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Outside the Law [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English (Forced)
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 29, 2011
  • RRP: £17.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00525QJE4[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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:4.5/5]

This Oscar-nominated film (Best Foreign Language Film 2011) from director Rachid Bouchareb reunites the cast of his award winning film Days of Glory (Best Actor and François Chalais Award, Cannes Film Festival 2006, Best Writing – Original/César Award 2006). Outside the Law (Hors la loi) is a gripping slow-burning thriller along the lines of Melville’s Army of Shadows.

It’s post-World War II story of three Algerian brother separated when they lose their home and land to French colonists. Messaoud (Roshdy Zem) joins the French army and fights in Indochina; Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila) becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France while Saïd (Jamel Debbouze) moves to Paris, shunning the Algerian fight for liberty, instead choosing to make his living running hookers, shady nightclubs, and training boxers. But, alas, their destinies will eventual intertwine as the oppression faced by the Algerians living in France and back at home increases and French brutality towards their people rises, the independence movement grows in strength and numbers. Drawing the three brothers together toward an inevitable conclusion that their world of cloak and dagger had been pushing them to for years. It’s a fight for liberty, survival, and the lives of their loved ones.

Outside the Law is an emotional behemoth in a tightly wound knot ready to uncoil and explode at a moment’s notice. Superbly acted and brilliantly directed, it strikes just the right sort of balance between historical fiction, crime drama, and action thriller.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There’s nothing striking about this 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement of Outside the Law. It tends towards graininess in dark scenes, is a bit soft looking and colors are just a little dull and flat all around. It does have a film-like quality to it and the source is clean, as one would expect from a film of such recent vintage, plus there are no signs of video noise or compression affecting the image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

While the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless mix isn’t exactly aggressive it has an abundance of ambient information in the surround channels and it really comes alive during some of the more lively sequences, such as the protest march in the opening of the film, the boxing match later on, and a climactic gun battle. High frequencies are reserved, smooth and airy while the midrange is natural and punchy. There are just enough lows to make gunfire and explosions believably hefty.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

A reasonably lengthy “making of” and interview with the director, both in HD, carry the supplementary package that is rounded out by a theatrical trailer of the film.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Making Outside the Law (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:26:18)
  • Interview with Rachid Bouchareb (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:11:47)
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080i/50)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An excellent film that Hollywood just cannot seem to produce no matter how much money they throw into the production, Outside the Law is filmmaking at its best. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00525QJE4[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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