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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    In a career that spans six decades, filmmaker Robert Redford has chosen to direct just a handful of films. The subjects chosen are meticulously thought out, and the films have nary a false note.


    His work on The Conspirator is the story of Mary Surratt, the first women to be executed by the United States government. She was executed not because she was proven involved in the Lincoln assassination, but because it was in the best interest of the government tribunal to affect things in that way.


    She should have faced a public trial, with her defense given proper abilities, and by a jury of her peers, and that is what the story is about. Mr. Redford tells it beautifully.


    Robin Wright and James McAvoy are pitch perfect in their representations of Mrs. Surratt and Frederick Aiken.


    With the exception of a single actor, who always (to me) appears to be acting, casting is precise, and unlike some Civil War era productions, make-up, especially facial hair, looks real, as opposed to stuck on.


    As photographed by Newton Thomas Sigel on 35mm to a 2k digital intermediate, the film is a symphony of darkness and light.


    The resultant Blu-ray disc is perfect.


    My only problem with this release, and it almost has me wanting to cast a vote toward the negative, is about the way the disc is conceived. This is yet another Lionsgate offering of the highest quality, but it forces us to move through trailers, with no ability to get to a main menu. One by one, the chapter button must be hit.


    Even worse is a self-serving puff piece about the newly anointed American Film Company. Don't get me wrong. This seems to be a terrific new entity in Santa Monica, but one is forced to sit through their puffery before viewing the film. No ability to get to a menu. No ability to move forward via a chapter button. One must either fast forward or view the little annoyance, before being permitted access to Mr. Redford's work. This is wrong.


    Wonderful film, beautifully crafted, but ill-conceived Blu-ray disc.


    Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    Rented this BR last week, I have to agree with you on the movie and the actors well done. The Conspirator I believe did not do well at the box office hopefully it will find a wider audience on disc. Thanks Robert Al
     

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