Body Of Lies (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=131994&d=1233452623
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

82






Studio and Year: Warner - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 128 Minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.4:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Oscar Isaac, Simon McBurney
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Music by: Marc Streitenfeld
Written by: William Monahan based upon the novel by David Ignatius
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 17, 2009







"Trust no one. Deceive everyone"



Film Synopsis:

The CIAs hunt is on for the mastermind of a wave of terrorist attacks. Roger Ferris is the agencys man on the ground, moving from place to place, scrambling to stay ahead of ever-shifting events. An eye in the sky a satellite link watches Ferris. At the other end of that real-time link is the CIAs Ed Hoffman, strategizing events from thousands of miles away. And as Ferris nears the target, he discovers trust can be just as dangerous as it is necessary for survival.




My Take:

This film adaptation of David Ignatius' novel by screenwriter William Monahan stars Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio portrays CIA Special Agent Roger Ferris, a man who is dedicated to his role in the war on terror. He fights it from the Middle East and has to rely on Arab operatives, thin leads, and an interfering CIA supervisor who trusts no one. Ed Hoffman (Crowe) is that supervisor. Little is revealed about exactly what he does outside of his contact with Ferris but it is apparent that he is a powerful individual within the organization. He is a fervent believer in contingency plans which means having a backup plan for a backup plan. The problem is that he rarely keeps Ferris in the loop which in this business can lead to unpredictable consequences. During an operation in Iraq Ferris acquires intel on a possible location of Al Salim a suspected terrorist leader that may be responsible for a recent series of bombings. Hoffman sends him into Jordan to follow up on them. He meets with Hani Salaam, the head of the Jordanian General Intelligence Department and agrees to openly work with him which means sharing intel. Salaam (Strong) is not someone to be trifled with and makes it clear to Ferris that he is never to lie to him. Ferris respects him and emphatically states that he will keep things above board. During the pursuit of a member of the Salim safe house, Ferris is injured and goes to a local clinic. There he is smitten by Aisha (Farahani) the young Arab nurse who treats him and he decides to see her again. Problems arise when an Al Salim safe house is discovered in Jordan and Ferris conducts a joint surveillance with the GID. Hoffman's mistrust of Salaam interferes with the operation and leads to friction between Ferris and Salaam. Subsequently Ferris is forced to leave Jordan and returns to the states where he confronts Hoffman over his incessant interference. Ferris comes up with a plan to draw Al Salim out into the open and returns to Jordan. Ferris meets with Hani Salaam and makes a tactical decision to keep Hani out of the loop regarding his plan. This leads to events that put not only Ferris but Aisha in serious danger. When the smoke clears Ferris is left without a chair when the music stops. All is not what it seems and the outcome will leave Ferris in a fight for his life.

I enjoyed the first and second acts of Body of lies although I thought the second dragged a bit. The final act was okay but contained a bit more drama than I would have liked. The relationship between Aisha and Ferris was integral to the story but I just felt that it didn't fit with film's premise. Ferris was recently divorced so it wasn't as if he had never been in a real relationship before ending up in the CIA. As an integrated CIA operative in the intelligence business who spends a large amount of time in the Middle East I found it unbelievable that he would allow such a distraction. I think it eroded the authentic aspects of the story but not to deleterious levels. DiCaprio and Strong gave excellent performances. Crowe's character didn't have a large part but he is a fine actor and was of course believable. Ridley Scott is a masterful director and films like this seem to be his forte. This isn't a perfect movie but I found it to be quite good and worth its 2 hour runtime.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong violence including some torture and for language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 80



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Body of lies comes to Blu-ray from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.4 mbps.

This video presentation offered good high definition detail that elevated the perception of fine texture during close ups and mid level camera shots. The film has quite a few exterior sequences that use wide angle pans and long range camera views. The majority of the time these images were well resolved with appreciable depth, stable sharpness and crisp definition. The video wasn't razor sharp or definitively resolute but I never felt it was lacking in visual acuity. Filtering was used to derive the differing visual styles utilized in the film. The color palette wasn't extensive and made use of earth tones and lighter shades of primary and secondary colors. Certain sequences had a cooler tonal aesthetic with softer less delineated fleshtones. Other times the video used bolder contrast and varied filtering which gave the video a dynamic edge, warmer fleshtones and a golden monochromatic look that highlighted the dry, sun drenched exterior scenes. Blacks were strong and dynamic in appearance which allowed them to pop when onscreen with mixed content. Shadow detail was good but not definitively resolvable which left some darker scenes feeling one dimensional. I found the video quality to be satisfying and any nitpicks that I could muster were minor and didn't negatively impact fidelity.

