Che: Part Two AKA The Guerilla (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Optimum Releasing
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (17th October 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

Directed by Academy AwardŽ-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven, Traffic), Che: Part One stars Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, 21 Grams) in a career-defining role that won him the Best Actor award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

Partly based on his own memoirs (Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War), Che: Part One follows Ernesto Che Guevara's transformation from humble physician to military leader during the Cuban Revolution, depicting his eventual overthrowing of the repressive Batista regime. Meticulously researched and containing intense and realistic depictions of guerrilla warfare, this is a captivating portrait of one of the most controversial figures of the Twentieth Century. An astounding and moving story of one man's belief and the events that would eventually shape him into becoming a legendary symbol of rebellion and hope.

Video

Although Part One has an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, Soderbergh opted for 1.85:1 for the second part, recreated here by Optimum at a slightly different 1.78:1. It is 1080p, uses an AVC MPEG-4 codec and is a solid transfer all round.

It's essentially more of the same when compared to Part One, but this time there is noticeably less edge enhancement and sharpening going on. Details are strong, and contrast and colour saturation exceptional, but some of the more minute details are once again lacking in the shadows. Some of the movie appears to have been shot using a handheld camera, but there is no apparent lack in quality when this is used. The natural light can sometimes look off-putting at first glance, but this is a regular stylistic choice that Soderbergh uses in several of his movies, and no fault of the transfer. There are no signs of damage here by way of artifacts, dirt or scratches.

The disc is a BD50 and is region B locked. The feature runs 135:04.

Audio

One option here:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Very much like Part One, the sound here is pretty darn good thanks to the more subtle moments. As someone who lives less than a mile away from a small airport (2 flights a day), I was amazed at the scene in which an aircraft flies above the jungle. The directionality and separation of the effects through the speakers, sounded exactly how it does when I hear one of the local flights take off! Obviously, the fact that there are more action scenes in this part over Part One, means the LFE gets a little more use during the gun battles. There is no damage of any kind in the track, with no scratches, dropouts or background hiss present.

Optional English subtitles are included, but only for Spanish dialogue (which makes up about 95% of the feature).

Extras

The only substantial extras on this disc, are a series of interviews with the following:
- actor Benicio Del Toro (6:20)
- composer Alberto Iglesias (12:29)
- Che expert Jon Lee Anderson (31:47)
All three offer various insightful information. Del Toro kind of retreads some of what he says in the "Che" featurette which was on Part One, but goes into a bit more detail this time round. Composer Iglesias offers some details about the score, and the thinking behind it. The real beauty included here though, is the in-depth interview with Che expert Anderson. He goes into depth about the events, what got him interested in learning about Guevara and much much more. These interviews make up in quality, what the overall package lacks in quantity.

The rest of the extras are unsubstantial and self-explanatory.
Start-up Trailers:
- "In the Loop" (1:53)
- "Persepolis" (2:33)
- "Gonzo" (2:22)
- Sky HD advert (1:12)
Theatrical Trailer (1:34)

Overall

The Film: B+ Video: A- Audio: A- Extras: C Overall: B+

 


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