DVD Review HTF REVIEW: North Country (RECOMMENDED).

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    North Country





    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 2005
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 126 Minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Enhanced Widescreen
    Audio: DD 5.1
    Color/B&W: Color
    Languages: English & French
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
    MSRP: $28.98
    Package: Single disc/Keepcase





    “Keep your mouth shut and take it like a man…”


    The Feature:
    In the same vein as Norma Rae, Erin Brockovich and Silkwood, North Country is the story of one woman's struggle against an inflexible corporation. Despite a slightly weak conclusion, North Country does what it sets out to do: inspire and uplift – but not before unraveling a number of disturbing incidents. It also provides a stark reminder of the inequities faced by women as they attempted (and continue to attempt) to achieve equal footing with their male counterparts in the workforce. Many things have changed since then; sadly, the cultural shift has not penetrated into the darkest recesses of some areas of employment.

    North Country states that it is "inspired by true events." "Inspired" is probably as good as any description, since the film's relationship to the real world is thin. Josey Aimes (played by Charlize Theron) is a fictionalized version of Lois Jensen. While some of the facts of the case and the general setting mirror those of the historical account, most of what ended up in Michael Seitzman's screenplay is fictional. While there should be no problem with that - it makes for a better story - but this is a cautionary note to those who believe they are watching a docu-drama.

    It's 1989 in the North Country of Northern Minnesota, where iron mining represents the lifeblood of many communities. Fleeing an abusive relationship, Josey Aimes returns to her childhood community with her two kids, Sammy (played by Thomas Curtis) and Karen (played by Elle Peterson), in tow. Her mother, Alice (played by Sissy Spacek), is delighted to see her, but her father, Hank (played by Richard Jenkins), is less than welcoming. After spending some time scraping together a few dollars working at a local hair salon, Josey is persuaded by her friend, Glory (played by Frances McDormand), to apply at the iron mine. Although the ratio of men-to-women is 30:1, and the men are at times openly hostile to their female co-workers (they believe the women are "taking away" men's jobs), the pay is six times better than what Josey can make styling hair.

    The conditions Josey encounters are beyond what she is capable of quietly bearing (although that is the advice she gets from more than one corner). She takes charges of harassment to her boss and is told to return when she has a real[i/] problem. The company CEO tells her to resign, advice which she eventually takes, but only after hiring a lawyer and former local hockey celebrity, Bill White (played by Woody Harrelson). Bill's idea is to pursue the first class action lawsuit for sexual harassment. But will any of the other women working at the mine stand alongside Josey?

    On a dramatic level, North Country works for most of its running length. Josey's story is compelling. She's the classic underdog fighting against the implacable corporation. She's on the side of right and the forces of evil are aligned against her. Bolstered by a solid performance from Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, Josey is a three-dimensional woman - a single mother fighting to provide for her children, and a daughter trying to earn her father's approval. To the extent that we have all been underdogs at one time or another in the workplace, we identify with Josey.

    Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) does not attempt an evenhanded portrayal of events. The story is presented unapologetically from Josey's vantage point. The mining company and the men are the bad guys. Not all of the men, of course, but a sizeable percentage of them. Some of the things they do to Josey and her friend, Shelly (played by Michelle Monaghan), are reprehensible. One of the most effective and touching aspects of the story is the way Josey's father, Hank, finds himself caught in the middle - and eventually must choose sides. His emotional speech in front of a union meeting is one of North Country's high points, both emotionally and dramatically.

    The film is littered with outstanding performances, but one would expect no less with a cast of this caliber. For the most part, the geographical dialect and accents are well done too. Sean Bean allows a little of the refined English to slip through, however, for Frances McDormand, it's a walk in the park, taking her back into Fargo territory. Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand both bagged Oscar nominations for their part in the film (for Best Actress and Supporting Actress respectively) and Woody Harrelson continues to impress. For what it’s worth, it is the opinion of this reviewer that Theron’s performance in this film was every bit as impressive as her award winning Monster outing. Sissy Spacek is underused however, but the performance to single out is character actor Richard Jenkins, who is superb. Jenkins' portrayal of Josey's conflicted father is believable and powerful. Jenkins is one of those actors whose face is more familiar than his name. He has appeared in a number of movies and TV productions, and is probably best known for his recurring role as a member of the ensemble cast for Six Feet Under. He deserves official recognition for his work in North Country.

