Machinist, The

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Violence & Disturbing Images, Sexuality & Language
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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Brad Anderson
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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How do you wake up from a nightmare if you're not asleep? Trevor Reznik (Bale) is shockingly thin and has insomnia so bad that he hasn't slept in a year. After he causes a serious accident at work, The Machinist's life only goes from bad to worse when he starts finding strange notes left in his apartment. Convinced that the guys at work are plotting against him, Trevor feels his life unraveling before him and has no one to turn to but a hooker named Stevie (Leigh). (Tricia Spears)

Special features include commentary by Director Brad Anderson; the following featurettes: The Machinist: Breaking The Rules (SD 25:19), Manifesting The Machinist (SD 23:00), and The Machinist: Hiding In Plain Sight (SD 13:58); eight deleted scenes (SD 12:05); and the theatrical trailer.

As with the previous DVD reviewed in Issue 97, the imagery on this 1080p AVC transfer is dark and disturbing and is delivered with rather impressive quality. The color scheme is anchored with cold hues, with plenty of pale greens and gray blues. This look helps contribute a peaked appearance in Christian Bale's skin tones, and the desaturated appearance helps create an edgy style for the storytelling. Still, blacks are quite satisfying in their depth. Contrast and shadow delineation are quite adequate throughout. The picture is gritty but resolution is excellent. Facial features and textures are nicely rendered. This is an intriguing visual stylization that heightens the suspense. (Gary Reber/Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack, as with the DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack, can sound very one-dimensional, without much depth into the surround channels. Fidelity and low resolution are excellent. Dialogue is recorded well, and the low-level effects that are found in the surrounds can be enveloping. Corner full-range channels are used to add atmospheric effects to the dialogue, which sounds convincing and nicely integrated spatially. The fabulous string orchestral music is mixed well around the room, with phantom-imaged instrument positioning, providing a wonderful holosonic® spatial experience. Bass sounds natural and, at times, extends to below 25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel. This is a well-done soundtrack that matches the story nicely. (Gary Reber/Danny Richelieu)