Roman de Gare (Crossed Tracks) (2007)

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Released 20-Apr-2009

Cover Art

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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 100:40
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:34) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Claude Lelouch
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Dominique Pinon
Fanny Ardant
Audrey Dana
Michèle Bernier
Myriam Boyer
Zinedine Soualem
Boris Ventura
Marc Rioufol
Thomas Le Douarec
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $34.95 Music Alexandre Jaffray


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French 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 Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    

    Where does the line get drawn between thriller and mystery? To be honest I am not really sure, however, this film, from veteran French Writer/Director Claude Lelouch seems to be both and many other genres besides (such as Romance & Drama). To my mind this is one of the film's strengths, defying easy definition. This strength gives the film suspense and makes it intriguing and interesting to watch. The casting and acting are also strong elements of this film especially Dominique Pinon who is a very atypical leading man but again adds significant interest to the film.

    The story is difficult to explain and it is probably better to know as little as possible going in. The film opens with a celebrated novelist Judith Ralitzer (Fanny Ardant) being questioned by the police about two murders which she seems to be suspected of being involved in. We then are told (via the radio in a car) that a serial killer has escaped from prison. We then meet a man (Dominique Pinon) who is driving across France from Paris to the south. He stops at a roadside services in the middle of the night for a hot drink. As he drinks a scene unfolds before him in the petrol station. A woman and man drive in and argue loudly. Eventually the man with her drives off leaving her stranded. The man who was watching her approaches and attempts to begin a conversation with her. He offers her a lift. Initially she refuses, concerned about who he is. When she realises her boyfriend is not coming back she agrees to the lift which kicks off an offbeat relationship between the pair. Her name is Huguette (Audrey Dana) and she was heading towards her parents place to introduce them to her fiancé. But is the man giving her a lift the escaped serial killer or someone else? And how is the novelist involved in all of this?

    To my mind, both the trailer and the description on the case give away far to much about the plot of this film, somewhat spoiling the effect. I would advise against letting either into your consciousness if you can avoid it before viewing the film. The title, Roman De Gare, roughly translates as Crossed Tracks and the cover displays both titles.

    A criticism I would make of this film is that the intriguing and interesting setup is somewhat wasted by what feels like a bit of a routine and clichéd ending, however, this view was certainly not shared by the entire audience in my living room. Regardless, this film is certainly worth your time if you enjoy films which take a different and interesting approach rather than a more obvious 'Hollywood' style.

   Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but not without issue.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail is very good. The bitrate is high throughout.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    Despite upscaling to 1080p there was still quite a lot of evidence of aliasing and jagged edges perhaps derived from the film being recorded on digital video. These were especially prevalent on roadside barriers and lines such as at 28:15.

    There are subtitles in English. These are a stream rather than burned into the print. They are a little smaller than most but still very legible.

    There is a very obvious layer change at 62:34.

   
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good but disappointingly only 2.0.

    This DVD contains a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue seemed clear and easy to understand throughout.

    The music is a highlight and very much in keeping with the film consisting of French pop songs and some classical style score.

    The surround speakers were only really used for some of the music and some mild atmosphere.

    The subwoofer was not used in any noticeable way.

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

Extras

    The extras are 16x9 enhanced.

Menu

    The menu features music, dialogue and scenes from the movie. It becomes quite annoying if left on for any length of time.

Theatrical Trailer (1:35) 

    As mentioned above this trailer gives away far to much of the story.

Umbrella Trailers 

    Trailers for four other Umbrella releases

R4 vs R1

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

    This is an All Region release, however other releases are available globally. There is a French Region 2 release (plus a Blu-ray) however despite lots of extras does not seem to be English friendly (no subs). It does however seem to contain the same 2.0 audio transfer (despite advertising 5.1). There is also a Region 1 version which I struggled to find any details of. Without any further information I will have to go for the local version as the best for English speaking audiences.

Summary

    A different and intriguing thriller/mystery/romance/drama from France.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    Only the theatrical trailer in terms of extras..

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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