The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Starz / Anchor Bay - 2009
Feature running time: 100 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby True HD 5.1,
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan
Directed by: J Blakeson
Music by: Marc Canham
Written by: J Blakeson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 23, 2010
"It was a perfect crime. But they picked the wrong victim."
Written and directed by J Blakeson, on a suburban street, two masked men seize a young woman. They bind and gag her and take her to an abandoned, soundproofed apartment. She is Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), daughter of a millionaire. Her kidnappers, the coldly efficient Vic (Eddie Marsan) and his younger accomplice Danny (Martin Compston), have worked out a meticulous plan. But Alice is not going to play the perfect victim – she’s not giving in without a fight. In a tense power-play of greed, duplicity and survival we discover that sometimes disappearances can be deceptive…
In 'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' we get to witness a surgically executed kidnapping, from setting up the location where Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton) will be held hostage, to how perfectly efficient the kidnappers are when snatching her up. It is brutal, unforgiving and all business as the kidnappers (Martin Compston, Eddie Marsan) make her drink to stay hydrated, eat only when necessary, and make her urinate in a hand-held urinal as she lays tied up, gaged in bed with a bag on her head. Of course this is all about money, and these kidnappers are all business. As things are set in motion to get ransom from Alice's millionaire Father, the best-laid plans go awry and we find not everyone and everything is as it seems.
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' is an great example of a promising start to a new film-makers career. Writer/Director J Blakeson first effort is impressive, not for the film as a whole but for the sum of its parts. Having only three actors and one location (the apartment where she is held) never felt like it weighed the film down, in fact, it helped. The minimalistic approach with an eye towards pacing, great acting and cinematography made an OK movie become a very good film. The tension and mystery built by the one set location became claustrophobic to the film itself by the time the third act reared its ugly head; and then things got a bit predictable and clichéd.
The films saving grace is that we can feel the of hunger of newcomer, Writer/Director J Blakeson, as well as the amazing job by the cast. The sexy and chameleon-esque Gemma Arterton really became Alice Creed and Martin Compston was natural as the younger, submissive kidnapper Danny. Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) was amazing as Vic, the older, dominate and almost bi-Polar ex-con who orchestrated the kidnapping.
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' felt like a fresh take on an old theme. There have been many kidnapping/ransom film before, but here we never see the police or hear another voice other than the 3 characters involved. What I found so impressive was that I was captivated enough that it took me over an hour in to realize that!.
Rated R for bloody horror violence and some 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:
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19.6 mbps and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' is a stellar looking Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay. Besides some noise peeking up in blacks, which almost looked like exacerbated grain, this was a sharp and detailed encode. The source elements were gorgeous, somehow looking filmic though filmed in 2k resolution. Colors and flesh tones seemed right on the money with no glaring issues. Every shot looked composed, with the mind to show off detail from wrinkles and pores to the sound dampening foam on the apartments wall.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround Sound, while having limited action, did its job with the utmost confidence. Dynamics from quite to loud while a soft song was in the background worked very well. LFE and surround were not paramount here, nor were they needed--however when used, the latter was smooth and pleasing and the former never overdone. However, I had one issue, which I did go back to confirm-- there were moments where dialogue did get a bit low. It was strange because there was nothing really going on in the background during these moments. It did only happen a couple of times but didn't ruin the track.
- Audio Commentary on Extended and Deleted Scene by Director J Blakeson
- (HD) Extended and Deleted Scene
- (HD) Storyboard Featurette
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
- (HD) Trailers: Altitude, I Spit on Your Grave & Spartacus: Blood and Sand
'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' sucked me in by its execution, both acting and directing. The story does get a bit overdrawn by the time the third act hits, but does pick itself for the end, though treading some unfortunately less original territory. The video looks wonderful and detailed, making watching this film that much better. The storyboard comparison was one of the few extras I really enjoyed watching, as it is always interesting to see a directors mindset before filming. 'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' comes highly recommended.
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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