The Hunter Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
- 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: R
- Run Time: 102 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Magnolia Pictures
- Blu-ray Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
- List Price: $29.99
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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)
The Hunter tells the story of Martin David (Willem Dafoe; John Carter; Miral; Spider-Man 3; The Last Temptation of Christ), a skilled and focused mercenary, set into the Tasmanian wilderness in the hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company who seeks the tiger’s genetic material, Martins poses as a scientist in Tasmania. Setting up camp at a broken-down farmhouse, Martin soon finds himself becoming increasingly close to the family living there. As he discovers more and more about this family, he’ll soon realize that knowing everything just may complicate his mission. What results is a well-paced film highlighted by a great performance from Dafoe.
Channeling the recent film The Grey, The Hunter is an all-around well made film. The plot is interesting enough to pull in even the most picky viewer, and the acting, particularly that of Willem Dafoe, is excellent. Dafoe, known for countless films throughout his career, typically shines in a majority of his roles. Continuing his winning ways, Dafoe delivers the kind of performance that not only helps to carry the film, but puts the viewer right into the middle of the action. This isn’t your over-the-top action film. Rather, this is the kind of movie that does take a bit to get into, may turn off some people due to the pace; however, those who keep at it will certainly be pleased as The Hunter is just fine film making.
Shot using the Arricam LT camera with Cooke S4 lenses on Super 35 film, this 2:35:1 aspect ratio, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer, this is the kind of transfer that is very muted and gritty. Detail, particularly that of facial close ups, showcase accurate flesh tones. The stubble of David’s beards, the blood from his cuts, the sweat, all of this can be made out perfectly. Contrast levels are mostly spot on; however, darks can look at bit murky at times, feeling kind of washed out. This is probably a stylistic choice by DP Robert Humphreys. Issues like DNR, EE or any other anomalies are nowhere to be found. All in all, this is a good effort from Magnolia.
Arriving with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, this mix captures the gritty, wild theme quite well. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout via the center channel. Atmosphere, something that is very key in a film of this nature, is excellent. Little aspects of nature are captured in a manner that puts you right in the woods. Wind blows, wolves howling, trees shaking, all of these are examples of what the audio mixers perfectly did here. LFE is great as well, with solid, deep low-end when needed. All in all, this is a fine effort from the folks at Magnolia.
The included supplements are featured in High Definition:
- Audio Commentary with Director Daniel Nettheim and Producer Vincent Sheehan – This track is a fairly interesting, behind-the-scenes glance into little aspects of the film.
- Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:26) is shown.
- Making of The Hunter – This runs 32:50 and covers four different aspects of the film, being the making of, the tiger, the characters, and the Tasmania.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary – A few scenes, totaling 6:39, are shown. The scenes themselves give us more info on a few of the film’s characters.
The Definitive Word
The pacing of The Hunter may turn off some viewers, but those that keep with it will definitely be pleased with the outcome. Equally pleasing is Magnolia’s Blu-ray for the film. A fine V/A presentation, a few solid features, all add up to a film I’d recommend you give a watch.
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