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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Phil Morrison
USA 2005

 

Watching a film like Junebug, one is reminded of what the name Sundance once meant. This is not a vehicle for a big name star to tackle some darker, more edgy role, but a confidently made and dare I say, one of the most original American films of the year.

The story deals with a sophisticated art gallery owner who travels to South Carolina to scout an eccentric folk painter. Her young husband comes along and decides the trip is a ‘convenient’ time to introduce his new bride to the Southern family he has distanced himself from and hasn’t seen in nearly three years. What ensues is a humorous and moving film that looks at the differences between small town life and that of liberal city-goers, and reveals some beautiful things about not just our own personal outlooks, but about the way we view the people in our lives, as well as the way we view our own country.

Director Phil Morrison has an impeccable eye for detail. His characters are crafted and speak with a kind of rich attention to detail that very few filmmakers are able to pull off, and everything from the paintings that adorn the walls to the way that characters move around the house, has a genuine poetic truthfulness to it. A particular standout in a cast of stellar performances is Amy Adams as the young mom-to-be, who is equally embarrassed of and embraces her small-town naiveté. Her performance is subtle piece of mannerist acting that achieves moments of greatness that seem perfectly in-tune with Angus MacLachlan’s witty script. With an original soundtrack by Yo La Tengo and an appearance by Will Oldham, this is a movie of irresistible appeal, and marks Phil Morrison as a director to watch out for.

 

Adam Lemke

Poster

Theatrical Release: January 2005, Sundance Film Festival

Reviews      More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

Sony Pictures Classic - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Eureka - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Adam Lemke for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Sony Pictures Classic

Region 1 - NTSC

Eureka - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1.46.30 1:46:34.388
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,990,791,336 bytes

Feature: 22,560,098,304 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 18.28 Mbps

Blu-ray

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital - 5.0 DTS-HD Master Audio English 3517 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3517 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 3318 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3318 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles French, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures Classic

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers
• Actors commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Behind the Scenes
• Casting Sessions
• Photo Gallery of the Art seen in the film.

DVD Release Date: January 17th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka (UK)

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,990,791,336 bytes

Feature: 22,560,098,304 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 18.28 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Actors commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Behind the Scenes

• Amy Adams Q+A (21:34)
• Casting Sessions

• Ann Wood Gallery (art from film)

16-page booklet with Q+A involving director Phil Morrison and writer Angus MacLachlan

Blu-ray Release Date: April 18th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 28

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Eureka - Region FREE Blu-ray - March 2011: This is the exact same, region FREE, 1080P transfer and same extras as the May 2009 Eureka Blu-ray reviewed below. I'm unsure why they are re-releasing it - but it is a wonderful movie and great home theater experience, IMO. Certainly recommended!

***

ADDITION: Eureka - Region FREE Blu-ray (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player) - May 09': Strangely the Blu-ray does two thing simultaneously - it both smoothes the image and brings up the grain to a more prominent level. That's about the only way I know how to describe it - perhaps being tighter with fewer artifacts - the higher resolution gives the impression of smoothness but overall I love the film and the texture enhances the 'Indie' realism charm. This is more apparent in motion than in the static captures below. It is progressive and in the correct theatrical running time. Colors are a bit richer and detail definitely improved. Beyond the, sometimes subtle, image improvement there is a healthy DTS HD track supporting Yo La Tengo's original score and bits of Stevie Wonder and classic Shostakovich, Vivaldi, Schubert and Haydn. All sounding crisp and clean and bonding beautifully with the narrative. There are no subtitles. The extras are duplicated - and remain a bit lackluster although the effort of a commentary is always appreciated. I don't know that at, almost double, the price the Eureka justifies a double dipping but it is, without a doubt, the best way to see this under-sung film . One that truly deserves a wider audience. If you haven't had the experience - we encourage the region free Blu-ray.

- Gary Tooze    

***

ON THE DVD (2006): Fairly average disc on all fronts. Image is clear, colors are bright, some slight digital noise here and there, but overall passable. The extras are present, but less than interesting, with the focus mainly on the cast and with director Morrison all but missing (not even on the commentary). I recommend the film highly and this disc has no major flaws to deter you from buying it. Oddly the DVD comes with French subtitles only.

 - Adam Lemke

 


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DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Sony Pictures Classic

Region 1 - NTSC

Eureka - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 




 

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