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Headhunters Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English/Norwegian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 100 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 28th, 2012
  • List Price: $29.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Headhunters tells the story of Roger (Askel Hennie), Norway’s most successful executive recruiter. Seemingly loving his job, Roger will do anything to please his beautiful wife Diana (Synnove Macody Lund), a woman he ultimately feels he will lose. Due to this, Roger spends money he doesn’t have on gifts way out of his income bracket. Unbeknownst to his wife, Roger spends his free time as an art thief, carefully infiltrating homes, replacing high quality art with cheap replacements. Now on paper, this clearly can’t be done by just Roger. Enter his partner Ove Kjikerud (Elvind Sander), a man who works for a local security company, a man who carefully deletes any trace of Roger’s presence in the house. Everything is going well until Roger is told of a job he can’t refuse, as this may be the job that allows him to end this double life for good.

The problem with writing a review for a movie like Headhunters is that, well, writing too much may reveal key plot points. Now, reading the above synopsis, this sounds like a film you’ve seen before….no? Well, the answer to that is probably, but personally I strongly feel I haven’t seen a film sharing this plot on the level that Headhunters is. Each scene, character, plot piece, score note, and dialogue uttered has been placed in an order that plays out like a mystery. We learn subtle things about Roger from the beginning and certain aspects of his wife Diana that intrigue us. We know Roger is an art thief, but really that ultimately will not matter. His reasoning for being a thief won’t mean much to us, more the reasons of what will exactly lead  him to that point is what makes Headhunters something different, something really impressive.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Headhunters arrives with a 2:40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, which is perfect despite the film’s rather low budget. Shot using Arricam ST, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses, the quality of this transfer makes it seem like the budget was well into the high millions. While that may not be the case, one can’t argue that DP John Andreas Anderson has put together a stylistic, subtle look to the film. The color palette captures the cold, drab Norwegian locale with blues, blacks, and grays dominating here. Even the brighter colors, like a few of the outdoor sequences, still hold fine detail. Contrast levels are accurate, as are flesh tones. Anomalies like noise or print damage are completely absent. Truly, this is the kind of transfer that actually helps to make the film even better.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Featuring a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix available in either English or Norwegian, this audio track hits each note in a manner that grabs you from the first sound effect and doesn’t let go. For the purpose of this review, I watched the film with its original Norwegian mix with provided English subtitles. The subtitles are easy to read, and dialogue is never spoken too fast for us. LFE is deep and booming at times, not necessarily due to a few of the action moments, but rather the beautiful, sometimes haunting score by Tribd Bjerknaes and Jeppe Kaas. Their score suits the film with the kind of subtle tones that need to be heard. A majority of the key sound effects may reveal bits of the film I’d rather not mention. So, I’ll just say that this track draws you in quite well.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The included supplements are featured in Standard and High Definition:

  • Behind-the-Scenes [SD] – This runs 22:39 and offers up information on the film’s production via cast interviews and film footage.
  • Trailer [HD] – The film’s trailer (2:08) is shown. I will note that this U.S. trailer does reveal quite a bit of the film’s spoilers, so watch with reservation!

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Even though the plot to Headhunters borrows from other films, the quality and overall consistency found here is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Magnolia’s Blu-ray is excellent on all levels with a perfect video presentation, excellent audio, and a really solid documentary. This one comes highly, highly recommended!

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Headhunters on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0081HLMD8[/amazon-product]

Purchase Headhunters on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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