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Fracture Blu-ray Review

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  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish Voiceover Dolby Digital 5.1, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, German, Russian, Polish, Ukranian, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • Release Date: June 16, 2009
  • List Price: $28.99
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Overall
rating3
The Film
rating4
Video Quality
rating4
Audio Quality
rating3-5
Supplemental Materials
rating1-5

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
More screen captures (14 total)
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

rating4

Fracture is a mildly entertaining diversion of a thriller that finds the veteran actor Anthony Hopkins treading familiar ground as manipulative murderer behind bars, not unlike Hannibal Lecter and the rising star Ryan Gosling as the brilliant young prosecutor on his way to a cushy private firm tasked with securing a conviction.

Fracture’s unusual turn is that we are told from the beginning that Ted Crawford (Hopkins) has attempted to kill his wife, leaving her in a coma. In fact, Crawford confesses to, saying he “just snapped” after he found out his younger wife was having an affair. He even dictates and signs a confession. Crawford, a structural engineer with above average intelligence, decides to represent himself during his trial, as the judge during his arraignment says, “the man is a tax-paying citizen and entitled by our constitution to try and manipulate the legal system like everybody else.” Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) figuring the case is a wrap, agrees to take on the case as his last before moving on to his prestigious new posting in the private sector. But, alas, the evidence evaporates as Crawford has indeed manipulated the system with a series of events that lead to his case being dismissed.

BDDefinitionfracture-b1080

Being embarrassed in court and now out of a job at his prestigious new law firm, Beachum makes it his task to see that Crawford does not get away with killing his wife. Fracture is indeed an intriguing cat and mouse legal thriller in that it is easy to follow, it’s not laden with heavy doses of violence and viewers need not worry about absurd twists à la Perfect Stranger (view the latter at your own risk). Its flaw is that it is light on character development, however. Hopkins eases into the role of Ted Crawford like a cold glass of Shasta; this is the diet version of Hannibal Lecter and Gosling’s brash young attorney works, but is still all surface and no deep water.

With all of that said, Gregory Hoblit’s direction in combination with Kramer Morgenthau’s wonderfully luxuriant cinematography make for a sumptuous visual presentation that help Fracture’s time pass with ease, so put aside any impossible expectations, ease into a bowl of popcorn, a bottle of Chianti and enjoy.

Video Quality

rating4

BDDefinitionfracture-i1080

Fracture arrives squeezed onto a BD25 disc in a 1080p/24 VC-1 encoding of its 2.40:1 framing. Overall, the stylish look of Fracture is captured relatively well from the intentionally warm amber glow of L.A and the courtrooms to the bluish shades that open the film. Black levels are deep and mostly solid, but there is some slight crushing and detail, though generally sharp, occasionally softens. There also tends to be some slight color bleeding, but still, overall, Fracture looks quite good and film-like.

Audio Quality

rating3-5

BDDefinitionfracture-g1080

Fracture is provided with a competent English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix that is more than adequate for this mostly dialogue-driven drama.  The front-heavy mix has a good balance of directional sound across the front channels and ambient and discrete atmospheric sound effects in the surrounds creating a good engulfing soundstage that sets the tone well for the film. The original music by Jeff and Mychael Dana has nice air and dynamic range with good instrumental separation, but is never too intrusive. Dialogue is unsullied and intelligible throughout the film.  Fracture may not become a reference showpiece for home theatre sound systems any time soon, but it is certainly a strong enough mix for this sort of film.

Supplemental Materials

rating1-5

BDDefinitionfracture-k1080

Fracture is thin on the supplemental side and is provided simply with a few deleted scenes, two alternate endings and a theatrical trailer. At least everything is provided in HD, but that is not a stretch given the brief running time of the film and the lack of comprehensive bonus features.

The supplements available on this release are:

  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes (2.40:1; 1080p/24):
  • Original Introduction of Willy’s Character
  • Willy and Nikki Make Love After the Opera
  • Willy and Nikki Make Love After the Opera Version 2
  • Willy Carries Nikki Downstairs
  • Willy Visits Jennifer in Hospital

Alternate Endings (2.40:1; 1080p/24):

  • Ending from First Preview Screening
  • Ending from Second Preview Screening

Theatrical Trailer (2.40:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

rating3

BDDefinitionfracture-c1080

Fracture is a film that is unexpectedly entertaining, yet one would be hard pressed to pin down the exact essence of what makes it so. Despite being a return to familiar territory for its lead actor, Fracture remains interesting and maintains believability while managing to avoid the pitfalls of its genre. This Blu-ray release, though sparse in added value, relays the quality of the film well enough to make it at least a strong weekend rental candidate.

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