- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Blu-ray Disc Release Date: September 22, 2009
- List Price: $35.98
[amazon-product align="right"]B002C39T28[/amazon-product] Purchase Adam Resurrected on Blu-ray from CD Universe Shop with us for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.comOverall The Film Video Quality Audio Quality Supplemental Materials
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In Adam Resurrected, Jeff Goldblum plays Adam Stein, a Jewish cabaret clown, musician, and magician in World War II Germany who is sent into the concentration camps with his wife and children when the Nazis come into power. There, Adam comes across commandant Klein (Willem Dafoe) who remembers Adam’s act from before the war and literally forces Adam to be his pet dog, forcing Adam to walk on all fours, bark, eat scraps, and sleep in a pen.
Adam survives the war and the film flashes forward to the early-1960s where Adam is now a resident at an experimental Israeli mental hospital for holocaust survivors in the Negev Desert working through his psychological scars from his time in the Nazi death camps. He has taken on the self-appointed role of the leader of the lunatics and is engaging in a sexual relationship with the facility’s beautiful head nurse, Gina Grey (Ayelet Zurer).
There, Adam comes across the hospital’s secret patient, a feral boy whom he names “Davey” and takes the boy under his care, hoping to help the boy break free from of his psychological barriers. Through his work with Davey, Adam is also forced to confront the painful memories and shame of his past and work through the issues that have kept him from recovering for so many years.
Adam Resurrected is based on the acclaimed Israeli novel of the same name by Yoram Kaniuk and was directed by Paul Schrader. It would be easy to watch Adam Resurrected and instantly hail it as a triumph based solely on its subject alone, but that’s not the case. Although it is a thought provoking and often-difficult film, Paul Schrader’s direction and Noah Stollman’s screenplay often miss the mark, lacking the impact of other film’s that have dealt with the same topics. Starting off with the right tone, as Jeff Goldblum’s character is desperate with guilt and shame, the film veers off towards the end and loses perspective.
It seems that Stollman and Schrader tried to craft a piece about casting off the shame of submission, but it gets lost in a twist of sadomasochism as it becomes increasingly clear that Adam Stein forces nurse Grey to act like a dog when they are having sex, and they both enjoy it — a bit too much. The filmmaker’s never satisfactorily explore Adam’s troubled past. They only offer brief glimpses through a series of flashbacks that appear throughout the film, but they don’t tie into his present day attempts at recovery all that well. By the time the end is reached, all has been rushed and the promising beginning, so tightly woven together in a tensely dramatic and emotional way, has fallen into an almost frenetic mess that feels unresolved.
Sure, Jeff Goldblum does put on a strong, not great, dramatic performance in Adam Resurrected, but he still comes across too much as Jeff Goldblum, and not Adam Klein, holocaust survivor. Tragically underused in this film is the excellent character actor Derek Jacobi, who appears here as Adam Klein’s psychiatrist. In his brief moments on screen he shows flashes of the brilliance he is known for, but in Resurrected, he almost feels like window dressing.
In all, Adam Resurrected feels like a superb dramatic film that has had its brilliance somewhat stifled. It’s not bad at all, but it doesn’t reach the level of something like, say, The Pianist.
Adam Resurrected’s 1080p/24 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 presentation is clean and relatively detailed. The color palette is purposely dull, so colors don’t necessarily pop. Flesh tones vacillate between pallid and pasty, but shadow details are strong and the 35mm grain structure is preserved, even if the picture sometimes looks just a little on the soft side. The film’s black and white flashback sequences are also incredibly strong, with deep, inky blacks and superb contrast. There are no issues with compression artifacts such as macroblocking or posterization and no edge enhancement has been applied, so that is definitely a plus.
Adam Resurrected has a pleasantly clean and full dialogue-driven DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack from Image Entertainment. The front-heavy mix has a sufficient amount of low-level ambient information in the rear channels and dialogue is clean and intelligible. There is also good spacing of sound effects across the front three channels and Gabriel Yared’s score is nicely balanced into the overall mix.
Director Paul Schrader’s detailed commentary and the Haifa International Film Festival Panel Discussion is where you will find the most information in the slim supplemental materials on this release.
- Commentary by Director Paul Schrader
- Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:24.01)
- Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 480i/60; 0:09.32)
- Trailer (2.35:1; 480i/60; 0:02.01)
- Haifa International Film Festival Panel Discussion (1.33:1; 480i/60; 1:11.58)
The Definitive Word
Adam Resurrected is well worth a visit for anyone interested in this ugly part of human history and Jeff Goldblum puts on one of the stronger performances of his career, but the film falls short of making the point it is trying to put across. This is still, however, a solid Blu-ray release from the folks at Image Entertainment.