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Black Swan Blu-ray Review

Natalie Portman steals the show in “Black Swan.”

The plot: Nina is a young ballet dancer who is hoping to land a lead role in a production of “Swan Lake.” After she manages to land the role, however, Nina’s strive for perfection causes her to slowly lose her mind.

Despite the critical acclaim and awards it received, “Black Swan” never really bowled me over. I found it to be a fairly straight forward psychological thriller. There really isn’t too much going on under the surface here as it’s a “what you see is what you get” type of film. With that said, ‘Swan’ is still a good movie in its own right (especially the intense final 20 minutes). The real reason to see ‘Swan,’ however, isn’t for the script or Darren Aronofsky’s impressive direction, it’s for Natalie Portman. Portman, as you may know, won best actress at this year’s Academy Awards and rightfully so. Not only is this her best performance to date, but her performance also carries the film. She is completely and utterly convincing as a fragile ballet dancer. To me, anytime an actress (or actor) becomes the character they are playing, it’s extremely rewarding to watch.  

Summary: “Black Swan” is worth seeing just for Portman’s performance.


The 2.40:1 1080p picture quality is solid. The grainy, gritty handheld cinematography isn’t exactly prime material for Blu-ray, but the colors still look sharp here. Plus, this is still undoubtedly the best transfer available on home video.

The music and dialogue shine on this 5.1 DTS-HD audio track. ‘Nuff said.

* Digital copy.
* 3 BD-Live extras that include Live Lookup, behind-the-scenes footage, and a new feature titled pocket Blu that works with smartphones.
* Fox trailers including one for “Black Swan.”
* Featurettes on ballet, production design and costume design.
* Profiles on Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky. These are essentially in-depth interviews with the two in which they talk about the film and characters.

* “Conversation: Preparing For The Role”- A 4 minute conversation between Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky essentially asks Portman questions about dancing, the role, etc.

* “Conversation: Dancing With The Camera”- Another brief convo between Portman and Aronofsky about dancing.
* Fox Movie Channels Presents: In Character With Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, Vincent Cassel, Darren Aronofsky. Basic sit-down interviews in which they talk about the film, characters, life, career, etc.
* “Black Swan Metamorphosis”- A 3 part behind-the-scenes documentary that covers location shooting, props, rehearsals, the directorial process, makeup, ballet, and so on.

April 15, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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