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The Whistleblower (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 112 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Anna Annissimova, Monica Bellucci, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Directed by: Larysa Kondracki
Music by: Mychael Danna
Written by: Eilis Kirwan & Larysa Kondracki
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 24, 2012







"Nothing is more dangerous than the truth"



Film Synopsis:

When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she uncovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. After learning that fellow peacekeepers and military contractors are involved in the ghastly practice and its cover-up, Bolkovac risks her own life to save the lives of others and expose the corruption.



My Take:

Inspired by true events The whistleblower tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a divorced Nebraska police officer who accepts a job as a United Nation's sponsored peacekeeper in order to earn the additional money she needs to move closer to her daughter. Kathryn isn't exactly the idealistic type however once she arrives in post-war torn Bosnia she gains an optimistic perspective hoping to help rebuild and reestablish order in the devastated country. While investigating a series of smaller crimes in the area she stumbles upon a tangled and dangerous web of human trafficking involving teenage girls. Using her training/instincts she attempts to trace its source/location. What she uncovers is the shocking reality of lawlessness, internal corruption, and cover-up amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. Determined to make a difference she puts it all on the line to bring this interminable and deadly situation to light. What she doesn't see is just how far in over her head she truly is..

After seeing the trailer for this my curiosity was piqued. I like Rachel Weisz and being typically drawn to films based on true events I looked forward to checking it out. This is a powerful, disturbing and graphic drama that is told in broad stokes as it speaks from one side about the violence, isolation and futility experienced by these young girls that are tricked, abducted and forced to become slaves in the money making human trafficking running rampant in certain parts of the world. It's an expose on the blankets of red tape associated with diplomatic immunity as well as portraying those in charge as a group of butt covering morally irresponsible types that only care about meeting their own agenda. There would be no way to say with certainty that the events depicted in the film are completely factual but there is no denying that human trafficking is a component found in organized crime. In a place like Bosnia it is certainly plausible that turning a blind eye to such criminal activity goes on. The film is stirring and engaging especially in its depiction of the experiences of the victims as well as Kathryn's struggle to intercede. It's a little melodramatic and didactic but there is enough intrigue and strong performances (Rachel Weisz can always be counted on) to keep interest high. The The whistleblower more than met my expectations and is a film that is well worth your time.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and 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: 84



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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&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: 84


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

The whistleblower comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 38 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.

This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery but it seems to represent the film's elements well. Primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a cooler overall palette that works well against the drab settings featured in the story. Complexions are texturally descriptive with lifelike tonality that varies only slightly among the cast. Resolution is very good although the film's inherently softer elements leave some wide angle shots with smoother lines and average delineation. Close ups and mid level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well articulated dialogue. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail from time to time. The mix excels at creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field's acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are used to deliver impact when called for while adding solidity to the film's music.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Kathy Bolkovac: The real whistleblower - 5 minute featurette


Final Thoughts:

Inspired by true events The whistleblower tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a divorced Nebraska police officer who accepts a job as a United Nation's sponsored peacekeeper in post-war torn Bosnia and her struggles once she uncovers a deadly human trafficking ring only to find that it's activities are traced to lawlessness within her own ranks. The one sided narrative paints in broad strokes but there is plenty of depth and intrigue found in the effecting subject matter, and powerful performances by the cast. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring gratifying high definition audio/video quality while offering only a brief featurette on the real Kathryn Bolkovac. The whistleblower is an engaging drama that is worth checking out and should be moved to the top of your rental queue.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 12
Sounds like a serious drama about one of the most serious social corruptions of our time.
Thanks for an insightful review. Will look for this one.
post #3 of 12
I just noticed my favorite video store has this for rent this week..I'll pick it up this weekend. Thanks Ralph.
post #4 of 12
Thanks Ralph!!!!!
post #5 of 12
Nice, I hadn't heard of this one...Rachel Weisz is one of my favorite actresses and I typically enjoy her films. She's not hard on the eyes either

Since this is based on true events, I'm interested to see how a cop from Nebraska ends up on a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia!
post #6 of 12
Looks good.
post #7 of 12
Very interesting and intriguing movie. Another one i missed on it's premiere and will definitely be running it.

So for those who are familiar with this true event did it get solved or what happened on the end?

Pls PM me. thx
post #8 of 12
Excellent movie, didn't want to wait for the rental disc so I watched it last night on VUDU HDX.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Grim story with no happy ending. It's a shame that crimes like this basically go unpunished.
Thanks for the review.

OOps. Sorry 'bout that. But anyway this film is more about the journey than it is the destination.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Excellent movie, didn't want to wait for the rental disc so I watched it last night on VUDU HDX. Grim story with no happy ending. It's a shame that crimes like this basically go unpunished. Thanks for the review.

Dude...
post #10 of 12
Damnit Mr G!!!
post #11 of 12
hahahah
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Excellent movie, didn't want to wait for the rental disc so I watched it last night on VUDU HDX.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Grim story with no happy ending. It's a shame that crimes like this basically go unpunished.
Thanks for the review.

OOps. Sorry 'bout that. But anyway this film is more about the journey than it is the destination.

I agree this is isn't a mystery, we all[should at least] knew how it would end, knowing the players involved. Good film.
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