Broken Embraces (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
Mod & Bluray Reviewer
 
Lee Weber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 115
attachment.php?attachmentid=169323&d=1268054977
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5)

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 127 minutes
Genre: Drama/Romance/Thriller
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2:35.1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Penélope Cruz, LluÃ*s Homar, Blanca Portillo, José Luis Gómez
Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Music by: Alberto Iglesias
Written by: Pedro Almodóvar
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 16, 2010







"It's best not to open that can of worms."



Film Synopsis:

A man writes, lives and loves in darkness. Fourteen years before, he was in a brutal car rash on the island of Lanzarote. In the accident, he not only lost his sight, he also lost the love of his life.




My Take:

When the mistress (Penélope Cruz) of an older extremely wealthy man decides to try her hand at acting, she meets and falls for the love of her life, the movies Director, Mateo Blanco. After a terrible accident, Blanco loses her and his sight, escaping the reality of what has happened he becomes his pseudonym, Harry Caine. 14 years later, Caine has a surprise visitor who sparks memories of his lost love. While the truth unravels, the doors of redemption open to those involved.

Broken Embraces is a unique film, like most of Pedro Almodóvar's (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Volver) work. It's the story of a forbidden love, redemption and fate. Told out of sequence and by flashbacks; mystery and suspense are built as the story unfolds. If it were to have been told in a linear fashion, Broken Embraces would have been a wonderfully filmed but non-effective movie. The unfortunate part was when all the possibilities of intrigue were over, the experience the first 110 minutes gave me seemed in vein. I was captivated by how stunning this film looked, and how well directed and acted it was. The 2 hour runtime flew by, but I was ultimately left with an empty feeling once all was revealed. If the film didn't dance around being a 'thriller', then it might have worked a bit better. Broken Embraces is not Pedro Almodóvar best work, but is a worthy addition to his superb catalog.




Parental Guide:

Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug material.






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: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697


Video: 94



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373696

Broken Embraces comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an Average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.

Broken Embraces is a great looking film. Every shot Almodóvar films seems deliberate, care and craft are apparent. This crosses over into Sony's release; it is one of the most beautiful films I have seen on Blu-ray. A deep and natural color pallet leaves nothing to hide. Details and textures are not only discernible, they are used often and look spectacular. Black levels and flesh tones are superb and no issues stuck out. The DTS-HD MA track seemed effortless. The mix was mature and refined, not relying on over blown dynamics for effect. When music kicks in it accents the story, never overpowering the sound-stage. I do not speak Spanish so I cannot comment on dialogue, though it seemed that it was the most important part of the track and always upfront. The best way to describe what I was hearing is that it was inviting and comfortable.

* CIH users should note that the subtitles appear below the picture area *

attachment.php?attachmentid=169324&d=1268054977

Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Pedro Directs Penélope (5:52)

  • (HD) Variety Q&A with Penélope Cruz (6:18)

  • (HD) "The Cannibalistic Councilor" a short film by Pedro Almodóvar (7:34)

  • (HD) On the Red Carpet: The New Your Film Festival Closing Night (3:13)

  • BD-Live




Final Thoughts:

Broken Embraces is a haunting journey of a doomed love affair. The grip it had when it moonlighted as a thriller were it's best moments, unfortunately that was short lived and the story didn't go in the direction it was hinting. However, it is a gripping tale that is wonderfully acted, directed and quite beautiful to look at. I would have liked to see a directors commentary included from such a highly regarded filmmaker. It is annoying that the subtitles are below the image for people who have cinema-scope set-ups. The supplements are a bit underwhelming, but all are worth a watch. I can easily recommend a rental and for Almodóvar fans who have not yet seen this, a purchase.





attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer
Lee Weber is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 12:05 PM
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,380
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Liked: 619
Greetings,

Thanks Lee.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
post #3 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 12:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,635
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Funny I know most Pedro's films I saw this without much thought and add it in my que..Sounds like something I'll enjoy, even though some of the film didn't do it for you.

Thanks

Djoel
Djoel is online now  
post #4 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 01:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JamE55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The story is very sad but thought it was a great film. Characters were well played and Penelope i thought did a great job on this one.

Definitely a Collect!

Cheers
JamE55 is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 01:55 PM
Member
 
saildoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Best film of 2009..... I enjoyed this film immensly. No special effects, no CGI, no explosions, no guns...just a story that engulfs you until the end. This is up there with 8 and 1/2... enjoy
saildoc is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
Mod & Bluray Reviewer
 
Lee Weber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post

Funny I know most Pedro's films I saw this without much thought and add it in my que..Sounds like something I'll enjoy, even though some of the film didn't do it for you.

Thanks

Djoel

It was 'almost' great had a bit of an identity crisis to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saildoc View Post

Best film of 2009..... I enjoyed this film immensly. No special effects, no CGI, no explosions, no guns...just a story that engulfs you until the end. This is up there with 8 and 1/2... enjoy

I agree that it was a "film" and was about the story, acting etc...I long for more movies like this. I can also see some people being really in love with it.
Lee Weber is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 03-16-2010, 05:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,635
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post

It was 'almost' great had a bit of an identity crisis to me.

Hm, care to explain the identity crisis, without saying or giving away the plot


Quote:


I agree that it was a "film" and was about the story, acting etc...I long for more movies like this. I can also see some people being really in love with it.

Sounds like you had a brief fling with the film though

djoel
Djoel is online now  
post #8 of 9 Old 03-17-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
Mod & Bluray Reviewer
 
Lee Weber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,349
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 115
Lee Weber is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 03-17-2010, 12:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,635
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post

Djoel-
PM sent


Perfect & Gotcha'

Djoel
Djoel is online now  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Tags
Broken Embraces Blu Ray
Gear in this thread - Broken by PriceGrabber.com

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off