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Hello STRUT Performers. Feel free to get familiar with your STRUT 2020 Soundrack.

Modern Dancers

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Lincoln Wright
Lincoln Wright

!LINK! Vicky Cristina Barcelona 1080p Bluray

Every now and then a film comes along that seems hand-crafted and fine-tuned for Academy consideration. The Reader -- the lone 2008 Best Picture nominee most Oscar-hounds failed to catch during its theatrical run -- is just such a film. Both an intense character study and a simmering psychodrama, a provocative morality play and an unrelenting romance, director Stephen Daldry's unsettling post-WWII period piece offers a pair of stirring lead performances, scene after scene of striking cinematography, and an incredibly challenging script that resonates long after the end credits have finished their crawl. While I'm sure its slowburn pacing and ambiguous assertions won't be to everyone's liking, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. $(window).on('load', function() var img = $('#load63056874002456').css('opacity': '0'); img.on('load', function() img.css('opacity': '1', 'transition': 'opacity 0.30s ease-in') ); img.attr('src', ''); );Eighteen-year old actor David Kross delivers an exquisite performance beyond his years...Based on German author Bernhard Schlink's award-winning novel of the same name, The Reader tells the unequivocally devastating tale of Michael Berg (David Kross), a fifteen-year old boy who becomes embroiled in a torrid affair with a middle-aged German woman named Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet). Told through the flashbacks of an older man (Ralph Fiennes) who's reconnecting with his daughter (Hannah Herzsprung), the film explores duality, dependency, truth, and morality through an unflinching, at-times unforgiving lens. As the story gets underway, we learn that the couple's trysts consist of little more than heated sexual encounters... that is until Michael begins to read selections from classic literature to his all-too-eager muse. Before long, the two fall in love. But while their feelings flourish for a time, the young man's budding adolescent friendships remind Hanna that theirs is a forbidden attraction vulnerable to pain and heartache. When a clerical promotion gives her the excuse she needs, she removes herself from Michael's life and disappears.

!LINK! Vicky Cristina Barcelona 1080p Bluray


I haven't had the opportunity yet to watch The Reader twice, but I imagine my second viewing will be more revealing and and even more rewarding than my first. Between Daldry's meticulous control of pacing and story, Kross and Winslet's phenomenal performances, and screenwriter David Hare's compelling script, this Oscar-nominated dark horse is a searing dual-character study that's sure to get under your skin and leave its mark. The Reader Blu-ray, Video Quality $(window).on('load', function() var img = $('#load52586349944352').css('opacity': '0'); img.on('load', function() img.css('opacity': '1', 'transition': 'opacity 0.30s ease-in') ); img.attr('src', ''); );The Reader arrives on Blu-ray with a subdued but stunning 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that, aside for some slight edge enhancement, thoroughly outshines its drab and dreary genre brethren. Skintones (of which there are many) are natural and healthy; never flushed, never peaked, never too pale. Saturation is lovely as well, bolstering the lush hues and heavy shadows cinematographers Roger Deakins and Chris Menges rely on to grant dramatic scenes even more power. More importantly, delineation is revealing, dimensionality injects a convincing amount of depth into the image, and contrast is spot on throughout the film. Detail may not be as pristine as it is in the latest CG-laden actioner-of-the-month, but it does possess a filmic integrity that allows each shot to impress on its own merits. Textures are crisp and refined, the smallest freckle and lightest hair are visible, and foreground clarity is, dare I say, flawless. It helps that artifacting, banding, crush, and source noise are nowhere to be found. Sure, a fine mist of grain overlays the image at all times, but it's far too steady and unobtrusive to be any sort of distraction. As far as I'm concerned, the Blu-ray artisans at Weinstein have really outdone themselves this time with a truly remarkable presentation.The Reader Blu-ray, Audio Quality $(window).on('load', function() var img = $('#load20443548755789').css('opacity': '0'); img.on('load', function() img.css('opacity': '1', 'transition': 'opacity 0.30s ease-in') ); img.attr('src', ''); );While The Reader's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track doesn't lavish its wares as readily as the disc's video transfer, it nevertheless handles the film's uncomfortable silences, tricky courtroom acoustics, and hushed dialogue without a hitch. Voices and ambience don't inhabit a square space, they inhabit a living, breathing world. The rear speakers rarely assault the listener with aggressive activity, but constantly support the atmosphere of each scene -- the streets are teeming with realistic chatter and passing cars, hushed conversations are peppered with soft breathing, and the film's intermittent music is perfectly prioritized within the rest of the mix. The LFE channel makes its intentions known on even fewer occasions, yet still manages to inject notable weight and heft into on-screen objects and movement. Likewise, there aren't many scenes in which directionality steals the sonic show, but a lighthearted spring getaway, a tense cross-examination, and a troubling prison visit demonstrate the track's prowess and polish. Ultimately, even though it won't turn many heads or wake up the kids, The Reader still sounds quite good.The Reader Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras $(window).on('load', function() var img = $('#load94175988179044').css('opacity': '0'); img.on('load', function() img.css('opacity': '1', 'transition': 'opacity 0.30s ease-in') ); img.attr('src', ''); );Though it doesn't offer as broad a supplemental package as Oscar-hounds might be hoping for, the Blu-ray edition of The Reader nevertheless offers a satisfying helping of special features. So much so that my only lingering complaint is that the video content is presented in standard definition.


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