    Like any film, there are weaknesses – North Country is no exception. While the ending was handled well, the courtroom proceedings seemed rushed and lack detail. They are mostly generic and unsatisfying. This is a film which could have easily overstayed its welcome beyond the conventional 120 minutes of running time and that overtime could have dealt with more in-depth and effective courtroom scenes. While much of the film is retold via flashback sequences, many of these take place in the courtroom, however, the flair of good courtroom drama is all but non-existent, save for one scene when Harrelson gets one of the mine’s miscreant sycophants to eventually roll over. In the case of North Country however, the list of good outweighs the bad by a long shot.

    The Feature: 4/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Video:
    Shown in its proper aspect ratio of 2.35:1 enhanced widescreen, this transfer looks reasonably good. Admittedly, I did not see this theatrically and have to assume it is representative of the film however, I was not as impressed with this film visually (to be specific, from the video side of things – from a cinematography side of things, the film is gorgeous) as I have been with many of the other new recent releases. Colors were muted and lacked any vibrancy, presumably to accentuate the bleakness of the location and perhaps even the subject matter. In the same vein, skin tones looked slightly washed out. Blacks were adequately deep.

    Image definition was all over the place. Some of the close-ups (but not all) looked sharp although just as many looked slightly blurred and undefined. Many of the longer and wider shots were just as erratic and unpredictable. I’d sum the overall level of sharpness up as satisfactory but not something as sharp as we’ve come to expect with many of the other newer releases.

    The print was immaculate and free of any dirt or dust blemishes and there is a minimal amount of fine film grain adding to the grittiness of the period as well as its locale. The image was rock solid and the authoring seems to have been handled with perfection as compression or edge enhancement weren’t factors.

    Video: 3.5/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Audio:
    The audio portion, on the other hand, was more than I had bargained for. The disc is encoded with a D.D. 5.1 track that does a fairly good job for this mostly dialogue driven film. Speaking of which, dialogue was always bold and intelligible and never lost among the plethora of period music used to help score the film.

    Throughout the film, a number of songs were chosen to score the film and all of which sound terrific with a reasonably expansive soundstage. Not much to speak of in terms of heft although there are a few scenes which take place on the ice and in the mine i.e. heavy machinery, conveyer belts etc. and the track checks out well. The surrounds are only employed during a couple of scenes in particular and reserved mostly for use of music filler. I was particularly impressed with the score done by Gustavo Santaolalla which I found to be rather evocative given the overall atmosphere of the film.

    LFE is used minimally but will wake you up during an unexpected mine blast…

    Audio: 4/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    Special Features:
    Surprisingly, not a lot here in the way of special features. Noticeably absent for such a recent release is a commentary. I’m left with the impression this film was thought to be a major contender with the upcoming Academy Awards, and it would appear to have lost much of its steam as many of the year’s other films eventually rolled out. Still, the two female leads are both nominated, so perhaps it was initially planned for a basic bare bones release with a special edition to follow. However, I doubt we’ll see any type of special feature in the near future. Anyway, this is what we have:
    [*] Stories From the North Country is an informative little piece which includes all the main performers as well as Niki Caro, the film’s director. Also included are a number of the actual plaintiffs from the lawsuit who go on to describe their inspiration for initiating the suit and the hurdles they had to endure as the suit progressed. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, you’ll appreciate the efforts on the actor’s dialect work after listening the actual litigants. An interesting and informative little piece. Duration: 16:05 minutes.
    [*] Next up is an Additional Scenes segment and includes nine deleted scenes – a few of which may have been interesting inclusions, however a few may have bogged things down. One scene in particular entitled, “You Stand Up” is an interesting one which allows some insight into Bill’s actual courtroom experiences... or lack thereof. The first scene, entitled “Hate All Men”, would have been a welcomed courtroom sequence inclusion. These are presented non-enhanced. Total duration: 11:06 minutes.
    [*] And finally the Theatrical Trailer is included which is perfect. Duration: 2:26 minutes.

