Tags: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Blu-ray, D.W. Brown, Daniel Franzese, Daniel London, Dash Mihok, Haley Webb, Joanne Baron, Nick Stahl, Olivia Wilde, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Starz, Tariq Trotter
has an average rating of 4.9 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 25gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
only include commentary and a DVD
– 90 minutes
– Anchor Bay
This uses 20.5GB for the movie out of 21.6GB total.
Overall Verdict – Decent Film / Great Presentation
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was written & directed by D.W. Brown. Brown is best known for his previous acting credits in films such as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982) and “The Haunting in Connecticut” (2009). The film was produced by Jamie Kennedy, best known as an actor and comedian but he’s produced some other films in the past such as “The Specials” (2000), “Kickin It Old Skool” (2007) and his documentary “Heckler” (2007).
The story here focuses on a seemingly normal young man named “Allen Meneric” (played by Nick Stahl) who decides to get revenge on a man he believes raped his girlfriend. He carries out one brutal murder of the man. The only problem is that it’s not the man who raped his girlfriend. Regardless of it being the wrong guy he’s convicted for the murder and sent to psychiatric institution called Northwood. The inmates here are monitored by doctors and given experimental medications. When Allen first arrives he’s put in the maximum security section of the facility with the very dangerous criminally insane. It’s here that he meets two other inmates named “Ben Marshal” (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince) and “Carl Tarses” (played by Dash Mihok). Ben tries to become friends with Allen and for the most part seems harmless but truly disturbed, to which he describes as a glandular problem. Allen tolerates Ben but doesn’t agree to be his friend. The other inmate he meets Carl is very much the typical bully type and immediately tries to start trouble with both Allen and Ben. This guy obviously has a chip on his shoulder plus he’s a definite psychopath.
Deep down Allen dislikes both of the inmates he meets as well as all the other inmates in general. He wants nothing to do with any of these men yet he’s forced to serve in the same part of the correctional facility with them for now. Luckily Allen manages to find a friend of sorts in a guard named “Tom” (played by Tariq Trotter). Tom confronts Allen and says he’s looked over his file and can tell he doesn’t belong in the maximum security section. He suggests that Allen let him give him a recommendation when he goes before the board to see if he’s fit to be transferred to the minimum security section of the facility. All the while Allen is struggling with these disturbing flashbacks of the brutal murder he committed of the innocent man as well as flashbacks of his childhood involving his brother. He’s obviously fighting his demons of his past here in regard to the murder and we also begin to learn that he had a troubled past long before he committed the murder that got him here.
Meanwhile on the women’s side of the facility in the minimum security section a bipolar young lady named “Mia” (played by Olivia Wilde) is struggling to deal with the fact that she’s been locked up here for going on 2 years. She’s having a very rough time making friends. Deep down Mia seems to be a good person but obviously had her issues that got her here. Her doctor listens to her discuss what’s bothering here and suggests that she come with her and the other female minimum security prisoners on an outreach trip of sorts where they go visit the male minimum security prisoners. At first Mia is reluctant to agree to agree to do this. On the other side of the facility Allen is still having to deal with the unruly inmates but he manages to finally go before the board and gets transferred to the minimum security male section. It’s around this time that Mia finally listens to her doctor and decides to go visit the male minimum security section with the other female inmates. This is where Allen and Mia first meet and immediately strike up small talk involving cookies. The two kind of hit it off so-to-speak and the female doctor notices. She suggests to one of the higher up doctors that the two possibly be allowed to have supervised one-on-one time as an experiment of sorts. The higher up doctor agrees to this and Allen and Mia get to spend some time together getting to know one another.
Back in the maximum security section of the facility where Allen originally was being held the guy Carl who gave him trouble is growing more and more unruly and seeks revenge on the guards. This may not seem like it matters at this point but it will. He and Mia though have really developed a nice relationship as friends and it eventually becomes a little bit more than friends. Things seem to be going really well between the two but let’s just say something happens to complicate things. So, that sets up the plot here to the film.
