Chasing Madoff Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Run Time: 91 Mins.
- Studio: MPI Media Group
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
- List Price: $29.98
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Chasing Madoff tells the true story of Bernie Madoff, the man behind the greatest financial crime of our current generation; the Ponzi Scheme. For those who don’t know, a Ponzi Scheme essentially is a fraudulent crime where investors are lured into investing their money by the promise of high returns. In reality, typically these promises of immense profits don’t ever actually occur. The documentary within aims to shows how one Boston-based securities trader, Harry Markopolos, for nearly 10 years, carefully researched this Scheme in the hopes of bringing Madoff down.
In this documentary by Jeff Prosserman he examines exactly how Madoff manipulated people into believing he was going to help them. Using careful language that anyone would probably believe, Madoff thought he would get away with an untold amount of money. It turns out Markopolos worked carefully to expose Madoff. Using a team of investigators, he pieced together information from those tricked by Madoff. Despite a series of deceitful lies and real danger he was faced with (as well as his family), Markopolos never gave up until Madoff, on the morning of December 11, 2008, was arrested for his crimes.
The documentary itself is extremely well made. Prosserman presents the story at hand with a keen eye giving us behind-the-scenes information that one can assume few probably know about. Via interviews, archival footage and physical comments, Prosserman has created a documentary, a film, about one of the worst cases of avarice run amok in recent times. Stealing a line from Comedian Lewis Black, “This country has a ton of greedy people and they all looked at him and said….wow…that’s freaking greedy. They just made the numbers up.” Well said Lewis, well said.
The 1:78:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer is solid throughout. The film uses a mix of stock footage with live footage. Obviously, the live footage holds better detail while the stock footage has a high level of grain. Even though there is a decent amount of mixed in footage, I never found this to be an issue mostly due to the strength of the film at hand. The color palette tends to focus on neutral colors like the grays of Madoff’s suits or the gray blues or the New York skyline. The film’s print is in solid condition as well with no instance (at least with the newer footage) of source damage, noise or scratches. All in all, this is a solid effort from MPI.
The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is serviceable for the material at hand. With these being a dialogue driven documentary (as most are), perfect dialogue reproduction is essential. Luckily, MPI has done a fine job reproducing the dialogue here. Via the center channel, I never noticed any drop out or muddle dialogue. While the mix can tend to be front heavy, there is a bit of atmosphere present. In particular, during some of the interviews with some of the people Madoff schemed, we hear background activity. Items like cars, dialogue, etc can be heard giving us some sense of atmosphere. LFE, outside of occasional musical elements, is absent. All in all, this mix does what it needs to do.
The included supplements are presented in HD:
- Director’s Commentary with Director Jeff Prosserman
- Deleted Scenes – Here we get a total of 3 deleted scenes, totaling 2:14 in length. While the scenes themselves are rather brief, they are informative.
- Alternate Ending – This alternate ending runs 10:13 in length and is a different take to the ending of the film, an ending of which some may not like.
- Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:27) is shown.
The Definitive Word
Regardless of how you feel about the whole Madoff event, Chasing Madoff needs to be seen by virtually everyone, everywhere. There really is no good reason not to view this. MPI has delivered a solid Blu-ray for the film as well with fine V/A as well as a few features. Well Recommended.
Additional Screen Captures
Tags: 1080p/24, AVC/MPEG-4, Bernie Madoff, Chasing Madoff, Documentary, DTS-HD Master Audio, Frank Casey, Gaytri Kachroo, Home Theater, Home Theatre, Jeff Prosserman, Michael Ocrant, MPI, MPI Media Group, Neil Chelo