Warner included a lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on this title which I was happy to see. I find it annoying that the default soundtrack is the lossy Dolby Digital track. I would prefer that the default be the high resolution audio option but a quick trip to the languages menu remedies it easy enough. This is not an action film but it does have action based elements that raise its level of intensity. The first thing that struck me was that the presentation relies heavily on the front channels. The surrounds carry some directional sound effects and perk up with low level atmospheric sounds during some of the exterior sequences. The soundstage felt compressed and didn't have the enveloping presence that drew me into the onscreen events. I was disappointed in the bass response as it didn't adequately punctuate the film's low frequency effects. Explosions, heavy weapon fire, and the powerful engines of assault helicopters had little visceral impact. Dynamic range was fine and I didn't perceive that as being the problem. I noticed that when applied bass extension had tangible weight and solidity. For example, right after the first bombing in the beginning of the film, when the film's title flashes onscreen, there are two extended deep bass tones (associated with the music) that resonate well into the room. This occurs at other intervals as part of the music score and easily outweighs any of the segments in the film where deep bass should augment the action. I have no idea why it was mixed this way but I found it disappointing. Dialogue was full bodied with defining tonal character and prominent soundstage position. High level detail was apparent as sound effects, music and voices were rendered with superior clarity and depth. Considering that this film is predominantly driven by dialogue I would say that my complaints regarding this surround mix aren't detrimental to its enjoyment. I do feel that a better sound design would have elevated the experience and made it all the better.





Bonus Features:


  • Commentary with Director Ridley Scott, Screenwriter William Monahan, and Author David Ignatius

  • (HD) Actionable intelligence: Deconstructing Body of lies - can be enabled via Focus points which are viewable during the feature or selected separately as below:

    1. Uneasy alliance: Ferris and Hoffman
    2. Foreign relations: Ferris and Aisha
    3. The color of toast: Costume and production design
    4. Master of the craft: Ridley Scott
    5. Safe haven: Morocco
    6. Controlled hostility: Stunts and special effects
    7. Field operation: Safe house
    8. Field operation: The terrible room
    9. Author provocateur: David Ignatius

  • (HD) Interactive briefing - An selectable interview gallery with Leonardo DiCaprio, Ridley Scott, and Russell Crowe

  • (HD) 5 deleted scenes including an alternate ending with optional commentary/Director introduction

  • Warner BD-Live enabled (requires registration)

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc - Includes a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device




Final Thoughts:

Body of lies reunites Russell Crowe and Director Ridley Scott in a decent espionage thriller that is built around the ongoing war on terrorism. It features strong cast performances, an engaging story, and intelligent direction by Ridley Scott. Its Blu-ray presentation from Warner offers excellent video quality and a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that was good but left me wanting. The comprehensive bonus supplements are a pleasure and offers fans interactive viewing options that enhance the experience on Blu-ray Disc. BD-Live access and the ability to take the movie on the go are icing on the cake. This is a solid package that fans are sure to enjoy.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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Old 02-10-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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Hi Ralph

It was reported by Josh Z who reviews discs for another site that the transfer has major issues running throughout Chapter 31 with macroblocking.

He reported it in the thread which you can click in my signature link.

Can you check your edition to see if it has this issue. If it doesn't then maybe Josh got a bad disc.

Can you check your copy to see if you have these issues
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:15 PM
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Thought this was an awsome movie. Definitely a must have for collectors.

Cheers
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:01 PM
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I picked this one up at my store today. I have been looking forward to it. I have read 3 reviews so far (this being the 3rd review) and there has been 2 reviews for excellent pic quality, but another review the reviewer said the picture quality was not up to par. Ralph is usually right on with his reviews and if he says 84 for picture quality my money would go on that!
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder View Post

Hi Ralph

It was reported by Josh Z who reviews discs for another site that the transfer has major issues running throughout Chapter 31 with macroblocking.

He reported it in the thread which you can click in my signature link.

Can you check your edition to see if it has this issue. If it doesn't then maybe Josh got a bad disc.

Can you check your copy to see if you have these issues

Greetings,

M, I just ran chapter 31 in my review system and living room system (which consists of a Panasonic BD30/Sharp 52" 1080p LCD) and saw no signs of macroblocking. I assume that the problem would manifest itself on the wall in the background behind Hani (Mark Strong). Josh Z wouldn't be wrong about something like this and I wonder if there are quality control problems with the authoring on this title.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:52 PM
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I was diappointed this film in theater but it is Scott's film who can resist that.Good review,Thank.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:31 AM
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I definitely can't resist this one. It will be in my collection as soon as it's available in this neck of the woods.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:00 AM
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Looks like I know what I'll be putting on my Netflix next!

Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean I can't be taking an MSCA course...:)
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

M, I just ran chapter 31 in my review system and living room system (which consists of a Panasonic BD30/Sharp 52" 1080p LCD) and saw no signs of macroblocking. I assume that the problem would manifest itself on the wall in the background behind Hani (Mark Strong). Josh Z wouldn't be wrong about something like this and I wonder if there are quality control problems with the authoring on this title.

Cheers,

There are no issues with my copy in this chapter...I'll go back and specifically look in the backgrounds to see if anything pops up.

