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Martha Marcy May Marlene Blu-ray Review

“Martha Marcy May Marlene” is a creepy psychological thriller.

After escaping from a self sufficient cult community, Martha attempts to readjust to the real world by living with her sister. Unfortunately for Martha, adjustment doesn’t come easy as she is haunted by memories of living with the cult. On top of that, she may or not be seeing things that lead her to believe the cult is coming back to get her. Is Martha losing her mind or are the cult members on her trail?

“Martha Marcy May Marlene” is the type of movie that sticks with you long after you see it. On the surface, ‘Martha’ seems like a “Repulsion” esque paranoid psychological thriller, but the more you think about the film, the creepier it becomes. The effectiveness of the film is no doubt due to the performances by Elizabeth Olsen and John Harkes (who were criminally overlooked in the top tier Awards ceremonies).

Elizabeth Olsen (sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) gives one of the all-time best first performances as the tortured and haunted Martha. Olsen, who gives a very subtle performance here, never goes over-the-top with emotion. Instead, the performance seems completely real and naturalistic. Likewise, John Harkes (as the creepy cult leader Patrick) wisely underplays his role as well. Had Patrick been an emotional, demented, villainous character, the film would not have worked nearly as well. But, since Patrick is a quiet and disturbingly real character, his presence on and off the screen is positively scary.

Summary:  I cannot recommend “Martha Marcy May Marlene” enough.

Video/Audio:

“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which is presented in 2.40:1 1080p, has never looked better than it does in hi-def. From the lush outdoor cinematography to the moody indoor lighting, the transfer is virtually flawless.

‘Martha’ is generally a pretty quiet film and thus the 5.1 DTS-HD doesn’t have much work to do. With that said, the track still does a fine job balancing the quiet and more emotional scenes.

Extras:
* Fox trailers and a “Martha Marcy May Marlene” theatrical trailer.
* “Spotlight On Elizabeth Olsen”- Olsen takes about her character and the film.
* “The Story”- A standard featurette that covers the plot and characters.
* “The Making Of Martha Marcy May Marlene” contains behind-the-scenes footage and discussion about the look of the film, the production, direction, etc.
* “A Conversation With Filmmakers”- Producers Antonio Campos and Josh Mond and writer/director Sean Durkin chat about the film.

* John Harkes sings “Marcy’s Song.”

* “The Psyche Of A Cult”- An exploration of what cults are.

* “Mary Last Seen”- A short film shot before ‘Martha’ about a girl (Mary) being brought into a cult community. A nice companion piece to ‘Martha.’

 

February 25, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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