(aka 'Elegy: Dying Animal')

Directed by Isabel Coixet
USA 2008

 

Elegy, based on Philip Roth's The Dying Animal, provides an incisive perspective of how a person's inability to believe in love destroys a single, fragile chance at happiness. The movie tells the poignant tale of how one man - intelligent, urbane, and witty - represents his own worst enemy when it comes to relationships. Borrowing text liberally from the source material, screenwriter Nicholas Meyer's script not only chronicles the relationship, but provides insight into the mind of the protagonist. We recognize that the love affair is both inevitable and doomed, but watch anyway to see if somehow these two will find away to overcome their self-imposed obstacles.

[...]

While Elegy contains its share of universal themes, this is first and foremost the story of a man and how he copes with encountering late in life something that is new and terrifying for him. His voiceover informs us from the beginning that things aren't going to end happily but, even forewarned, it is compelling to watch how the narrative unfolds. Coixet has given us a rich character study with as much depth as breadth. This is an offering for mature viewers thrown out amidst a sea of summer flotsam. The title, Elegy, is perfect for the material. There is much tragedy and truth in what the makers of this movie have brought to the screen.

Excerpt from James Berardinelli at ReelViews located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 10th, 2008 - Berlin Film Festival

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DVD Comparison:

Sony - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Entertainment in Video - Region 'B" - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:52  1:47:29.600
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 19,485,315,072 bytes

Disc Size:  22,282,094,132 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 24.17 Mbps

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

Bitrate:  DVD

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 2143 kbps 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 2143 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0
/ 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with writer Nicholas Meyer
• "The Poetry of Elegy" (5:07)
•  Previews 

DVD Release Date: March 17th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Entertainment in Video

1080i Single-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 19,485,315,072 bytes

Disc Size:  22,282,094,132 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 24.17 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Commentary with writer Nicholas Meyer
• Sound Bites
• B-roll

DVD Release Date: March 16th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

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

ADDITION - Region 'B' Blu-ray - April 09': There is something fishy about this Entertainment in Video Blu-ray. My software identifies it as being 1080i (interlaced) although visually I couldn't verify that (I didn't see any combing in horizontal panning shots). BUT I'm more interested in the running time. The UK disc seems to have PAL speedup and is also identified as being transferred from a 25 frames per second source (as opposed to NTSC - 24 fps)... or has been cut by, a convenient, 4%. I would suggest the former is more accurate. Although the stills identify, at times - healthy, improvement - I didn't notice it as overwhelming while in motion. So while the Blu-ray may have the better looking image it is of the weaker brand of high-definition transfers - interlaced, single-layered and PAL sourced - and the DVD is of excellent SD quality.

The film's music sounds very nice in DTS-HD but it's not enough for an endorsement. In this case I'd suggest the cheaper Sony DVD. Still, a great film and highly recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: Despite the lowly bitrate the image doesn't seem to suffer on this SD-DVD of Elegy. In fact it can look incredibly impressive at times - especially in close-ups. Colors may not be rendered with the exacting quality of hi-def but they looks suitable to supporting the film for a home theater presentation. The transfer is dual-layered, anamorphic in 1.85:1 and progressive.

One of the best attributes of my viewing was how the film's music played delicately with the narrative. From that standpoint the 5.1 mix was exemplary but the film is generally dialogue driven without any demonstrative effect noises invading your surround system. There are optional English subtitles available.

Supplements include a good commentary by writer Nicholas Meyer who might be remembered by some for doing the Star Trek movie screenplays. There are gaps and he is a little dry but gives some decent information at times. There is a featurette - 'The Poetry of Elegy' with brief input from the likes of Penelope Cruz, Isabel Coixet and others. There are also some trailers.

I was totally captivated by Isabel Coixet's The Secret Life of Words and had a similar reaction to Elegy. I think this is a fabulous film - incredible performances and we strongly recommend this DVD. This is a beautifully potent film.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus / Extras


 


 

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Screen Captures

 

(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

 


(Sony - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Entertainment in Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)
 

 


DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Entertainment in Video - Region 'B" - Blu-ray




 

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