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Thale Blu-ray Review

thale-blu-ray-dvd-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Norwegian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 78 Mins.
  • Studio: XLRator Media
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • List Price: $24.99

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Thale-BD_04

Thale, from Norwegian filmmaker Aleksander Nordaas, combines the latest of trends in Scandinavian filmmaking, the mystery thriller and the celebration of folklore. Arguably one of the better films to make use of the latter was 2010’s TrollHunter (Trolljegeren), a fantastic blend of action, comedy, and thrills that relished in the Nordic folklore without being too serious.

Nordaas’ film begins rather quirky, as we meet Elvis (Erlend Nervold) and Leo (Jon Sigve Skard), two crime scene cleaners in the midst of one their jobs, Elvis overcome by the surrounding is, how shall we say, bringing up his breakfast in a bucket as the two have a casual conversation. It is after this that the two friends stumble across the scene that sets up the film’s main premise, and change of pace into a more thriller-like setting. They discover a woman (Silje Reinåmo) they believe to be a tailed woodland creature known as a Huldra, abandoned in a dilapidated house where she was apparently being studied. As they investigate the woman they come to know as “Thale,” her past becomes increasingly clear, and their lives are put in jeopardy as someone – or something – begins coming after them, or her.

The film’s roots in folklore are what make it so fascinating, and the filmmakers sustain the mystery and fantasy elements for a rather prolonged time, making Thale quite effective. However, Nordaas’ screenplay does take a turn for the conventional world of conspiracy-driven thrillers early on in the fourth act that leaves it more grounded in reality – and less compelling to watch.

That being said, this is a more than valiant effort that keeps us captivated for much of its brief running time, even if we aren’t steeped in the traditional Scandinavian lore. The ending, one that was telegraphed long before we got there, still plays reasonably well for a film of this nature.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Thale-BD_01

You shouldn’t expect much from a low budget indie production like Thale. The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement doesn’t appear to get in the way, but the overall image is nothing to write home about. There are a lot of spots where noise, posterization, crush, and general softness make for a pretty weak presentation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Thale-BD_02

A Norwegian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) track is included that is very straightforward. It keeps the dialogue upfront and center with mild stereo panning, has very limited ambience in the surrounds, and slight extension of low frequencies. An English dub is also included that is mislabeled on the packaging as being DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, but in fact is only a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

Thale-BD_03

This is almost as barebones as you can get, being saved only by the inclusion of the standard DVD.

  • DVD
  • Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Thale-BD_05

Thale is a valiant effort given its meager budget. An often strange and mysterious journey into Nordic folklore, this one is worth a watch.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Thale - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Thale on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B00BSBXQ1U[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Thale - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Thale on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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