In Bruges (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Universal - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Genre: Crime/thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy, Jeremie Renier
Written & Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Music by: Carter Burwell
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 13, 2010







"Shoot first. Sightsee later"



Film Synopsis:

Colin Farrell and Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes star in this edgy, action-packed comedy, filled with thrilling chases, spectacular shoot outs and an explosive ending you won't want to miss! Hit men Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson, Harry Potter) have been ordered to cool their heels in the storybook city of Bruges (it's in Belgium) after finishing a big job. But since hit men make the worst tourists, they soon find themselves in a life-and-death struggle of comic proportions against one very angry crime boss (Fiennes)!



My Take:

In Bruges is a character driven film that is cleverly scripted and engages by carefully drawing us in with its blend of morose yet scintillatingly funny situations that are counterbalanced by a sheer sense of dread about the events that have yet to pass. Initially the story has sort of a buddy flick feel as it takes its time introducing us to Ray and Ken. They are hit men that have been sent to Bruges by their boss Harry to cool their heals after completion of their latest job in London. Ray is definitely an unhappy camper and feels that Bruges is old, boring and beneath him. Ken sees Bruges differently and appreciates its history, beauty and looks forward to blending in while taking in the sights. Neither of them is certain why they are in Bruges but their orders are to relax, lay low and wait to hear from Harry. Early on there are hints that something of emotional significance has affected Ray but the details aren't revealed until later which subsequently makes their reason for going to Bruges evident. The fact is that by then we are invested in them and can sympathize with how they arrived at this point regardless of the events that transpired prior. I think what makes In Bruges work so well is the establishment of the relationship between Ken and Ray. It is important that they be likeable even though it is clear that they aren't necessarily good guys. Watching as they interact not only with each other but those around them is where the film's strength lies. When Harry enters the fold later it adds another element that enriches an already blended formula that consists of dark humor, and subtle/overt situations that are designed to imbue a sense of levity in order to subvert the existential dread that looms throughout.

This is my first experience with In Bruges but I had heard positive things about it from others that have seen it. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and reveled in its seemingly inane situations and sharp, witty dialogue that left few stones unturned. For a gangster type film there is little call for suspense/action but it is used evocatively and has a visceral/graphic edge that serves a purpose. The anti-climactic ending left me wanting a little but seemed befitting. I thought that Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell were simply marvelous and deserving of the praise received for their performances. Ralph Fiennes had much less screen time but made the most of every moment. His comedic timing was spot on and responsible for one of the movie's funniest scenes. Clemence Poesy, Jordan Prentice and Jeremie Renier in the supporting roles of Chloe, Jimmy, and Eirik were quite good as well with honorable mention going to the very attractive Thekla Reuten (Marie the hotel owner). Writer/Director Martin McDonagh presents us with an intriguing mix of funny situations and crass dialogue blended with a conceptually strong narrative built around two wonderfully drawn and portrayed characters in Ray and Ken. Add the backdrop of the beautiful city of Bruges to that equation and the result is a thoroughly entertaining and poignant comedy/thriller that has just been added to my list of favorite films.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence, pervasive language and some drug use.






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: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 88


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


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

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

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

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

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

In Bruges comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.

This is a great looking catalog title from Universal that has a clean, polished look that falls just shy of the definitive delineation offered by the best high definition available on Blu-ray Disc. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. The beautiful geographic locations and vista views of Bruges look magnificent in high definition. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors aren't overly engaging as the palette is limited to sepia tones and drab secondary hues that don't offer much to catch the eye. Rendering is excellent though and the balance is kept in proper focus which mates well with the films overall visual perspective. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are respectable for the most part but appear a bit inconsistent as depth can be scene dependent. Shadow detail is quite good and reveals plenty of visible delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn't detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio mix handles this predominantly front oriented soundtrack with uncompromising competence. While the bulk of the audio is reproduced by the front three channels the surrounds are used effectively to produce a rear sound field rich in immersive ambience. This isn't what I consider to be an aggressive soundtrack as dialogue and music play more of a role than the action based elements. When things escalate this mix has no trouble flexing its dynamic muscle with bass response/impact that augments the tangibility of small arms fire. Clarity and detail are exemplary which reveal lots of subtle nuance in the recording. Vocal reproduction is crystalline with discernible intonation and descriptive character. Carter Burwell's beautifully crafted music sounds smooth and airy with a deep room filling quality that is engaging.