    Not a lot here in terms of numbers but I appreciated what was present.

    Special Features: 3.5/5
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    **Special Features rated for the quality of supplements, not the quantity**



    Final Thoughts:
    Director Niki Caro is a young woman with a social conscience. Like Whale Rider, North Country is a personal drama with strong political implications and overtones. And it’s refreshing to see a foreign director come to Hollywood and not cave in to pressure to make something sub-par just to get a product "out there." North Country is not a perfect motion picture, but it is a stirring and emotionally forceful film. There are a number of gut wrenching scenes - none more disturbing than the mêlée which takes place outside the local hockey arena. Outstanding performances from everyone involved make this 126 minute film, time well spent.

    I enjoyed the film more than I enjoyed the video presentation, however, with not having seen the film theatrically, my comments should be taken with a pinch of salt. On the other hand, the audio was most satisfying and the special features were more than I bargained for minus the noticeable absence of a commentary. North Country is a fine film and is represented on our favorite format reasonably well.

    Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (not an average)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Recommended.




    Release Date: February 21st, 2006
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that there
    aren't any replies to this thread as of yet.

    After all, North Country is not the type
    of film I imagine that everyone is running out to
    their stores to purchase.

    My interest in this film was purely for Charlize Theron,
    and not for the obvious reason. The first time I saw
    this actress was in the film Monster, which absolutely
    blew me way! Here was this simply gorgeous actress
    who was able to disappear by stepping into the role
    role of a hideous serial killer with a masculine appearance.

    Her performance won her an Oscar for Best Actress.

    Once again, we find Charlize Theron taking on another
    unglamorous role, this time as Josey, a single mother
    of two who finds work at an at the local taconite mine
    which is dominated by men who harass their female
    co-workers.

    The film is "loosely" based on a true story.

    The story can often be emotionally-charged as we
    watch Josey suffer, putting up with an intolerable
    amount of abuse from her male co-workers. There
    are scenes here that are so raw and emotional that
    one would it find it difficult to keep their eyes dry.

    Miss Theron's performance has garnered her a second
    nomination for a BEST ACTRESS Oscar.

    The film gets a huge boost by two additional
    outstanding performances from Frances McDormand and
    Woody Harrelson. I need to mention that I once met
    Mr. Harrelson in person and I was so turned off by
    him that I swore I would never watch him again. It's
    difficult for me to admit this, but Harrelson really
    shines here as the lawyer who takes Josey's class-action
    case. This role is such a huge departure from the person
    I believed him to be -- and for that, I was pleasantly
    surprised.

    This is the type of film that works far better as
    a rental than a purchase -- but I do highly recommend
    that everyone give North Country a viewing before
    the upcoming Oscars.

    I wish Charlize Theron the best of luck!
     
  3. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    This originally was not on my list for 2/21 releases, but I decided to pick it up this morning after reading some great reviews of the film. Plus my local Fry's had it for 14.99 which didn't hurt.

    Looking forward to watching this-I love Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.
     
  4. dan fritzen

    dan fritzen Second Unit

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    I saw this in the theater and Robert Duvall, Francis McDormand, and Charlize theron all did great.

    Parts of my family came from up in North MN, and while parts of the North Shore are beautiful it can be bleak looking in the fall and winter boths.

    Seeing this in the theater there were times I wanted to punch the daylights out of that school teacher
     
  5. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Dan,

    Are you sure about Robert Duvall? I don't see him listed for this film.
     
  6. dan fritzen

    dan fritzen Second Unit

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    Your Right, i don't know my actors, that was actually Richard Jenkins, why did i think it was Robert Duvall?
     
