||Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Perhaps Christian Bale's highest praise as an actor came from his
performance and self-imposed diet results in "THE MACHINIST." Now available on
blu-ray from PARAMOUNT, Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a hard working employee at a
machine shop. From the moment we first see him, we know he's not well, and the
fact he hasn't slept in over a year and hardly eats, is taking a toll on him
physically, and as the film unfolds, we find, emotionally, as well! After he is
involved in an accident causing the loss of an arm for a co-worker,
further distressing events begin to occur, and the solace he's been finding in
the comfort of waitress at a local diner, or even the prostitute, can't seem to
keep the rest of his world from spiraling downward into a 24 hour/day hell,
especially when post-it notes begin to occur on his apartment refrigerator, with
a "Hangman" game becoming slowly but surely filled in, on its own.
"THE MACHINIST" is not a pretty of "enjoyable" film, but it's none-the-less, a
great film! Brad Anderson's direction is brilliant, and the story that unfolds,
is as monumental as any other well-received thriller of the past decade, and
arguably "much" better than "MEMENTO."
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
blu-ray release. While some novices may feel the resulting image is lackluster,
the intentionally muted color scheme and cold, steel interiors
contrasted mostly by gray exteriors, serves Anderson's purpose
and design, presenting the distressing, surreal world in which Trevor exists and
struggles within. Detail is decent, although the image is mostly flat, an
inherent limitation of the production design. Contrast is excellent, presenting
deep blacks, and rarely succumbing to a soft appearance.
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. As with the image, effects are
intentionally subdued. Bass and ambient effects appear to be restrained,
regardless of on-screen action. However, the effect of distant sounds and
subtlety is impactful and in tone with the film's often uncomfortable settings.
In addition to a great commentary with Anderson, offering plenty of insight into
the film's themes and development, there are 36 minutes of 1080p featurettes,
examining the script, plot devices and more! Behind-the-scenes footage, deleted
scenes and the trailer, are also offered, but only in 480p.