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The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (Blu-ray Review)

Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun copyA beautiful secretary steals her boss sports car to go joyriding in this stylish psychological thriller. She goes to visit a seaside town she swears she’s never been to, but everyone knows her name. And when a body turns up in the trunk of the car, she is suddenly the lead suspect in a murder she knows nothing about. Based on a novel by Sébastien Japrisot (One Deadly Summer, A Very Long Engagement). 

 

Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun

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Dany (Freya Mavor) is a beautiful, tall, slender, redhead, etc., secretary, with not the greatest eyesight out there. She works hard and likes her job and does many favors for her boss. After dropping him, his wife, and their child off at the airport, Dany gets the bright idea of taking her boss’s classic Thunderbird for a joyride through the South of France. Marseilles, Nice, and Cannes – here comes Dany!

As Dany speeds throughout the gorgeous French countryside she makes several impromptu pit stops at local clothing shops, eateries, etc. Looking at her – Dany is not an inconspicuous female. She’s practically a supermodel, so she gets tons of attention for just being herself. This sort of attention somewhat invigorates her but things start to get annoying when more folks begin to stop her and let her know that they’ve seen her around the cities and certain stops along the away. This sort of startles Dany since she knows that she’s never been down to the South of France ever in her life. In fact, she doesn’t even have a driver’s license and initially had some reservations about driving the boss’ car in the first place.

Things really begin to unravel when Dany starts to have visions of violence inflicted on her by unseen strangers. Is she imagining things, was she abused, was she assaulted – is all of this some sort of psychosis? Even when she reports the possible events to those around her they all lend her a deaf ear, because they’ve already talked to her previously and they cannot corroborate her story. Dany comes off as the liar and the list of people she can trust becomes non-existent.

I did not know what to expect from The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun. I posted the PR release on this website weeks ago based on the cool cover art. That’s it. I did not watch the trailer or read anything about the film. All I knew from the cover aesthetic was that it would be stylish and have a pretty girl in it. Yeah, I am simple that way, but it was to my benefit, because the movie was fantastic. It’s equal parts journey of self-discovery, with some Memento, and new-wave 1960’s mod-squad attitude. The beautiful women and South of France locales were all just the icing on the cake.

The film does meander on a couple of occasions but not too much – it just needs to take the viewer from point A to point B. I should also point out that this film is based on the French novel by Sebastien Japrisot. There was also an American film from 1970 by the same name. I have not read the book or watched the 1070 film, so I cannot comment on any similarities to the new film from those previous published sources. What I can say is that this version is a visual feast – everyone featured is downright beautiful and the film is entertaining. I highly recommend it.

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Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun was shot in 2.40:1, so we get a lovely panoramic frame – contrast and sharpness levels remain nice and leveled. I did not detect instances of postproduction tweaking or artificial sharpening, which was great. The film is of reference quality in my opinion.

Depth: The exterior cinematography was fantastic and the Blu-ray highlighted this – made me want to book a ticket to France immediately!

Black Levels: Black levels were nice and stable – I did not detect crush and there were several important scenes that all took place at night – they were fine.

Color Reproduction: The color wheel is stupendous on this release. The highlight is obviously our lead – she has fiery red hair, freckles, all against pale skin. Nevermind that the French backdrops and scenery also look terrific – this is truly one of those films that were made for high definition.

Flesh Tones: There’s lots of flesh on display and the Blu-ray transfer handles tones without problems. Everyone looks nice and natural.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not detect any instances of dirt, debris, noise, etc. This is a mighty fine presentation on Blu-ray.

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Audio Format(s): French DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, Spanish, English SDH

Dynamics: The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun is presented in full DTS-HD MA 5.1 and the lossless soundtrack is not as subdued as it would appear. There are several scenes throughout the film that the score and action literally leap at out you with out warning. The film isn’t just about a pretty face frolicking about. Granted, this is Magnolia we’re talking about – their lossless soundtracks are always up to snuff and consistent. This one is no different.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer LFE channel is quite active – you wouldn’t think a film like this had any action beats that needed that extra punch but it does. Not only that but the film has a very cool soundtrack and the added low-end bass enhances the tunes on sonic display nicely.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels add some nice ambience and handle the music cues quite well. It’s an expansive soundtrack.

Dialogue Reproduction: This is a dialogue driven film for the most part. It sounds clean and crisp and free of anomalies.

 

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The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun has a couple of extras that are entertaining and informative. The first is a candid and entraining interview with director Joann Sfar as he talks about his experience directing the film. He was not the first choice to direct. The second featurette is of him talking about some of his paintings that he did while working on the project. The man has some serious artistic skills that transcend the mediums. A theatrical trailer round out the extras and they are all presented in high definition.

  • The Man In The Car With A Pen And A Camera: Interview With Director Joann Sfar (HD)
  • The Paintings Of Director Joann Sfar (HD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD)

 

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The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun is a sumptuous film treat – it was like going back in time to much a much simpler time of free spirited youth mixed in with real world danger. We don’t really know what we’re watching but we also don’t really care. Freya Mavor is captivating as Dany. We’re basically the flies on the proverbial wall in her journey of discovery and we’re all the better for it.

 

 

The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun 

is available on Blu-ray & DVD!

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Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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