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Anna 4K Blu-ray Review

I work for the KGB, baby

by Simon Crust
SRP: £19.99

Anna Film Review

Leads to a feeling of fatigue and eventual apathy.

It seems Luc Besson can make these kinds of femme-fatale-spy thrillers in his sleep. And with Anna, he might just have been. Whilst there is nothing technically wrong with the film, it is competently made, looks good, contains plenty of action, twists, turns and backstabbing, it does, however, have an air of, ‘seen it, done it’, and this lack of originality, coupled with one too many double crosses, leads to a feeling of fatigue and eventual apathy.

The titular Anna is in a drugged-haze, abusive relationship, and when she is involved in a botched robbery, is suddenly saved by a mysterious stranger who inducts her into the KGB, turns her into a spy/assassin under the guise of an older, more experienced female boss, becomes a top fashion model while wading through bodies of her victims, before being turned by the CIA into doing their bidding; all the while trying to escape and gain her freedom by plotting against everyone with her chess skills.


 Sasha Luss has all the charisma of a potted plant

So, yeah, covered before, only much better in Nikita, with a helping of Atomic Blond and a dash of Leon. And it can never escape that, some of the fight scenes could almost be lifted from Nikita. Doesn’t help that Besson experiments with overlapping timelines that bounce all over the place, telling the story of what you saw 5 minutes ago, or nonsensical flashbacks, or the fact that its leading lady, Sasha Luss (in what was meant to be a breakthrough role), has all the charisma of a potted plant, zero chemistry with any of the male leads, and is impossibly proficient at assassination with only the merest training. I guess it helps to have future technology, you know flash drives, mobile phones, internet, hard drives with CCTV data, you know all those things that didn’t exist in 1990. How Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren found themselves in this mess is a mystery.

Anna is not quite a car crash of a movie, if you haven’t seen any of the films mentioned above, you might get something out of it. But for those of us who have been around a bit will quickly come to realise that it is nothing more than a rehash, and not a very good one at that.

Anna UHD 4K Blu-ray Picture


Anna was shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras with a resolution of 2.8 to 3.4K but ultimately finished as a 2K DI which has been used for this Ultra HD Blu-ray release. The disc presents an up-scaled 3840 x 2160p resolution image in the widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio, and uses 10-bit video depth, a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG), High Dynamic Range in the form of Dolby Vision, and is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec. We reviewed the Region free UK Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Anna on a Panasonic 65DX902B Ultra HD 4K TV with a Panasonic DMP-UB400 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

 Another up-scale that really impresses

Another up-scale that really impresses; detail is terrific, skin texture especially (and how bad Anna’s is!) along with clothing weaves, exterior shots of Russia, New York and Paris (check out the view from the penthouse, as well as wood panelling, computer screens and written memos. The colour palette isn’t so vivid, but the WCG and HDR add significantly to the various model shoots, exterior shots of the cities, where the primaries come off with aplomb.

Black level is strong with a little shadow detail, it adds to the depth of the frame, even if the whole is somewhat flat, while the white end of the scale helps to give bright highlights.

Digitally there are no compression issues and the source is pristine.

Anna UHD 4K Blu-ray Sound


 Enjoyable and functional, if not enough to set the world alight

The Dolby Atmos track gives a good sense of immersion, with the action scenes giving the best effects all around. Surround and overhead channels help with ambience (street sounds, office environments, fashion shoots) while the action gives the best effects. The over the top restaurant standoff, with its myriad of punches, kicks, gunshots and smashing crockery makes good use of the surround field.

Bass is utilised well, adding good impact to action scenes, while giving depth to the score, not subterranean, but deep enough. LF effects are plentiful. The score itself provides a good all-round environment, while dialogue is predominantly held towards the front, though some directionality is given when required. Enjoyable and functional, if not enough to set the world alight.

Anna UHD 4K Blu-ray Extras


Dressing a Doll: The Costumes of Anna – 8 minute feature with costume designer Olivier Bériot looking at the various clothes worn by Anna.

Anatomy of a Scene: The Restaurant Fight – 6 minute feature examining the flashiest fight scene in the film.

Unnesting a Russian Doll: Making Anna – 15 minute making of feature with interviews, behind the scene footage and film clips.

Constructing the Car Chase – 5 minutes examining this scene with stunt coordinator David Julienne.

Anna UHD 4K Blu-ray Verdict

6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Anna 4K Blu-ray Review






 Anna is not quite a car crash of a movie, but it is nothing more than a rehash, and not a very good one at that 
 
Anna is little more than a rehash of better films, even from Luc Besson’s own catalogue which leads to a feeling of fatigue and eventual apathy. Whilst technically proficient, flashy action and a good looking film cannot make up for a lack of investment in the characters or their situations; Anna fails to ignite any passion.

The 4K UHS set is ok, the up-scaled image is bright, detailed with good colouring and strong blacks, while the Dolby Atmos surround track is proficient with good effects and deep bass. The extras package is very light though.

Scores

Movie

.
.
.
.
.
.
4

Picture Quality

.
.
8

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Extras

.
.
.
.
.
.
4

Overall

.
.
.
.
6
6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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