Black Book (Zwartboek)

Featured In Issue 125, November 2007

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.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For some strong violence, graphic nudity and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Paul Verhoeven
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Dolby Digital 5.1
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Rachel Rosenthal (Van Houten) is a Jewish woman who lived in Holland during World War II. When her family was killed during a Nazi raid, Rachel escaped and joined the Dutch Resistance. Willing to do whatever had to be done to help her cause, Rachel began an affair with German Captain Ludwig Muntze (Koch), where she found herself caught up in a tangled web of espionage. Black Book was inspired by true events. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include commentary with Director Paul Verhoeven, the 25-minute Making Of Black Book featurette, and previews.

While colors look unnaturally bold and vibrant, the anamorphically enhanced 2.37:1 DVD can look quite good with believable dimensionality brought on by its deep blacks and impressive shadow delineation. While many hues, such as deep blues and reds, can look too deeply saturated, greens generally look natural, and fleshtones have a natural tone. Details can be delivered well at times, but often the imagery can look flat and under-defined. Pixilation can be a problem, but edge enhancement is not overly noticeable. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc looks superb, with fantastic resolution and deeply saturated colors that still look natural. Black levels are deep and shadow delineation is well rendered. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dutch-language Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack combines a broad, deep front stage with adequate extension into the surrounds to create a generally enjoyable sonic landscape. Dialogue sounds realistic, but it can occasionally sound edgy and artificially digital. Phantom imaging between loudspeaker pairs is delivered well, helping to create an even more realistic soundfield. Deep bass is delivered through each of the full-range channels, and the LFE channel is incorporated well when needed. The uncompressed linear PCM encoding on the Blu-ray Disc provides a much more realistic experience than even the good Dolby Digital encoding (which is also on the disc). Effects are more articulate, and dynamic range is improved, providing a much more detailed, dimensional soundtrack. This is a superb release. (Danny Richelieu)