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Rene Eller
Aimé Claeys, Tijmen Govaerts, Pauline Casteleyn
Writing Credits:
Rene Eller

One summer, 8 teens experiment with all manner of new means to entertain themselves, but this degenerates into some extreme behaviour that will lead to tragedy.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.65:1
Dutch Dolby 5.1
Dutch Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 2/18/2020

• Trailer


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


We [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 10, 2020)

In the same vein as “youth gone bad” films like Kids, we find 2019’s We. Set at the Belgian/Dutch border over the summer, we meet eight teens: four boys and four girls.

Stuck without much to do, they attempt to enliven their long summer. This means the kids pursue a mix of outrageous methods to entertain themselves.

The kids eventually opt for tawdry choices, and they go down illegal paths before long. All of this pushes toward tragedy.

That last statement shouldn’t be viewed as a spoiler, for the film reveals early on that one of the eight kids dies. We uses a courtroom circumstance as a runner to tell the narrative, so we know of the crime and those elements virtually from the start.

In a creative move, We splits into four sections, each of which comes from the POV of one character. I don’t think this feels like a true Rashomon vibe, as we don’t really get different perceptions of events, but the format allows the characters’ actions to evolve via different settings and attitudes.

This framework allows for the overall plot to develop slowly. We doesn’t reveal its dramatic notions right away, and we don’t put together the nature of the trial fully until the fourth act.

This becomes an intriguing way to view the events, especially because each successive character seems more depraved than the last. We start with a fairly nice, innocent participant and build to one who clearly qualifies as a full-blown psychopath.

This lets us dig into the darkness in a gradual manner. What seems like youthful shenanigans at the start becomes uglier and crueler as the film goes.

Though make no mistake: the movie depicts some messed-up situations from the beginning. These kids make and sell hard-cord porn without a whole lot of apparent prompting, a choice that almost comes out of nowhere.

Still, compared to the nastiness and lack of morality that ensues, the sex tapes seem almost innocent. We follows a dark descent as it goes.

This comes with a dramatic impact, but I don’t think the film holds up to a lot of scrutiny, mainly because it doesn’t develop its characters especially well. We get hints of issues that impact the teens but the film leaves these topics too loose for real insight to emerge.

On one hand, I applaud the absence of too many simplistic “causes” for these kids’ lack of morality. We get some hints of the usual bogeymen – bad parents, abuse, etc. – but the film doesn’t submerge us in these issues, so there’s a refreshing lack of blunt messaging.

But on the other hand, we can’t help but crave some form of information to suss out why these kids act so horribly. We get hints of peer pressure and just the basic decline of judgment borne of the Internet age, but the movie focuses much more on actions than causes, and that becomes a concern.

Much of the time, We feels like depravity for depravity’s sake. The movie rarely manages any kind of deeper meaning, so instead, we’re left with pretty teens who act in terrible ways.

The kids go to such extremes that it seems difficult to view them or the film as some form of cautionary tale. Really, the gang of teens ends up more like a criminal organization than just a bunch of friends who follow an amoral path, and this feels like a stretch.

In the course of a few weeks, the teens manage a bustling Internet porn business as well as their own prostitution ring. All this happens in a sleepy European town, and no one notices?

That stretches credulity, and much of the rest of the film follows suit. We still offers an involving tale of depravity, one that packs a decent punch, but it could’ve been more meaningful with a little effort.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

We appears in an aspect ratio of 2.65:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Why did a character drama like this opt for an aspect ratio more suitable to epics like Ben--Hur? I have no idea.

This super-widescreen image tended to negatively impact sharpness at times. Much of the movie displayed positive delineation, but more than a few shots could come across as somewhat soft and ill-defined.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

We opted for a highly stylized palette that varied from scene to scene. This meant a mix of teal, orange, amber, blue, red, and purple, all dependent on the sequence in question. Within these choices, the hues worked fine.

Blacks tended to seem deep and dark, while shadows offered appropriate clarity. Most of the image satisfied, but the instances of softness shaved some points off my overall grade.

Although the Blu-ray’s case advertises a DTS-HD MA track, instead we only get Dolby Digital 5.1. That became an automatic downgrade, as no circa 2020 Blu-ray should lack a lossless option.

The film’s soundfield tended to favor music, as the score and songs used the five channels in an involving manner. Given the movie’s character orientation, the rest of the mix lacked much to do.

Not that this became a bland sonic arrangement, as the film brought out a good sense of locations and environment. Sequences in clubs or on trains used the spectrum best of all. Still, they didn’t come with enough to do to make this a standout soundscape.

Overall audio quality seemed fine. Music was bold and brassy, and effects appeared accurate and concise, even if they lost the extra sense of range we’d have gotten from a lossless mix.

Dialogue remained intelligible and natural, without edginess or other concerns. Between the subdued soundfield and the lossy nature of the track, I thought this one deserved a “B-“.

The disc includes the film’s trailer but lacks any other extras.

A tale of teens gone bad, We offers a jolt to the senses. This becomes enough to keep the viewer with the film, but its lack of real substance means it doesn’t live up to its potential. The Blu-ray comes with acceptable picture and audio but it lacks supplements. We turns into an interesting but inconsistent flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
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