iMurders (2008) (NTSC)

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Released 12-Jan-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Alternate Ending
More…-Q & A With Cast and Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 98:30
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robbie Bryan
Studio
Distributor
Anchor Bay Entertainment Starring Gabrielle Anwar
William Forsythe
Tony Todd
Frank Grillo
Terri Colombino
Wilson Jermaine Heredia
Charles Durning
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Harry Manfredini


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
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

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

Plot Synopsis

     Event co-ordinator Sandra (Terri Colombino) moves into a new apartment in New Jersey where she meets building supervisor Christine (Joanne Baron) and starts a relationship with ex-policeman Joe (Frank Grillo) who has been traumatised by the murder of his policeman brother in a ritual killing. Joe’s sister Lori (Brooke Lewis) is an FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer. In Los Angeles model Lindsay’s (Gabrielle Anwar) face has been scared in a knife attack and she is seeking compensation through lawyer Robert Delgado (Billy Dee Williams). In California university Professor Michael Uberoth (William Forsythe) is carrying on an affair with college Allie (Christine Botelho) behind the back of his wife Carol (Margaret Colin). In Boston psychiatrist Dr. St. Martin (Charles Durning) treats Janet (Miranda Kwok), a woman whose lover was murdered when she went out to meet someone she had met in an online chat room. Sandra, Lindsay and Michael are part of a chat group on the social network site “facespace” who log in to chat, flirt and play mystery games co-ordinated by Mark (Wilson Jermaine Heredia), a special effects make up artist. When members of the chat room began to be murdered in bloody, ritualistic ways, every member of the group is suspect – until they get murdered!

     The tag line for iMurders should really be “everything is connected”. As the summary indicates there are multiple characters spread across America, linked not only by the chat room but by a complex set of relationships that may or may not mean anything. Just one example: the psychiatrist’s granddaughter is married to Professor Uberoth. The large number of characters, and their stories which may or may not connect, allows the filmmakers to sow a huge number of red herrings and false trails; many of the characters are indeed guilty of various crimes and sins, but are they the one killing off the chat room members?

     iMurders is a mixed bag. It has some mystery, some thriller elements, some suspense, minor female nudity, and some blood and gore, although the goriest killings are off screen and only the results are displayed. In films with such a wide range of characters it is often difficult to keep track of who people are, but to this film’s credit this part is not an issue. The plot is another matter; it is contrived to the extreme. Clearly the filmmakers wanted to create numerous red herrings and dead ends and to bring them to some sort of conclusion which means that there are huge plot holes and many of the characters’ motivations are not well drawn. Indeed, a number of strands and characters only serve to create some connection, however tenuous, between the various story strands. We know, for example, that one chat room member had been killed by a hand drill. Later in the film it is very blatantly shown that another member uses a drill. One character is shown very early telling her psychiatrist that a chat room destroyed her happiness and she wants revenge. She is clearly distressed and is an obvious suspect when people start to die, rather too obvious. Some of the strands seem to be in another picture altogether, such as the sleazy professor! The film is also not helped by the fact that the acting is extremely diverse, mostly poor, and the dialogue obvious. Professor Uberoth’s wife to her husband as they are about to go out to a function at which he expects to be made Dean of the university “I know you will get what you deserve”. Yep. Nevertheless, most of the cast look good, locations are attractive and the film moves along at a good pace and does not linger too long on anything.

     iMurders is another film that establishes a large range of characters and situations and then gradually intertwines their stories and connections. However, in their keenness to mix genres, to sow red herrings and dead ends, and to connect various strands, the filmmakers have created a film that has some interesting ideas but which ultimately is far too contrived to be convincing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     iMurders is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio is not listed on IMDb, but the print does look slightly cropped occasionally so I would suspect that the original ratio was 1.85:1. This is NTSC.

     The print is reasonable. Colours, especially in the outside scenes look pale and sharpness could be better. However, blacks and shadow detail fine, brightness, contrast and skin tones are acceptable. It is also a clean print and I did not notice any film or film to video artefacts.

     English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired are available. They are in a white font and appear to follow the dialogue closely and give a reasonable amount of other information.

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

Audio

     Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded at 192 Kbps. While it is nothing special the track does what it needs to do. Dialogue was clear, music and some effects occur in the surrounds. There is nothing for the sub woofer.

     Lip synchronisation was slightly off in the outdoor scene around 16:15 but was otherwise fine.

     The score is a combination of original music by Harry Manfredini which ranges from orchestral to piano plus some songs by Dana Parish, Arthur Colombino, Smith and Pyle and Stardremer (aka Sandra Mayes). It is not over the top and gives effective support to the film.

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

Extras

Alternative Ending (1:04)

     This ending alters the killer from predator to prey. The one used is better.

Q&A With Cast and Crew (20:11)

     A PR kit of sound bites put together before the film was released. In 20 minutes we get snippets from 14 actors, 2 executive producers plus the writer / director Bobbie Bryan and writer / producer Kenneth Delvecchio; the numbers alone indicate how superficial this extra is. However, don’t watch this before the film as it gives away the killer. Poor video and audio as well.

Original Trailer (1:41)

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 US edition is the same as our Region 4 in specifications and extras. There is no reason to go beyond the local product.

Summary

     iMurders is a film that has some interesting ideas but which ultimately is far too contrived to be convincing. The video and audio are reasonable; the extras limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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