The Fall (Blu-ray/Sony/2006)
A- Sound: A- Extras: B
very vividly walking into a movie theater in the fall of 2000 to a film that I
was highly interested in seeing. That
film was Tarsem Singh’s The Cell
starring Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Vince Vaughn. At that point in time I was unfamiliar with
the entire work of Tarsem Singh and only knew of a few music videos that he had
directed, most notably for R.E.M.
Regardless of those factors I was completely blown away by the film, it
was perhaps one of the most creative, innovative, and downright visually
astonishing films that I had seen in a long time. It was refreshing.
remember not finding anyone else who shared in my enthusiasm of the film and the
people who thought I was crazy for spending a decent chunk of change to get the
full-bit rate import DVD of the film.
Since the year 2000 I have tried to check on the progress of this
filmmaker and have waited patiently for another film to arrive, but the years
went on and it would seem that his directing days might be over. Then to my surprise…
(although unaware to most) he released The
Fall, which is finally making its way to America and more importantly on
clever, just as creative, and just as innovative he is back again with a great
tale that should get more exposure than it likely will. In many respects the visual style reminds me
of another beautiful film directed by Julie Taymor and starring Anthony Hopkins
called Titus, which was released in
1999. Both films are simply visual
feasts, in The Fall, we start off
with a little girl meeting a man in the hospital who has been injured in a
stunt in the outskirts of 1920’s Los Angeles.
What ensues is a friendship between the two as he tells her fantasy
stories that involve a group of 5 heroes and their adventures. Part of the interest here is that while she
has a vivid and superb imagination, he on the other hand is a bit more fractured
with his recollection of what may or may not be reality, therefore fiction and
reality begin to mix and by the end it’s hard to tell where one begins and the
is masterfully shot and presented for Blu-ray in a 1.85 X 1 transfer that is in
full 1080p glory revealing the films amazing work, depth, and character. It’s great to see such a marvelous film look
so good and bring lush colors to home video that were never realized on
DVD. This is a great title to arrive on
Blu-ray and will quickly demonstrate your playbacks potential as well as your
calibration and whether more work is needed or not. A poorly calibrated TV or projection system
with this title will be evident very quickly as there are predominate moments
of bright reds, vibrant blues, and a large color palette that will need proper
tuning to look as majestic as intended.
Close up shots are finely detailed, sharp, and downright
astonishing. Skin tones look solid and
give a highly life-like quality to the film.
Other scenes are intentionally lackluster in order to bring more
contrast to the fictional world of the film.
is presented in a strong Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 mix that fits the material
well, is greatly balanced, and matches well with a great picture performance of
the film. The mix is very fanciful in its
treatment and this Blu-ray shines well in that department as well.
include a commentary track, deleted scenes, a featurette, and enhanced photo
gallery that makes this Blu-ray “LIVE enabled’ for online features and
interactive supplements, which are all great and add to the strength that a format
like this has to offer.
few Music Video directors being able to competently make their way into
mainstream features, it’s great to see Tarsem Singh make the adjustment, even
after several years from his 2000 debut.
Other directors who made the leap have also had difficult struggles,
despite being visually sophisticated films like 2002’s One Hour Photo from Music Video director Mark Romanek, or Jonathan
Glazer’s Sexy Beast (also from 2000),
and of course the brilliant Anton Corbijn feature from 2007 Control, which you can reads more about
at this link:
these are worthy of Blu-ray and we can only hope that happens soon, we look
forward to more work from Singh and are glad that Sony is releasing art films
just the same!
- Nate Goss