Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2011


"Black Swan" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook



Black Swan is a wonderful movie that you all should watch, so I am going to keep the synopsis simple.  It’s about a young ballet dancer, Nina Sayers (Portman) who wants nothing more than to be the next star. Her whole life balances on being the perfect dancer.  She lives with her crazy, overbearing mother (Hershey) who gave up her own mediocre dance carrier when she had Nina. Nina scores the leading role as the Swan Princess in “Swan Lake”, but struggles with the pressure of being the star.



  • 20th Century Fox
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 48 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Codec:  AVC
  • 1080p
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Starring:  Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey
  • Directed by Darren Aronofsky
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes


Awesome, fantastic, stunning, beautiful. Some of Darren’s best work and easily Portman’s best acting job. This is one of those movies that fit into the category of motion picture arts as it is more like a symphony or an oil painting than your standard cinema fare.


Aronofsky filmed Black Swan primarily in Super 16mm film and this gives it a grainy, softer look than standard 35mm.  There is nothing technically wrong with the transfer, it’s just that the source is different than most movies.  Don’t be discouraged by my score of 4 for video, as I am sure Black Swan looks how Darren would want it to on Blu-ray, but compared to other discs, the detail and definition just isn’t there.  

Audio, on the other hand, was spectacular. The revisioned work of Tchaikovsky by Clint Mansell sounds fantastic.  The sound is very dynamic and builds to aggressive levels that will really test out your home theater. This is a disc I will be returning to many times to demo equipment, or to just enjoy.


49 minute Making of Documentary, Trailer, Character Discussions.