D.W. Brown‘s “On the Inside” proves to be a pretty decent film as well as a somewhat decent writing & directorial debut for the actor turned director. This has some pretty good performances from both Nick Stahl and Olivia Wilde as well as decent performances from supporting cast members Dash Mihok and Pruitt Taylor Vince. The film definitely has some disturbing and emotional moments to it. That’s to be expected in a film about being locked up in a psychiatric correctional facility. It doesn’t totally feel like it solidifies with its character development but it does manage to tell a story and is definitely worth the watch. I’d at least suggest this for a rental. Sure, it’s not the best film I’ve seen in a while yet it does manage to prove to be entertaining in its own ways.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-25 (25 gigabyte single layer Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There’s no technical specifications listed on IMDb to tell specifically what camera was used and how this was shot (on film or digitally). However, according to the end credits this was shot on Panavision cameras and it appears to have been shot on Super 35MM film. I could be wrong about it being shot on Super 35MM film. The reason I believe it was Super 35MM film specifically though is because of the huge amount of detail here. Plus, visually this does seem to only have a very slight amount of film grain. Perhaps though it was just shot on traditional 35MM film. I’m pretty much sure this was shot on film there’s mention of a digital intermediate transfer in the end credits, so that makes me think it’s from a film source. Another thing that makes me pretty sure this was shot on film are the occasional white specs (possibly dirt). These white specs would not be found on something shot digitally. As I said above there’s a very impressive amount of detail here, especially in close-up shots. While some wide angle shots may appear a tad bit less detailed or “soft” at times. Still it manages to look really good visually in Hi-Def. The black level is perfectly solid, the color palette is obviously subdued at times but does hold some vibrance and fleshtones for the most part prove to be accurate. During the flashbacks that the character “Allen” has you’ll notice an overly warm almost sepia-like tone and at times it’s purposely out of focus as well. When the film starts out the color palette is kind of vibrant yet when the setting is that of the correctional facility, especially the maximum security section, things get really dull or “washed out” in terms of color. There also seems to be a cool tone to scenes in the maximum security section of the facility. As the film progresses along and Allen gets transferred to the minimum security section the color palette seems to become a bit less dull and has almost a warmer tone. These are some pretty good cinematography choices by the DP (director of photography) David A. Armstrong. All and all the Hi-Def visual presentation here proves to be quite impressive and is well worthy of a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Things start out with the original music by Haim Mazar getting a really good amount of rear channel use and decent amount of LFE (bass) presence. Dialogue is delivered distinctly through the front center channel. It’s worth noting that dialogue here makes up for a large majority of this film, so I’m happy to report that it never is “drowned out” by any of the bits of action or the music. No need at all here for any volume adjustments. The sound effects here early on in the film come across pretty realistic. There’s roughly a good 20 minutes or so that goes by where it’s really nothing but dialogue and the music doesn’t have much to any presence. It’s during this that you’ll notice the ambient noises in the correctional facility get delivered through the rear channel speakers. 30 minutes in the music starts back up, at first subtle, and sets the mood of the film perfectly. The music eventually gets more intense around the halfway mark and is back delivering a really good amount of rear channel presence with a decent amount of LFE. The sound effects in a few action scenes come across pretty good and hold a tad bit of intensity to them as well as make some decent use of the lossless 5.1 mix. All and all this delivers a solid presentation in terms of sound and does both the film and original music justice. This earns itself a “4 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Material on this release does not include any video, just audio.
- Audio Commentary with writer/director D.W. Brown and Actors Joanne Baron and Daniel Franzese
- A DVD of the film in standard definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is included. This includes the audio commentary mentioned above.
Overall the bonus material here is nothing more than an audio commentary and the physical bonus addition of a DVD of the film in standard definition via this “combo pack” release. If you enjoyed the film you’ll want to give the audio commentary a listen.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.