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Sender, The (BluRay) 
Written by: on August 28th, 2015

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: Roger Christian
Writer: Thomas Baum
Cast: Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight, Paul Freeman

BluRay released: August 25th, 2015
Approximate running times: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95

Synopsis: After a failed suicide attempt a young man without any identification is sent to a psychiatric ward for evaluation. Shortly after his arrival it becomes apparent things go awry when it is discovered that he has telekinetic powers that allows him to send his disturbing dreams to those who are near him. Will they be able to curb his powers while they help him discover his identity or has his fate already been sealed?

The Sender was directed by Roger Christian who would go onto direct the notorious box office bomb Battlefield Earth. Christian is more remembered for his work as an art director for films like Alien and Life of Brian. And as a second unit director for films like Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Key collaborators on The Sender include screenwriter Thomas Baum (Simon, Carny), cinematographer Roger Pratt (Mona Lisa, Batman) and composer Trevor Jones (Runaway Train, Dark City).

When it comes to this film’s opening setup it does a great job setting the mood. It is also during these opening moments that we know the least about the, whose and why’s of the story at hand. And in an odd twist of fate it is when things start to be unveiled that is when this film starts to lose its focus. Ultimately this film is at is best when there is an air of the unknown prevailing over the events which unfold.

And when I mentioned the ‘unknown’ I am not referring to this film’s over reliance on bizarre imagery. I was solely referring to the aforementioned opening setup which just drops the protagonist in the viewers lap with no information. Because when it comes to the aforementioned bizarre moments of telekinesis. There is a shallowness to these moments which are a classic example of style of substance.

From production standpoint there is never a shortage of atmosphere as this film puts most of its effort into that area. Also pacing is never an issue as things are always moving forward and there are no lulls along the way.

Outside of this film’s two lead’s Zeljko Ivanek (Donnie Brasco, Argo) in the role of The Sender, this film’s protagonist and Kathryn Harrold (Modern Romance, Raw Deal) in the role of Gail Farmer the psychiatrist assigned to take care of ‘The Sender’ character. The remaining performances are best described as adequate.

If films were solely based on their premise, then The Sender would get very high marks. Unfortunately there is so much more to a film then its premise and when the end result does not take full advantage of said premise this only further lessens any films impact.

The BluRay:

The Sender comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in great and grain which is present throughout always looks natural. Colors are nicely saturated, black and contrast levels are consistently strong and details look sharp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.

This film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio is in very good shape as dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too be.

This release comes with no extra content.

Overall The Sender gets a solid audio / video presentation from Olive Films.

Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD.

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