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James Kent
Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Clarke
Writing Credits:
Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, Rhidian Brook

Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.

Box Office:.
Opening Weekend:
$56,419 on 5 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 109 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 6/25/2019
• Audio Commentary with Director James Kent
• “First Look” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• VFX Progressions
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews
• DVD Copy


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The Aftermath [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 11, 2019)

A period drama with a romantic bent, 2019’s The Aftermath takes us to Germany circa the mid-1940s. In the immediate period after World War II, the Allies work to rebuild that defeated nation, and British Colonel Lewis Morgan (Jason Clarke) supervises the work done in Hamburg.

Lewis’s wife Rachael (Keira Knightley) arrives to be with him, and they occupy the house owned by German widower Stephen Lubert (Alexander Skarsgård) and his teen daughter Freda (Flora Thiemann). Normally the Brits would need to leave the house and live elsewhere, but Lewis agrees to allow Stephen and Freda remain.

Because German bombs killed their son, Rachael initially resents Lewis’s agreement. However, as time passes, she bonds with Stephen and develops a more intimate relationship.

As I’ve noted in other reviews, I’ve always disliked the genre of films in which married women conduct affairs and the material gets treated as beautiful and romantic. When a man cheats on his wife, movies paint his as a cad, whereas when a woman does it, she enjoys the greatest passion of her life, her husband’s status be damned.

Of course, one can find exceptions to this rule, but it still dominates. Tales like Bridges of Madison County and The English Patient exemplify this trend.

Aftermath follows this formula to some degree, though I do think it feels less offensive. The movie includes enough complications to ensure that it doesn’t present a black and white view of romance, and it manages a few curveballs along the way.

As such, while I object to the general theme, I can’t claim that Aftermath activates my Hypocrisy Meter in the same way as those other films. That doesn’t make it a good movie, though, as it manages to become a slow ride.

Maybe a little hypocrisy would’ve been a positive, as it might’ve kept me from snoozing along the way. Aftermath provides a surprisingly sleepy and sluggish tale that comes with plenty of potential drama but that can’t capitalize on its potential.

In addition to the basic love triangle, Aftermath involves a pro-Nazi resistance in Hamburg as well as issues related to teenaged Freda. All of these elements should be more than enough to create some sparks.

They aren’t. Where drama should emerge, Aftermath simply ambles along without a lot of purpose, as it fails to find a consistent edge or sense of movement.

Aftermath knows it’s a weepy romance at heart but it seems reluctant to admit that. This means it dabbles in the other areas and can’t find a real sense of commitment or drama.

The actors seem to recognize this, so they don’t do much with their parts. We get no real chemistry among any of them, and they mainly look attractive as they meander through the listless script.

Ultimately all of this leads toward a pretty dull 109 minutes. Aftermath brings a professional production that simply lacks sizzle or emotional heft.

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

The Aftermath appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a positive visual impression.

Overall definition seemed positive. Only a little softness materialized, so the movie usually appeared accurate and concise.

I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.

In terms of colors, Aftermath went for a teal tint that connected to the environment. Interiors opted for a light orange/amber feel as well. These appeared fine within the film’s stylistic choices.

Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. This added up to a satisfying presentation.

A character drama wouldn’t seem to be a candidate for a whiz-bang soundtrack, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Aftermath fell into expected realms. Usually the track remained oriented toward ambience, so don’t expect lots of sizzle from the mix.

A few exteriors added some punch. We saw riots and other scenes that contributed a bit of activity, but most of the track remained subdued.

Audio quality satisfied. The music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy.

Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed perfectly adequate for the project.

As we shift to extras, we start with an audio commentary from director James Kent. He offers a running, screen-specific look at the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, historical elements, music, design choices and period details, themes and symbolism.

For the most part, Kent offers an engaging view of his film. At times he does little more than narrate the action, but he provides enough substance to make the track worth a listen.

Entitled First Look, we get a featurette that runs 12 minutes, nine seconds and provides info from Kent, co-writer Rhidian Brook, executive producer Ridley Scott, Brook’s father Rhidian, producers Jack Arbuthnott and Malte Grunert, production designer Sonja Klaus, and actors Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgård.

“Look” covers story and characters, cast and performances, production design, and other areas. It becomes a decent but unmemorable program.

Three Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, 56 seconds. We get “The Werewolf Is A Myth” (1:48), “Operation Gomorrah” (2:27) and “Spoils of War” (1:40).

The scenes mainly offer general exposition. None of them seem bad but they also don’t feel especially necessary.

We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Kent. He gives us background about the sequences as well as why he cut them. Kent brings worthwhile thoughts.

Under VFX Progressions, we find a quick one-minute, 54-second reel that lets us see shots with various levels of effects. It’s short but fun.

We can watch the “Progressions” with or without commentary from Kent. I recommend you activate his narration, as the footage is silent so he doesn’t intrude. Kent also gives us a few good thoughts about the material.

A Gallery presents 30 images that mix behind the scenes photos with shots from the film. It’s fairly mediocre, and the decision to windowbox the pictures makes them less appealing.

The disc opens with ads for The Favourite and Can You Ever Forgive Me. Sneak Peek adds promos for The Old Man and the Gun and The Shape of Water, and we also find the trailer for Aftermath.

A second disc presents a DVD copy of Aftermath. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

As a period drama, The Aftermath feels fairly inert. While it comes with a good cast, it fails to muster the emotion it needs to succeed. The Blu-ray brings positive picture and audio as well as a useful selection of supplements. Dull and bland, the film never connects.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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