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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Thriller > Business > Death > White Collar Crime > Arbitrage (2012/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Arbitrage (2012/Lionsgate Blu-ray)


Picture: B†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: B†††† Film: B



Not including some great documentaries that we get almost on a monthly basis, we are more and more getting dramas (think Boiling Point) that are about the current series of financial crisis, how suspect just about all of them are and the moral and ethical failures that keep leading up to them.This filmmaking with a conscience can not be seen enough or happen enough, but Nicholas Jareckiís Arbitrage (2012) is among the best such films of late and thanks to some clever marketing and releasing strategies, it is getting talked about and seen in ways it might not otherwise.


Richard Gere delivers one of the best performances of his career as Robert Miller, a highly successful, happy man who has his own business that is about to be purchased for a huge amount of money by a bank, a wife (Susan Sarandon) who he is actually cheating on with a younger woman from overseas in the local New York art scene, a smart & beautiful daughter (the impressive Brit Miller) who is a lawyer working along side him at his business and all kinds of connections that should make his life easy,


However, he is not always paying attention to everything happening around him, working hard to get more of what he already has and in small bits and pieces, not always making the best judgments on how to conduct business, financial, executive or personal.Very soon, we see this slowly add up and after seeming invincible and untouchable in the world of success; he makes some fatal decisions and has to figure out how to get out of them.Then the situation gets worse and worse.


Part drama, part thriller, the screenplay by the director is one of the best of the year and cleverly hints at what it is trying to say, working its way up to the climax and payoff that is one of the best and most pointed of the year.If you are not paying attention, or so impressed by how good this film is, you might miss it but I had heard good things about the film and was very pleasantly surprised it more than lived up to all the hype as well as its potential.


Tim Roth, Nate Parker, Stuart Margolin, Graydon Carter and Larry Pine are among the fine, extensive, convincing supporting cast and New York City becomes a character in the film for good reasons and sometimes dark ones, but it is Gere whose original cutting edge persona first seen in his 1970s films that very effectively rises again.This includes subverting his problematic turn as the happy businessman in Pretty Woman, the kind of role that made the world his current character in this film possible by giving a seal of approval to how they live, no matter how problematic that may be in itself.Arbitrage is an all too rare mature adult piece of pure American cinema and one of the best films of the year.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show some slight detail issues here and there, but for the most part, this is an excellent presentation filmed in the 3-perf Super 35mm film and set at 4K for its Digital Intermediate.This serves the lush locations well, but also the street scenes and achieves a consistent look like few films we have seen this year.Director of Photography Yorick Le Saux (Carlos, Swimming Pool) creates a palpable atmosphere that is among the best work of his career to date and even delivers some demo moments for serious HD monitors and projectors.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is towards the front speakers when it is dialogue-based, though it can go beyond that in that state.When the surrounds kick in, it is sonically impressive with a rich soundfield and a score by Cliff Martinez (The Limey) that is very effective.


Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by Director Jarecki, Deleted Scenes with option Director Commentary and two featurettes: A Glimpse Into Arbitrage and Who Is Robert Miller?



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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