11:14 (Beyond Home Ent) (2003)

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Released 2-Feb-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy/Thrille Interviews-Cast & Crew-(20:16) Presented 1.33:1, most of cast plus director.
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-(2:28) Presented 1.33:1, almost a music video.
Filmographies-Cast-Seven cast listed with selected titles.
Theatrical Trailer-11:14 (1:28) : Very good, presented 4x3, 1.85:1.
Trailer-Under Mind, The Blue Butterfly, Evil Remains
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 82:07 (Case: 169)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:37) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Greg Marcks
Studio
Distributor
Media 8
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Hilary Swank
Colin Hanks
Rachael Leigh Cook
Henry Thomas
Patrick Swayze
Barbara Hershey
Ben Foster
Shawn Hatosy
Clark Gregg
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Clint Mansell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     When accepting his Oscar last week, Christian Bale made the point that many worthy films never receive recognition and go relatively unnoticed in their cinema release, if indeed they receive that initial exposure. Such a film from 2003 is 11:14, the first work from young writer cum director Greg Marcks. Young Mr Marcks, only twenty-seven when this film was made, has been able to do what many much more experienced directors have dismally failed to do. He has trodden the fine line between drama, almost tragic in some instances, and black comedy. Indeed Marcks has not merely "pulled it off", he has done so dazzlingly, eliciting bravura performances from a diverse, mainly young, cast while creating a film that is lean, economical and stunningly accomplished.

     The DVD's slick suggests that the structure of 11:14 is "reminisce" of Momento (sic), Run Lola Run and Go (I think Beyond might be in need of a proof reader). You could also be reminded of young Stanley Kubrick's The Killing. The plot follows the movements of about a dozen inhabitants of a small American town, Middleton no less, on one fateful night climaxing at 11:14. The audience follows different characters as they live out the minutes building up to 11:14. There is a group of three young men hooning around in a van, not really violent just after some antisocial fun. There is a young lady who is desperately trying to leave the small town with her more worldly lover - and prepared to extort abortion money from two boyfriends, making each feel responsible for her fake pregnancy. There are others in the town - parents, police officer, friends. We follow one strand of the plot until we reach 11:14 and one more piece of the complex puzzle falls into place. We then switch back in time, to another character and once again head towards the fatal moment. There are no baffling complexities, no red herrings, just the wonderful satisfaction of slowly having the pieces fall into place and the full picture appear for us.

     I can instantly count ten characters who are crucially involved in the events of this one night. There is cemetery sex, gun play, a robbery, car chases and crashes, a severed p****, a body thrown from an overpass - the list goes on and on as our motley characters collide through the night. However, this does not mean that we get unsatisfying vignettes or cameos. Remarkably Greg Marcks, as the writer, has been able to paint vital, living characters with very few strokes of the brush. He is aided, of course, by the excellent cast he has assembled. There is the seasoned experience of Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing) and the always brilliant Barbara Hershey (The Stunt Man) as the parents of Rachel Leigh Cook (She's All That). Two time Oscar winner Hillary Swank (Boys Don't Cry) is excellent, and Ben Foster, recently devastating in The Messenger, is unrecognizable. Also impressing in vital roles are Colin Hanks (All the Pretty Horses)), Henry Thomas (E.T.), Clark Gregg (500 Days of Summer), Shawn Hatosy (Dexter) and Stark Sands (Flags of Our Fathers). The film is blessed with great photography from Shane Hurlbut (The Greatest Game Ever Played and Swing Vote). Hurlbut uses the handheld camera to create exciting immediate cinema, but controls his equipment so we are never distracted by the technique. There is also excellent editing from Dan Lebental and Richard Nord, plus an exciting and original jazz influenced score from Clint Mansell. This composer has recently supplied scores for Moon, The Wrestler and Black Swan !

     This is a remarkable film, exuding vitality and energy. You will find yourself wanting to laugh while characters are in the most dire situations - to say more would spoil some of the wonderful moments created on screen. Sadly since this debut feature Greg Marcks has directed only Echelon Conspiracy (2009), a "surveillance society thriller" which I have not seen, but which performed disastrously in its limited U.S. release. Here's hoping that this talented filmmaker soon finds another project that is worthy of his obvious gifts. Until then, I urge you to seek out 11:14 for eighty minutes of exhilarating cinema.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     It seems that love and care were lavished on this low budget film from the writing to the final edit. While a gritty realism is maintained throughout, the image quality is first rate. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

     The transfer is very sharp and clear, although there are occasional shots which are intentionally but briefly out of focus. The makers are obviously striving for, and achieving, hand held realism, with the dexterity and intimate immediacy that this equipment allows. However, there is none of the fake "realistic" wobbles that has recently pervaded so much trendy filmmaking. Detail is extremely good, and as the action all takes place around 11 p.m., shadow detail is crucial. Happily this is excellent, with blacks deep and solid, and details of exteriors and dark car interiors clearly defined. There is no low level noise.

     Colours are subdued, befitting the subject matter and the overall grittiness of the image. Skin tones are excellent within the overall framework of the film. Colours are consistent, with no variation through the film. There were no artefacts noted of any kind.

     This "little film" has been given a first rate transfer to DVD. This is a dual layer disc, with the layer change at 63:37. There is a slight freeze of action at the pause.

     There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

     There are three audio streams on this disc : English Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 448 Kbps, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Encoded at 224 Kbps; and English 2 Channel LPCM, Surround Encoded at 1536 Kbps.

     I sampled the 2.0 stream, which was OK, but lacked the dynamism that comes with the six track option. The entire film was then watched with the 5.1 stream.

     The good news is that the audio transfer beautifully complements the excellent image. Dialogue was clear and always easy to understand, even when the screen is filled with chaos and mayhem. There were no sync problems. Dialogue was front and centred, though there was plenty of frontal direction from cars and other screen action. The surrounds were mainly used for ambience and music.

     The musical score by Clint Mansell is outstanding. Rumbling along at times under action, with plenty of subwoofer emphasis, the music erupts into jazzy excitement with the action on the screen. This really is a terrific score from the composer of the music for Black Swan.

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

Extras

Interviews (20:16)

     A series of topics is posed, via screen graphic, then responses are given by cast members. Presented 1.33:1, the topics are :

     Despite the brevity of much of this content, or maybe because of it, these discussions are very interesting, with intelligent actors giving sensitive responses to the topics.

Behind the Scenes (2:27)

     While we listen to All American Girl we see a montage of on set footage, often showing the physically hands on young director at work.

Talent Profiles

     I miss this feature which used to be on almost every DVD. With a portrait of the particular actor we are given a list of some of his/her features, with the appropriate year. The actors profiled are : Rachel Leigh Cook, Barbara Hershey, Patrick Swayze, Hillary Swank, Henry Thomas, Colin Hanks and Ben Foster.

Trailers

     An interesting batch of theatrical trailers, all of good quality and with 4x3 matted transfers, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio: 11:14 (1:28), Under Mind (2:34), The Blue Butterfly (2:08), Evil Remains (1:07).

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

     Our Region 4 release misses out on :

     The Region 1 release misses out on the talent profiles.

Summary

     Here is something truly different, and totally entertaining. The stimulating plot structure will have you gleefully completing the puzzle as to what befalls ten or so characters one fateful night in small town USA. For a low budget film the cast is astonishing - and they are uniformly excellent. Technically the film is incredible for its origins, and the first time writer/director walks the tightrope between drama/tragedy and wild black humour with the agility of a master. This is terrific, totally stimulating fare that deserves to be seen. The extras are a little light on, but what is there is good value. Image and sound are first rate and the RRP is under $15.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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