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post #22471 of 22472 Old Today, 07:32 AM
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Yeah Phantom, how about that! It's probably my FIRST "double barrel placement."

I should have mentioned two things: 1) The November Man had MANY scenes that may cause some to consider the Top Tier, but there were inconsistencies. Some scenes simply didn't have the punch and came across as flat. I recall a couple of shots too where the contrast may have been pumped up resulting in a "washed out" look outdoors. 2) The Captive did have plenty of sharpness/clarity, but I do recall a few indoor scenes that softened. Neither of us these two titles were popular at the Box Office, especially The November Man, but I found them worth a rent.

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post #22472 of 22472 Old Today, 04:16 PM
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Kidnapping Mr. Heineken

recommendation: Tier 4.0*

The only production information I could find on Kidnapping Mr. Heineken was that the European movie was filmed on the Arri Alexa XT Plus camera. This is one of the softest Blu-ray experiences I’ve seen from this line of digital cameras. While watching the Blu-ray I was thinking more along the lines of Super 16 film with its rather rough video quality. The cinematography is murky, filled with rough noise, and possesses dull colors. The Blu-ray transfer is a mess as well, supposedly from a digital intermediate. Something is wrong with this presentation’s black levels. There are very few moments which hit inky levels of blackness. It could be an elevated gamma level or the contrast was badly brightened.

The 94-minute main feature is encoded in AVC MPEG-4 on a BD-25. The mediocre video encode averages 21.99 Mbps. It chokes on the gritty texture and swaths of ISO noise, producing swarms of random noise and compression artifacts. Some of the problem is clearly due to the limited cinematography, which looks to have been shot with as little resolution as they could get away with on a modern camera. That may have been a conscious aesthetic choice for the period piece but there was no reason to remind anyone of VHS resolution and softness. This is flat, ugly Hi-Def video shot on the cheap.

This is rather dismal video for a movie produced two years ago. No true black levels, poor high-frequency information, and a terrible video encode add up to a rather limp 1080P video presentation. Blu-ray distributor Alchemy (formerly known as Millennium Video) does preserve the intended aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

                                                                                                                 Total   Video                                             
Title                                                            Codec   Length  Movie Size      Disc Size       Bitrate Bitrate Main  Audio Track                          Secondary Audio Track
-----                                                            ------  ------- --------------  --------------  ------- -------  ------------------                        ---------------------
00000.MPLS                                                       AVC     1:34:44 19,733,176,320  22,228,315,294  27.77   21.99   Dolby  TrueHD 5.1 2835Kbps (48kHz/24-bit)
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