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Run Lola Run(1998)
Set against the gritty urban scenescape of Berlin and a pounding techno soundtrack, Run Lola Run is a frenetic, inventive existential thriller that explores the life-altering impact of seemingly inconsequential actions. Beautiful, hip, and young, poor Lola has but 20 minutes to locate a missing bag containing 100,000 Deutsche marks or come up with the money some other way — if she can't, gangsters are going to kill her boyfriend. A pulse-raising race against time, the film employs a startling array of innovative techniques to present three separate scenarios, all departing from a single split-second decision Lola makes.
For more about Run Lola Run and the Run Lola Run Blu-ray release, see Run Lola Run Blu-ray Review published by Ben Williams on August 19, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Tom Tykwer
Writer: Tom Tykwer
Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Armin Rohde, Joachim Król, Nina Petri
» See full cast & crew
Run Lola Run Blu-ray Review
A classic of modern European cinema makes a splash on Blu-ray
Reviewed by Ben Williams, August 19, 2008
When Run Lola Run made it's debut on the American film scene in 1999, audiences had been treated to one of the best single years of film in decades. There was a lot of competition at the box office that year with the likes of blockbusters Star Wars: Episode 1, Fight Club, The 6th Sense and The Matrix making their historic debuts. While Run Lola Run never brought in the amount of cash and hasn't necessarily achieved the classic status of the previously mentioned films, it did make it's mark through a unique visual style and its entirely new way of telling a non-linear story.
Run Lola Run is, to say the least, a bizarre film. The plot follows Lola (Franka Potente) as she attempts to save her somewhat of an idiot boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), from certain doom. You see, Manni has managed to tick off some dangerous gangsters by misplacing their 100,000 Deutchmarks on a subway train. Manni's solution to this conundrum is to rob a supermarket and, hopefully, net enough cash to pay the gangsters back. Lola has twenty minutes to get across town, come up with a solution to replace the money and save Manni's life in the process.
The intriguing thing about Run Lola Run is in how the story is told. Rather than being a straightforward linear story, the plot is delivered in a series of flashbacks and do-overs. Lola is given three chances to get to Manny and intervene, much like she's living in a giant video game. The whole film is set to a very unique techno soundtrack, composed for the film by director Tom Tykwer. Franka Potente even delivers the vocals for these tracks.
Animation also plays an important part in the visual storytelling of Run Lola Run. Many scenes instantly transform into animated versions of themselves and scenes are re-played in both live action as well as animated form. Extreme camera angles and long unbroken takes are also heavily utilized for the many scenes of Lola running at full speed through the urban German landscape depicted in the film.
There is much more to Run Lola Run than action and a race against the clock. As Lola runs through each of the three versions of her attempt to get to Manni, she encounters the same set of people in different situations. The way she bumps into these passersby will greatly influence the outcome of her journey. In addition, the future lives of these random people are also shown in a quick series of still photos as their encounters with Lola change their paths. If all of this sounds convoluted, rest assured that it all comes off seamlessly and effectively.
In the end, I've been a big fan of Run Lola Run since I saw it theatrically back in 1999. It's an incredibly entertaining film and one that will stay with you long after the credits have run. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Run Lola Run Blu-ray, Video Quality
Sony has stuck to their standard Mpeg-4 AVC treatment with Run Lola Run. This film is presented in 1080p and is accurately framed in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This high-bitrate encode has been presented on a BD50 and the results are nothing short of amazing. Run Lola Run has never looked better!
Run Lola Run was filmed utilizing everything from high-contrast black and white film stock to consumer grade video equipment. The resulting look of the film is stark and jarring - - very much in tune with the action unfolding on screen. Previous DVD releases of the film have been average at best and this Blu-ray edition is a clear upgrade over any previous home video version. I was incredibly impressed with the amount of fine detail present in the black and white and color film scenes. Contrast and black levels are rock solid while color reproduction (when applicable) is also vibrant and accurate. Just take a look at Lola's orange/red hair in any given scene and it practically leaps off the screen. In fact, there are so many different filming styles present in Run Lola Run, that this disc seems to be a veritable highlight reel of what Blu-ray technology can achieve. Film looks like film should and video is easily identifiable. Even the most novice viewer should easily be able to keep track of the different visual styles and processes being used and how they relate to the story. Run Lola Run represents quite a remarkable achievement for Sony as the temptations of presenting the visual style of the film in a more homogenized fashion have, thankfully, been avoided.
Run Lola Run Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As is always the case, Run Lola Run benefits greatly from the inclusion of several Dolby TrueHD tracks. Sony has provided the film's original German track in TrueHD 5.1 as well as both English and Spanish dubs. All three tracks are dynamic and exciting, but I definitely prefer the original German track. Portuguese language support is also included in a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track.
There are many reasons to watch a film like Run Lola Run in its original language. Seeing a film as it was originally intended would be one, but I tend to think that the original filmed performance in its original language is always more powerful and emotive than a dubbed version. While the English dub of Run Lola Run is better than average, more often than not the dialoge is delivered in a cheesier fashion than that of the German edition. The emotion and intensity of the performances seem to transcend language in Run Lola Run and the film often plays like a silent movie with great music. Speaking of music, the film's heart-pumping techno score is wonderfully presented on this Blu-ray disc. The sound seems to engulf the entire listening environment and will definitely have lovers of electronic music moving in their seats. Directional effects are also well presented here with an abundance of deep bass and ambient atmosphere. Ultimately, Run Lola Run sounds fantastic. I loved hearing every minute of it!
Run Lola Run Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Run Lola Run is a little light on the supplementary features, but what is included is of pretty high quality. Here's what's included:
- Audio Commentary - This has to be one of the most entertaining commentarty tracks I've heard in some time. Director Ton Tykwer and star Franka Potente dish on every aspect of the film's production and let the viewer in a little bits of trivia. Both are very entertaining to listen to and are clearly enjoying the commentary process.
- Believe Music Video - As the title suggests, this is simply a filmed music video of Franka Potente performing a track from the film.
- "Still Running" - As an exclusive to this Blu-ray release, Sony has assembled a really nice behind the scenes documentary featuring interviews with Tykwer and Potente. It's a really informative and entertaining feature and is a must see for all fans of the film.
Run Lola Run Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
As one of my favorite films of the late nineties, I'm thrilled to see Run Lola Run on Blu-ray. It's an exciting and visually inventive film that never ceases to be entertaining. As a matter of fact, I'd place it high on my list of films with the best replay factor. While Run Lola Run isn't an intensely emotional affair, it is a film that will get your adrenaline pumping and your mind twirling with all that unfolds on screen. Sony has done a masterful job of bringing this great film to Blu-ray with both outstanding audio and reference grade video. Supplements are a little on the light side, but are effective and informative nonetheless. I'm extremely excited to include Run Lola Run in my Blu-ray library. I think you'll be too!
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