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Entitled, The (2011) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
ImageBottom line first?  Well, “The Entitled” could have been much more than it turned out to be.  However, I think that if it had been developed any further it would have been immediately recognizable as one of those, “I’ve seen this before” films.  At the same time, the film does have a drawing quality to it.  It walks a very fine line.  But when push comes to shove, it ranks more as an underdevelopment short film project.

Paul Dynan (Kevin Zegers) is a kid a few years out of college, with an unknown field of study.  He works a dead-end job trying time and time again to get into corporate America.  His mother is ill, his father is an unknown and the family’s financial outlook it not good.  With the turn of events in Paul’s life, he hatches a plan to extort money from the wealthy.  This film is a nice statement on the wealthy versus the poverty and common (though nowadays that seems to be one and the same).

The first 30 minutes or more of the film are fairly dull.  Actually, they are excruciatingly dull.  You sit there wondering if this film is actually going to move along any time soon.  It finally does once Paul puts his plan into action and kidnaps three college students, the kin of three wealthy businessmen.  Tensions increase and action unfolds.  The film could have retained audience tension throughout were the script a bit more developed.  As it stands, too much is given away too soon.  Perhaps most viewers will miss the obvious, but when you watch enough films, you immediately spot all the foreshadowing elements.

The film is kind of a “Gossip” meets “Ransom” offspring.  While I can piece together the elements when the film finishes, it still remains foggy.  There is too much left unsaid, relying on audiences to fill in there own pieces.  This works when it is one big element that ties everything together.  In the case of this film, the revelation at the end isn’t that big since it was given away along the way.  Therefore, all the little nuisances and questions throughout the film don’t really get answered because the payoff isn’t grand.  It is easier to understand what I am explaining once you have seen the film.  Since I don’t want to give away any twists or possible surprises I will leave it at that. “The Entitled” comes to Blu-ray with an AVC encoded and moderately good video quality.  The inexpensive nature of the film shows in the final product.  Details are not as sharp as they could have been.  Noise fluctuations based on the unstable lighting conditions.  The textures of objects and costumes are average to good.  Fleshtones struggle on several occasions.  The entire image has a strong push toward blue.  In fact there are several instances in which shadows appear as oversaturated blue shadows.  Image boost the blue component of an image in Photoshop and then boosting the shadow component.  What you get is a crushed shadowed that is color blue instead of a smooth black gradient.  The black levels are unstable and lack resolution.  They frequently turn into blobs and swallow details.  However, given the circumstances, the video quality is what it is and is perfectly fine for casual viewing.

The audio track is not the greatest.  Just to clarify, the rear of the package states that the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1.  This is not the case.  The only English track present on this Blu-ray disc is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track.  Of course the lossy Dolby Digital counterpart is contained within.  Nevertheless, this is a lossless audio track, not that it really shows.  The issues I have with this audio track lie in the original sound design and mixing and not so much with the transfer.  The mix is poor.  I love dynamics, but in a film in which there are no transitions from explosions to dialogue, dynamics play much less of a role.  In this case the dynamics in the mixing cause much of the dialogue to be far too low in volume.  In addition the dialogue lacks weight.  The dialogue isn’t so much unintelligible, it is just inaudible.  I played this film back in my dubbing theater.  I had to turn the volume past reference mixing level and even then if you were munching on popcorn all dialogue disappears.  The LFE is absent, but a strong bass component is present in the main channels.  Rear channel activity is slight, only really playing any type of role during the brief club scene.  Overall, the audio is underwhelming, but really chalk it up to the original sound design.

This Blu-ray disc comes with two bonus features – a typical behind the scenes and an alternate ending.

“The Entitled” comes across as a good start, but not really finished.  Laura Vandervoort is a gem, but it too bad she keeps getting relegated to minor roles.  The audio and video qualities are not of Blu-ray caliber, but are still certainly better than its DVD counterpart.  I think you might like this film then I would give it a rent.

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