Wednesday, December 23, 2009

(500) Days of Summer Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 42.4 GB
Film Size: 28.4 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: A
Video
(500) Days of Summer comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film's color palette is intentionally limited and features very little red, yellows and blues. Blue is reserved for only scenes with Summer or reference to Summer. Due to the limited and bland color palette, we are not going to get a very vibrant film experience, but it is part of the film.

Detail is generally strong and textures are usually quite distinct. Certain scenes do look quite dull and lifeless and from time to time a bit flat. There are also many scenes that are quite the opposite, filled with life and depth. Film grain is present from beginning to end, although on the lighter side.

The transfer is free of any technical issues and aside from the color palette, it looks very natural and untampered with. The film's look may not appeal to everyone but there's no denying that Fox Home Entertainment has provided a top notch transfer for this high-def release. Presentation-wise I do not think the transfer could have been much better if at all. 8/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and is slightly underwhelming. The film is not going to be a surround sound experience to say the least, but it was never meant to be one. Dialogue is key in the film and is presented quite well, overall it was clear and easy to understand. There were moments where I thought dialogue levels were a tad bit low compared to your average audio track, but nothing too disappointing.

The film's effects and music are very front heavy and always light, there are not many opportunities to get aggressive or expand too much without sounding randomly placed. The track is good but do not expect to be impressed at all by the mix, it's quiet and fitting but it's not going to dazzle anyone. 7/10.

Extras

Audio Commentary
by Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Lost Days of Summer: Deleted and Extended Scenes (14:43) (HD)
with optional commentary by Director Marc Webb, Writer Michael Weber, Writer Scott Neustadter and Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Not a Love Story: Making (500) Days of Summer (29:22) (HD)
The production crew talks about the film not following the typical romantic comedy recipe, more modern and and less conventional.

Summer at Sundance (13:47) (HD)
Footage from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah where the film premiered. It's a festival that happens annually and an event that I got to attend early this year.

Audition Tapes (SD)
Audition tapes for Geoffrey Arend (McKenzie) and Matthew Gray Gubler (Paul) are included, and feature optional commentary by Director Marc Webb.

Summer Storyboards (SD)
Summer Effect
Reality/Expectations

"Bank Dance" (4:18) (SD)
Music video Directed by Marc Webb

Mean's Cinemash (3:28) (HD)
"Sid and Nancy/(500) Days of Summer"

"Sweet Disposition" Music Video (4:02) (SD)
by The Temper Trap

Conversations with Zooey and Joseph (12:27) (SD)
Acting vs Reality
Creative Process
Favorite Parts of L.A.
Karaoke
Los Angeles
Music

Filmmaking Specials (SD)
Director Marc Webb on Casting Joe and Zooey
Director Marc Webb on the Summer Effect
Director Marc Webb on French Film References
Director Marc Webb on the Color Palette
Fox Movie Channel: In Character with Zooey Deschanel
Fox Movie Channel: In Character with Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Trailers (HD)
Amelia
Fame
Adam

Digital Copy
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

There are many extras included on the Blu-ray release, many exclusive to the Blu-ray as well. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews regarding all steps of production. There's so much to see it's hard to be disappointed, the inclusion of a Digital Copy is great as well. 8/10.

Blu-news Summary
(500) Days of Summer is not a love story.....according to the narrator. What he really means is this is not your typical love story, it's not the typical romantic comedy that has been done over and over again. Boy meets girl, boy and girl don't like each other, boy and girl connect, boy and girl fight, boy and girl realize they can't live without each other.

It is true that (500) Days of Summer is not the typical romantic comedy, it's a refreshing story and there are many things that differentiate it. The film is told from the boy's point-of-view, something that is done quite rarely and never as well.

The way the film is presented is also very different, but something viewers will enjoy and admire. The film goes through many emotions, we experience happy, sad and much more. The movie is also very very funny and features some fantastic moments of humor.

(500) Days of Summer is not a chick flick, it's a movie I think anyone who's ever been in love can appreciate and connect with, in one way or more. (500) Days of Summer is one of my favorite films this year and hopefully you take the time to experience (500) Days of Summer sometime soon as well. 9.5/10.

The Blu-ray release is good, although far from amazing. The video presentation is accurate to the film and the audio track is pleasing. There are many extras included exclusively on the Blu-ray release, making the Blu-ray a 'Must Own' for fans and 'Highly Recommended' to new viewers.

Additional Screenshots:

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