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Bullhead Blu-ray

United States
Rundskop / Blu-ray + Digital Copy Image Entertainment | 2011 | 129 min | Rated R | Jun 26, 2012

Bullhead (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Dutch: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Dutch: Dolby Digital 5.1
Note: Dutch + French original a...


25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)
Digital copy (as download)

Region A (B, C untested)

List price: $29.97, Price history

Best Buy: $24.99 (Save 17%)  

New from: $15.75 (Save 47%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.5 of 54.5
Extras 3.5 of 53.5
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Movie appeal




Bullhead Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

The young Limburg cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille is approached by an unscrupulous veterinarian to make a shady deal with a notorious West-Flemish beef trader. But the assassination of a federal policeman, and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from Jacky's past, set in motion a chain of events with farreaching consequences.

For more about Bullhead and the Bullhead Blu-ray release, see Bullhead Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy
Director: Michael R. Roskam

» See full cast & crew

Bullhead Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Bullhead was shot on film by Belgian cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis (with whom Roskam has made several shorts) and finished on a digital intermediate, where it was given a stylized look in which the world is perpetually dim even in daylight, the country skies are always cloudy, and even well-lit scenes usually have a dark tinge, usually brown or green. Call it "agricultural noir", where sharp focus and earth tones have replaced the hard-edged blacks and whites of classic film noir. Despite the desaturated palette, the image on the 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray remains clear and detailed, except in those scenes where blurring is intentional, usually indicating Jacky's point of view. Shadow detail is excellent, and blacks, when they occur, are deep enough to create a sense of depth and contrast.

Certain parts of the film do show much stronger color, notably flashbacks to Jacky's childhood and scenes involving Lucia. These provide a visual contrast to the stunted emotional life that Jacky leads now.

Only rarely did I observe minor bits of digital artifacting from the DI process, usually on a sharp edge while the camera was in motion. (Such are the limitations of 2K DIs.) The Blu-ray itself revealed no compression errors or artifacts, despite Image Entertainment's unfortunate habit of pinching pennies so that three hours of HD material have to be compressed onto a BD-25. Issues like high-frequency filtering and artificial sharpening did not appear, which is not surprising since the disc was presumably sourced from digital files.

Bullhead Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

If you're looking for demo material, you won't find it on the Bullhead Blu-ray's DTS-HD MA 5.1 track. The sound mix is precise but subtle. It's designed to convey psychological states rather than realistic environments. An apt example occurs right at the outset, when Jacky drives up to the farm of the cattleman who is not cooperating with his family. We see Jacky's car approach and park, but nothing is audible except a faint sound of wind, even when Jacky exits the vehicle (off-screen). The soundtrack only comes alive when Jacky re-enters the frame and begins threatening the recalcitrant farmer, and as soon as he's done, the track fades back to silence. This is the world inside Jacky's head, and he shuts out as much as he can.

Director Roskam doesn't hesitate to provide a busy, pounding track when it's appropriate, e.g., when Jacky follows Lucia into a boisterous nightclub, but the primary approach remains minimalist, mirroring Jacky's isolation and blocked emotions. Schoenaerts expresses these aspects of Jacky visually through his physical performance, but their sonic expression is primarily through the doleful score by Raf Keunen, which is a powerful but understated presence at critical points throughout the film. The film's mix shifts the score slightly to the back of the listening space so that it doesn't interfere either with the dialogue or with the sense of silent isolation that Roskam works so hard to build around Jacky. While I can't vouch for the clarity of the Dutch dialogue (or Flemish dialect), I could readily understand the lines in French whenever the characters shifted into it.

As with several recent titles, Image has also included a track in DD 5.1 at the oddly low rate of 320 kbps. I still can't figure out why anyone would want this.

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Bullhead Blu-ray, News and Updates

This Week on Blu-ray: June 26-July 3 - June 24, 2012

One of this year's biggest surprises arrives on Blu-ray this week: 21 Jump Street. The film's early prospects were dire; few were clamoring for a big-screen adaptation of a dated 1980s television policier. However, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs directors ...

Bullhead Blu-ray - February 20, 2012

Image Entertainment will release on Blu-ray director Michael R. Roskam's Rundskop a.k.a Bullhead (2011), starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval and Jeanne Dandoy. The film was Belgium's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the ...

Bullhead Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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