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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Fantasy > Surrealism > The Fall (Blu-ray/Sony/2006)

The Fall (Blu-ray/Sony/2006)

 

Picture: A-     Sound: A-     Extras: B     Film: B+

 

 

I recall 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.

 

Then I 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…

 

In 2006 (although unaware to most) he released The Fall, which is finally making its way to America and more importantly on Blu-ray!

 

Just as 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 other ends.

 

The film 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.

 

The audio 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.

 

Extras 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.

 

With so 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:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7132/Control+++Joy+Division+(2007

 

 

All of 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


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