  7. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I had a feeling that's who you meant. They're both extremely talented, balding, weathered-looking actors, so I could see the mistaken identity. [​IMG]
     
  8. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    While there are some elements of fiction that have been changed in the story itself as far as the family, I have to disagree somewhat with several posters here in that this movie really tells mostly a true story, not much was changed from what actually happened, in fact they made some changes from the book after they had been here for several months and interviewed some of the miners and locals who had been here during this event.... for more accuracy...knowing one of the women myself (though not the main character) who worked in the mines and was a friend of the lead character. Most of the changes were made in the lead characters home-life story, but the other incidents and how they occured are very very accurate, as well as the accuracy of the type of people involved. I am from Minnesota's Iron Range, in fact, from Eveleth, MN where this movie takes place, where the story happened and where they filmed it last summer (which was alot of fun to watch). Local interviews with the people actually involved in these events, as well as my friend, also say that they remained faithful to many events. The sperm in the lockers and the other events were real... I know many people that worked in the mines at the time, and they tell me it was even worse (the ones that dare to talk about it). Many people remain silent. They wanted to do a second documentary on the dvd with interviews from the miners and NOT ONE would agree to do it, so you can see the shame that still prevails here.

    I liked the movie, and it's sad that people around the country will think of the people of the area in the way they will now , but I must state honestly that a good percentage of them are like that. For some reason, I escaped the heavy accent and became a radio DJ here with 2 years of lessons in English and radio announcing, so I was spared the "ranger" accent, and moved away after high school to gain some sophistication, one thing very much needed up here. There are many good people as well, but many of the miners and people of the area still, to this day, are the same as you see them in the movie. Perhaps because the only thing to do is drink here that many of them spend their lives in the bars here. Now I don't say it's everone, but the movie shows the people in a near-perfect likeness to many of the residents. To defend myself, I only moved back here last July for a year to help out my parents.

    To show you the embarassment of many people in the area, about a month ago a US Judge wrote to the city of Eveleth's mayor to bestow an honor of one of the judges of this case and to the mayor at the time who would not get involved and defend the mines. The mayor of Eveleth turned it down because he didn't want to stir any bad feelings. I suppose I understand, but sad anyway. This was to be an historic award for the town.

    Most of the locations are right here in town, it was quite a summer for the residents. Funny thing is they covered up everything that mentioned the name of the town, they even painted and changed hotel signs. As usual, they would show the outside of homes, but they were never the same inside, and they made 3 towns look like one town. No big deal. The main issue I have with the film is the name, I think it might have done better with the original title Class Action.....although this title was used before. There was a local contest to choose a name and this is what they picked.

    Warner was very nice to the people of the area, making sure most of the restaurants got visits from the stars, who were all very happy to spend hours signing autographs. I have a few friends that told me the stars visited with many people to get a taste of life here, and accepted dinner invitations to become familiar with the type of people and families that live here.

    I give much vredit the the movie-makers here for being so realistic. The look of the coldness of the area is very accurate, there isn't much to be happy about here in the winter months, and they did a very realistic job. I also agree that the court scenes seemed rushed and less satisfying, and wish there had been more detail. I also watched 2 deleted scenes which I felt would have made sense to leave in the film.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Robert,

    I just finished reading your post, and I must tell
    you that after just watching this film, I was
    completely riveted to what you wrote.

    As someone who has lived in a small NJ town most
    of my life, I had no idea what the people of the Iron
    Range were like, nor what exactly is involved in
    mining. There have been so many stories over the past
    few months of trapped miners and deaths related to
    the job, that the film became more of a curiosity
    for me.

    It's good to hear that the film remained authentic to
    the people and the events that took place. I can
    imagine that there are a lot of good people that live
    and go to work in that area, all in the name of
    supporting their families. However, due to the nature
    of the job itself and the fact that the people who
    work those type of jobs are uneducated only escalates
    the probabilities of harrassment that the film depicts.

    It touched me personally because I can relate to the
    story in a very small way. I work a government job
    alongside a lot of good people. However, it is a big
    boy's club where to a much lesser degree than what's
    depicted in the film, there's a lot of sexual
    harrassment on the work floor. Just as happens in the
    film, the women generally shrug off the suggestive
    humor that is thrown at them while management does very
    little to punish those that promote it.
     
