The Square Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 2/10
I don’t think I’ve said this in a while…..this is THE worst cover I have ever seen! It completely misses the theme of the movie. It’s a wretched design. It misleads anyone looking at it as to the genre of the film. Not to mention, it’s just plain ugly. The guy doesn’t look like the guy in the movie at all. Shall I go on? I won’t. The menu is at least a neutral reprieve from the crappy cover. NO I would not have this cover as a poster. I wouldn’t have it as a DVD cover either, but I have no choice in the matter. Inside the cover, on the back of the printed paper thingy is a haunting blue image of the dude in the movie. THAT would have been a good cover!

Features: 8/10

  • Behind The Scenes – This is a really good look at the making of the film from day one through the premiere opening. It’s got a lot of discussions with the director, writers, cast, and it’s not over produced at all. It’s got a bit of gritty movie making fun. I wish it was longer.
  • Deleted Scenes – I don’t think any of the deleted scenes could have made the movie any better than it already is. Sometimes cutting scenes from the movie is a wise move by the director/editor and this is one of those times.
  • Music Video – Ugh
  • Making Of Featurettes – Following the makers around a bit more, lots of details, a great ‘getting to know the director/writer’ take on things, and still has that grassroots feeling which makes it seem more watchable.
  • Short Film “Spider” – Probably the best short film I have ever seen! I think it’s worth picking up the movie just to see this little gem.

The Movie: 9/10
It’s lovely. It’s brutal and the tension is so thick that it made me FEEL it in my gut and that’s awesome. It is a cautionary tale that rattles through every culture, every society, every relationship. Forbidden love, bad choices driven by lust or love or breaking out of a stale unhappy life all comes together with frightening, revealing, and tragic consequences. In other words, keep your wanger in your pants! Or, if you are of the female persuasion, keep your knickers on!

The deliberate, tension filled scene after scene of drama and action is very exciting. It’s not exciting in an “in your face” kind of way. It’s that kind that puts a lump in your throat because you can’t bring yourself to swallow it’s so spellbinding. I really enjoyed it, a lot. From the opening quietness and hypnotic build to the lip biting moments nearing the end that all seem to come so naturally, it is an excellent movie watching experience.

The performances are all high quality. There isn’t a stinker in the bunch. There are rednecks and losers, business men and truck drivers, tormented individuals feeding on the torment of others, so on and so on. It really is a web of characters who feel so real it revitalizes my faith in the art of acting. Truly.

The music is subtle and perfect for the moments of sheer exhaustive nail biting. I make it sound like a horror flick, but it’s not at all. It’s a drama with some action, suspense, and more drama. It’s the combination of the believable dialogue, the circumstances the characters find themselves in, the tone of the movie, the rain, the music, the anger, the fear, the scheming, it just makes a perfect bundle of nervous energy that is thrilling without the gore and cheap scares.

There is a beauty to the film that settled in on my right away. It’s got a touch of the 70’s film making vibe, sort of gritty and real. While it’s also a sharp look at choice and consequence. I know it’s a drama, and there’s some action, but there should be a genre just for the “Choice and Consequence” stories of the world. Most human tales have that element, of course, we are all making choices and living with the consequences. However, The Square is basically a road map, turn left at THE BAD CHOICE, drive 1 mile and turn right at THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE. Some of it even gave me chills, the fallout from one misjudgement in our lives can have such relentless effects on so many people. The writing of this story doles out these characters’ decisions with precision and no apologies, which is part of the absolute emersiveness of them all. You won’t find much second guessing or hesitation when the shit hits the fan. Oh, I really am glad I got a chance to see this movie.

It is actually one of my favorite movies of the year (so far) and I’m not afraid to scream it from the roof tops. I recommend it highly. It’s a quiet surprise that comes from the Australian film world and I only wish I had more more more of the same to sink my nail biting teeth in to.

Audio & Video: 6/10
While the movie is an instant classic, I can’t say the 1080P AVC encoded transfer is going to raise any brows. It’s not that the movie looks bad, in fact, Brad Shield’s cinematography is actually awesome it just doesn’t come across as sharp and vivid as it should on Blu-Ray.

Thankfully the audio on this release is great using the DTS HD Master Audio codec the movie sounds great. This is a very quiet subdued kind of movie but the rear speakers are almost always alive with small ambient sounds. When action does kick in the soundfield really comes alive. The only complaint I have is there is not much in the way of room rumbling bass but hey it’s not that type of movie.

I really loved this little know Australian gem, if your in your (insert favorite DVD/Blu-Ray store here) store this week pick this up instead of the awful romantic comedy you were thinking of getting. Live a little!

Value: 9/10 (rental) 5/10 (full disc price)
You will pay more for this movie, just because it’s not a super popular release. The Square does have a lot of good extras packed in the deal, and I really did like it, but I wouldn’t spend more than $20 on it. That is because I”m a cheap chick. Therefore, I highly recommend renting it for a night in. It’s a pricey disc to buy because it’s one of those good tasty non-Hollywood flicks, so it’s well worth a few dollars, but not the 30 mark. It amazes me that they don’t seem to get the connection between price and sales. Lower the price and people will buy more for quality goods. I”m a genius.

Overall Score 9/10