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The Bang Bang Club Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Rating: R
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 16, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0052T1E8G[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Bang Bang Club on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Bang Bang Club

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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:3.5/5]

Based on a true story, from the memoir of Greg Marinovich and João Silva, The Bang Bang Club follows the dangerous adventures of four combat photographers – Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), and Ken Osterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) – as they rush to capture the images of the violent civil war raging between two black factions in the days leading up to the first free elections in post-Apartheid South Africa. The film shows the tension, anxiety, and stress that besets the group of friends from the morally ambiguous and life-threatening situations they are are forced into from their work.

The film captures a chaotic and violent era in South African history when there was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not black rule would work due to the Apartheid-era divisions between the ANC and Zulu encouraged by the then ruling white government. Though the film is enjoyable, it’s not without its faults, giving a rather simplistic view of the problems the nation faced and somewhat glazing over the issue of institutionalized racism so deep rooted in the society, which still affects it today.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Oddly enough, the image quality of The Bang Bang Club doesn’t really capture the grittiness that this film seems to be crying out for. It comes across looking rather clean and pristine. It does, however, put forth a reasonably authentic impression of the heat and sunshine of Southern Africa with bright colors and somewhat blown out whites. The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement looks rather cinematic and film-like with little artifacts and strong detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The lossless 5.1 mix encoded in DTS-HD Master Audio is very good at capturing the excitement and intensity of the violence and danger of the civil unrest, with the sounds of crowds rushing through the surround channels and gunshots flying through the room. Dialogue is clean and there is a good sense of dynamics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There’s not really anything too compelling here other than a relatively lengthy “ making of” in high definition and audio commentary from the director.

  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Steven Silver
  • The Making of The Bang Bang Club (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:45:01)
  • The Bang Bang Club Behind-the-Scenes Slideshow (1080p)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Greg Leaves Home
    • Joao’s Arse
    • Shower Scene
    • My Name is Kevin Carter
    • Election Day
  • Kgosi Mongake Interviews Cast and Crew (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:17:20) – One of the film’s young extras interviews the cast and crew.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An interesting look at the dangerous lives of combat photojournalists, The Bang Bang Club is one of several films of late tackling the massive evolution of South African politics and society. This one takes it from a unique perspective of the members of the press who covered the events and it was actual filmed on location adding an even higher level of authenticity.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0052T1E8G[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Bang Bang Club on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Bang Bang Club

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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