The featurette also goes into the general considerations that needed to be made when selecting locations, particularly when there isn't a budget to build sets.

Sans Celluloid: The Quiet and Digital Cinema Featurette (4:33)

    An brief, but interesting featurette about how HD video was used for the production. What is particularly interesting in this case is that the film uses HD to achieve a traditional narrative look, rather than the hand-held look that many HD features go for.

Script Development Featurette (9:32)

    A press-kit style featurette on the script development for the film. It covers the character-based approach to the story as well as how the initial script was developed during production to better suit what the film-makers were able to visually achieve.

The Cast Featurette (9:53)

    A featurette about how the characters were fitted to the actors playing them. Thankfully, this is a bit more than just the "they're so great" banter that many cast featurettes wind up as.

Trailers

    Trailers for Art School Confidential, Capote, The Covenant, Running With Scissors and The Squid and the Whale

R4 vs R1

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

    A near identical version is available in Region 1. The special features are identical, but the Region 4 contains an additional Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 language track and a wider variety of subtitles.

Summary

    A fair to middling low budget erotic thriller. The plot is thin, but the performances are good. Rent before you think about buying.

    There is a good range of genuinely interesting extras.

    The film was digitally shot and a number of minor digital video artefacts are noticeable, but for the most part it is a clean transfer. The audio is functional and nothing more.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, March 02, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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