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"Le Boulet" Region 1 - Full Screen!

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"Le Boulet" Region 1 - Full Screen!

Old 06-10-07, 10:27 PM
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"Le Boulet" Region 1 - Full Screen!

Le Boulet (2002, English title: Dead Weight) is one the most ambitious French productions of the last few years. Starring Belgian comedian Benoît (Man Bites Dog) Poelvoorde, who is now close to number one in the European firmament, and action star Gérard Lanvin, it is a nearly-perfect satire of all things Tarantino. Violence abounds, torture is present, things blow up real good, people die needlessly and even the good guys are psychotic.

The film also boasts extraordinary action scenes, including an epoch-making car chase in the middle of Paris ending with the de-anchoring, rolling away and collapse of a giant Ferris wheel on Place de la Concorde.

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A Warner Bros France production, this comedy was of course a great success in Europe but is almost unknown in America. A DVD company called "Seville" has issued a Region 1 DVD of it that reduces its spectacular 2.35:1 proportions to full screen with the added ignominy of a ghosted transfer. The disc is French only with no subtitles. On the plus side, Poelvoorde's comedy style is untranslatable, the DVD sells for almost no money on Amazon.com, it has a very high bitrate, plentiful extras and excellent 5.1 Dolby sound.





I don't call it "Pan and Scan" because the transfer seems to fixate on the central part of the screen at all times, letting the chips fall where they may. This is a scandal as the film has been issued in 2.35:1 anamorphic 2-disc sets in both regions 2 and 3.

(I was still happy to get it.)


Last edited by baracine; 06-11-07 at 09:22 AM.
Old 06-11-07, 10:38 AM
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Trailer for Le Boulet (Alain Berberian, 2002):

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Old 06-11-07, 03:07 PM
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A few notes:

The French disc is English-friendly and indeed of top-notch quality (if shopping at Amazon.fr be aware of a cheaper Dutch copycat replacing the English subs with Dutch subs). There is also an English-friendly Korean 2DVD set, in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, which as expected is a PAL-duff.

The disc was in circulation quite some time ago at Mark's Nicheflix!

This being said, I must disagree with you as I found Le Boulet to be nothing more than a slightly above average action-comedy not even close to revealing Poelvoorde's, or Lanvin's for what it matters, potential.

For Lanvin afficionados his neo-noir A La Petite Semaine (French edition E-subbed) comes highly recommended.

Pro-B
Old 06-12-07, 07:53 AM
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There is no debating what makes a person laugh. I find Le Boulet a great comedy that exploits Poelvoorde's special talent in a unique way. As an action film and buddy/road picture, it spins circles around its recent American counterparts, except maybe National Security, which America didn't "get" either. A viewer who can't get into this particular satirical mind-set shouldn't even bother looking for a version with English subtitles. You would also have to pay me to watch Lanvin in his usual sadistic/criminal persona outside of a humourous context. I value this film because it makes fun of violence-driven crime-glorifying cinema in a very entertaining, technically-competent way.

BTW, this clip is from a French talk show where Lanvin and Poelvoorde were promoting Le Boulet, saying serious things about "a return to popular cinema" but had just been served a platter of foul-tasting sushi.

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Last edited by baracine; 06-12-07 at 10:13 AM.

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