Bonus Features:


  • 18 deleted scenes, 2 extended scenes

  • Gag reel - 6 minutes

  • A boat trip around Bruges - Scenic views of Bruges set to text based facts about the city (5 minutes)

  • D-Box Motion Code enabled

  • BD-Live enabled




Final Thoughts:

In Bruges comes from the mind of writer/director Martin McDonagh and features an intriguing mix of funny situations and crass dialogue infused with a conceptually strong narrative built around two wonderfully drawn characters that are deftly portrayed by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Shot against the beautiful and historic City of Bruges Belgium this films makes for a thoroughly entertaining and poignant comedy/thriller that has just been added to my list of favorite films. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Universal Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound, and a rather light compliment of bonus features that will leave fans wanting. Regardless this offering is worthy of serious consideration and has found a home in my Blu-ray library.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 12:56 PM
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Ralph -- Thanks for your review. I loved In Bruges. I have seen it twice and look forward to seeing it again when the BD edition is released on July 13. I thought the often underrated Colin Farrell was at his best as a charming but none too bright hitman. His terrific performance was matched by those of both Brendan Gleason and Ralph Fiennes. The film is, by turn, wildly funny, unexpectedly exciting, and oddly moving. It might be a worthy entry in The Best Movies Nobody Ever Heard Of thread in another forum. In Bruges is a largely undiscovered gem. Highly recommended!
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 03:08 PM
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Haven't seen this movie but based on this review i'll be collecting it.

Cheers
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 05:39 PM
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I saw this on DVD a long time ago and it was really good.

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 09:33 PM
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I love this movie! I'm glad it's now out on Blu-ray.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-29-2010, 11:00 PM
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Ralph, your taste is right on. "In Bruges" is the best film I have seen in the last few years. I had bought a multi-region Oppo Blu-Ray player (BDP-80) in order to get a European BD of "Bruges." The long awaited American Blu-Ray has much better color and infinatly better sound. The dialogue is clearer than I have ever heard it before. That's important, because Martin McDonagh's script is priceless, like his playwriting, and should have won the original screenplay Oscar it was nominated for. Most of the dialogue is unprintable, but extremely funny and often moving. It's great to hear every word in DTS HD!

Brenden Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes are perfect, particularly in their calm vs fire moments when they get together at the end. Colin Farrell has the role of his life and plays it to perfection. After playing Americans in his early career, it's nice see him play "black Irish" to the hilt. I agree with you about Ms. Reuten, but Clemence Poesy is a French delight while playing a Belgium beauty. I liked the ending. It's the way Martin McDonagh ends all his stuff. If you get a chance to see or read his work, grab it!

In the words of Irish hitmen, "In Bruges" is feckin' great!
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Ralph -- Thanks for your review. I loved In Bruges. I have seen it twice and look forward to seeing it again when the BD edition is released on July 13. I thought the often underrated Colin Farrell was at his best as a charming but none too bright hitman. His terrific performance was matched by those of both Brendan Gleason and Ralph Fiennes. The film is, by turn, wildly funny, unexpectedly exciting, and oddly moving. It might be a worthy entry in The Best Movies Nobody Ever Heard Of thread in another forum. In Bruges is a largely undiscovered gem. Highly recommended!

It's available now for purchase at Best Buy. They have the exclusive one month before the official street date. I believe it's less than twenty bucks.

Chris
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 06:37 AM
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After watching this on dvd many many months ago, I gave thought to buying it, but hoped it would eventually come to Blu-ray and now it has, so here we go...
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greensonor View Post

It's available now for purchase at Best Buy. They have the exclusive one month before the official street date. I believe it's less than twenty bucks.

I buy very few BDs for my personal library because I have a mail order subscription with NF and an in store exchange subscription at my neighborhood BB. As a consequence, I barely have time to see all of the rental movies I want to watch. Rest assured, though, I will get the In Bruges BD from NF just as soon as it becomes available there.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 08:44 AM
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Ralph, thanks for the review, the Blu-ray sounds great. I saw this film quite a few months ago on DVD and thought it had an interesting and unique story with top-notch acting. Even so I think it's a rental for most folks.

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post #11 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 09:35 AM
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Thanks for the review.

Am I alone in finding it disappointing that the phrase "academy award" followed by "nominee" or even "winner" is so prevalent and is in fact considered necessary when describing an actor -- to an audience that according to the same description probably does not know where Bruges is?...

