Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 27th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2011
Director: Gregory Hatanaka
Writer: Gregory Hatanaka, Tony T.L. Young
Cast: Silvia Suvadova, Jesse Hlubik, Nick Mancuso, Andrea Harrison, Tiffany Bowyer
DVD released: January 25th, 2011
Approximate running time: 129 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Polish / Czech / Slovak
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
At the heart of Violent Blue is a story about obsession. The film’s protagonist a music teacher named Katrina is determined to complete a unfinished symphony. In hopes of unlocking it’s mysteries. This film’s other main character is Katrina’s brother a introverted inventor, who creates a device that will help his sister find the answers she has been looking for.
Structure wise these two characters journey’s are mirror images of each other. And even though they often intersect each other. Each character’s story is equally compelling on their own. At just over two hours. There is a lot of information to digest. Thankfully the film moves along at a brisk enough pace. Each new revelation is delivered at optimum intervals for maximum effect.
The most challenging aspect of this film is the way in which it delivers information. From a narrative standpoint this film is far removed from anything remotely routine. Many of characters speak multiple languages. Which some viewers may find a jarring experience. Another way in which this film might test some viewers is that some of the characters dialog is told through musical compositions and subtitles are used to convey what they are saying. And while some of these things may feel awkward at first. As the story progresses they become less obvious.
Besides the inventive use of language. Another area in which the film experiments is its visuals. Which are often reinforced by the film’s predominantly classical music score. Visually this film can be best summed up as a modern day film Noir. Performance wise the cast are all very good. With the standout performance coming from Silvia Suvadova in the role of Katrina. Another performance of note is Nick Mancuso (Ticket to Heaven) in the role of Pietro, Katrina’s estranged husband. Ultimately Violent Blue is a deeply rewarding cinematic experience that will resonate with you long after its final images have faded off the screen.
Cinema Epoch presents Violent Blue in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Colors look nicely saturated and a times vibrant. Flesh tones look healthy, black are consistently strong and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English, Polish / Czech / Slovak and removable English subtitles have been provided. The audio sounds clean, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include trailers for Mad Cowgirl and Violent Blue, a extensive stills gallery, three deleted scenes, test footage, two behind the scenes segments and interviews with actresses Silvia Suvadova, Andrea Harrison and actors Jesse Hlubik, Nick Mancuso, Barry O’Rourke and producer Clinton H. Wallace. Even though the interviews are all informative. The lack of any discussion about the film from its director is disappointing. Also included with this release is a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall Violent Blue gets a strong DVD release from Cinema Epoch.