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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Up in the Air [Blu-ray]


(Jason Reitman, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Paramount



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:20.554

Disc Size: 42,589,883,527 bytes

Feature Size: 32,656,533,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.52 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 9th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3838 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3838 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none



• Commentary by writer/director Jason Reitman, DOP Eric Steelberg and first assistant director Jason Blumfeld

Shadowplay - Before the Story (2:27)

'Music Video "Help Yourself" by Sad Brad Smith (1:02)

• Storyboards (1:26)

• 13 Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Jason Reitman (23:16)

American Airlines Prank (0:37)

Trailers (Teaser - 2:00), Theatrical (2:32)





Description: Ryan Bingham, is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.



The Film:

Ryan Bingham is the Organization Man for the 2000s. He never comes to the office. Technically, he doesn't have an office, he has an address where his employer has an office. His life is devoted to visiting other people's offices, and firing them. “Up in the Air” takes the trust people once had in their jobs and pulls out the rug. It is a film for this time.

Bingham describes himself as a 'Termination Facilitator'. He fires people for a living. When corporations need to downsize quickly but hate the mess, he flies in and breaks the news to the new former employees. In hard times, his business is great.

This isn't a comedy. If it were, it would be hard to laugh in these last days of 2009. Nor is it a tragedy. It's an observant look at how a man does a job. Too many movie characters have jobs involving ruling people, killing them, or going to high school. Bingham loves his work. He doesn't want a home. He doesn't want a family. He gives self-help lectures on how and why to unpack the backpack of your life.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE


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

Up in the Air appears reasonably flawless on Blu-ray from Paramount.  It's easy to ascertain that this is HD although the film doesn't export any awe-inspiring visuals. Colors seem acceptably brighter and truer than SD could relate. Flesh tones seem 'perfect' - contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels - the image is not glossy. I see no signs of digital manipulations and there is some infrequent depth. There is a bit of darkness to the film's canvas and this would be appropriate for the underlying tone. This Blu-ray looks exceptionally clean, crisp and consistent without the image qualities overtaking the narrative. Detail is strong, more notable in close-ups. Overall, I have no complaints whatsoever with the way this looked on Blu-ray.



















Audio :

The very healthy DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3838 kbps is never really tested as the film is almost exclusively dialogue driven. Separations and depth are kept at a minimum and anything the soundtrack dishes out the deft audio rendering handles with ease. There is some quirky Reitman-esque music that sounds abundantly crisp and even with some decent bass and sparkling high-end. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Reitman gives good commentary and he has able support from director of photography Eric Steelberg and first assistant director Jason Blumfeld. Those keen on the film genesis and production details should definitely give this a spin. I wouldn't have minded some input from Clooney or others in the cast but so be it. Shadowplay - Before the Story runs a scant 2.5 minutes, followed by the music video "Help Yourself" by Sad Brad Smith. Storyboards certainly seems like filler as the camera just follows two stand-ins for an eventual walk through the airport by Clooney + Anna Kendrick for 1.5 minutes. Certainly with more substance are 13 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Jason Reitman running short of 35-minutes. There is some humor here and there with poignant moments explained my Reitman why they are absent from the final cut. We get an American Airlines Prank crash for 37-seconds and two trailers.



Up in the Air is an excellent film that really stays with you. I found myself thinking about it days after my first viewing. Reitman appears to have his finger on society's pulse at the moment and while I won't rank this as highly as Juno - it is still a super achievement. It exports sobering sadness with a lighter tone - that , in itself, seems a purposeful effect. The cast is fabulous and the Blu-ray produces an impressive, and emotional, presentation - one we can easily recommend. 

Gary Tooze

February 25th, 2010




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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