Wild Tales (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
June 14, 2015 by Dennis Amith
Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” is a magnificent anthology film that revolves around revenge. Well-acted, well-shot but also wonderfully directed! Highly recommended!
TITLE: Wild Tales
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 85 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 Aspect Ratio), Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics
RATED: PG (For Thematic Material and Language)
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Directed by Damian Szifron
Written by Damian Sziron
Produced by Agustin Almodovar, Pedro Almodovar, Matias Mosteirin, Hugo Sigman
Executive Producer: Leticia Cristi, Pola Zito
Co-Producer: Axel Kuschevatzky
Music by Gustavo Santaolalla
Cinematography by Javier Julia
Edited by Pablo Barbieri Carrera, Damian Szifron
Casting by Javier Braier
Production Design by Maria Clara Notari
Costume Design by Ruth Fischerman
Dario Grandinetti as Salgado
Maria Marull as Isabel
Monica Villa as Profesora Leguizamon
Rita Cortese as Cocinera
Julieta Zylberberg as Moza
Cesar Bordon as Cuenca
Leonardo Sbaraglia as Diego
Walter Donado as Mario
Ricardo Darin as Simon
Nancy Duplaa as Victoria
Oscar Martinez as Mauricio
Maria Onetto as Helena
WILD TALES is a fresco of rage, fury, deception, and revenge. Made up of six stories, it is an entertaining and jaw-dropping film about people crossing the line into madness when faced with perceived injustice. A lover’s betrayal, a return to the repressed past, and the violence woven into everyday encounters drive the characters to lose control and cross the line that divides civilization and barbarism.
From the wild mind of filmmaker Damian Szifron (“On Probation”, “Bottom of the Sea”) comes the 2014 Argentine-Spanish black comedy film “Wild Tales”.
Produced by Agustin and Pedro Almodovar, “Wild Tales” stars an ensemble cast which includes Dario Grandinetti (“Talk to Her”, “The Dark Side of the Heart”), Maria Marull (“Bottom of the Sea”, “Antes del estreno”), Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Intacto”, “Burnt Money”), Ricardo Darin (“The Secret in their Eyes”, “Son of the Bride”), Rita Cortese (“Brother and Sister”, “Inheritance”), Monica Vila (“The Holy Girl”, “Waiting for the Hearse”), Julieta Zylberberg (“The Invisble Eye”, “Farsantes”), Oscar Martinez (“Don’t Die Without Telling Me Where You Are Going”, “Empty Nest”) and many more.
Most recently, “Wild Tales” received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Foreign Language Film” at the 87th Academy Awards.
And now the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in June 2015, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
The film is an anthology-type film which is composed of six standalone shorts about revenge.
The first short is titled “Pasternak” which begins with two passengers who meet on a plane and discover they know a man named Pasternak and others on the plane start to listen on the conversation and realize, they all know Pasternak. But why are they all on the plane”?
The second short is titled “The Rats” and a loan shark stops at a small restaurant in the lonely highway. His waitress recognizes the man that took her family’s money away, which caused his father to kill himself and he also sexually assaulted her mother, who escaped to the small town to get away from the man. Scared of the man, the cook who is not afraid of him, offers to put rat poison in his food. But the waitress doesn’t want to go to prison, but without the waitress’ knowledge, the cook went ahead and put poison in the food. Will the waitress get her revenge or will her conscious get the best of her?
The third short is titled “The Strongest” and shows a man named Diego in his luxury car trying to overpass a slower, older car that blocks him on the road. As Diego passes the other driver named Mario, he insults him and then speeds off. That is until Diego’s car has a flat tire on the road, suddenly Mario, who drove the older car decides to stop his car right in front of him.
The fourth short is titled “Little Bomb” and revolves around a demolitions expert named Simon Fischer. One day, while picking up a birthday cake for his daughter, his car is towed away. He tries to argue that there are no yellow lines and that his car is unfairly towed away and tries to argue with them, but not achieving any success. He is told to come back to discuss his dispute and when he does and doesn’t get the refund that he is seeking, he goes ballistic and tries to attack the man behind the glass partition. This leads to the story making it on the news and Simon losing his job and now close to losing his family. How will Simon fight back?
The fifth short is titled “The Proposal” and revolves around a teenager who has killed pregnant woman with his car in a hit-and-run accident. His father, the wealthy Mauricio Pereyra Hamilton hires his attorney who hatches a plan to put the blame on the groundskeeper. The groundskeeper will agree to it for a lot of money, the lawyer wants his cut for his fee but also arranging with the prosecutor for monetary compensation as well. But will Mauricio want to pay up?
The sixth and final short is titled “Until Death Do Us Part” and revolves around the wedding party of Romina and the groom, Ariel. But when Romina tests a phone by calling someone up, a woman picks up and immediately, Romina finds out that her husband may have slept with another woman. As she questions him if he did have sex with her, and admits to it. Angered, depressed and feeling that her wedding has been destroyed, Romina decides to get her revenge at the wedding party.
“Wild Tales” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). The film looks absolutely gorgeous in HD as colors are vibrant during outdoor scenes, closeups show great detail, black levels are deep but most importantly, the colors and the detail stand out.
I didn’t notice any artifacts or any noise problems, the film is just gorgeous to look at!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Wild Tales” is presented in Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA. The film is primarily dialogue driven offering wonderful clarity of a scene’s environment and the ambiance of various locations. Music is also crystal clear and showcase low frequency sounds of the bass. But overall, dialogue and music is crystal clear, background sounds are well-utilized through the rear surround channels and overall, a fantastic lossless soundtrack!
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and French.
“Wild Tales” comes with the following special features:
- Wild Shooting: Creating the Film – (25:00) A featurette that goes into the making of “Wild Shooting”.
- An Evening at the Toronto Film International Film Festival with Damian Szifron – (6:44) Featuring the Q&A with director Damian Szifron at TIFF.
- Theatrical Trailer – The original theatrical trailer for “Wild Tales”.
Quite often with anthology films, they tend to lean more towards the romantic side and show us different interpretations of love.
But with Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales”, it’s quite the opposite as the film delves into the topic of revenge.
And without spoiling the film, I found Szifron’s take on revenge to be quite fascinating, over-the-top and fantastic!
Because of the film’s theme, we know that with every short, nothing is going to bode well for certain characters but the question is how will a character get their revenge? Will it happen? Does it happen? And for the most part, you can’t help but be mesmerized with each story because Szifron manages to take you one direction that is plausible, sometimes expected but then goes off on a tangent to an unexpected territory that you can’t believe a story ended that certain way. The film is cleverly written!
Each of the stories are wonderfully performed and the cinematography is also gorgeous.
The Blu-ray release features magnificent picture quality with vibrant colors during outdoor scenes to a consistent showcase of clarity. I also can say positive things in regards to the lossless audio as dialogue and music are crystal clear but the environments sound wonderful through the surround channels. And you get a few special features including a making-of and a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Overall, Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” is a magnificent anthology film that revolves around revenge. Well-acted, well-shot but also wonderfully directed! Highly recommended!
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