Point Blank

[A bout portant]


Point Blank

[A bout portant]

Written by Guillaume Lemans & Fred Cavaye

Director of Photography: Alain Duplantier
Composer: Klaus Badelt
Editor: Benjamin Weil
Production Designer: Philippe Chiffre

Produced by Cyril Colbeau-Justin and Jean-Baptiste Dupont,

Directed by Fred Cavaye




Gilles Lellouche

Roschdy Zem

Gerard Lanvin

Elena Anaya



Theatrical: Gaumont & LGM Films

Video: Magnolia Home Entertainment



Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Codec: AVC

Disc Size: BD50

Feature size: 22 GB

Bit Rate: Moderate-High (25-30 Mbps)

Runtime: 84 min.

Chapters: 13

Region: A



French DTS-MA HD 5.1

English DTS-MA HD 5.1



English titles & text, English SDH & Spanish



Making of Point Blank – in HD (50 min)

Trailer in HD



Blu-ray Amaray case:

Release Date: December 6, 2011



Gilles Lellouche plays Samuel, a nurse working at a hospital when his pregnant wife (Elena Anaya) is kidnapped before his very eyes. Knocked unconscious, he comes to and discovers that if he's ever to see his wife again he must find a way to get a man named Sartet (Roschdy Zem), now an unconscious patient under police guard out of the hospital - a man wanted by the police for murder. Samuel quickly finds himself pitted against rival gangsters and trigger-happy police in a deadly race to save the life of his wife and child yet to be.



The Movie: 9

Critical Reaction:

San Francisco Chronicle:

All right, this is how to make a thriller: Start with a situation of astonishing difficulty and emotional weight. Then multiply. And keep piling on. Here and there, stop to breathe, but only to breathe, and then keep going. "Point Blank" gets in and out in 84 minutes, and lacks nothing. At first, I wondered why is this French thriller getting released here - we make so many, why import another? The answer is that this one is dazzling. – Mick LaSalle



New York Times:

Point Blank is an exhilarating adrenaline rush with breakneck momentum so shrewdly calculated that you could imagine its French director, Fred Cavayé, standing by with a heart-rate monitor. Just when the beats per minute have accelerated beyond 160, and you are gasping for air, a momentary respite gives you a few seconds to wipe your brow, catch your breath and take a sip from your water bottle. Then you’re shoved back into the race. I can’t recall another thriller that has maintained this kind of velocity without going kablooey and losing its train of thought. – Stephen Holden



Chicago Sun-Times:

To go into any detail would be to rob the movie of its essence. It has to happen to you. It does, with a fearsome urgency. When the movie ended I looked with a little surprise at my watch. You know that instinct you have about where a movie is in its story? You get a feeling for the approach of the ending. Point Blank didn't feel incomplete; indeed, it had a rare economy and unity. But it was only 84 minutes long. That was more or less exactly how long it needed to be. I learn there will be an American remake. You can count on it approaching the two-hour mark as Hollywood pumps in the helium. – Roger Ebert



Image: 8/8

The original French Blu-ray of April of this year was highly praised in the press for its sharp, highly resolved and defect-free transfer.  Curiously, and for reasons passing understanding, the subsequent UK release was encoded in 1080i and, while hardly a complete sham, was not up to the standards set by the French Gaumont.  Now Magnolia U.S. is having a go.


It would appear that the Magnolia Blu-ray is closer to the French Gaumont than the UK.  It is indeed encoded 1080p and appears to exhibit no transfer issues of concern.  The overall impression is grainy, subdued and desaturated, tending to greenish hues.  Blacks are inconsistent, but adequate, with sufficient detail appropriate to the movie. In the darker scenes noise does become more apparent, but is not intrusive.



Audio & Music: 8/8

Magnolia offers the original French language and English dub in uncompressed DTS-HD MA.  Unless you absolutely cannot abide subtitles, you should avoid the dub for all the usual reasons.  The French mix does a fine job of reproducing the electric dynamic charge of the film’s soundscape – from the rhythmic music track to the frenetic action sequences to the busy traffic and subway scenes.  The frantic activity during the climactic police station scene is equally clear and incisive – same for the dialogue.  A good mix that conveys the necessary sense of confusion and terror.



Extras: 6

Aside from the theatrical trailer in HD, the lone extra feature is a loosely constructed behind-the-scenes docufeature. Or perhaps it is merely meant to give the impression of an adventure on the verge of falling apart, something akin to the feel of the feature film itself.  Alas, the audio commentary that accompanied the French Blu-ray is dropped but, so I understand (not having seen it), there were no English subtitles anyway.  The bonus feature revels in the collaborative process between actors, director and cinematographer with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.  It’s nice to have it presented in HD.



Recommendation: 9

Point Blank is an outstanding thriller, combining pulse-pounding action, split-second escapes, a smart script and superb performances from all quarters.  The only weakness I see is the denouement, which I feel would have been better omitted entirely.  Magnolia’s transfer is first rate and includes a worthwhile making-of bonus feature.



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

December 14, 2011

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