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Coriolanus Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 124 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray +1 x DVD)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 29th, 2012
  • List Price: $24.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Coriolanus, based on a lesser known Shakespeare play, tells the story of Caius Martius (Ralph Fiennes), also known as Coriolanus, a feared and revered Roman General. Loved or feared by his people, Caius soon finds himself expelled from his own city. Pitted against his own citizens, Caius teams up with former enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerald Butler) in hopes of exacting revenge on his former city, including his manipulative mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave). What results is a well executed film on nearly all levels.

Themes like this did seem to capture a majority of Shakespeare’s work (family issues), so I was surprised that I had never heard of this particular play before this movie. Doing a little bit of research on the play, I found that Coriolanus, possibly, was one of the more violent, brutal plays he ever written. Normally, bringing a Shakespeare work from paper to film isn’t the easiest task. While Kenneth Branaugh has successfully done it a few times in films like Henry V or Hamlet, for example, I felt like Mel Gibson struck out with his version of Hamlet (possibly you could blame the direction). Ralph Fiennes has, as one might expect, turned this Shakespearean play into a film that captures the essence of the Bard’s words.

While there are numerous reasons why Coriolanus is such a great film, no excellent film, the biggest reason lies with the man named Ralph Fiennes. Having been a fan of him since 1993 with his excellent performance in Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (my all time favorite film), Fiennes decided to pull a move more and more actors seem to be doing today. Directing and acting. Fiennes directs with pure skill, swiftness and utter brilliance in a manner that is rarely seen today. Granted, the subject matter really helps emotionally move the viewer at times, however, Fiennes has hit a grand slam here. His acting is top notch easily capturing the raw essence of a once powerful ruler rebelling against his biggest challenge…his own mother.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The film’s 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded, transfer captures all the gritty elements of the film quite well. The film’s color palette is generally pleasing, with grays and blacks dominating the palette. Even though there are many dark moments, detail is excellent throughout with accurate flesh tones and contrast levels. Textures on the varying outfits worn by our characters showcase little intricate detail. All this detail is brilliantly captured thanks in part to the keen eye of Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd. The different locales, whether real or combined with fabricated footage, all looked great. The digital effects balance themselves well with the realistic backgrounds. Despite being shot with a relatively low budget, Coriolanus has quite the fine transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The film arrives with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, which is equally as solid as the aforementioned video. Being a war themed film, Coriolanus benefits from having a robust sound design. Dialogue is well reproduced via the center channel, with no instance of drop out or muddle dialogue. Atmosphere is excellent throughout, whether the quieter dialogue moments, or the more active battle sequences. Pans between rears, particularly during the heightened scenes, are invisible all but helping to create that perfect atmosphere we’ve come to expect from films of this nature. LFE is deep and immersive in the right areas, giving us some excellent low end. Akin to the video, this is a truly great audio mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The provided supplements are shown in SD:

  • The Making of Coriolanus – This runs 5:38 and glances into the making of the film with a few cast/crew interviews.
  • Audio Commentary with Director/Actor Ralph Fiennes – Fiennes delivers a personal, highly informative and well-paced commentary. He doesn’t shy away from topics including his acting, locales, and the challenges he faced bringing this play to life.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Simply put, Coriolanus is a must see film regardless if you like William Shakespeare. Ralph Fiennes is brilliant here, both in front and behind the camera. Anchor Bay has delivered an excellent Blu-ray to support the film, with a nearly perfect V/A presentation. Even though the features are light, I still must highly recommend this to all film goers.

Additional Screen Captures

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Download Coriolanus on iTunes

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Download Coriolanus on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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