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The Voices (Blu-ray)

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    mandymanslaughter
    Junior Member

  • Voices, The (Blu-ray)



    Released by: Lionsgate Films
    Released on: April 7th, 2015
    Director: Marjane Satrapi
    Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Ella Smith
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    You may have heard of the name Marjane Satrapi in conjunction with Persepolis, an animated French film from 2007 that was stunning both in content and in presentation. The Voices is not the type of film that one would guess follows in that tradition, but somehow it seamlessly does. Satrapi accomplishes a visually captivating and intellectually funny film with tons of value for both entertainment and filmmaking alike.

    The Voices is the story of a young man named Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), who we see blissfully toiling away at his 9 to 5 in a bathtub factory. His only friends in the world are his cat, Mr. Whiskers, and his lovable mutt, Bosco, both of which talk to him from time to time. Jerry also has a court-appointed therapist in his corner and begging him to continue taking his meds. Everything seems to be on the up and up for him, especially once he encounters his office crush at the company picnic.

    Her name is Fiona (Gemma Arterton), a sassy British girl in accounting, and she Conga's her way into Jerry's heart. With the help of his overly encouraging pets, he asks her on a date and she reluctantly agrees. However, the cheery tale takes a murderous turn for the worse when she stands him up. All of a sudden we see exactly why Jerry needs to continue with his medication, despite what his evil cat may think, and exactly what Jerry's world looks like in comparison to what he sees.

    The Voices is quirky in both plot and tone, following for the most part rules of the black comedy tradition but making its own unique, well, voice, along the way. Reynolds does a fantastic job with Jerry, making him both lovable and believably off-kilter. He also does the voices for Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, which are silly and effective in the film. The entire cast, especially the charming Anna Kendrick, is fantastic in their roles, and you can just tell they had a blast making the movie.

    And it's a blast to watch. Satrapi has a unique vision, and with a story in place she really focused on the visual aspects that she wanted to be incorporated. Each shot is framed well and supremely executed. The color palate is bright, with Jerry's pink uniform being a special standout. The town in which they all live, in general, has a bit of a Pleasantville feel to it, which compliments the film well as a backdrop. The special effects for the talking animals are done well. They fit into the movie without being the least bit distracting; I mean, as far as sinister talking animals go. The Voices manages to be funny without being campy, and it's a refreshing film to see amid the same regurgitated tales we see in modern horror and comedy alike.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The Voices is a Blu-ray presentation with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. The photography of the film is very sharp and incredibly detailed. The focus on bright pinks, such as at the bathtub factory, is a great contrast to the bleak, gray and brown overtones that the town and Jerry's environment provide. There are a few moments of intentional desaturation in the film, such as when Jerry and Fiona finally go on their “date”, but all in all there is little to complain about. There are no noticeable flaws with noise or instability. Close-ups hold well in detail, and bright and dim, indoor and outdoor scenes translate well.

    The audio of The Voices is presented in a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. There is quite a bit of variety in the track, with both upbeat songs that bookend the film and moody, rainy scenes such as Jerry and Fiona's “date”. The dialogue is very clear and nicely layered, with scenes in which Jerry and his sinister pets are communicating being great examples of this. There are no flaws to find here.

    The Lionsgate Films Blu-ray disc has plenty of special features, including “The Voices: From Fridge to Frame,” which is also in 1080p and has interviews with cast and crew that are insightful and fun. Also featured is a “The Making of Bosco and Mr. Whiskers,” but a lot of the techniques for the talkative animals are discussed in the aforementioned interviews. There is a comparison showreel showing off some visual effects, The Voices of Ryan Reynolds, a fun look at some of the different voices he does for the film, extended and deleted scenes that aren't boring and repetitive, and also animatics and a cast & costume sketch gallery.

    Bottom Line:

    The Voices is really not to be missed. With clear, innovative directing and brilliant performances, the film accomplishes its weird, singular mission quite well. You don't have to be a horror fan to appreciate the dark parts of the film, and you'd have to be crazy (pun intended) not to appreciate the humor. The Voices is visually stunning and unforgettably quirky. It's great movie to sit down and simply enjoy, from start to finish.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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