directed by Vadim Perelman
USA 2003

I read a few negative reviews on this film calling it 'heavy-handed', 'manipulative' or the 'direction was inept'. I was personally blown away by 'House of Sand and Fog'. I rate it right up there with some of the best American films I have seen in the last  five years - In the Bedroom and 25th Hour among them.

 

Yes - it could be described as melodramatic, but character-driven stories often are and not always as appealing to many who crave continuous stimulation through action or suspense. This was an intense study on how fate had conspired against 5 individuals. My only real complaint is that the circumstances could seem a tad incongruous with the plot. I won't spoil it with specific details, but in post-analysis of the film's plot you may find yourself giving up less of your suspension of disbelief. This is especially true when the film attempts to keep to the timeline of occurring over less than a  2-week span.

 

Personally, I was too totally ensnarled in the performances - possibly Ben Kinsley's best... ever, and Jennifer Connelly was not far behind. I don't know where I have been since this was released, but to be fair to the film - I did just see it (less than an hour ago) - so my enthusiasm may drift, but in all honestly I was as engrossed as I have been in a long time. This effort by first-timer director Vadim Perelman was, for many, not perfect - but I am whole-heartedly recommending it as one of the best films of 2003. Roger Deakin's cinematography is another huge plus! out of

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 19th, 2003 - USA (limited)

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DVD Review: UMVD - Region 1- NTSC

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Distribution UMVD - Region 1- NTSC
Runtime 2:06:00
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.44 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby) 
Subtitles English (hearing impaired), French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: UMVD

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Vadim Perelman, actor Ben Kingsley, novelist Andre Dubus III, costume designer Hala Bahmet, and production designer Maia Javan (optional subtitles)
• 5 Deleted Scenes with commentary
• Behind the Scenes featurette (4:3 - 16:01)

• Photo Gallery (75 images) in static slideshow or automatic with audio
• Shohreh Aghdashloo Audition (6:05)
• Cast / Filmmaker (static screens)
• Production Notes (static screens)

DVD Release Date: August 24th, 2004

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Chapters: 24

 

Comments:

This is a very good DVD. The image shows a bit of softness at times but I gather it was a process of the filmmaking - not the transfer. Contrast is superb and colors vibrant.

 

The 5.1 audio track as well is right up to par with the image and there are optional 2 channel and a 5.1 French DUB, even if it is never tested. Subtitles are very well done with a non-obtrusive font. I love the commentary and the optional subtitles (like BFI do) on the commentary and I think everyone should be doing this!. The audition tape and behind-the-scenes extras are insightful as well. Pretty much a perfect DVD and not excessive with 2nd and 3rd discs of bloated Features. out of

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution UMVD - Region 1- NTSC




 

 

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Gary Tooze