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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Animated menus

The Pledge

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 118 mins . R . PAL

  Feature
Contract

As part of DVDnetís ongoing commitment to quality reporting and reviews, we are pleased to present you with an exclusive interview with Sean Penn, discussing his latest effort to make it onto DVD, The Pledge.

DVDnet: Thanks Sean for taking the time out from your hectic schedule to talk exclusively with DVDnet.

SP: Get on with it, you mainstream corporate toads. And call me Mr. Penn, or Iíll take out a full page ad in Variety renouncing your website.

DVDnet: Riiiight, Mr Penn it is then. Well, it would be an understatement to say that youíve earned a reputation in Hollywood for being a bad boy, difficult to work with, highly opinionated and a troublemaker. Lately, youíve teamed up with another notorious Hollywood stirrer, in Jack Nicholson.

SP: Is that supposed to be a question? This is the first time youíve done this, isnít it? Is it so hard to say ďTell us about your latest film, Mr PennĒ ?

DVDnet: Err, okay then. Ahem... could you tell us about your latest film, Mr. Penn. Er, please?

SP: Itís called The Pledge, and yes, it does star my good pal Jack Nicholson. Itís our second project together, the first being The Crossing Guard a few years back. Once again, Iím directing, and heís acting...

DVDnet: Tell us a little about the story...

SP: Donít ever interrupt me again, or Iíll rip out your tongue. As I was saying, in this film, this masterpiece if you will, Jackie plays retiring police Detective Jerry Black. On the actual day of his retirement, at his retirement party, in fact, heís drawn into a gruesome murder case. Itís pretty horrific, a young girl is raped and mutilated and left in the snow. Well, Jerry agrees to be the one to go tell the parents the bad news about their child. Naturally, the folks donít take it too well, and the mother makes him promise on his ďsoul's salvationĒ to find the killer no matter what it takes or how long.

DVDnet: ...thatís obviously the 'pledge' of the title...

SP: Youíre a regular Sherlock Holmes, arenít you? So he takes this pledge, and even after the police believe theyíve caught the killer, heís not convinced that theyíve got the right guy. From there on, the story becomes about his obsession, how the lines between his duty, his pledge and his retired life begin to blur drawing him into this kind of spiraling insanity, this all creeping up on him and affecting him and the people around him.

DVDnet: Thatís pretty heavy going stuff for todayís movie going public. Were you happy with how it was received, did you strike the right balance between entertainment and emotion?

SP: Whaddya mean ďAm I happy how it was received?Ē Whaddya think? Itís a film about a child molestering serial killer and a cop going nuts! Good Lord, man, I mean, if you want to see shit you donít have to think about, go and see a f**king Jerry Bruckheimer film! My films are about human emotions and the darker side of the soul Ė things we donít like to see on the big screen.

DVDnet: Yes, but...

SP: DONíT INTERRUPT ME! Iím an artist, Goddammit. Youíre not supposed to find my films entertaining. Youíre not even supposed to see them! If I wanted you to enjoy my films Iíd cast Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as gay garbagemen who travel back in time to hunt down Jack the Ripper...

DVDnet: Now that sounds like an interesting concept for a film, any idea what extras will be in the DVD version...hey, what are you doing with that chair?

SP: You f**king interviewers are all the same. I try to give you art, a piece of quality cinema, and you want to talk about money and whatís going to be on the DVD. Itís people like you that make me nuts...

DVDnet: ...put down that chair Mr. Penn... please stay back, please... not my face...

SP: Hereís a film for ya... genius director/actor has enough of the system and beats the crap out of stupid interviewer...

DVDnet: Urgh! Thanks... OOMPH!... Mr Penn ARGH! For your OWWW! time!

SP: My pleasure.

  Video
Contract

Nothing quite suits a film which has lots of beautifully shot landscapes like a nice wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio. On this DVD, with 16:9 enhancement, the picture looks superbly clear. Detail is rich, with stable finer elements in the many interior locations clearly defined. Colours, whether the cold oppressive white/greys or the warmer autumnal hues are rendered wonderfully on your screen. This is a great looking transfer in all respects.

  Audio
Contract

Films such as this arenít dependent on crashbang gimmicky audio jobs to enhance the story artificially. This uses the 5.1 discrete channels to subtly enhance the ambient noise of the settings, while mostly falling back into a front-heavy soundstage. Dialogue remains clear throughout, which a nice warmth and clarity to the sound. When the occasional vocal piece of the score kicks in, the levels are comfortable and the mix nicely enveloping for a satisfying experience.

  Extras
Contract

A theatrical trailer and well written cast and crew bios are the extras to choose from.

  Overall  
Contract

The Pledge is a slow paced compelling thriller, with great acting from everyone involved, particularly Nicholson, who puts in more quality effort to his role than a whole slew of up and coming wannabes. Just as satisfying is the assured direction from Penn. Itís rare to see someone who has no problem getting involved in public spats with the industry yet also has the talent to create works like The Pledge when it counts.

It goes without saying that the quality of the picture and audio are up to the high standards of the film and present it in the best possible light. Even though extra feature junkies arenít going to leap for joy with this DVD release, youíd be mad to let a slim package put you off from either renting or purchasing The Pledge, because it delivers where itís important.


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      And I quote...
    "...a slow paced compelling thriller"
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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