H D - S E L E C T

A view on HD DVDs by Yunda Eddie Feng


Introduction: Hello, Beaver readers! I became a serious cineophile in 1994 when I saw Schindler's List on my birthday. I realized that movies weren't just for fun--they could be serious art, too (even mainstream popcorn flicks if they're made with skill). Although I have a BA in English, I went to grad school for an MA in Film Studies. There, I met my mentor Dr. Warren Buckland, who shares my interest in Steven Spielberg's artistry (Spielberg and art aren't mutually exclusive). I helped edit Dr. Buckland's book Directed by Steven Spielberg: Poetics of the Contemporary Hollywood Blockbuster. I also contributed a chapter to Dr. Buckland's forthcoming anthology of essays about "complex storytelling" movies--movies that avoid classical linear storylines in favor of temporal disruptions, unreliable narrators, metatheatrical/"self-aware" references, etc.

Eddie's Home Theatre:
Sharp 30-inch LCD TV (1280x768 resolution)
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player
Oppo OPDV971H SD-DVD player
Pioneer 7.1 DD/DTS receiver
Harmon Kardon speakers (5.1)

(I'm using the HD-A2's optical audio connection to obtain DTS 5.1 downmixes.)

Yunda Eddie Feng








Lost in Translation HD-DVD

(Sofia Coppola, 2003)


Universal (USA)
1.85:1 1080p
102 minutes
Audio: DD Plus 5.1 English, DD Plus 5.1 French
Subtitles: Optional English SDH, French
Extras: Lost on Location; Matthew’s Best Hit TV; A Conversation
With Bill Murry and Sofia Coppola; Kevin Shield’s “City
Girl” music video; deleted/extended scenes; trailer; My
Released: 29 May 2007
HD-DVD case
24 chapters

The Film: The director Sofia Coppola’s new comic melodrama, Lost in Translation, thoroughly and touchingly connects the dots between three standards of yearning in movies: David Lean’s Brief Encounter, Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love. All three movies are, in their way, about a moment of evanescence that fades before the participants’ eyes -- as is Translation. (Translation also exhibits the self-contained, stylized lonesomeness found in post-punk, like New Order’s Bizarre Love Triangle.)

Ms. Coppola’s movie also happens to be hilarious -- a paean to dislocated people discovering how alive they are when they can barely keep their eyes open. The sexiness comes from the busy, desperate need-to-impress heat of a flirtation, an unrequited love communicated through a filter of sleep deprivation.

Excerpt from Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

The HD-DVD video is a major improvement over the R1 SD-DVD release. The increased resolution yields a much higher level of detail, especially in background and distant objects. This transfer also has less video noise than the SD-DVD’s, though some print defects (scratches) were not fixed.


SD DVD reviewed HERE





Since this is a low-key drama, the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 English track is not taxed heavily. Most of the bass comes from non-diegetic music, though the busy Tokyo lifestyle contributes some low end responses. For the most part, the audio is front-heavy.

You can also watch the movie with a DD Plus 5.1 French dub. Optional English SDH and French subtitles support the audio.


The HD-DVD includes all of the SD-DVD’s extras.

Lost on Location” is a making-of featurette that shows some of the difficulties shooting in an unfamiliar country without a lot of administration support.

Matthew’s Best Hit TV” is an extended clip of Bill Murray’s appearance on a Japanese talk show.

A Conversation with Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola” shows the two moviemakers talking briefly about how they became collaborators.

You can enjoy Kevin Shields’ “City Girl” music video, deleted/extended scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

Finally, the “My Scenes” feature allows you to bookmark your favorite scenes.

An insert advertises other Universal HD-DVDs.


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