- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: October 5, 2010
- List Price: $19.99
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 popularity of the Internet and its more prurient corners has brought anxiety about the sexual predators that use the global network to gain easy access to child pornography and to procure underage sexual partners to satiate their needs. Perhaps no one has broached this controversial topic in film more successfully than director David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and playwright Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night) in the 2005 indie drama Hard Candy.
Hard Candy turns the predator into the prey, when the 14-year-old girl, Hayley (a pre-Juno Ellen Page) meets the 32-year-old fashion photographer Jeff (Patrick Wilson, The Watchmen, Phantom of the Opera) in the real world after 3-weeks of flirtatious chatting online. Suspecting he is a pedophile, Hayley goes with Jeff to his home, drugs him, and begins to terrorize him. She launches an investigation into his life to discover the truth about what he has done to other girls in his past, trying to determine just what sort of a predator he is — is he a voyeur, a rapist, a molester?
The film is powerful and uncomfortable from the start with strong dialogue by Brian Nelson and beautiful cinematography from Jo Willem, reminiscent of Godard in Pierot le fou in his use of extreme close-ups and solid primary colors. The acting is incredible throughout, with special note going to Ellen Page who shows a subtle strength and vulnerability all at once.
Cinematographer Joe Willems’ beautiful production with its solid primary colors and extreme facial close-ups is brought to life in vivid detail with this superb 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding from Lionsgate. The film looks clean, detail is strong in foreground and backgrounds, and colors are vibrant. Shadow detail is nicely extended and flesh tones look natural. Film grain is present, but mild and consistent, providing a good film-like appearance to the transfer.
The dialogue-driven soundtrack for Hard Candy won’t become a home theatre showpiece and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix does not utilize the surround channels very well, but dialogue is clean, clear, and full. Occasional audible ambient effects help heighten the intensity of the drama.
Two audio commentaries, behind the scenes and making of featurettes as well as deleted scenes make for compelling supplements on Hard Candy. The nearly-hour-long “making of” is particularly interesting and detailed.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Commentary with director David Slade and writer Brian Nelson
- Commentary with actors Patrick Wilson and Ellen Page
- Creating Hard Candy (480i/60; 0:51.50)
- Controversial Confection (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:09.22)
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60):
- First Email
- Hayley Reads Janelle’s Letter
- Hayley Calls Home
- Jeff Tied to Table, Hayley Questions Him About Donna Mauer
- “Numb Nuts”
- Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 480i/60)
The Definitive Word
Hard Candy is the sort of film that makes you uneasy. It is unsettling and powerful; purposely so. A film that is completely relevant, beautifully filmed, and powerfully acted, Hard Candy has also been given a splendid high definition transfer to Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Highly recommended.
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