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American Mary Blu-ray Review

american-mary-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 103 Mins.
  • Studio: XLRator Media
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 18, 2013
  • List Price: $20.99

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc 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:2.5/5]

American-Mary-BD_01

The latest film from “Twisted Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska of Dead Hooker in a Trunk fame, American Mary is a dull and disappointing follow up that treads the familiar territory of many a previous exploitation film, never quite shocking or thrilling as much as it thinks it is.

Mary Mason (Katharine Isabelle) is a promising young surgical student who is overwhelmed by her expenses and becomes caught up putting her skills to use in the underground world of body modification, especially after she is assaulted by one of her professors and decides to ditch school altogether for revenge and the high payout reward of her new dubious career. Despite her new cash flow – and gaining the vengeance she so desired – Mary is unprepared for the shady world of characters she is about to be thrust into, and the psychological strain of these off the book will put on her.

Taking its story from just about every good-girl-goes-bad B-movie there is – take your pick – about a girl who becomes a hooker, or a prostitute, or a (fill in the blank) and mixing it with every other typical female revenge story, (usually the two are one and the same), this film from the Soska’s is at a want for originality – and charisma. Isabelle, though appropriately sexy, is one of the least compelling actors in this film and portrays “Bloody Mary” with about as much charisma as grass growing.

Far more interesting are the numerous body-modified characters who pop up as Mary’s customers, such as Beatress (Tristan Risk) or Ruby (Paula Lindberg), a woman made over to look like a Barbie doll. The only thing compelling about them is their odd looks more than their actual characters.

As a thriller, American Mary, though an oddball affair, is more off the wall and dull, than it is shocking or original. The Soska sisters need to go back to their drawing boards and come up with something better for the next time around.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

American-Mary-BD_02

Shot on the Red Epic in high definition, American Mary looks fairly good on Blu-ray in its AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement. Although textures could have been a little sharper, there’s still a good amount of detail to be seen and there’s strong extension and nuance in the mostly dark, dimly-lit imagery. Very little issues with video noise or any other digital anomalies pop up.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

American-Mary-BD_03

American Mary gets a bland DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack with low level atmospheric effects that doesn’t really match the moodiness of this film. It barely puts you in the mindset of the story and is rather front-heavy.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

American-Mary-BD_04

A commentary with the directors and nearly 20-minute making of are included alongside the film’s trailer, for those interested.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with directors Jen & Sylvia Soska
  • The Making of American Mary (1.78:1; SD; 00:17:32)
  • Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

American-Mary-BD_05

Despite its somewhat Gothic exterior and potential to be interesting, American Mary is a letdown as a slasher film, treading familiar ground and doing it with boring characters to boot.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

 

 

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