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Eastern Promises

When one night a teenage girl dies after giving birth, Anna (the nurse) decides to search for the family of the little baby. All she has to start her search is a girl’s diary which is written in Russian. Not so much a problem as she’s got Russian roots herself so she gives it to her uncle who starts translating. However, once he’s started, he quickly comes back to Anna to say that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it and that she should leave it alone. Anna doesn’t want to give up and finally meets Semyon, the owner of a Russian restaurant, who is more than happy to help her. What Anna doesn’t know is that Semyon is the head of a Russian mob family and that he’s implicated in what is written in the diary…

Sound and Vision:
Except for some minor grain – which is hardly disturbing – we get a very good transfer. There are no compression errors, the contrast is good, and the color palette is exactly as the director intended it.

The sound comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as a DTS track. The focus is mainly on the front channels, especially due to the fact that it’s more about dialogues than anything else, but the few action scenes as well as the music do get some attention from the rear channels. The subwoofer gives some support when action is on the screen but only in a very subtle way.

– Secrets And Stories: Cronenberg, Mortensen and Watts talks about what they liked about the script in this very short feature
– Marked For Death: 6 minute feature on the many tattoos that are present in the film
– Interviews: 16 minutes of reactions of cast & crew on questions that are posed to them (you don’t get to see the questions asked)
– B-Roll
– Photo gallery

With Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) again brings forth Viggo Mortensen in a great role where he gets to display just how much of a top actor he actually is. The story isn’t of “The Godfather” quality, but it does come close. The rumblings inside the Russian maffia, the death of a young prostitute, and a nurse who wants to help a baby get back to its family… it all comes together nicely in Eastern Promises and not in the least thanks to the great acting performances from the cast.

Although the extras look like they’ve come from a Dutch Filmworks release (not a compliment) this DVD is certainly one you want to have in your collection, especially if you like mob movies like The Godfather.

Our Score:

posted in: DVD, Entertainment One, Reviews

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