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Clean Region 3 DVD Review

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Seth Gecko, May 30, 2005.

  1. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Oct 9, 2004
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    <P STYLE='text-align: center'><FONT STYLE='font-size: 18px'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Clean/CleanR3.jpg' ALT='CLEAN DVD cover artwork' ALIGN='RIGHT'>CLEAN</FONT><br>Reviewed April 2005 by <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?dvdid=Seth Gecko' target='_blank'>Seth Gecko.</A></P><P><B>The Movie : 7</B></P><P>Clean, as the name suggests, revolves around drugs and kicking the habit. Emily Wang (Cheung) is the wife of Lee, a famous rock star and has a reputation for being a junkie and a total bitch. When she returns to the hotel room after picking up some heroin, she has an argument with Lee and drives off to take a hit. The following morning she returns to the hotel and not only finds the police, but the corpse of her husband and is soon arrested for possession. 6 months in prison later, she’s released from her confinement and is clearly shunned by the majority of people in her life. Not only is her son in the care of her parents-in-law, Albrecht (Nolte) primarily, she is told quite categorically that it would be in her sons’ best interest for her to have no contact with her son, Jay. Emily decides to relocate to France, as returning to London would be too close to Lee (him having been English) and start her life anew. She is forced to find a job (which isn’t easy for an ex-junkie) as well as having to kick the habit as well, from heroin to methadone to nothing. For the most part of this movie, we view this journey until she is finally in such a state that she could possibly meet her son – but of course, does her son even want to know her?</p><P>Clean is a fascinating, almost sobering drama, whose strength lies in the casting of the main role, which is fortunate as Cheung is superb here. We believe that the character is human and vulnerable, her dependencies on her habits and her struggle with her own selfishness (in part). It’s not until half was through the movie, that it seems to dawn on her character that she will never see her son unless she really makes the effort to turn her life around, which includes what’s best for him and not necessarily her. Nolte puts in a good, albeit short, performance – but then the movie isn’t centred on him really, he’s a peripheral character. Also good to see Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue) again – she’s aged but she’s still smoulders in front of the camera. As you’ve probably already established, it’s quite an eclectic cast and you’d be right. In fact you need to put the subtitles on in this movie regardless – as although they don’t appear during the English spoken segments, there is one scene in Chinese and half the movie in French as well – so you’ve been warned! This isn’t a happy movie – as with another recently seen movie, it has a few scenes that remind me of Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine – in fact I know one of the tunes played can even be found in one of those movies (not saying which one – you’ll have to spot it on your own!). The fact is this comes across as a rather more honest movie about becoming clean than anything Hollywood could hope to churn out, which probably explains why they always keep remaking foreign films and generally making them inferior. It even surprised me with how good Cheung’s English accent is! This is recommended totally if you want a great drama with superb performances from Nolte and especially Cheung.</p><P><B>Picture : 7</B></P><P>With an anamorphic widescreen presentation, shot in 2.35:1, this has a very good clean transfer. Colours are true, but they aren’t always vibrant but that suits the grungy style of the movie and it works well. Blacks are deep, flesh tones are spot on and detail is superb, you can practically count the lines on Nolte’s face. It doesn’t suffer from grain, but isn’t quite as pristine as the best Hollywood movies, which belies its independent roots. I didn’t see any edge enhancement, but that could also be as I was pretty engrossed in the movie – but if there is any, it isn’t noticeable! Good stuff again – as you can see from the bit-rate graph.</p><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Clean/CleanR3_1.jpg' ALT='CLEAN'></P><P><B>Sound : 4</B></P><P>I’m really in two minds on this. The first one says for a new move, why on earth is it a stereo track? The second one says, ah yes, but for a stereo track it’s really quite good. It’s clean, clear and crisp with good bass when needed (for example, at the club in the beginning of the movie) and serves its purpose well. It is actually quite loud compared to other stereo only mixes I’ve heard, but I just can’t help think that even a decent pro-logic mix would have been better. Adequate then, but nothing more.