Release Date(s)2016 (September 11, 2018)
Studio(s)Bunya Productions (Lightyear Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: B+
- Video Grade: A+
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: D
After the rousing success of Ivan Sen’s Australian crime film Mystery Road, he decided to create a sequel for it. Using a similar formula with the same main character and an even stronger story, Goldstone once again features Aaron Pedersen reprising his role as detective Swan, who arrives in the city of Goldstone after responding to a missing persons report. Attempting to locate a missing female tourist, his investigation leads him to some startling revelations about the criminal activity going on there. Receiving no help from anybody local, including the city’s own mayor (Jacki Brown), a local policeman (Alex Russell) reluctantly agrees to help him. Both men risk their lives in order to apprehend the criminals and restore order to the city.
As with his previous films, Ivan Sen shot, wrote, directed, edited, and even the performed the music for Goldstone, resulting in a highly atmospheric and stylish film. Comparable to the look and feel of No Country for Old Men (and even films by Alfred Hitchcock), it’s meticulously paced, using silence as an effective tool, as well as exploring racial undertones. The film was selected as the greatest Australian film of 2016 by The Guardian and was also nominated for six awards by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). It was also nominated for seventeen other awards by various film award associations, winning seven, which is pretty remarkable.
Goldstone is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Lightyear Entertainment and it’s an outstanding presentation. Scenes of the Australian Outback in broad daylight are breathtaking with consistently rich color. Skin tones also appear accurate, with close-ups revealing plenty of depth and detail. Outside, where most of the film takes place, are beautiful blue skies and landscapes that are as flawless as it gets. In regards to the audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD and English 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 are the two options available. Both sound terrific with dialogue, score, and sound effects coming across strong and well-balanced. The lossless option has a slight edge, sounding a bit more potent overall. Unfortunately, there are no subtitle options for this release. There are also very few extras, consisting of a set of short interviews about the cast and crew (Detective Jay Swan, Alex Russell as “Josh Waters”, Jacki Weaver as “The Mayor”, Ivan Sen (Writer/Director/Editor/Composer/DOP), The Corruption of Goldstone, The Indigenous People of Australia) and two trailers.
Goldstone is a highly recommended film. Its Blu-ray release lacks a little extra spit and polish, but the film and its presentation are good enough to warrant giving it a spin. And if he isn’t already, Ivan Sen is well on his way to becoming a master filmmaker.
– David Steigman