Dogs Don't Wear Pants AKA Koirat eivät käytä housuja (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Anti-Worlds Releasing
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (3rd June 2021).
The Film

After its debut at Cannes Director's Fortnight 2019, Director and writer J-P Valkeapää's third feature film travelled across the world wowing film festival audiences and winning multiple awards.

The story follows Juha – a successful neurosurgeon - who develops an unexpected but powerful connection with a dominatrix named Mona, following a tragic event in his life that has left him emotionally paralyzed. His dangerous addiction to suffocation is reciprocated by Mona leading them both down a wild and crazy path towards emotional enlightenment. Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is a darkly humorous story of loss, love and the sweet pain of being.

Video

A most unusual arthouse drama won't be for everyone but then you'll know that from reading the blurb above. I thought it was visually interesting but rather cold and unengaging with lead characters who, although very human and relatable, just weren't very interesting. It's a darkly humourous and frank little film. However, your mileage may vary and if arid, arthouse drama is your bag then you'll raise my rating by a notch or even two.

On to the technical aspects of the image ...

Lots of great, layered stygian gloom in this one, punctuated by intense colours and plenty of neon, especially in the fetish and club scenes. The film runs the gamut from very naturalistic, rather muted, cold textures and colour values in scenes set in daylight and in our protagonists's home to red washes and gel lighting in the fetish / club sequences. The encode handles it all expertly which is a blessing. Flesh tones are generally muted and naturalistic. Detail surfaces mostly in closeups with skin and fabric textures - as usual - coming off best.

Black levels are stunningly deep and rich with a tenebrous quality and plenty of shadow detail when required; no unintended crush was to be seen. Contrast is supportive with a muted quality in well-lit sequences and I saw no blown out highlights. Being a digitally lensed film shot in 2.8K resolution, the look isn't very filmic with only a very fine sheen of grain

I must make special mention here of the intense reds which permeate many sequences; deep red has always proved a problem for most home video formats but this disc offers one the opportunity to see them superbly encoded and retaining plenty of detail. Only a 4K UHD disc with HDR is going to get more out of it. The underwater dream scenes are host to some pretty intense blues which also come off very well here.

Given the digitally shot 2.8K source format, a dual-layered BD50, expert encoding and a maxed out bitrate this is demo material, at least as far as the image is concerned. If your system is properly calibrated you are, at least, in for a visual treat. Top marks.

1080/24p / AVC MPEG-4 / 2.35:1 / 104:36

Audio

Finnish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English

A very strong 5.1 track especially considering that this is a drama and not an action film. Dialogue is always clear and very much distributed at the front. The score is very striking; at times minimalist but makes great use of the surround channels from which it's mainly relegated. I'd just watched Tenet (2020) which had a typically bombastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and that was so loud at my normal volume level I had to turn in down by 50%. Dogs Don't Wear Pants by contrast was quite low in volume and I had to increase the volume by 25% just to get the sound to a level whereby I could hear it at my preferred volume ... at least the dialogue and dramatic scenes. The track comes alive mostly in the fetish and club scenes. Why the volume level should vary so much at it's base line - i.e. non bombastic dialogue scenes is mystifying. In any case a strong, if not demo level track.

English subtitles are excellent, easily readable and give the viewer enough time to take it all in.

Extras

Audio commentary by writer-director Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää (2021)

Detailed commentary from the auteur behind Dogs Don't Wear Pants presented in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. It's a little dry and might have been a bit better with a moderator on board to liven things up a tad. Valkeapää Reminded me very much of Alan Parker during his commentary tracks. There are passages of silence and dry patches but it's worthwhile for fans of the film.

2021 Cast & Crew Interviews:
- Dogs Don't Wear Pants Q&A with J.-P. Valkeapää (29:14)
- Dogs Don't Wear Pants Q&A with Krista Kosonen (20:29)
- Dogs Don't Wear Pants Q&A with Pekka Strang (24:54)
- MK3D Audio Interview with Director J.-P. Valkeapää (15:09)


Detailed and comprehensive pack of interviews which were personally more interesting than the commentary. Presented in 1080/24p 1.78:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound.

Storyboard to Screen Comparison:
- Summer (4:22)
- The Tooth (10:39)


What it says on the tin; I'm not really a fan of such features but they do have their fans. Presented in 1080/24p 1.78:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound.

Camera Tests (16:18)

Again, what it says on the tin presented in 1080/24p 2.4:1 silent.

Theatrical Trailer (1:35)

Theatrical trailer presented in 1080/24p 2.4:1 with LPCM 2.0 surround sound.

Behind the Scenes Still Gallery (67 images)

Excellent HD gallery of behind the scenes images.

BD-Rom:
- Storyboards


I don't have a BD-Rom drive so couldn't check this out.

24-page liner notes book by Anna Bogutskaya and Evrim Ersoy and film credits

Comprehensive hardcopy companion to the film.

Packaging

Clear plastic BD Keepcase.

Overall

A very unusual, blackly comic drama about life the universe and everything ... and loss and BDSM. Image is top-drawer for this strikingly shot film and sound is no slouch but I did have to increase the volume a bit. Extras are decent if not overwhelming with the booklet and the interviews coming out on top. Cinematic explorers will lap this superb disc up.

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

 


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