</P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Clean/CleanR3_2.jpg' ALT='CLEAN'></P><P><B>Extras : 3</B></P><P>First off, we have the Hong Kong gala footage, which lasts for 3 minutes and is effectively a press conference – sadly no subtitles, but they look like they’re having fun! The theatrical trailer lasts for 2 minutes and gives you a clear idea of what the movie is about, without revealing everything. The photo gallery consists of 10 stills from the movie. Lastly, we have the filmographies of Cheung, Nolte and the director Olivier Assayas, all of which have interviews with them relating to the movie. Cheung’s is definitely the best of the three, in my opinion, as she’s quite open about having no desire for Hollywood, yet still being intimidated by Nolte.</P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Clean/CleanR3_3.jpg' ALT='CLEAN'></P><P><B>Trivia</B><br>For user information we use Bitrate 1.4 to scan the disk for the video bitrate, which also calculates the average bitrate. Below is a graph illustrating the bitrate of the disk, including the average bitrate reading. This disk averaged at 6.59 Mbps.</P><P STYLE='text-align: center'><IMG SRC='http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/Clean/CleanR3Bitrate.jpg' ALT='CLEAN'></P><P><B>Verdict : 7</B></P><P>Well, this is a bit of a revelation really, as I didn’t know anything about this movie until I received it and watched it. I’m glad I did too – it’s a very moving drama, although it has a sombre tone to it throughout and is helped no end by a riveting performance from Cheung (I know I’ve said it already, but it is that good). Certainly not a movie to watch if you need to be cheered up, but definitely worth viewing if you’re wanting a fine drama. Just hope Hollywood don’t try and remake it.</P><div ALIGN='CENTER'>Review Disc Supplied by <a href="http://global.yesasia.com/assocred.asp?W7QIPXOV+/en/prdTransfer.aspx/pid-1003913563" target=”_blank”><img src="http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/dvd/SuppliersLogos/YesAsia.jpg" Align="absmiddle"></a><br>Please support us by using our review sponsors.</div><TABLE border='0' CELLPADDING='0' CELLSPACING='2' WIDTH='100%'><TR><TD COLSPAN='2'><B>CLEAN (2004)</B></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Genre</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=exact&searchfield=genre&search_for=DRAMA' target='_blank'>DRAMA</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Director</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=director&search_for=OLIVIER ASSAYAS' target='_blank'>OLIVIER ASSAYAS</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Stars</TD><TD><A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=MAGGIE CHEUNG' target='_blank'>MAGGIE CHEUNG</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=NICK NOLTE' target='_blank'>NICK NOLTE</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=BéATRICE DALLE' target='_blank'>BéATRICE DALLE</A>, <A HREF='http://www.totaldvd.net/cgi-bin/dvdreviews.php?include=all&searchfield=stars&search_for=MARTHA HENRY' target='_blank'>MARTHA HENRY</A></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65'><B>Region</B></TD><TD><B>3</B> <FONT>(HONG KONG)</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Supplier</TD><TD><FONT>Edko Films Ltd. (HK). Released Friday 29th April 2005</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>SRP</TD><TD><FONT>$16.99</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Discs</TD><TD><FONT>1</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Format</TD><TD><FONT>DVD9</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Time</TD><TD><FONT>110 mins.</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD VALIGN='TOP' WIDTH='65'>Chapters</TD><TD><FONT>12</FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Picture</TD><TD>Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1&nbsp;</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Sound</TD><TD>English Dolby Digital 2.0</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Subtitles</TD><TD>English & Chinese</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Case</TD><TD>Amaray</TD></TR><TR><TD WIDTH='65' VALIGN='TOP'>Extras</TD><TD>Hong Kong Gala Footage<BR>Trailer<BR>Photo Gallery<BR>Filmographies with Interviews</TD></TR></TABLE><P STYLE='text-align: center'>If you would like to comment on this review, please reply below.</P>

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