Let It Snow, The Lord of the Ants, Love Life, The Angel of the Walls and DVD

The first part of our monthly column of DVD and Blu-ray reviewsto discover new releases often too hidden in the shadow of the most successful films, opens with Let It Snow, a thriller-horror with a particular setting, that of the great snowy expanses of the high mountains. Following the intense The lord of the ants by Gianni Amelio, which had been presented in Venice just like Love Life, a moving drama by Kōji Fukada. We continue with a very particular Italian opera such as The angel of the wallsto then close with the French comedy Mystery in Saint-Tropez.

Let It Snow: the blu-ray review

THE FILM. Set on the snowy peaks of treacherous mountains, Let It Snow is a thriller-horror directed by Stanislav Kapralov. An engaged couple who are passionate about snowboarding are determined to go free riding on the snow and to venture into forbidden areas for their spirit of adventure. But the two end up separating and the girl suddenly seems to be persecuted by a mysterious masked motorcyclist who menacingly pursues her on the snow. It will only be the beginning of a real nightmare.

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Let It Snow: a scene from the film

THE BLU-RAY. Let It Snow arrived on home video in elegant packaging briefcase by Midnight Factory, the Plaion necklace. The blu-ray is poor in extras (there is only the trailer, but the usual booklet is also inside the package) but technically it is truly excellent, starting with an extraordinary video. The audio is also excellent, presented in DTS HD 5.1 and very lively and engaging in many moments: from the helicopter to the strong wind at high altitudes, from the most tense moments to the soundtrack, the spatiality is very accentuated thanks to a robust work of all loudspeakers and a precise, energetic but never intrusive sub.

NOT TO BE MISSED. The video as mentioned is really excellent. The detail is always incisive and granite on all the elements of the surface, the panoramic views of the mountain are spectacular with a perfect white to reproduce the snow, without smudging. Even the darkest scenes, those at night or some illuminated only by the crackling of a fire, denote incredible solidity and compactness, thanks to a perfect black and an always precise and lively chroma.

THE VOTES. Video 8.5 – Audio: 8 – Extras: 5

Let it Snow, the review: on Prime Video a tense horror / thriller in the snowy mountains

Lord of the ants: the blu-ray review

Ants

THE FILM. Presented at the last Venice Exhibition, The lord of the ants directed by Gianni Amelio is a true story about violence and the narrow-mindedness of discrimination, and tells the story of the playwright and poet Aldo Braibanti (Luigi Lo Cascio), who was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of plagiarism, i.e. having submitted to his will, in a physical and psychological sense, a student of his who had just come of age. The boy, at the behest of the family who wanted to heal him from that “diabolical” influence, was locked up in a psychiatric hospital and subjected to a series of devastating electroshocks.

Lord Ants Luigi Lo Cascio

The lord of the ants: Luigi Lo Cascio in the foreground

THE BLU-RAY. The lord of the ants has also arrived on home video in high definition thanks to the Eagle Pictures blu-ray. A technically excellent product starting from a video with incisive and crystalline detail, with a clear and compact picture and a balanced chroma adhering to photography. Some slight decrease is recorded in some particularly dark scenes, but generally the quality remains high. The audio in DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 has to deal above all with the dialogues, however clean and with a good timbre, but the attention to environmental details is still satisfactory with the speakers that are put into action for some effects.

NOT TO BE MISSED. Not striking in terms of quantity but the extra department is certainly interesting. There is in fact the audio commentary by Gianni Amelio, always a welcome and rare thing to find in an Italian film. Then we find 11 minutes of cut scenes, which can also be seen with the commentary of the director himself. To close it all a photo gallery of almost 7 minutes.

THE VOTES. Videos 8 – Audio: 7 – Extras: 7

The lord of the ants, the review: Love, violated rights, civil society

Love Life: The DVD Review

lovelife

THE FILM. Presented at the Venice Film Festival last September, Love Life directed by Koji Fukada is an intense and moving drama about the loneliness of pain, a feeling difficult to share. In the film, Taeko’s life, who lives with her husband and little Keita from a previous marriage, is turned upside down by the death of her little son in a domestic accident. The tragedy marks the return of the child’s biological father, a deaf-mute man she hadn’t heard from for years.

