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Low profile cinema can often be a good thing; there are no fancy special effects, ‘real’ actors instead of overpaid, overrated mega stars, and they usually sport solid screenplays that can touch the heart. Falcons, from director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, is one such low profile film, but can it deliver? Read on to find out.

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Film
Keith Carradine stars in this slender-budget tale or sorrow, heartache, self-belief and discovery. When Simon, a mysterious and weathered ex-con, contemplates suicide, he flees America to visit the country of his mother’s birth—Iceland. There he meets Dua, a woman his suspects could be his daughter. After the two develop a charming relationship, Simon agrees to help Dua smuggle a prized Falcon to Hamburg so they can sell it to a wealthy Arab and shed their problems forever. So begins the tale of Falcons, a sometimes lively, sometimes egotistic drama that manages to somehow tap into the inner us with the simple questions it manages to raise.

Director Fridrik Thor Fridriksson does a splendid job of keeping the focus intact, and the acting is solid for the most part. The film’s scenery and photographical elements are pretty varied and often startling, yet the real focus of the film is its themes and indeed the characteristic screenplay that ignites the film. Though it’s not the most gripping drama I have ever seen, Falcons certainly managed to hold my attention with its optimistic insight into the human condition and many touching scenes that make it all worthwhile. At the very least it’s worth a rental and perhaps even a purchase if you like this kind of thing. I’d definitely give it the thumbs up.

Video
Though not the most palatable film ever made, there are some vivid uses of scenery dotted throughout Falcons. Generally however, the transfer remains more-or-less sharp, modestly colourful, and even the amount of grain and such is kept to a minimum. If there were to be one reason for the film not receiving a higher rating than I have awarded it, it would be a simple case of logic. Simply put, Falcons is not exactly the film to best woo lovers of ultra sharp and well defined imagery. That said, what is present is almost certainly worthy and probably the best the film has ever looked.

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Audio
The Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 soundtracks on this DVD won me over far more than I could have ever expected. Dialogue is practically crystal clear, and the occasional burst of music comes through each channel with near precision. There is nothing much in the way of directional audio, but the front-loaded sounds are pleasant if somewhat oddly underwhelming.

Extras
Sadly, while the film and technical aspects of this disc are ripe, the extra features section is at the opposite end of the spectrum. There is hardly anything here; zip, squat, zilch. This is most unfortunate, and really I cannot place enough emphasis on the word ‘unfortunate’ in this instance. All you get are some film notes and a trailer. Not exactly what I would call bucket loads, but what saddens me the most is that I doubt the film will ever receive a special edition release anytime soon.

Overall
Falcons is a recommendable little flick that actually does deserve your valuable time and energy. Though its audience is never going to stretch beyond a mere handful, I found it to be a pleasing experience; one I am likely going to want to revisit at some point in the future.

The DVD on the other hand, is something of a missed opportunity. If anything, this film screams out for a feature length audio commentary, but none was recorded. It also needed some in-depth behind the scenes material, but alas, none was filmed.

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Moreover, the suggested RRP for this DVD is far too high for such minimal scrapings, so sadly I am not sure whether shelling out for it at this stage is wise. Either rent it or wait until the price drops, which probably won't be for quite along time, you can bet on that. The choice is yours.


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