DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Changeling - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Make no mistake, Clint Eastwood's Changeling will haunt you; it's eerie and bare-boned and not an easy film to bare witness to, but certainly worth every minute of your time. In his newest feature film, Eastwood directs Angelina Jolie (playing the part of Christine Collins) and John Malkovich (as Gustav Briegleb) in a true story about one mother's exhaustive ordeal to discover the truth about her missing son when faced with continued arrogance and dangerous corruption at the highest levels of the L.A. police department.

Eastwood, who has matured into one of the finest directors of American film, masterfully tells another epic tale that will shock audiences with its subject matter and sudden violence, but under his guiding hands the film envelops and, finally, consumes its audience. You suffer alongside Jolie (who is incredible in this role) as she pushes authorities, namely Jeffery Donovan (who plays Captain J.J. Jones) to continue looking for her son as soon as she accepts the fact that the boy the police claim is her son and returned for a favorable press coverage is not, in fact, her son.

ChangelingChangeling opens with a nod to the Universal Studios of yesteryear by using their logo originally used in the late twenties/early thirties. It is a nice touch considering the film opens in March of 1928. The first image of the film is in black and white and slowly the color soaks into the film; however, the colors remain muted throughout the film. Really, the only visual color that remains strong throughout the film is Jolie's pale white make-up an effect that grows as the character's grief increases and then suddenly fades as she learns of the suspected truth of her missing son.

Know this simple fact: Changeling is relentless. Eastwood's purposefully cold atmosphere aside, the film is a passionate portrayal of the hollowness and, in fact, prison of vengeance and the small victories that ultimately save Jolie's character from extreme bitterness and understandable rage.

Perhaps the most shocking performance in the film is Malkovich's as social crusader Briegleb. His performance in the film gives the audience a breather from the intensity of Jolie's anguish and allows for a few much needed humorous moments as the two begin to work together. Malkovich's character is much like a guardian angel of sorts and it is really a nice change to see him slip into that role.

Returning alongside Eastwood is his long-time director of photography Tom Stern (Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, etc) and the magic they make together in this film is equally as intense as any of their previous collaborations; these two know each other and they, in turn, know how to merge the visuals with the storytelling and the direction into Oscar worthy material.

In this current political season, with all the economic woes, the suspected corruption in big business and the rich-get-richer attitude that plagues the halls of the current White House administration, Eastwood gives us an inspirational true story that depicts how a working-class single mother went against and took down high-powered corruption not with a hammer, but with a chisel.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
5 Stars
3 Stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 2.40:1 Widescreen Anamorphic.

Subtitles: English; French; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 HD; French 5.1 track.

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; making-of featurette; cast and crew interviews; cast and crew information.

Supplements:

* Commentary
o None
* Featurettes
o Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie (13:32)
o The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins (5:00)

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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