Buster's Mal Heart Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-23-2017, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Buster's Mal Heart Blu-ray Review



Check out Lee Weber's review of the strange indie mystery Buster's Mal Heart starring Mr. Robot's Rami Malek.


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

Film:

Extras:

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

82



Details:

Studio and Year: Well Go USA - 2016
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Rami Malek, D.J. Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter, Toby Huss, Lin Shaye
Written By: Sarah Adina Smith
Music by: Rachel Komar
Directed By: Sarah Adina Smith
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 18th, 2017




"The Inversion is Coming"


My Take:

I'd assume there was some fighting with producers and financiers about the title Buster's Mal Heart, as it certainly doesn't roll off the tongue, and doesn't have a quickly recognizable meaning or structure. Add in the surreal poster art and tagline "The Inversion is Coming, " and the marketing department must have been ecstatic. For better or worse these things fit the film to a t with its time jumping structure and reality questioning narrative.

Starring new indie darling Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) as "Jonah/Buster" in a role perfectly suited to his wide-eyed paranoid gaze, Buster's Mal Heart begins as it ends, with questions and confusion drenched throughout the story. Running away from a pack of officers, a tattered and filthy long bearded Buster is sprinting in the woods, dodging gunfire. Cornered in hiding in a cave, he has a decision to make...but more importantly than the outcome of his next move is how and why he got to this moment.

Written Directed with confidence and an auteur's eye, Sarah Adina Smith rolls us up quite the story as we travel to the late 90's to meet a cleanly shaven slave to the "machine" version of Buster who is then called Jonah. Here he is a family man working the night shift at a hotel and living at his prude mother in-laws home with his wife and daughter. We feel for him as he is unhappy with his life and is saving to get away and live a more simple existence off the land with his family. These thoughts and this life are the most normalcy we will see for Jonah/Buster, and there is always an unsettled feeling in every scene. Working an over night shift, watching a public access TV show about alternative science and conspiracies, Jonah's world is blown apart by a chance visit to the hotel by a drifter touting himself as "The last free man" (D.J. Qualls). The last free man wears Jonah down and tells him stories of the great inversion, and that it is about to happen again. He warns him and tells him to take care of his family. But what is this inversion?? We never really know, but there seems to be one moment in the film where it all gets turned upside down. Maybe that is the Inversion he was speaking of??

Without getting too into the plot, which might start to give away too much of my opinion on the narrative, Buster's Mal Heart is best left for the viewer to decide what happened, what is real and is this "inversion" a metaphor or reality. Sometimes moving at a deliberately brooding pace, the film has a lulling quality that kept me in tune with this weird world brought to life by writer/director Smith. There is a moment where the film has its "twist, ' and it hit home for me. Not a movie for everyone, Buster's Mal Heart does something most other genre films can't- it pulls emotionally and spiritually, often at the same time.


Replay Value:



Parental Guide:
NR- some violence, adult themes 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 on a comparative made against other high definition media/Blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA



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


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



Buster's Mal Heart comes to Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA featuring 2.39:1 1080p AVC video with an average bitrate of 24.8 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

Buster's Mal Heart's isn't a perfect release, with a few minor faults like some lack of definition on effects shots and some random softness as well as the occasional struggle with shadow detail. The good news is that visuals are sharp with a natural color palette that works well with some of the films well-shot cinematography. Audio-wise it is a mellower affair with a few standout moments of surround but only when called for. Dialogue is always clear, even though buster talks softly quite often.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) 7 Deleted Scene
  • (HD) Teaser
  • (HD) Trailer


Final Thoughts:

Buster's Mal Heart is the type of movie designed for investigation and multiple viewings...the question is is it worth it. Well um..maybe? I enjoyed the film more for reasons other than its attempt to puzzle and don't see folks who love looking for little nuggets of info being able to do multiple rewatches. I could be wrong. As far as quality of A/V is concerned, there shouldn't be any complaints from fans of the film; however, some exploratory supplementary features sure were needed and warranted here.






Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:

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Last edited by Lee Weber; 08-08-2017 at 06:41 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-2017, 03:21 PM
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Greetings,

Interesting. Nice job Lee. Maybe when time permits I will sit down with this..


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Ralph C. Potts
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-24-2017, 06:36 AM
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Loved the trailer, but didn't catch it in the one theater it played at in KC. Thanks for the review. Will definitely check it out.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-24-2017, 09:33 AM
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This movie annoyed me. its lazy if you ask me. does nothing new and is a waste of time.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-24-2017, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGrey View Post
This movie annoyed me. its lazy if you ask me. does nothing new and is a waste of time.
I can easily see that point of view.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-02-2017, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGrey View Post
This movie annoyed me. its lazy if you ask me. does nothing new and is a waste of time.
I wouldn't call it lazy. Allegory is difficult to pull off effectively, especially when you're trying to pack references to known mythologies into your allegory over 96 minutes. I thought it was a strong but flawed attempt from a young filmmaker that was saved by an excellent performance from Rami Malek.

Looky here!
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