The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Film Alliance Corporation Australia- 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Starring: John Malkovich, Jessica Haines, Eriq Ebouaney, Fiona Press, Antoinette Engel
Directed by: Steve Jacobs
Music by: Antony Partos
Written by: J.M. Coetzee (novel) & Anna Maria Monticelli (screenplay)
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 27, 2010
"What is a mad heart?"
After a college professor is fired for seducing one of his students, he finds peace at his daughters farm in rural South Africa until a horrific incident of terror and violence occurs.
Disgrace is based on J.M. Coetzee's 1999 Booker Prize winning novel and is a tough movie to watch. I found myself feeling very awkward for the fist 30 minutes then strangely comfortable (as were the characters) with how everyone was so accepting of such wrong-doings in this Post-Apartheid South Africa. Superb as always, John Malkovich's cerebral and off-beat demeanor really fits the character of David Lurie, a Professor of Romance Poetry at a Cape Town, South Africa University. Prof. Lurie fanceys himself a romantic as well, but he (as awkward as possible) seems to pick the wrong situations; he doesn't realize that these woman want him for his money or even grades. When his affair with a student is exposed he is dismissed from the University and leaves Cape Town to go live with his daughter Lucy in a rural area. While saying there and escaping the disgrace of what happened in Cape Town, his daughter is raped and he helplessly locked in the bathroom to hear it all before being set ablaze. This terrible event and the communities response makes everyone involved clearly see the new Post-Apartheid climate between black and white.
I found Disgrace to be a bit too numb for my taste. Most of the characters were emotionless, even when terrible things were happening to them and the people they love. When trying to find some point, moral or even a resolution to the story...I was left empty. The acting was top notch. South African Actress Jessica Haines was superb a Lucy. Australian Director Steve Jacobs did a commendable job keeping the slow two hour drama watchable and the cinematography was breathtaking. The desert-like landscape looked so limitless and beautiful, contradicting the people who live there. Disgrace is a film for a select few, and is watchable based on its technical merits more than its unsettled, uneven and uncertain story.
Rated R – for sexual content, nudity, some violence and brief 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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Disgrace comes to Blu-ray Disc from Image Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC1 encoded video DTS HD Master Audio sound.
Image Home Entertainment delivers a faithful and gorgeous Audio and Video presentation with Disgrace. Colors and flesh-tones are spot on and the delivered image natural and life-like. Fine details are present in facial features as well as scenery adding to its realistic look. Shadow detail are well defined and Black levels are strong. I was pleasantly surprised watching this film. The DTS HD Master Audio track is completely passable and as good as the source can sound. Its not a action packed bass booming room filling spectacle but it sure is a clear, crisp and sonically pleasing track. Mixed with taste, vocals are up-front and the surrounds are utilized to add depth to the landscape of wind and dogs barking. I enjoyed watching this Blu-ray was pleased with all aspects of the presentation.
- (HD) Disgrace: Behind The Scenes
- (HD) Interviews with cast and crew
- (HD) Trailer
I cant recommend Disgrace because it was an uncomfortable film that never seemed to go anywhere. I can see many people disagreeing with that fact, but I cant see them truly enjoying the film regardless. The good news is Image Home Entertainment's treatment of the film is flawless and it looks and sounds superb. If you are inclined to give it spin I strongly urge a rental.
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