Blood and Chocolate Blu-ray Review
PictureBlood and Chocolate, despite its limited budget and scope, gets perfectly reasonable treatment on Blu-ray, with a 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Detail is generally very good, even on the longer more populated shots, with some softness but never anything that particularly impinges upon your enjoyment of the movie. Similarly there is negligible grain - never enough to annoy - and the movie gets the kind of treatment that you would only expect from such a relatively recent production. Seeing as it is mostly set at night (and with its East European locations) the colour scheme is slightly limited, but still the facial tones are generally quite well represented, burning flames have the necessary glow and the moonlit woods look eerily empty. Daylight shots have a slight, intentional, oversaturation, but generally look quite good. Black levels are solid, the contrast levels maintained throughout, making the shadowing and nighttimes sequences - dominant in this production - all look quite accurate, and quite good. Overall it is a very nice visual rendition for this movie.
SoundTo accompany the movie we get an Uncompressed PCM 5.1 audio track, which is arguably more than it deserves considering the lack of merit of the material here. Dialogue comes across relatively clearly and coherently throughout, as do the occasional wolf howls, with effects rarely significant - normally just making some semblance of atmosphere, but seldom giving the surrounds a significant amount of action. The track is not very dynamic and rears do not get enough attention, except perhaps from the distinctly sub-par score which tinkers along in the background as and when it feels like it. More significant are the song tracks - however incongruous they are with the on-screen action - getting more prominent depiction than anything else on the mix. Bass is occasional and reasonably rumble-worthy, but overall the material is clearly not enough to get the absolute best result from such a high-spec track. Still, at least they have bothered putting it in the Uncompressed PCM format, something which we should be grateful for, and the end result is never less than above-average.
ExtrasTo accompany the movie we get a full-length Audio Commentary by the Director Katja Von Garnier and actor Olivier Martinez. Garnier takes the lead, often just talking scene-specifically when what you really want is an explanation as to how things turned out this bad. I assume they both loved their masterpiece, which was why there is nothing said about even the worst moments in the movie (like the transformations, which are instead praised as being 'perfect'). Instead the discussion is straight, by the numbers, exploring little more than technical shooting details and brief cast expositions.
There are also 16 Deleted Scenes, totalling an extra eleven minutes of excised footage. There is no Optional Commentary but you can guess why they were cut, some of them coming across more like terrible outtakes than genuinely scripted sequences. They do not flesh out the characters any further, nor would they go any way to make it a better movie. In fact, it is probably a blessing that they were left out because they would have only made this dire movie an even more arduous task to endure. Only avid fans are likely to sit through these, and even if you are one you are likely to be disappointed by the poor video presentation of them and the sheer brevity of some of the cuts (some last a mere few seconds - what was the point of even including them here?). Finally there Blu-ray previews for Ghost Rider, The Covenant, The Messengers, The Grudge 2, Catch & Release and Stomp the Yard.
VerdictThere are bad movies and then there's Blood and Chocolate. Shamefully, it is not even so bad that it could be called entertaining (like, for example, the camp Showgirls, which is unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny). It has next to nothing good to remark about it - the story has been done before, and better, the script is dire, the acting abysmal, the effects are shockingly awful and generally it is quite a tough movie to endure, even with a short runtime. From a technical standpoint, the video and audio are decent enough and there are a couple of fairly lacklustre extras to round off the disc. If you're a fan then there's no real reason you shouldn't pick this up, but newcomers should be wary and seriously consider a rental first.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.15
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