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No synopsis for The Adjuster.
For more about The Adjuster and the The Adjuster Blu-ray release, see the The Adjuster Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on July 14, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Elias Koteas, Arsinée Khanjian, Maury Chaykin, Gabrielle Rose, Jennifer Dale, David Hemblen
Director: Atom Egoyan
» See full cast & crew
The Adjuster Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, July 14, 2013
Winner of Best Canadian Feature Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Atom Egoyan's "The Adjuster" (1991) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. There are no supplemental features on this release. In English, without optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Elias Koteas is Noah, a quiet and kind insurance adjuster who takes his job so seriously that he would routinely spend time with his clients in a small motel without telling his bosses. Knowing that some have lost everything, Noah sleeps with them to make them feel better. And for a short period of time many do, but then they realize that their lives have been irreversibly changed and become seriously depressed.
Noah's wife, Hera (Arsinee Khanjian, Next of Kin, Speaking Parts), is a film censor. Each day she spends hours watching clips from pornographic and violent films in a tiny projection room together with a few of her colleagues. After each session, Hera submits a report to her boss which indicates what is appropriate for viewers to see and what must be cut. Hera's boss likes her work but does not know that she secretly tapes the clips she is asked to evaluate. Late at night, Hera shows the clips to her sister, Seta (Rose Sarkisyan, Family Viewing, Ararat), who wants to know everything about her work.
The house Noah and Hera share and call home is in an area that has been abandoned by a wealthy developer. The place is beautiful but lonely because no one else lives there. There isn't even a road leading to the house. When they go home, Noah and Hera drive through a large field with giant billboards indicating where their neighbors would have been.
Noah and Hera's lives take a rather unusual turn when a very wealthy couple discovers their secluded house and approaches them with a strange offer.
Atom Egoyan's The Adjuster has the atmosphere David Lynch's best films have. It begins rather abruptly, following characters that seem unaware of each other's existence. In a series of somewhat uneven episodes each character does something strange, leaving the viewer unsure of its intent or significance. After a while, however, Egoyan slowly brings the characters closer and what initially might have looked confusing begins to make sense.
The second half of The Adjuster enters that surreal world where the main characters in Lynch's films typically exist - the film gradually becomes darker and a lot more intense. Now it feels like everyone is in a bizarre dream in which someone with a very perverse sense of humor and with the ability to create or change events is having a good time.
The most obvious difference between Lynch and Egoyan is that the latter uses the surreal primarily to satirize. In The Adjuster the people who must stop explicit sex and disturbing violence from entering mainstream theaters are actually individuals who are addicted to them (a classic case of "Who's Watching the Watchers"). Egoyan is also clearly a director concerned about morality. The film promotes the idea that "good" people, such as Noah, who want to help other people are essentially doomed to have their own lives destroyed because such is the world they live in – in it the "good" always comes with a price tag, which is why people are never genuinely sincere with each other.
The fractured storytelling, which is something Egoyan has favored in a number of his films, probably won't appeal to everyone. For awhile it keeps some of the characters somewhat isolated and makes the pacing of the film a bit uneven. But it also makes The Adjuster a lot more intriguing because it really keeps the viewer guessing right until the final sequence how much of what takes place on the screen is real and how much of it is part of something else.
The Adjuster was lensed by Egoyan's longtime DP Paul Sarossy (Family Viewing, Exotica, Chloe).
The Adjuster Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.4:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Atom Egoyan's The Adjuster arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
There is a sea of difference between the old R1 DVD release of The Adjuster which MGM produced and this new Blu-ray release. Detail and clarity are dramatically improved virtually everywhere. On the DVD release all darker sequences look flat and blocky. On the Blu-ray release there is good shadow definition and plenty of depth. Close-ups also look very pleasing (see screencapture #4). Color reproduction is also a lot more convincing - there is an entirely different range of better saturated and stable colors. This becomes painfully obvious when one projects the film. There are no traces of excessive denoising corrections. There are no traces of sharpening corrections either. There are a few areas that some extremely light artifacts sneak in, but overall compression is also very good. Finally, there are no scratches, flecks, debris, or damage marks to report in this review. To sum it all up, this is a very pleasing organic presentation of The Adjuster that is guaranteed to impress fans of the film that have previously experienced it only on DVD. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Adjuster Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only on standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have not provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
I am somewhat surprised that this film does not come with a lossless track, but the lossy track is in fact very good. There are a couple of sequences where Mychael Danna's gentle soundtrack is felt quite well. The dialog is also consistently crisp, very clean and very easy to follow. Overall dynamic intensity, however, is indeed limited, but this has a lot to do with the film's sound design.
The Adjuster Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Most unfortunately, there are no supplemental features to be found on this Blu-ray release.
The Adjuster Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I could not be happier that The Adjuster is now available on Blu-ray. It is one of Canadian director Atom Egoyan's very best films and it really looks quite wonderful in high-definition. I am unsure why a lossless track was not included on this release, but do not hesitate to pick it up. As someone who has viewed The Adjuster on DVD a number of times, I can assure you that it is well worth owning on Blu-ray. RECOMMENDED.
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The Adjuster Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Upcoming Artificial Eye Releases - April 15, 2013
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye have informed us that they are planning to release three films on Blu-ray in July: Bernardo Bertolucci's Me and You (2012), and Atom Egoyan's Speaking Parts (1989) and The Adjuster (1991).
The Adjuster Blu-ray Screenshots
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