A Few Words About A few words about...™ Changeling -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal's Changeling, directed by Mr. Eastwood, is a quality production that has been given proper respect by Universal's Blu-ray tech team.

    The story is simple, and yet it doesn't easily go where some might expect. Mr. Ebert, has explained this best, so with proper credit to Mr. Ebert...

    "Eastwood's telling of this story isn't structured as a thriller, but as an uncoiling of outrage. It is clear that the leaders of the LAPD serve and protect one thing: its own tarnished reputation. Collins joins many other female prisoners whose only crime was to annoy a cop. The institution drugs them, performs shock treatment, punishes any protest. This is all, as the film observes, based on a true story."

    The audience reactions brought on by Changeling reminds me in some ways of Z, the 1969 Costa Gavras thriller that I'd love to see come to Blu. Those who have seen Z will know where I'm coming from with this comment.

    Excellent film. Beautiful Blu-ray.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Agreed completely, and the transformation of Jolie to a bonafide PRESENCE on screen is something awesome to see. She owns this movie.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw Supporting Actor

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    Blind buy for me. Can't wait. Huge Eastwood fan - both in front of the camera and behind.
     
  4. Derek Faber

    Derek Faber Stunt Coordinator

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    I too love Eastwood. Too much perhaps and will grab this without question; sight unseen.
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hmmm... I might also pick this up as a blind buy although the mixed reviews (as seen on Rotten Tomatoes) made me think I should rent first.

    Thanks for another fine review, RAH.

    _Man_
     
  6. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Loved the courtroom cross examination.

    Acting is ok.
    Picture is great for the period.
    Look at the making as to the transformation of mood (lighting).

    Loved the investigating cop and his scenes with the kids.
    Jolie was distracting (negatively).

    Score was pleasant. Structure is similarly to Gran Torino.

    Reflective.
     
  7. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Can't wait to see this on Blu-ray as I missed it when it had it's theatrical run. Already pre-ordered on amazon! [​IMG]
     
  8. Rob Foss

    Rob Foss Stunt Coordinator

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    Changeling is a gripping movie for adults - 'manna for grown ups' as one reviewer rightly called it. Angelina Jolie turns in a terrific performance as Christine Collins, a demure single mother in 1920's Los Angeles whose missing son becomes a rallying point for the oppressed citizens of LA, who are suffering under the boot of a ruthlessly corrupt police force & mayoralty.

    But as Christine struggles with an impostor son that a disinterested LA police force has preposterously tried to fob her off with as her own there's a big twist when another young boy is arrested in a routine deportation case & does he have a story to tell. A tale so horrifying that it would instantly qualify as any parents worst nightmare. When I saw this film in the cinema the packed out audience gasped - literally gasped out loud - during the confession scene between this kid & the police officer.

    Jolie has never been quite this good & she brings a fantastic larger than life movie star presence to her role. She's a terrific actress in the body of a goddess & watching her evokes so much of the spirit of a Rita Hayworth or a Joan Crawford in their luminous prime. But she's not the only star here. One of the great pleasures of Changeling is watching so many unknown character actors given the chance to strut their stuff & boy do they take it.

    The script is just as outstanding, moving effortlessly from one genre to another - part period crime thriller, part psycho ward drama, part serial killer movie, part courtroom procedural. It begins small & then expands to take in political corruption, the status of women in the 1920's, the way children & adults view the same event, & the satisfaction (or not) of capital punishment. What's most impressive is the way Clint Eastwood orchestrates all of this because Changeling shifts gears so smoothly that one remains completely transfixed, indeed amazed, throughout.

    Changeling represents a notable development in Eastwood's evolution as a filmmaker. Never before has he handled such a sprawling, multi-stranded story with such ease & confidence.

    There's also a real sense of anger as Eastwood leaves us in no doubt how he feels about the way Collins - & the other female victims of the pernicious Code 12 - were treated by the authorities. As much as Changeling is a hugely enjoyable picture, true life stories in which authorities such as the police & social services victimise single mothers, in order to conceal their own incompetence dealing with children at risk, mean that Changeling carries a genuine contemporary resonance as a cautionary tale.

    Some have suggested the film goes on to long & sags in the final stretch. I couldn't disagree more. In fact I think this is one of the best edited movies I have seen in a long while. The multiple storylines & shifting emotional moods are so well captured by Joel Cox & Gary Roach's editing that they deserved an Oscar nomination. The technical aspects are also top notch throughout & how pleasing it is to see a period piece in which the sets & costumes never once overwhelm the characters or the story. Eastwood's lovely score is the icing on the cake.

    Changeling was the first of two masterful Eastwood movies in 2008, the other being Gran Torino. Both come highly recommended for those hungering for movies the way they used to make 'em (& I mean that in the best possible sense).
     
  9. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I thought the movie was too black.
    Didn't see any detail in shadow areas.
    Had a tough time seeing during much of the movie.
     
  10. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Looked quite ok when I watched on 185".

    Dark parts as well (in the asylum etc).
     

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