PictureIt may have low budget origins but the print presented on this edition is very good considering the documentary style used. The 1.85:1 anamorphic print is clean from dirt or scratches and detail is about as good as can be expected from the grainy film stock and handheld techniques, sometimes things get a little blurry, but this is more to do with the intended look than a problem with the print or transfer. Colours are often bright if a little noisy but bloom and bleed are not overly present. There are a few compression problems during darker scenes but this transfer is probably as good as city of god will ever look and it is far from unwatchable, in fact the production techniques probably add that realism you can smell.
SoundThe Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is wide and enveloping, pulling the viewer into the film and providing excellent dynamics. Dialogue is crisp and clear, even if it is in Brazilian Portuguese. Gun fire (and there is plenty of it) sounds weighty and carries an authority helped by the LFE channel and split surrounds are usually full of flying bullets. Overall the soundtrack brings the movie to life and is very good indeed.
ExtrasThe only extra featured on this disc is the Documentary “News from a personal War,” a first class presentation of the real stories behind Rio's tourist frontage. The documentary covers the Police battle against drugs, the residents of the slums and the corruption on both sides of the war. It brings the story of the film to life and features some of the real characters from the ghettos. There are also some trailers for other Miramax titles.
VerdictHarrowing and uncomfortable viewing but a low budget masterpiece, you must witness the true slums of Rio and the excellent award winning film that is City Of God.
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