- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
- Audio Codec: Multilingual DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), Multilingual LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: B (Region-Locked)
- Certification: 15
- Run Time: 113 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Artificial Eye
- Blu-ray Release Date: January 14, 2013
- RRP: £19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
So many a film has been created exploring the loose connections between unsuspecting strangers by now that it is old hat. We’ve just about forgotten that Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 play La Ronde was one of the progenitors of this recent trend that arguably culminated in 2004’s Oscar-winning Crash. 360 revisits Schnitzler’s play and expands the story about disparate people whose lives, more explicitly, sex lives, tangle them in an interconnected web of troubles.
In Vienna, an executive (Jude Law) faces a turning point as he hires a call girl (Lucia Siposová) and then becomes the target of blackmail when his business associate becomes aware of the situation. Meanwhile, his wife (Rachel Weisz) is back in London carrying on an affair with her young Brazilian lover, a photographer she now wants to end the affair with. His girlfriend, Laura (Maria Flor), has left him to return to Brazil after learning about his affair. On her connecting flight to Miami, she meets an older man (Anthony Hopkins) who has been searching for his missing daughter that ran away from home after she found out about his having an affair. When their flight is delayed in Denver, Colorado due to a snow storm, Laura meets an odd but interesting young man (Ben Foster). He’s a convicted sex offender recently paroled and traveling to a halfway house. Struggling to control his demons, Laura has unexpectedly aroused dangerous feelings in him which he must confront. Back in Paris, our call girl is sent on a dangerous trick with a Russian mobster. As her sister (Gabriela Marcinkova) waits for her, she meets the mobster’s driver and bodyguard and the chemistry between them is instant. Only a day earlier, his wife had asked for a divorce so she could be with her boss (Jamel Debbouze), a dentist who has become infatuated with her, but is conflicted due to his religious beliefs knowing that she is married.
360 is beautifully filmed and, in places, brilliantly acted. Anthony Hopkins in particular brings his usual skill and flair to his role. The cinematography is hip and modern, all glass and steel, light and delicate nuance. That’s where the strengths end in what amounts to a dull affair, no pun intended. 360 is so filled with meaningless trivialities, hyperbole, and, well, stories that go in endless circles that it is ultimately pointless. It feels like a grand statement, but the overwhelmingly glum atmosphere, apparent castigation of all things pertaining to sex that wraps up in an ending that brings us right back to where we started (hence, “360”) leaves this film feeling hollow.
It seems 360 was shot on 16mm and 35mm in the Super 16 and Super 35 3-perf formats utilizing Kodak Vision3 200T 7213 (16mm) and Kodak Vision3 200T 5213 and Vision3 500T 5219 (35mm) film stocks with Arricam LT (35mm with Zeiss Super Speed, Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo lenses) and Arriflex 416 Plus (16mm with Zeiss Ultra 16 lenses) cameras respectively.
The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Artificial Eye looks natural and filmic, although it does tend towards a softer appearance as opposed to crisp and finely detailed. Grain is present and at times heightened and the softness is not unexpected given the use of 16mm and medium-speed Vision3 200T 7213 and Vision3 200T 5213 stocks being utilized. Colors are a bit de-saturated and overall gamma levels at times appear to be slightly raised so that black levels aren’t quite inky and bottomless, but more charcoal grey. Shadows are, however, nicely nuanced with strong gradations and good detail. I see no digital anomalies or noise in the transfer to speak of.
The multilingual DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) audio track that is offered is a testament to balanced and nuanced sound engineering as well as the usefulness of the lossless codecs. Action films tend to owl one over with bombastic sounds and an onslaught of discrete sound effects and aggressive panning, whereas these sorts of films take a subtler approach. Most of the time they end up being dry and staid. 360‘s mix, however, is beautifully atmospheric, surrounding the listener in the subtlest sounds of everyday life, from the din of Vienna traffic to the sounds of conversation in a cafe. The bossa nova-inspired soundtrack is presented with lots of air, warmth, and punchiness, but never overwhelms us or the overall balance of the mix. Dialogue is clean and clear as well. Nicely done.
Brief interviews with the cast and director offering their elucidations on the film’s theme are included alongside the theatrical trailer.
- Interview with Director of 360 Fernando Meirelles (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:10:33)
- Cast and Crew Interviews (1.78:1; SD/PAL; 00:08:34)
- Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
Despite the visual strength and strong cast of director Fernando Meirelles’ (City of God) 360, the globetrotting drama falls down, failing to live up to its promise of offering a profound statement on how our choices (and our sex lives) can affect our lives and others we may not even know. The concept on paper should make for a marvelous film, especially with the likes of Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Weisz leading the way, but it doesn’t ever get off the ground. It starts off dull and remains that way.
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