EDIT: Looking on my computer monitor (LCD), I see some slight macroblocking in the backgrounds, but I don't remember seeing this on my projector....hmmm.

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Old 02-14-2009, 08:17 PM
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Ralph,

Are there any subtitles in the movie? If yes, are they in the picture or the image?

Thanks!

Tom

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Old 02-15-2009, 03:17 AM
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This movie had a very good picture. Those desert scenes, particularly in the beginning of the movie had a lot of pop. I am unsure what some others are saying on this forum though about the macroblocking in chapter 31. I noticed no such thing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

Ralph,

Are there any subtitles in the movie? If yes, are they in the picture or the image?

Thanks!

Tom

Greetings,

Tom, there are subs and they are within the picture area...

Cheers,

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Old 02-18-2009, 12:39 AM
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At the 2:00:12 mark, is that former British PM Tony Blair, or did he just look like him?
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:16 AM
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Will be recieving this copy on Friday.Looking forward in watching this movie.

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Old 02-18-2009, 11:19 AM
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Thanks Ralph!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Tom, there are subs and they are within the picture area...

Cheers,


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Old 02-18-2009, 04:17 PM
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Suggest you rent before you buy. Not as good as Traitor or Kingdom of Heaven.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordoftherings View Post

Hi Ralph,

I did rewatch "Body of lies", and this time around, I was hook to the story line and the
exceptional performances of the actors. I will say that this film is in the top tier for entertainment, picture & audio. I enjoy it immensely this 2nd time around, for a better
insight into the storyline. Ridley Scott is a master film maker.

Good day to you sir,

________Bob

Greetings,


Glad to hear it Bob and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Old 02-25-2009, 02:52 AM
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Looking forward to watching this one tonight.

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:06 AM
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. . . I will say honestly that I have to rewatch it again, to really have the connection with this very intriguing film.

I agree that it's a pretty complex story. I had to rewind many times to make sure I understood what the characters were saying & how the plot was progressing. Good thing I watched it alone 'cuz anybody else would have been annoyed.

I really enjoyed the movie and am surprised that Ralph only gave it a 3 rating. I thought it had a more clever ending than another recent DiCaprio movie, The Departed, & I couldn't predict the ending, which always makes a movie more enjoyable for me.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
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Not as good as Traitor or Kingdom of Heaven.

Did you mean The Kingdom, starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, & Jason Bateman?

I enjoyed Body of Lies more than the other two.
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:21 AM
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I looked forward to owning this film and wasn't disappointed. Yep, very complex plot. You really have to pay close attention. This will have great rewatch value for me, just like many other Ridley Scott films.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:04 AM
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Just finished watching this film absolutley loved it. Another well made film.

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder View Post

It was reported by Josh Z who reviews discs for another site that the transfer has major issues running throughout Chapter 31 with macroblocking.

It's been my experience that macroblocking is introduced by the viewing equipment (monitor and/or the player) and not by the disc.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder View Post

Hi Ralph

It was reported by Josh Z who reviews discs for another site that the transfer has major issues running throughout Chapter 31 with macroblocking.

He reported it in the thread which you can click in my signature link.

Can you check your edition to see if it has this issue. If it doesn't then maybe Josh got a bad disc.

Can you check your copy to see if you have these issues

No problems over here!

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Old 02-26-2009, 03:11 PM
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No problems with my setup either.

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Old 02-28-2009, 09:24 AM
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Hollywood has gotten a bit obsessed with these Middle East spy movies. This one was ok, with Russel Crowe being the standout perfoermer. It is rare to see a leading man that doesn't mind looking bad in a movie. He really looks bad here, but it works for the character.

It gets a bit tiring with the "are the good guys really good, and are the bad guys really our friends" plot routine, but I guess that is about all the writers can come up with these days.

Maybe my cool reaction to this film is that I have recently seen several of these. I'm getting tired of dirt streets, crowded market places, and sweaty people in robes.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:28 AM
 
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I've watch "Body of Lies", three times already. And I can say that it have a very high replay value. This is one of my favorite spy movies of all time. Ridley Scott is back in top form. Plus Leonardo and Russell are a delight to watch interact.
And with an excellent transfer for both Audio & Video on blu-Ray, it is a highly recommended master film. The extras are also very informative.

Top-notch all around,

________ Bob
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordoftherings View Post

I've watch "Body of Lies", three times already. And I can say that it have a very high replay value. This is one of my favorite spy movies of all time. Ridley Scott is back in top form. Plus Leonardo and Russell are a delight to watch interact.
And with an excellent transfer for both Audio & Video on blu-Ray, it is a highly recommended master film. The extras are also very informative.

Top-notch all around,

________ Bob

+1 Bob absolutley loved this film will watch again

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:44 AM
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thanks.
i like it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:45 AM
 
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Oh man, I have been waiting for this one....

Thanks for the review!
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Blu Ray Movies , Body Of Lies Two Disc Edition Bd Live Blu Ray
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