Subdivision (2009)

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Released 2-Mar-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Deleted Scenes
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 93:50
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:25) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sue Brooks
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Ashley Bradnam
Janice Bradnam
Terry McCann
Bruce Spence
Gary Sweet
Steve Bisley
Kris McQuade
Brooke Satchwell
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Brendan Gallagher


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
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

     Back in 2003 a wonderful Australian film called Japanese Story was released. Its director, Sue Brooks, has been pretty quiet since, and this film Subdivision is her first directorial effort since. Other than being a story based in Australia there are few parallels to her previous film as this comedy drama is unfortunately nowhere near as good. That is not to say that this film is a disaster, rather that it lacks the focus, atmosphere, and clear story of that marvellous film. The screenplay was written by popular (and slightly notorious) Queensland radio personality, Ashley Bradnam, his mother Janice and Terry McCann.According to the extras they all ran into each other at a scriptwriting course and decided to work on a script together. Ashley Bradnam also plays one of the leads in the film.

     The story is set in Hervey Bay, Queensland and was also filmed there. This 'slice of life' style film has a number of story threads, however the most focus is given to the relationship between local builder, Digger Kelly (Gary Sweet) and his son and employee, Jack (Ashley Bradnam). Jack is getting sick of his father's old fashioned approach to building in conjunction with local small-time developer/architect, Harry (Steve Bisley). They have been building the same houses for years and not responding to what people now want such as more than one toilet. Jack thinks they are missing an opportunity to do more work for the big developer who has moved into the area, Seabrix. They have just appointed a new contracts administrator, Tiffany (Brooke Satchwell in her feature film debut), who has moved up from Melbourne. Jack immediately decides to try and take her out, which she eventually agrees to. Their relationship ups and downs provide another subplot for the film. Other subplots include local farmer and a mate of Digger's, Singlet (Bruce Spence), who sells his farm to Seabrix much to the annoyance of Digger and Harry; the relationship between Digger and the members of the local footy team, which Digger coaches; and Digger's daughter Dale's relationship woes.

     The film develops all of these elements to differing degrees which although not without interest does make the film a little unfocused. The cinematography and the beautiful scenery are always worth watching and the cast are of high quality and do a good job. This film is very Australian and some of the colloquialisms would be lost on overseas audiences. Some of the plot points and ideas are not even understandable for Australians especially the thing about whale watching. One of the highlights is a birth scene, which is very funny. The film was released theatrically here in Australia but only made $250,000.

     In summary, this film is not without its charms, however it lacks focus.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is not the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (according to IMDB). I am not sure whether this is an open matte or a pan & scan transfer. I did not notice any scenes which looked cut off or cramped.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp but was affected by some very minor MPEG artefacts and some evidence of interlacing during fast motion. The shadow detail was good. The colour is marvellous, showing off the wonderful water colour in Queensland. There were no other artefacts.

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

    The layer change at 60:25 causes a bad pause.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a 2.0 track at 224 Kb/s.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear, however some lines needed subtitles to decipher either due to clarity or colloquialisms. The music by Brendan Gallagher is light and fun and combined with some pop songs. The music is a highlight from a sound quality perspective providing an immersive and enjoyable sound field. The surround speakers were used for music, occasional surround effects and atmosphere. The subwoofer was used mostly for music support plus some minor thumps and thuds.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu included an introduction, motion and music. It was a little retro in terms of its response speeds though.

Deleted Scenes (16:25)

     Lots of bits and pieces which were obviously cut from the film to get to a desired 90 minute run time. Some of them certainly explain some of the plot points which were not completely obvious in the film.

Behind the Scenes Interviews (19:25)

     A good selection of interviews with writers, producers, actors etc (mixed in together). They are open, interesting and natural which is more than you can say for most Hollywood ones.

Trailer (2:17)

R4 vs R1

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

    This film is only currently available in Region 4, and will probably remain so.

Summary

     A good but nothing special Aussie film about builders in Hervey Bay.

     The video quality is very good but in the wrong aspect ratio. The audio quality is very good. The extras are quite decent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, April 15, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, 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 into BD player. 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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