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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Edge of Darkness (2010)

Edge of Darkness (2010)

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Released 6-Jul-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Making Of-Numerous
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 116:21 (Case: 131)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (76:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Martin Campbell
Icon Entertainment Starring Mel Gibson
Ray Winstone
Danny Huston
Bojana Novakovic
Shawn Roberts
David Aaron Baker
Jay O. Sanders
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Howard Shore

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     In the mid-1980s, a widely acclaimed English mini-series was produced called Edge of Darkness. It was made for the BBC and directed by New Zealand born director, Martin Campbell, then mostly a television director. Our review of the series can be found here. Personally, the series always stuck in my mind due to the haunting music by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen. I owned a copy of the soundtrack long before I saw the series. Following on from this series Martin Campbell broke into feature films and has since directed two of the more successful James Bond films of recent years, GoldenEye and Casino Royale, amongst other feature films. It is interesting now to see him return to the same material to direct a new feature film of Edge of Darkness. This new version with updated storyline was written by Oscar winning writer William Monahan and Australian scripter Andrew Bovell. They have brought the story up to date and transported it to the US but maintained the basic construct of a man trying to understand why his daughter has died.

     The story involves a Boston policeman, Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson), who is a widower and who's daughter Emma (Bojana Novokovic) has moved away from home. She calls him out of the blue and says she wants to visit and when she arrives all does not seem well. He is concerned about signs that she may be ill and then she starts bleeding from the nose and retches violently. He immediately decides to take her to the doctor, however as they open the front door a van drives up and a masked gunman shoots her dead after saying 'Craven!'. His colleagues immediately think that it is one of his old cases come back to haunt him but he thinks it may be related to her and decides to start to investigate. She was working for a secretive defence contractor, Northmoor. To say any more about the plot would spoil the simple but effective story. Ray Winstone also appears as mysterious 'National Security Consultant', Darius Jedburgh. Winstone was brought in at the last minute to replace Robert De Niro due to 'creative differences'.

     Campbell does an excellent job here of directing an effective, character focused and intelligent thriller which does not rely on stunts and explosions for entertainment value. Instead it uses intrigue and sudden bursts of action to tell its story. Mel Gibson is marvellous in his first lead role in front of the camera for 8 or so years. His intensity and believable everyman characterisation is a big part of this film's success. Winstone is quite effective in a role which he did not get much time to prepare for due to his last minute casting. Howard Shore composed the score which replaced a score written by another composer written for a different cut of the film. It is effective but doesn't really stand out, struggling when compared to the iconic score of the television series. My only criticism of the film would be that occasionally the story feels slightly compressed to fit into a movie running time but this is a minor issue.

     Recommended for fans of intelligent thrillers.

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Transfer Quality


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

     The picture was very sharp and clear with no noticeable grain. The colour was excellent but the film itself has a quite restrained colour scheme, suiting the material.

     There were no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     The layer change is fairly obvious, occurring at 76:28.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is very good.

     This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English DTS 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 768 Kb/s. Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand although there was some mumbled lines which made the subtitles worth having even for the non hearing impaired.

     The score by Howard Shore sounds good on this transfer but it is not his best score.

     The surround speakers were well used for rain sounds, action scenes, crashes and various directional effects. The subwoofer was also well used for thumps, thuds, car crashes and to support the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The extras are plentiful but a bit samey.


     The menu features motion, music and the usual set-up and scene selection options.

Deleted Scenes (5:18)

     Four deleted scenes which add depth to characters but are not essential.

Revisiting the Edge of Darkness Mini-Series (2:30)

    Director, Producer & Mel talk about the original series and the new script.

Mel's Back (3:58)

     Featurette about Mel coming back to a lead role after 8 years and his performance.

Director Profile : Martin Campbell (3:20)

     Cast & Crew saying how great he is. Not really a profile.

Thomas Craven's War of Attrition (4:50)

     Discussion of characters and motivation plus the theme of deniability.

Making a Ghost Character real (3:30)

     Approach to making the daughter reappear to Thomas Craven.

Scoring the Edge of Darkness (3:27)

     Howard Shore discusses his score and his general approach to writing one.

Adapting the Edge of Darkness Mini-Series (3:20)

     Featurette about the writing process and changes made to the Mini-Series.

Boston as a Character (2:55)

     Why they set it in Boston and actually shooting in Boston.

Edge of your Seat (2:36)

     Approach to telling the story.

First Look Footage (10:33)

     Generic making of with some crossover to other featurettes.

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 of the DVD only contains the deleted scenes and does not feature any of the other extras or the DTS option. Our local Region 4 release is the winner in standard definition. The film is available on Blu-ray.


    A quality intelligent thriller.

    The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is very good.

    A large quantity of extras is included but there is nothing overly exciting in them.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 24, 2010
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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