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Fish Tank [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (director approved)
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 22, 2010
  • RRP: £19.99

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0037KWRP6[/amazon-product] Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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]

Director/writer Andrea Arnold’s (Red Road; WASP) second feature film, Fish Tank, is a gritty, brutal, and realistic look at the lives of working class women in Britain. Told through the eyes of 15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis), a disconsolate, streetwise, hard drinking teenaged girl, expelled from school, isolated from her peers, and with dreams of becoming a professional dancer, like those on music videos because she can “dance like she’s black,” Fish Tank is grim, but always riveting.

When Mia’s mother (Kierston Wareing), another hard drinking, loose with the foul language woman, brings home a mysterious boyfriend (Michael Fassbender)one night, the lives of Mia, her ma and her little sister (Rebecca Griffths) are threatened to be thrown out of balance with the promise of love, that, if only for an instant, begins to break down the fortress Mia has built around her heart, but as with all things in life, complications ensue. Fish Tank quickly teeters on the precipice of a nearly violent and shocking turn that viewers will not expect.

Coupled on the disc with Fish Tank is Arnold’s Oscar-winning short film, WASP (1.78:1; 1080i/50), which offers another gritty look into the harsh lives of working class women.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

With a director approved 1.33:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer to Blu-ray, Fish Tank looks good, clean, and detailed enough, but its drab imagery and soft focus do not lend it to spectacular HD demonstration material. It does look quite film-like, despite the full-frame aspect ratio.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Audio on Fish Tank is provided in the form of two rather straightforward (read: boring) mixes. A LPCM 2.0 stereo mix and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The 5.1 option doesn’t provide much of a lift over the stereo option, adding in only some extremely subtle, low-level ambience to the surround channels. Dialogue is clean, but sometimes a bit too low and difficult to discern.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

As mentioned previously, the real supplement offered up here is the Oscar-winning short WASP, making this release kind of a double feature. The rest is just filler material The supplements provided with this release are:

  • WASP (1.78:1; 1080i/50) — The Oscar-winning short film by director Andrea Watson.
  • Gallery (1080p) — Photographs by Holly Horner
  • Trailer (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • Artificial Eye Releases
  • Red Road Trailer

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Katie Jarvis puts on a marvelous performance in this harsh slice-of-life tale from Andrea Watson. A story of listless youth and bad choices, the director tells the story like it is without passing judgment. It’s real, it’s moving and wholly enthralling. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0037KWRP6[/amazon-product]

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