  10. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Ron, thanks :).I am glad you found it interesting....This movie I think was much more realitic than Fargo to show what kind of life some people live up here, although Fargo was meant to be extreme in its depiction of the area. I am sure you can relate being from a small town yourself, that small town life can be so different depending on the area and the state. When I walked out of the theater at the premiere (which was here in Aurora, MN), I felt I had just seen a very good drama, and a very sad telling of where I am from. I really had mixed emotions. I really was sad that the rest of the country was going to possibly see this and wonder what kind of ugly people and monsters live in the area to which I was born. I suppose with a boxoffice intake of only $18 million, some people are spared and I won't have to blush when I say where I am from, haha!

    Actually, in the scene when she was made to walk up the big lanker to the top where he turned on the machinery, the story around here is that he actually tried to rape her there but someone was watching, one of the other women, from a ways away...and at that time he told her that if she didn't go along with it, he would see she gets fired. Think that should have been included. Plus, they also not only did their thing in the locker, it was done several times a week in their purses, and one time, was served in several of their lunch beverages. There are several others, but I won't gross anyone out any more than that, plus several are so disgusting, I don't even want to talk about it. Yes, there are many guys around here like that, it's not hard when you walk down the main street (or what's left of it since we started importing oar and steel), you can look at many of the people and see exactly what's in the movie. I think most of the guys in the meeting scenes are from here, so there you go.

    It's got to be hard for you Ron to see that kind of sexual harassment at work. So many years have passed since this landmark case, and it's hard to believe it still happens, but what is even more hard to believe is that they don't do anything about it, especially when it is wrong and they have these landmark laws on their side. Seems these days there are more and more people who just shrug things off, rather than take a stand and do what they believe is right, like some of the other women in the begining parts of this film.

    Just a funny story to end my post: My nephew has wanted this dvd for months because he and his dad (my brother)are in the audience at the hockey game scene, but rather than order it online he waited for our local Target or Kmart (the only 2 that sell dvds north of Duluth which is 60 miles south). If you can believe it, the Target ordered only 5 copies, and the Kmart 12. My friend that works at the Target store here said they had calls to reserve copies for over 450 people I heard Kmart had similar issues, so bad that when you called the main store number, the first thing the employee asked even before which department you want...is "are you calling for North Country on video-we won't have any more for several weeks." Now that's a BIG loss in revenue for one day for a store. Talk about very poor thinking and buying, a movie made in the same town ordering that number of copies? What an extreme case of bad management and thinking in the dvd department of both stores here.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Robert,

    Good thread.

    The sexual harrassment I see at work is pale in
    comparison to what is depicted in North Country.
    There's mostly obscene jokes and innuendos towards
    female workers that come from Supervision themselves.
    You walk into the bathroom and see graffiti on the
    walls. There's obscene messages scrawled on dusty
    equipment.

    It's a boys club, just like you see in the film, but
    to a far lesser degree.

    The main difference is, if someone really
    wanted to push the issues around my job something
    might be done about it. However, supervisors who
    get caught in sexual harrassment are generally
    transferred to another office rather than getting
    fired.

    I tell people all the time to get an education and
    strive to get a job in a professional work environment.
     
  12. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I watched this last night from Netflix.

    While the performances were good, and it had its heart in the right place, I can't say I recommend the film.

    I just felt it was too one dimensional. Especially the whole every man is evil part of the story. Is every male who works in that industry a monster?? That is what it felt like.

    And then the finale, with everyone standing up in the court room
    I felt that was just laughably bad.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Jon,

    It seems that the ending of the film
    sort of became cliche'd. We have seen
    this sort of dramatization many times
    before. But I'm wondering, just this
    time, could it very well have gone down
    in that manner?
     
  14. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    While I don't know the specifics of the real case, it, to me, just was an insulting finale. I had seen it SOOO many times before (SPARTACUS anyone?), it really hurt the film.

    I remember when it played theatres and critics attacked the ending, wondering what it was. Seeing the film last night, I understood.

    But, like I said, the performances and the locations were interesting. A good film COULD have been made from this story. The screenplay was just off.

    I'd suggest renting NORMA RAE instead.
     
