The Informers Blu-ray Review
PictureWhatever the standard of the movie itself, the video quality looks pretty special Blu-ray, the movie coming to your screens with a 1080p High Definition presentation in its original theatrical aspect ratio of widescreen 2.4:1. Detail is tremendous, with keen attention paid to the preened, perfectly sculpted flesh on offer, no signs of softness or edge enhancement, no digital artefacting and no digital noise. The colour scheme is lacklustre at best - an intentionally muted, dour 80s depiction, the palette feeling authentic but often make things seem a little flat, with no 3D pop or qualities of depth. There are a few moments where things become more vibrant, particularly the scenes shot in South America - and of course Mickey Rourke's garish attire and heavy tan - but they offer minor sparks of colour in quite a sombre setting. Black levels are thankfully solid, offering up deep shadows and making for decent night or low-lit sequences. Overall it is a very nice presentation, perhaps not bristling with all of the qualities required to properly show off the High Def medium, but nice nonetheless.
SoundThe audio track suffers slightly worse from the limitations of the material on offer. Although it is, technically, a high quality High Def Dolby TrueHD track, it very rarely shows off any substance that would denote it as such. Dialogue can be a little smothered at times, although - for the most part - the musings, mumblings and raised voices come across clearly and coherently. Effects are atmospheric at best - one thump of a car crash and then mostly background ambient effects thereafter. Nothing really brings the LFE into action, or sparks much life into the surrounds, which consequently exhibit none of the dynamics you might have hoped for from a High Def offering. The score is quaint and unobtrusive, but does carry the highlight of the entire aural offering - numerous classic, engaging 80s tracks including the tremendous Dance Hall Days (which you might remember from GTA: Vice City and To Live and Die in LA). Other than this and the brief concert scene, the mix here is not particularly engaging, although by the same count it is certainly not a bad track, just an unexceptional one.
ExtrasThere are only two Extras that adorn this disc, a Commentary and a Making-Of Featurette. Where all the excised footage went I have no idea, as Deleted Scenes would have surely been the first port of call with such a hotchpotch of a movie. The Commentary offers us the Director's viewpoint on the whole production, which is quite a skewed take on the events, and he partners up with a couple of cast members - Jon Foster and Lou Taylor Pucci - to basically justify everything that was done wrong here. Only none of them admit to the faults (although this is not unusual for Commentaries), instead bouncing off each other and discussing the changes made as a positive influence, the distance from Ellis' original work as a chosen direction to take the Production in. They avoid the end result which is, by anyone's standard, pretty poor, and instead give a fairly tepid contribution that does not even offer much interest to avid fans, let alone those who want to understand what went wrong. A bit of honesty wouldn't have gone amiss - this one is clearly a sunken ship, so there's no point in discussing the view of the pretty icebergs from the compartments is there?
The 15-minute Human Intersections: Making the Informers not only offers up your standard dialogue snippets on the production, contributed by the main cast and crew members, but also allows them to each individually reminiscence on their own 80s experiences. This is possibly the only marginally engaging or inspired offering on the entire disc - taking into account the main feature itself.
The disc is rounded off by a few Trailers.
VerdictThe Informers, with its great ensemble cast and potentially intriguing source material, should have been at least mildly engaging. With so many characters, so many stories to tell, it is amazing just how mundane and bland the whole affair is - painting such an emotionless, vapid portrait of the lives of this insipid bunch, and with seemingly no purpose to it all, that you end up left feeling numb, bored and thoroughly unsatisfied. It is clear from the film's eventful production history, its original writer's open criticism of the end product, and the reaction of the audiences and critics alike on release that something clearly went wrong here - it is just a shame that there is nothing to salvage from this wreck. This is American Psycho without the psycho, a neutered affair that should be avoided at all costs. On Blu-ray the movie looks decent if unspectacular, the aural accompaniment limited by the lacklustre material, and the extras only marginally engaging, but if you are somehow a fan of this movie then you will probably be quite content with all of the above. Everybody else should give this a cautionary rental only if they are somehow inexplicably compelled to.
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