Cassandra's Dream (2007)

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Released 4-Sep-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 104:05
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:37) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor
Weinstein Company
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ewan McGregor
Colin Farrell
Peter-Hugo Daly
John Benfield
Clare Higgins
Ashley Madekwe
Andrew Howard
Hayley Atwell
Sally Hawkins
Keith Smee
Stephen Noonan
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Philip Glass


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 3.0 L-C-R (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I have reviewed the last four Woody Allen releases including Match Point, ScoopMelinda & Melinda & Anything Else. Leaving aside the oldest of these (Anything Else) he has been mining a rich vein of form of late. Scoop is the weakest of the other three but is still a worthwhile watch. I feel that this film falls into a similar category from a quality perspective however is much more like Match Point, stylistically. Once again, the film is set in and around London and like Match Point is a serious thriller that does not include Woody in the cast. He does, as usual, write and direct, however. A departure for this film from his recent approach is a score written by Philip Glass. The score is an excellent addition to this film providing tension and atmosphere.

    The story concerns two working class but ambitious brothers, Terry (Colin Farrell) and Ian (Ewen McGregor). Terry is a mechanic who fancies himself as a gambler. Ian works in their father's restaurant, as he wants to help him, however he really wants to get into property development in California. A dream of theirs is to own a yacht like the one their rich Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) hired for them in their youth. Early in the film they find one which fits the bill and despite not really having the money they decide to buy it using some winnings from Terry and money Ian has saved for his property development career. Things start to go wrong, however, when Terry gets a bit carried away at cards, first winning a large sum of money and then losing three times as much. He begs Ian to help him out and they decide together to approach Uncle Howard to help them while he is visiting London. Uncle Howard, however, has got himself into some legal trouble and needs the boys to help him in return by getting rid of someone. If they agree to help him, Howard will pay off Terry's debts and invest in Ian's California dreams. They are horrified, however, their options are few. Concurrently, Ian meets a young actress, Angela (Hayley Atwell) and falls for her after rescuing her after a breakdown.

    Despite not reaching the heights of Match Point, this is a good entry in the Allen canon. It tells an interesting story and features a quality cast. Strangely, the cast seem to have been instructed to act as if they are in a stage play, sometimes seeming to overemphasise their lines especially Tom Wilkinson. There are some interesting elements such as recurring 'dream' discussions, use of rain (a la Match Point) and the interesting score. It is a low key film but ultimately a worthy and interesting one, without being a must see.

    It is great to see Woody Allen continuing to make films which fall outside of the genre of the majority of his films.Worth seeing especially for fans.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout. There is no evidence of low level noise. There is some minor and occassional MPEG grain to be seen in backgrounds but it is hardly intrusive.The shadow detail was very good.

    The colour was very good with no noticeable issues.

    Artefacts included only some minor aliasing.

    There are English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles which are clear and easy to read although somewhat summarised.

    There is a layer change at 48:39 which is well placed between scenes.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good extremely suitable to the style of film.

    This DVD contains three audio tracks, an English Dolby Digital 3.0 (L-C-R) soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Audio Descriptive soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. The 3.0 track is the pick providing much more presence and depth to the sound.

    Dialogue was very clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Philip Glass is very good being a fairly traditional classical score which gives tension and atmosphere to the film.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

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

Extras

    Nothing much here, as usual for Woody Allen.

Menu

    The menu design includes music and minor motion.

Theatrical Trailer (2:13)

    A quality trailer which gives away a little too much of the plot.

 

 

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version is certainly inferior as it only includes the 2.0 soundtrack and does not have the trailer. Go local.

Summary

    A good quality thriller from Woody Allen that does not measure up to Match Point .

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc only has a trailer in the extras department but this is one better than Region 1.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, October 09, 2008
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
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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