  15. Chris Parham

    Chris Parham Stunt Coordinator

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    Watched this last night and thought it was a pretty decent movie. While I was let down by the court room scenes (they took way too much artistic license with what would and would not be admissible in court), I would recommend this film as a cut above your typical Hollywood fare.
    The reason I am posting though, is to point out that I have a completely different opinion of the transfer on this disc. While I am sure Herb's rig is superior to mine in every way, the rating of a film's transfer in comparison to other's should not really change from rig to rig.
    I have recently upgraded my DVD player (12 bit video) and cables (component to projector) and re calibrated with AVIA (not ISF'd). The upgrade has really opened my eyes to a myriad of video flaws that I had not been able to notice on my old setup. Why upgrade then? - Because when a transfer is done properly, it can literally break down the fourth wall and bring you into the film - and film is what I feel I am looking at when I watch North Country on DVD. IMHO this transfer is rock solid. While Herb points out that the colours are muted - I feel that this was an artistic choice as evidenced by the contrasting vibrancy of the colours in the highschool flash backs.
    As I said, I am sure Herb's setup is superior to mine and I mean no disrespect as I truly appreciate everyone's hard work at this site. I just had a different opinion of the video quality on this release and wanted to share.[​IMG]
     
  16. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Hi Chris... thanks for sharing your thoughts. Don't ever be afraid to post your differing view or opinion with respect to our posted reviews. Quite often, that's how we get many of these wrinkles ironed out. Just to offer up a few points, I always hold a new release transfer to a much higher standard than that of a classic film. From a big budgeted - newly released film, I expect perfection. Plain and simple. There is no logical reason we should expect any less. We have to be more forgiving of films that were produced 40-50 years ago for a number of reasons. Having said that, it's difficult to post on a new release when one didn't see it theatrically - which in this case, I did not (and stated as much in the review). Even a theatrical viewing however, is dependent on the specific theater, memory etc etc. Was I too hard on NC...? Perhaps. But to me, the film had more of a "processed" look than I like to see. I remember watching a few of the Controversial Classics at the same time I watched NC and thinking how much more impressed I was - and, considering those were films made 30+ years earlier. And I do agree with you on the colors, as I believe the intent was to keep things bleak.

    I'll just close by saying that I think you might be surprised by the differences of a disc from one system to another. I've been to fellow HTF Reviewer, Michael Osadciw's place several times and have viewed material I was very familiar with and was surprised at the differences - and he's been here to do the same.

    Too bad there wasn't more discussion about the movie, especially after Robert's excellent comments. The film was very good - it's just too bad the ending was somewhat of a let-down.

    Hope that helps somewhat Chris.

    Herb.
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I watched this last night, but like Jon, I felt the courtroom dramatics stole alot of the film's power. I also felt things were too one-sided, not because I think men can't be complete assholes (and worse), but because that one-sidedness can affect a film's credibility. It didn't help that in the special features one of the women actually states there were as many man supporting them as against them. I ultimately felt like this was sort of "U-571'ed," dramatized and changed in parts unnecessarily so the final product is less powerful than it could have been. Definitely a good message and story that needs to be told, but disappointing in its execution.
     
  18. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    I watched the film some days ago from a 35mm print. In the end I said to myself: No buy on HD-DVD/BR.
    Not because I did not like the film itself, I hated the DI job they did. It's another one of these cases where film grain was taken out with digital grain reduction leaving a trail of unnaturally looking artifacts behind. Unless they have a separate master for home video without grain reduction this look must be quite obvious on the DVD too. Human skin looks all wrong. Film does not look like this. Ugly mess.
     
  19. JayMAuritt

    JayMAuritt Auditioning

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    The first thing I thought of when I finished watching this film was "LIFETIME MOVIE!!!". It's almost impossibile for me to believe that Roger Ebert gave this film ****, when he gave Dog Day Afternoon and All the President's Men ***-1/2.
    Is that insane? This guy, a respected critic, thinks that North Country was better than those 2 recognized classics?

    In a year or two, or less, when North Country is completely forgotten and, of course, Dog Day Afternoon and All the President's Men continue to be watched and admired by generations, I wonder what that will mean to Ebert's legacy as a film critic, when anyone finds out what he thought.
     
  20. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    This wouldn't be the first time Ebert's readers have called him on his star ratings. In short, he sees them as a necessary evil and dissuades people from looking at the stars alone. He's responded to this type of question numerous times on his website.
     

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