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A dramatic thriller that weaves together the stories of an array of people from disparate social backgrounds through their intersecting relationships.
For more about 360 and the 360 Blu-ray release, see 360 Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on January 9, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster, Jamel Debbouze, Johannes Krisch
Director: Fernando Meirelles
» See full cast & crew
360 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, January 9, 2013
Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles' "360" (2011) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include an original trailer for the film, video interview with director Fernando Meirelles, and cast and crew interviews. In English, Slovak, Portuguese, Arabic, French, and Russian, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Life is a highway packed with travelers affecting each other's journeys, often without realizing it. This seems to be key concept behind 360, a stylish new film from acclaimed Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) and writer Peter Morgan (The Queen) based on Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler's play Reigen. The great Max Ophuls also used this play to film his La Ronde, with Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret and Serge Reggiani, in 1950.
The film begins in Vienna, where Blanka (Lucia Siposova), a beautiful Slovakian girl, meets a local pimp (Johannes Krisch) and agrees to become an escort. A few days later she is asked to meet her first client, Michael (Jude Law), a British businessman visiting the Austrian capital. An ambitious salesman (Moritz Bleibtreu), however, spoils Michael's plan to have a good time and he ends up alone in his room, feeling guilty and repeatedly phoning his wife, Rose (Rachel Weisz). Michael does not know that, like him, his wife also feels guilty because for some time now she has been seeing a young Brazilian photographer (Juliano Cazarre) whom she has hired to work in her agency. After they part ways, the photographer discovers that his girlfriend, Laura (Maria Flor), has left him because she has found out that he has been cheating on her. On the way to Rio, Laura meets John (Anthony Hopkins), an ex-alcoholic heading to Phoenix to identify the body of a girl who may or may not be his missing daughter. A heavy snowstorm forces the two to spend the night in Denver, where Laura meets a recently released from prison young sex offender (Ben Foster). In Phoenix, John crosses paths with Valentina (Dinara Drukarova), a married dental assistant living in Paris, who is convinced that her Algerian boss (James Debbouze) is the right man to spend the rest of her life with. A few days later, she tries to speak with her Russian husband, Sergei, (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) and explain to him that she has decided to leave him, but he ignores her and heads to Vienna to meet his capricious employer (Mark Ivanir). There, while waiting for him to meet a new escort in a local hotel, Sergei befriends a beautiful Slovakian girl (Gabriela Marcinkova) waiting for her sister.
Structurally, 360 has plenty in common with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 21 Grams - it has a fractured narrative whose various episodes continuously overlap. However, the number of important characters in 360 is a lot bigger.
Virtually all of these different characters face some sort of a difficult dilemma, but the focus of attention is not on their struggles to resolve it. Meirelles is concerned with the big picture - he sees life as a giant race which has been dramatically altered by progress and globalization, enabling people to redirect each other's lives often without realizing it. Unsurprisingly, the viewer is never given the opportunity to embrace any of these characters.
The cast of international stars is impressive. Most have a very limited amount of time in front of the camera but still manage to impress. Weisz, Debbouze, Hopkins, and Vdovichenkov are particularly good. Adriano Goldman's (Sin Nombre, City of Men) sharp lensing suits the film perfectly. The expert touch of editor Daniel Resende (The Tree of Life, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within) is also easy to recognize.
Note: In 2011, 360 was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and BFI London Film Festival.
360 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Fernando Meirelles' 360 arrive son Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
The high-definition transfer is solid. Close-ups consistently convey outstanding depth and crispness. The various panoramic shots from the busy cities and airports also boast pleasing fluidity. There are some minor contrast fluctuations as the action moves from one location to another, but they are all part of the film's cinematography. Color reproduction does not disappoint - there are beautiful soft and very natural looking blues, yellows, browns, grays, and blacks. There are no traces of post-production lab tinkering. Compression is also very good. Lastly, there are no serious stability issues to report in this review. All in all, this very recent film really does look quite impressive in high-definition. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
360 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English LPCM 2.0. (with portions of other languages). For the record, Artificial Eye have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature. They appear and split the image frame and the black bar below it only when English is not spoken.
360 is primarily a dialog-driven film with extremely limited amount of serious surround movement. Depth and clarity, however, are outstanding. Also, the dialog always crisp and stable, without any serious distortions or problematic pops to report in this review.
360 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
360 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I thoroughly enjoyed Fernando Meirelles' 360. It is a very intelligent and very modern film with a number of interesting observations about 21st century life. I must say, however, that one has to see it with the right mindset in order to understand and appreciate the brilliance of its narrative. As usual, Artificial Eye's technical presentation of the film is very good. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (360 is also available on Blu-ray in the U.S., courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. See our listing here).
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