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Love Life: a sequence from the film

THE DVD. Love Life has landed on home video thanks to the CG-Teodora DVD distributed by Mustang. A meager product (in the extras there is only the trailer) and not very convincing on the video side. Above all, the overviews of the neighborhood are penalized by uncertain contours and obvious graininess, a picture in which the detail struggles to emerge. The close-ups are much better, while the chroma is lively with sometimes intense colors.

NOT TO BE MISSED. The audio is certainly better, a Dolby Digital 5.1 present for both the Italian and the original track. The film doesn’t offer many sound cues, but when the scene requires it, the speakers return a rather broad and precise environment, as well as dialogues with a good timbre and an enveloping rendering of the soundtrack.

THE VOTES. Videos 6 – Audio: 7 – Extras: 4

Love Life, the review: the song of loneliness

The angel of the walls: the DVD review

Walls

THE FILM. Thriller with supernatural atmospheres directed by Lorenzo Bianchini, The angel of the walls starring Pietro, an elderly man (Pierre Richard) who lives all alone in a run-down apartment in a historic home. But when the executive eviction arrives, in order to continue living there Pietro takes refuge in a corner of the apartment that he has built so as not to be seen. To overthrow his plans of invisibility, comes a mother with a young daughter. And certain emotions will come back to the surface.

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The angel of the walls: Pierre Richard in a scene

THE DVD. The Angel of the Walls arrived on home video with a truly excellent CG-Tucker DVD, both technically and in terms of extras. The video is at the top of the DVD standard, in its ability to maintain solidity, compactness and good detail despite the film’s dark, cramped and often dark setting. But Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is also great for its ability to capture sneaking noises in the house, rushing winds and sounds from open windows. Above all, the extreme directional precision of some effects is striking.

NOT TO BE MISSED. A nice surprise also comes from the extras. In addition to the trailer, we find The image of thought (2 and a half’), i.e. the director’s idea of ​​cinema, then an interview with Lorenzo Bianchini himself (15 and a half), then a clip commented by the director (3′) and the initial sequence with Bianchini’s comment (3′ and a half)

THE VOTES. Videos 8 – Audio: 8 – Extras: 7

The angel of the walls, the review: living in the house of the past

Mystery in Saint-Tropez: The DVD Review

Tropez

THE FILM. Funny French comedy set in the seventies, Mystery in Saint-Tropez directed by Nicolas Benamou, with Christian Clavier and Benoît Poelvoorde among the protagonists, it revolves around a car sabotage by the couple formed by the billionaire Croissant and his wife Eliane, who have invited the crème of show-business to their sumptuous villa in Saint- Tropez. Commissioner Botta arrives on the spot to investigate, but in trying to solve the case he will combine a series of hilarious messes.

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Mystery in Saint-Tropez: Gérard Depardieu in an image

THE DVD. Mistero a Saint-Tropez has arrived on home video with the Mustang-I Wonder DVD. In the video, the colorful and lively chroma is positively striking, but also a good detail in the medium shots and on the faces of the extravagant characters. However, the images run into difficulties on some overviews of the location and on certain backdrops, especially on long shots, often flickering and grainy. In the extras we find only the trailer.

NOT TO BE MISSED. As far as audio is concerned, the positive aspect is that in addition to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track we also find a rather sparkling DTS 5.1, which manages to show off in the rendering of the music, in the care of the tranquil environment of certain scenes, but especially in the roaring adventures on the cars in some scenes.

THE VOTES. Video 6.5 – Audio: 7 – Extras: 4

Mystery in Saint-Tropez, the review: the worst inspector ever in a lacking comedy

Let It Snow, The Lord of the Ants, Love Life, The Angel of the Walls and DVD-Blu-ray votes of the month. Part 1