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  • 102 minutes
  • Calvary
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    7 Reviews
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      11.12.2014 14:11
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      • "102 minutes"
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      • Calvary

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      Calvary - An Irish comedy movie shown on BBC HD this month.


      The Catholic Church’s disgusting deal with the devil over pedophilia is well documented. Sadly most of those documents are still locked away in the Vatican. We know pedophiles felt safe in that particular church to operate and no doubt attracted to a life of servitude because of that sanctuary. No one is beyond redemption in Catholicism. We also know there are a disproportionate amount of gay men in their church, as high as 1 in 7 in some countries, again somewhere to go where your guilt can be admonished. Because of this history a straight honest Irish Priest can no longer be left alone with a child anymore.

      John Michael McDonough’s film, he of the equally quirky Irish comedy The Guard, of which Brendan Gleeson also stars, revolves his project around the complicated concept of forgiveness. He cast 12 main characters, which we are led to believe represent the disciples, Gleeson the unfortunate Catholic Priest facing the coming crucifixion in this black comedy Whodunit that asks troubling questions about keeping the faith in a fallen world. People go to church because they fear death, not because they believe in God.


      ===Plot===


      Father James (Brendan Gleeson), a rural Irish priest, has an eclectic flock. Whilst taking penance in the confessional box, an unseen man threatens the priest’s life through the little window, proclaiming to be a victim of child abuse by one of the local priests and seeks vengeance, but not on the guilty but the innocent, just as he was. Both men know who that priest was. James has a good idea who the man is. The stranger gives Father James one week to make piece with his God and get his affairs in order, and then to meet him on the beach next Sunday to meet his fete.

      Father James goes to his local bishop to ask guidance, guessing the threat is real but they don’t call in the cops. Fearing the worse he invites his daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly) down for a few days of contemplation just in case.

      There are many candidates who the threat could be as we check out the main contenders. Michael Fitzgerald (Dylan Moran) is a lonely millionaire up in the big house that lives just outside of town. He tells James that most of his money is illegal, but he wants to donate some to the church for his personal redemption. At the pub, James probes Frank Harte (Aidan Gillen), an atheist doctor, who tells details of a 3-year-old child made permanently deaf, mute, paralyzed and blind after a botched procedure. He explains to James that being unable to hear oneself scream is perhaps analogous to the silence victims of sexual abuse. Local butcher Jack Brennan (Chris O'Dowd) is also suspect, regularly beating his wife Veronica (Orla O'Rourke). Jack denies the violence and says he believes Veronica's Ivorian garage mechanic lover Simon (Isaach De Bankolé) is the culprit.

      At the church, James tries to talk to Milo (Killian Scott) about his experience with the church, a socially awkward young man who looks like something bad happened to him once. Whoever it is the days are ticking by and Father James no nearer to persuading the man not to do it. When his beloved dog is killed and church set on fire its time to pack his suitcase.


      ==Results===

      After watching The Guard I was quite looking forward to this. McDonagh has an appealing comic Irish filmmaking style that can be a bit ‘diddly dee be Jesus’ but also quite dark and clever. But this one didn’t really do it for me and the film rather silly at times, Father Ted without the jokes.

      Telling its biblical allegory was interesting but it’s too patchy and segmented and the bits don’t really add up to much. Being packed full of Irish comedians also takes away from it and with the likes of Chris O’Dowd and Dylan Moran you always feel they are about to drop init their sitcom characters at any minute. As W C Fields once said: ‘Comedy is dressing up an actress as an old woman and have her fall down a drain. Comedy to a comedian is a real old lady falling down a drain’. That’s the comedy I like and expect from those two. It’s just been touched up too much so not to offend the Catholic Church. You could imagine Father Ted and Father Dougal MaGuire protesting outside the cinema for the film premier of Calvary.


      Brendan Gleeson is always great value on screen and has played a multitude of characters on screen over the years by being exactly the same hulking Irishman. If you haven’t seen The Guard then its one to watch. Here, though, it just lose its way some and becomes less a comedy and more some sort of allegory about the decline of the Catholic Church. Obviously Catholicism is big part of Irish life and this will hit home more with them but that allegory is muddled. I was hoping for much more comical humor and diddly dee and less of the doom and portent. But the broadsheets loved it so what do I know. I’m obviously not clever enough to get the joke.

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      26.12.2012 13:49
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      Stick to blu-ray

      The other day I arrived back in the UK after being away for a year and decided to check out BBC HD on my TV. As one can assume from the name BBC HD is a BBC channel broadcast in highdefinition, meaning a higher resolution and higher bit rate compared to that of a standard broadcast. This in theory should allow a more realist image to be broadcast.

      However, in reality this certainly doesn't appear to be the case, the image is very static and the bit rate is comparable to that of a standard DVD. I would guess that the bit rate is around 4-8mb (bits) per second. On the other hand a blu-ray disc has a bit rate of around 30 mb/second. Having been in Japan for a while I have become used to watching high definition broadcasts over the air and via satellite. While in Japan the image quality for HD broadcasts is not perfect, it's certainly a lot better than BBC HD. NHK terrestrial broadcasts around 12-16 mb/second (with a resolution of 1440 x 1080) and satellite (full hd resolution) at around 20 mb/second. In Japan the image quality is smoother and more fluid, on the other hand BBC HD looks like a high definition youtube video.

      The problem seems to stem from the limited over the air bandwidth available here in the UK due to the clutter of too many junk channels broadcast on standard freeview. The only way to solve this problem would be to get rid of standard freeview and force everyone to upgrade to HD decoders. The technology is cheap so it should easily be possible at a cost of no more than £20. In addition having a restriction to no more than 10 over the air channels should allow more bandwidth to be allocated to each channel.

