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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hereafter [Blu-ray]

 

(Clint Eastwood, 2010)

 

    

    

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:09:02.609

Disc Size: 36,754,345,651 bytes

Feature Size: 23,548,520,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.95 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: March 15th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3309 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3309 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

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon lead a journey into Hereafter to explore the world of skeptics, psychics and mediums, and the possibility of life after death.
Featuring 9 Focus Points:
Tsunami! Recreating a Disaster
Is There Life After Death?
Clint on Casting
Delving into the Hereafter
Twin Bonding
French Speaking French
Why The White Light?
Hereafter's Locations - "Casting" the Silent Characters
The Eastwood Experience
The Eastwood Factor (Extended Version) (1:28:12 in 1080P)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: George (Matt Damon) is a blue-collar American with a special connection to the afterlife dating from his childhood. French journalist Marie (CÚcile de France) has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when London schoolboy Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each seeking the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might – or must – exist in the hereafter.

***

"Hereafter" tells the story of three people who are touched by death in different ways. George is a blue-collar American... who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie, a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus, a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might -- or must -- exist in the hereafter.

 

 

The Film:

The afterlife is not necessarily where you would expect to find Clint Eastwood, who at 80 shows no signs of tiring out or settling down. His latest film, “Hereafter,” is at once recognizably his — in tone and atmosphere — and a startling departure from his previous work.
 
Death has never been a stranger in Mr. Eastwood’s cinematic universe: the lone riders and taciturn gunmen that defined his heroic phase as an actor were frequently pitiless avatars of mortality, and the grave has often been the horizon toward which both the righteous and the wicked in his movies are drawn. But like most filmmakers working outside the genres of horror or sudsy religious comedy, Mr. Eastwood has shown little inclination to point his camera beyond that horizon.

Excerpt from A.O. Scott at the N.Y. Times located HERE

 

Eastwood and his actors achieve a tone that doesn't force the material but embraces it: Not dreamlike, but evoking a reverie state. These characters are not hurtling toward the resolution of a plot. There is no "solution" to their stories. There are various degrees of solace, or not. They don't punch the dialogue. They lack the certainty to impose themselves. George in particular is reserved and sad, because his power has become a burden to him.

There's a sweet subplot involving Melanie (Howard), who he meets as a partner in a cooking class. She has experienced loss. George doesn't want to enter her mind. He yearns for a normal life. The ability to read minds would be an unbearable curse. The way his gift affects their relationship is stark and poignant. Marie, the newsreader, is played by Cecile de France in such a fresh and likable way that our sympathy is engaged and we understand that whatever happened to her in the first terrifying scene has fundamentally changed her. Frankie McLaren, as the solemn and earnest little boy seeking his dead twin, takes a character that could have been bathetic and makes him simple and transparent. And notice Richard Kind, so affecting as a man who has lost his wife.

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.

Hereafter looks, predictably, strong on Blu-ray from Warner as they continue to use the AVC encode - as opposed to VC-1.  The image quality shows a high level of detail. It probably looked quite similar to this theatrically with some of the effects being a bit transparent in the higher resolution. The bitrate is at the modest end but visually it gives a great presentation. Colors and contrast are strong.  This is a dual-layered and has many instances of showing depth. It is, obviously, clean and is smooth in motion. Certain scenes are extremely jaw-dropping and might also work as 'demo' for your system depending on the individual. Overall, most viewers will be very impressed with the film's dynamic effects as reproduced for the 1080P transfer. I can't imagine anyone complaining - this is a very worthy image.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Warner supply a notable DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3309 kbps. The film has plenty of effects that are transferred with some buoyant range and impacting depth. The film's soundstage has some variety and it does a solid job - being a very relevant part of the presentation. It won't break the windows but will surely scare the dog - beware the volume. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Supplements essentially consist of two specific features - via Warner's 'Focus Points' - that can be chosen as an option as the film runs jumping away from scenes for some discussion on the production specifics, plot, storyline or philosophy of life after death - described as 'Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon lead a journey into Hereafter to explore the world of skeptics, psychics and mediums, and the possibility of life after death' - these are segmented into 9 topics; Tsunami! Recreating a Disaster, Is There Life After Death?, Clint on Casting and so on. This is a decent way to impart information as you can click to decide on the topic or simply move on. Also included is an extended version of The Eastwood Factor - seen previously by some - it runs just shy of 1.5 hours and is in 1080P.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While by no means a perfect film - Hereafter is very entertaining. Clint and co. cover all the bases of direction in their usual diligent manner. If he continues to create films this good - his legion of fans will be very pleased. It is one of those films that should only be seen theatrically or on Blu-ray - in my opinion. It is more than a simple 'popcorn' experience and should spark some discussion after a viewing. I think many will really enjoy Hereafter in 1080P and we do recommend! 

Gary Tooze

March 1st, 2011

    

    


 

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.

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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