Silence Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-28-2017, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Silence Blu-ray Review



In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2016
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 160 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Starring: Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, Ciaran Hinds
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Music by: Kim Allen Kluge & Kathryn Kluge
Written by: Jay Cocks & Martin Scorsese
Region Code: A

Release Date: March 28, 2017


"Sometimes Silence is the Deadliest Sound"


My Take:

Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs.

Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo, Silence, co-written/directed by Martin Scorsese, is a powerful period drama that speaks to the human condition, through the eyes of Jesuit priests, Rodrigues, and Garupe, as they volunteer to travel to Japan, under secrecy, to search out Fr. Ferreria, a Jesuit priest that traveled to the area years earlier, but hasn’t been heard from since. Carrying the message of Christianity to a predominately Buddhist country, where the governing body sees their faith as both weak and subversive, the two men find pockets of Japanese Christians that practice in secret, and revere them as priests.

Before long their presence draws the attention of the regional “Inquisitor”, a samurai, empowered by the governing body, who terrorizes the local village, making examples of those believed to be following the Christian/Catholic doctrine. Fearing capture or further persecution of the locals, the two priests decide to split up in order to continue their search for Fr. Ferreria, and further spread the word of Christ.

Unfortunately, Fr. Rodrigues’ luck runs out and he finds himself in the hands of the Inquisitor, winding up a prisoner, and facing a tribunal bent on breaking him. It is there that he finds out the answers he has been seeking regarding the whereabouts of Fr. Ferrreria. He will also discover truths that will test his faith and manhood.

I heard positive things about this film, and seeing as Martin Scorsese was in the director’s chair, I had high expectations. Silence tells a very dark, emotionally stirring story, about faith, and devotion, that examines complex themes via an overtly nuanced narrative that plays out over two and a half plus hours. At moments, I found myself transfixed by the subject matter, while at other times, I felt that the minutia bogged down the flow of the story. I really enjoyed the introspective nature of the film and how it offered the opportunity to fully realize the plight of not only the Christians in Japan, but that of Fr. Rodrigues.

I thought that Andrew Garfield did a fine job, as did the members of the supporting cast, excluding Liam Neeson, who essentially made a cameo. Adam Driver is fast becoming one of my favorite character actors. Unfortunately, he didn’t have enough screen time in this film to truly have an impact. I wanted to like Silence more than I did. It’s a quality film that suffers from an overlong script, where the payoff doesn’t quite match the time investment.

Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for some disturbing violent content.


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.**



Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:


Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Silence comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.

This film’s visual style doesn’t lend itself to eye catching color or infinite levels of dimension but this is a creative decision that doesn’t reflect negatively on its presentation Resolution is excellent as images are clearly rendered with appreciable detail and discerning nuance during close-ups. The chromatic range is purposefully limited to muted primary colors and softer secondary hues. That coupled with the drab lighting schemes and dark cinematography makes for a visually pallid but thematically affecting look. Skin tones among the cast vary and range from Rosy to pale while appearing textural and predominantly lifelike. Blacks are deep and dynamic and shadow detail is excellent. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts in this whistle clean high definition presentation that looks solid on Blu-ray.

Being a dialogue driven film the ability to clearly render that aspect is an important element of the soundtrack. This DTS-HD Master Audio presentation had no problem in that regard. Voices were reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture that appropriately held sway over the front soundstage. The surround mix made apropos use of the sound platform to render the films elements. I found it to be subtly engaging as it recreated the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The soundstage offered a nicely balanced mixture of ambience/background sounds and music that characterized the mood of the scene. There weren’t any sub bass frequencies contained in the mix however the subwoofer was used to provide low bass emphasis where appropriate.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Martin Scorsese’s Journey into Silence
  • Digital HD Copy


Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo, and co-written/directed by Martin Scorsese, Silence is clearly a work of passion for the famed director. It tells a very dark, emotionally stirring story, about faith, and devotion, that examines complex themes that resonate. While I found that aspect of the film to be engaging, it simply ran too long, painting in strokes that were simply too fine. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring excellent technical merits and a middling supplemental package. Silence is recommended for genre fans that enjoy films of its ilk. For all others it may be a bit much to bite off.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 8 Old 03-29-2017, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for the review. I am anxious to see this one, as it didn't have a wide release up here in the twin cities. I will probably rent to start with. I'm a big Scorsese fan as well but it seems as though this one underachieved. Oh well.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-29-2017, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmathers View Post
Thanks for the review. I am anxious to see this one, as it didn't have a wide release up here in the twin cities. I will probably rent to start with. I'm a big Scorsese fan as well but it seems as though this one underachieved. Oh well.
Greetings,

Sounds good Mark. Be sure to post back afterward, as I would like to hear your take.


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post #4 of 8 Old 03-30-2017, 04:54 PM
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SSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

(no, just kidding, I am anxious to see this too. Thank's for the review and it's good I dampen my expectations as I was hoping it was going to be epic)
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-09-2017, 01:33 AM
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This was a nice piece of eye candy, I found the Japanese depiction of the coastal forests to be a real treat _ nicely rendered greens with out being over cooked and looking too bright, absolutely gorgeous. It was 1641 and it looked it, not allot of bold bright colors of todays pallet.
Surprisingly the 2 hours and 40 minutes went by very quickly, I found myself hoping that it wasn't going to end too soon, always wondering just what was going to happen and how it was all going to come to an end. That premise alone made it go by quickly and kept me interested right to the end. Heart wrenching _ gut wrenching _ graphic....
This was a much better fit for Andrew Garfield, much better when compared to Spider Man anyway.
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Last edited by JeffR1; 04-14-2017 at 11:57 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-14-2017, 10:51 AM
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Saw it in a theatre late one weekday night (no way would my wife sit through a movie like this) and thought it was a well-made art film, with strong performance by Garfield and Driver, and true to the time. No harder to watch than, say, the first episode of Shogun back when, but far darker. I have a soft spot for noble failure movies from long-established directors (think Coppola's Youth Without Youth) so I'll probably buy it for the cinematography and the score. Kind of what I would do with the very different Underworld: Blood Wars, which I'll buy to look at Kate B. in leather and the Atmos mix...
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-26-2017, 11:52 AM
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Wanted to catch this in a theater, but I will be getting the Blu-ray. Surprised it did not garner more award nominations.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-08-2017, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BD-50 View Post
Wanted to catch this in a theater, but I will be getting the Blu-ray. Surprised it did not garner more award nominations.
I was kind of disappointed in this one. I felt like the pacing of the first act was like molasses. Maybe that was the point but I don't feel like it made for an interesting watch.
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