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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


The Lovely Bones [Blu-ray]


(Peter Jackson, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: DreamWorks SKG

Video: Paramount



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

Runtime: 2:15:30.288

Disc Size: 42,845,067,874 bytes

Feature Size: 42,220,013,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 20th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 4347 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4347 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



English (SDH), English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, none


Extras (second Blu-ray):

Introduction by Peter Jackson (1:09 in HD!)
Filming 'The Lovely Bones' (2:57:20 in HD with optional subtitles) in three segments:
 - USA Principal Photography (1:27:51)
 - New Zealand Principal Photography (59:43)
 - Visual Effects Photography (29:45)





Description: From Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson comes the extraordinary story about one girl’s life, and everything that came after. When 14-year-old Susie Salmon was murdered, she left her unfinished life behind. But now from her place in a strange but beautiful in-between world, she must help her father catch her killer and protect her family before she can finally move on. Filled with thrilling suspense, hope and the redeeming power of love, it’s “One of the best films of the year. Incredibly powerful.



The Film:

We all like children, and — at least in our capacity as moviegoers, book-club members and consumers of true-life melodrama — we seem to like them best when they’re abused, endangered or dead. Nothing else is quite so potent a symbol of violated innocence, a spur to pious sentiment or a goad to revenge as a child in peril. This is hardly news (Charles Dickens made a nice living trafficking in the suffering of minors), but for some reason the past decade has seen an epidemic of cinematic and literary crimes against the young.

The Lovely Bones,” Alice Sebold’s 2002 best seller, now a film directed by Peter Jackson, stands out as a singularly bold and complex treatment of this grim and apparently inexhaustible theme. In spite of the horrific act at the center of the story — the rape, murder and dismemberment of a 14-year-old girl — the novel is not depressing or assaultive but rather, somewhat perversely, warm, hopeful and even occasionally funny.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the NY Times located HERE


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

The Lovely Bones looks pristine on Blu-ray from Paramount. The film has plenty of visual effects that are well supported in the 1080P rendering. The first Blu-ray disc is entirely filled with the feature film (42 Gig) - sharing it with no extras. If there can be a weakness - colors look almost too brilliant at times. Detail is impressive with some frequent dimensionality showing through and there is a very fine sheen of texturizing grain.  It looks quite immaculate. This Blu-ray transfers has one of the best looking presentations that I've seen - lifting the visually beautiful film that is filled with many vibrant scenes - and amazing art direction. This is approaching reference quality for the video appearance.















Audio :

The magnificent video is supported with a similarly robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at a whopping 4347 kbps. There aren't the type of heavy bass effects one might find in a modern action genre film but the track effortlessly handles what is exported with crisp and responsive separations and a delightful and contemplative score by Brian Eno. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

The supplements reside totally on a 2nd Blu-ray disc. Here we get everything in HD including a 1-minute introduction by Peter Jackson and then a massive documentary "Filming The Lovely Bones" running just shy of 3-hours! It is divided into segments, USA Principal Photography, New Zealand Principal Photography and Visual Effects Photography - with those subcategories divided by the timeframe (which week of filming) they represent. It's almost a course primer for those wishing to understand the modern film approach - of course there is some uniqueness to Jackson's methods and the film's visual effects are certainly a category unto themselves. It's a bit laborious to sit through but it is also educational and one can't help but admire the lengths the filmmakers have gone to in creating The Lovely Bones. Impressive is an understatement.


Blu-ray Disc 2


I was uncomfortable through some of this film but it held me in an attentive, vise-like, grip. I'm, actually, keen to read the book now. I'd say though - it took a certain acceptance to come around to letting the film 'in'. It's such a deplorable topic that it may be hard - or impossible - for many to succumb. As for the Blu-ray - it gets top marks - what a visual experience supported with a solid aural envelopment and more extra(s) than most will, probably, want to indulge in. Certain scenes of this film are almost hypnotic in their beauty. I look forward to revisiting it one day. I think accepting the approach to the topic may help me come to grips with a more thorough enjoyment. The filmmaking seems brilliant. I'd have to recommend this package on many fronts but this film is definitely not for the sensitive. 

Gary Tooze

April 15th, 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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