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Feature


Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is an affable singleton who works on the factory floor at a bathtub factory, ever eager to get along with his co-workers, especially Fiona (Gemma Arterton) and Lisa (Anna Kendrick) from accounts. After work Jerry goes home to his pet cat, Mr. Whiskers, and loyal dog Bosco, where the three of them hang out, watch TV and discuss the day’s events. When one night he accidentally kills Fiona, Jerry hastily covers his tracks, under the strict advice of the subversive Mr. Whiskers. But Jerry is already beyond the reach of his well-meaning psychiatrist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver) and things are also looking bad for Lisa, who has taken a shine to Jerry. Despite Bosco trying to keep Jerry on the straight and narrow, Mr. Whiskers seems to be the loudest voice in Jerry’s head and soon events have spiralled and salvation is all Jerry can hope for. (Taken from the official synopsis.)

Video


I saw The Voices theatrically fairly recently, so I can (for once) confidently say that this Blu-ray release is not only an accurate representation of the original look, but that it is actually superior to the theatrical showing I attended. To be fair one would expect such a recent film to be transferred to Blu-ray in pristine condition, but things do occasionally go awry (see some of Sony's recent US releases). Thankfully Arrow's disc is a wonderfully realised representation of the source, with oodles of detail, fabulous colour rendition, great contrast, and zero artefacts (at least as far as my ageing eyes could see). It's everything you could want from a contemporary presentation and makes for a perfect way to watch the film. In all honesty there isn't much point in me waffling on about the merits of the transfer; it's much easier to let the screen captures speak for themselves.

Audio


The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that is, for the most part, as impressive as the visuals. Why the caveat? Well for the first few scenes I found the dialogue to be a little unbalanced, often becoming slightly lost amidst the other elements of the mix. It was never unintelligible, just every-so-slightly indistinct. In any event it improves as the film progresses, so it's not a major issue. The rest of the track is very strong, making use of all available channels to immerse the viewer in the on-screen events, particularly during a thunderstorm early on and the office party scenes. There is also some excellent use of directional effects, especially in the more 'fantastic' sequences. The soundtrack includes a number of pleasant tunes, none so memorable as the O' Jays' ridiculously catchy 'Sing a Happy Song', which crops up a few times throughout the film and will almost certainly stick in your head for days afterwards.

Extras


The disc houses what could be labelled a fairly typical set of bonus features, which is to say material which covers all of the bases but isn't particularly insightful. Here's what's included:

  • Interviews
  • Scare Prank
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes
  • Pet Voice Recordings
  • Behind-the-Scenes
  • Animatics

To be honest the extras didn't really engage beyond the deleted/extended scenes and the interviews, although I guess the sight of Ryan Reynolds recoding the pet voices was quite amusing. In this regard it's a pretty standard collection of bonus material, which is to say mildly diverting but unlikely to inspire repeated viewings.

Overall


The Voices is an odd little feature. It's been marketed primarily as a black comedy, but it's actually more of a dark drama with a few comedic elements. Regardless of which genre it belongs to the film is an enjoyable one, featuring some fine performances from its principal cast, including a particularly memorable turn from Reynolds. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's probably my favourite performance from the Canadian star, whose genuine likeability allows the viewer to root for Jerry even when he's perpetrating some rather heinous acts. Elsewhere Gemma Arterton brings the glamour with her turn as 'office tottie' Fiona, while Anna Kendrick does her usual adorable dork shtick to good effect (Kendrick belongs to that (not so) select club of women I find ridiculously endearing). I wasn't sure what to expect when I attended the theatrical screening, but I came out with a favourable impression and this second viewing only solidified my earlier opinion. I can definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for something a little bit different. As for the disc, while not one of the 'cult' titles the label builds its reputation on, Arrow's Blu-ray is a very pleasing effort, offering superb visuals, a great soundtrack and a capable selection of extras.

** Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Voices, The
 Voices, The
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 Voices, The
 Voices, The
 Voices, The
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