      Terrestrial HD television has been poorly implemented in this country. With the limited bandwidth available there's no point broadcasting BBC in hd since the image looks too static due to the use of high compression codecs. A lower resolution image would solve the problem.

      Overall while better than not nothing, BBC HD is rather dissapointing and as such shouldn't be called BBC HD.

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      03.05.2010 19:23
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      an excellent compliment to the HD package but is somewhat let down by its content

      With barely a handful if HD channels to choose from BBC HD is one of the few general entertainment channels on offer.

      Content

      Unlike Sky 1 HD, ITV 1 HD, Channel 4 HD etc BBC HD is not an exact repetition of the normal resolution channel but just in HD. Instead it is more of a mix mash of a number of BBC programmes that have been taken from the various normal resoltuion BBC channels. I get the impression that BBC HD basically includes any shows that just so happen to have been shot in HD rather than the BBC actually properly planning the content of the channel. Notable ommissions include, Eastenders, Match of the Day, News Night but to name a few.

      Quality

      Despite my misgivings about the content are displaced but the excellent quality of the picture. I leave this open to argument but I would say that it surpasses its entertainment rivals like Sky 1 HD and ITV 1 HD. The colours and sounds as some of the best I have seen on a HD channel.

      Conclusion

      BBC HD is an excellent compliment to the HD package but is somewhat let down by its content, maybe in the future BBC HD will come to an end and BBC 1 & 2 HD will come into effect - we can live in hope!

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      11.03.2010 14:28
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      Works Well When It's On. Problem Is There Isn't Enough. I Can't Remember The Last Time I Watched It.

      I have Sky HD and have down for over a year now so I do try to get use out of the HD Channels. In case you didn't know, a TV works by displaying a number of horizontal & vertical lines that make up your picture. High Definition makes the picture clearer, crisper & more detailed by displaying up to twice as many lines at once.

      BBC HD is responsible for showing any & all the the High Definition programming the the BBC provide. It is fre to air so it won't cost you anything to watch. I will however require that you have either Sky HD or Freesat HD which are the two ways of watching HD programming in the UK at the moment and a HD ready or Full HD television set.

      On BBC HD you will find a mix of programmes. Hustle, Strictly Come Dancing, 6 Nations Rugby. You will also however find that for vast swathes of the day there is not a single programme on this channel. Bearing in mind that the beeb have over 4 channels broadcasting 24 hours a day 7 days a week, you'd think that they'd be able to find something to put on in HD at all times. You'd be wrong. Around 6 hours of TV is broadcast in HD every day. Some of their most popular programmes (such as Eastenders) are not broadcast in HD.

      When there is something on, the picture & sound quality are as you would expect from a HD television channel. The programmes are exactly the same as if you watched them in single definition just with the added HD bells & whistles.

      I'm happy to recommend the channel. If you're watching a BBC programme & you have the HD gadgets, you might as well watch it on this channel. I'm afraid though that the lack of content really lets it down. They need to get more programming on here. 3 stars from me (with an eye on the World Cup in HD)

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      10.09.2009 00:42
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      There are better quality HD channels out there

      BBC HD is a free to air channel currently available on Satellite & Cable, as well as the recently launched Freesat service. All it's content is broadcast in native High Defintion, however the channel only currently broadcasts such content for an average of 6 hours per day. The rest of the time is filled with a looping previews of the channel & audio/video tests.

      Apart from the lack of time it's actually on air, it seems that there is still not enough original content to broadcast as the number of repeats shown is extremely high. This is slowly improving but very slowly compared to channels such as Sky1 HD which has so much more native HD content available.

      I have also noticed that the quality of the picture although still high definition has gone downhill over the last year. This is due to the fact that the channel are now compressing their shows more so they take up less space but in turn this reduces their quality.

      Although there are the occasional gems to be seen, I would say BBC HD has a long way to go before it matches the quality of some of the other HD channels out there!

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      29.07.2009 12:32
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      Great HD channel from the BBC

      We got Free Sat HD with our Panasonic TV about 3mths ago and have loved every minute of it and BBC HD is worth getting.

      I hate cynics who both have never watched HD films or TV and claim that tube televisions are better. First off HD TV is a hell of a lot better than normal BBC 1 etc... and the reason most other standard def channels look 'pixelated' is because a newer LCD TV is a lot better in terms of picture quality so picks it up where a standard tube TV would not.
      So BBC HD is it worth it? Hell yes. If you pay for HD shame on you but at least you have it so good on you.
      BBC HD is good for the odd program or two like Friday Night with Jonathon Ross but a lot of the programs are wildlife documentaries that I agree look stunning in HD, I just don't like those kinds of programs. I think a better idea would be to broadcast everything that appears on BBC One in high definition like the News which I would definitely watch.

      Overall I would recommend getting any HD channel because the increase in picture quality is amazing. BBC HD just now needs to focus on more mainstream TV scheduling such as the news etc...

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        28.07.2009 22:40

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        If you watch alot of sport go for it, if not buy a standard reciever.

        This Channel is free to air, new High Definition BBC channel. On Freesat where it is currently available it is on channel 108.

        The shows:
        The broadcasts can vary as to what is specifically on them - such as repeats, children programs or what BBC 1 or BBB 2 is showing in high definition. Subtitles are also available on the High Definition channel for shows that are subtitled.

        What is High Definition?
        This is when the program is basically more focused, with more detail given to other points. High Definition I personally find cannot really be seen on drama programs, during blind testing it is hard to tell the difference. However, it really does show if you are into watching sport, you can for example see that the crowd is made up of people, and footballers are kicking the ball - but ultimatly is this that important?

        Worth it?
        High Definition BBC channel is available with a High Definition reciever, which can be quite expensive - often meaning that you pay more for perhaps a slightly better quality image.

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