If the actor above were not an academy award nominee, I wonder if the quality of the movie would have suffered?... Or the sales?

EDIT: Best Buy availability true; I've not looked for any incentives/coups/etc. though.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-30-2010, 07:19 PM
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Loved it.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-01-2010, 07:07 AM
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You've sold me Ralph. This one just bleeped onto my radar. Thanks!

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post #14 of 19 Old 07-01-2010, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

You've sold me Ralph. This one just bleeped onto my radar. Thanks!

Greetings,

Enjoy Chad..!


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post #15 of 19 Old 07-05-2010, 03:44 PM
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This is one of the rare movies that I liked enough to watch again right after my first viewing. So quirky and fun, I'm glad to see it's out on Bluray now.

Thanks for the review Ralph! I look forward to seeing it again.
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-06-2010, 05:28 AM
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Enjoyed this. I have been a critic of Colin Farrell's work but i loved him here. His best work since Cassandra's Dream. This is a keeper.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-06-2010, 02:46 PM
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Heartily agree with all the others on the praiseworthy qualities of this film....however, Universal's inclusion of a D-Box motion code on this title is admittedly bizarre, to say the least ....anyhoo, just picked this up & can't wait to revisit Bruges on my 140" scope screen

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post #18 of 19 Old 07-21-2010, 02:46 PM
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Ralph -- Thanks for your review of In Bruges. I have now seen it three times and have enjoyed it more each time. What follows is my post to the In Bruges thread on Blu-ray Software Forum:
Quote:


The In Bruges BD was a bit of a mixed bag. The downside, as noted by someone earlier in the thread, is that the bonus materials are disappointingly light. The upside, though was way higher. The PQ and AQ were absolutely wonderful. The photography was cool, almost cold, but it worked. The movie is set, at Christmas time, in picturesque Bruges, a gorgeously preserved medieval town in Belgium. The wind blew most of the time, the sky was almost always overcast and fog was common. Further, it always seemed to be cold. Thus, the muted colors worked beautifully. Nevertheless, some of the long shots of the town, particularly of some of the lighted buildings at night were demonstration quality. Throughout most of the film, there is not much for the DTS-HD MA audiotrack to do but near the end, there is a chase scene, accompanied by music that was also demonstration quality. Note, though, that the sound was recorded at a curiously low level so I had to crank in another 5 or 6dB of gain to get an audio level for dialog that averaged about 75dB.

In Bruges is a classic, one of the finest character studies I have ever seen. Its ensemble cast was out of this world, particularly the two leads, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Ralph Fiennes was also wonderful. The screenplay was far more tightly written than I had given it credit for being, based on earlier viewings.

BIG TIME SPOILER FOLLOWS! DON'T READ IT IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM! TRUST ME ON THIS.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Farrell's character, Ray, is a contract killer who, along with his partner in murder, Gleeson's character, Ken, is sent to Bruges by their boss, Fiennes' character, Harry. Ray is tortured by the death of a child he accidentally killed while carrying out a contract hit. His boss, though, decided that Ray has to die as a result of his mistake and direct's Ken to kill him. Ken won't do it, though, and pays with his life for his refusal.

The screenplay's kicker comes at the end of the film when the boss accidentally kills who he thinks is a child but is really a dwarf in a child's costume, who is playing a child in a movie that is being filmed in the streets of Bruges. The boss is torn with remorse and puts his gun in his own mouth as Ray, near death at the boss' hand, tries to tell the boss that it wasn't a child who the boss killed but a dwarf. But the boss misunderstands, thinking that Ray was lying and trying to tell him that the body in the child's costume wasn't really dead, although he clearly was dead. The boss then kills himself, as he had said he would do if he ever killed a child as Ray had done.


The deep irony of all this escaped me in earlier viewings. This time I got it, though, and thought it was incredibly powerful.

Don't be put off by my summary. There is much in the fun that is funny and warm.

As noted above, I loved In Bruges. It was brilliantly written and filmed.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Ralph -- Thanks for your review of In Bruges. I have now seen it three times and have enjoyed it more each time. What follows is my post to the In Bruges thread on Blu-ray Software Forum:

As noted above, I loved In Bruges. It was brilliantly written and filmed.

Greetings,

Thanks for sharing gwsat. I couldn't agree more..


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