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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Somewhere [Blu-ray]

 

(Sofia Coppola, 2010)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Focus Features

Video: Focus Features / Universal

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (B+C untested)

Runtime: 1:37:54.869

Disc Size: 33,369,499,378 bytes

Feature Size: 27,401,945,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.15 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 19th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3596 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3596 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Making Somewhere (17:03 in 1080P)

• 'My Scenes' ability

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: "Somewhere" is a witty, moving, and empathetic look into the orbit of actor Johnny Marco. You have probably seen him... in the tabloids; Johnny is living at the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood. He has a Ferrari to drive around in, and a constant stream of girls and pills to stay in with. Comfortably numbed, Johnny drifts along. Then, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo from his failed marriage arrives unexpectedly at the Chateau. Their encounters encourage Johnny to face up to where he is in life and confront the question that we all must: which path in life will you take?

 

 

The Film:

The best movie directors aren’t just masters of technical craft: They also are artists capable of showing you the world through their eyes — of making you see and feel exactly what they do. With Somewhere, her fourth, smallest and most risky film, writer-director Sofia Coppola succeeds at the difficult task of turning moments of apparent nothingness — a scene of a man alone in a hotel room, quietly smoking; a shot of a father and daughter sunbathing at poolside — into eloquent insights into the moods and psyches of her characters. Filmed by cinematographer Harris Savides in the seductive haze that is typical of Los Angeles, Somewhere is filled with long, uninterrupted shots in which little seems to happen, but Coppola holds and holds on them, until they’re suddenly suffused with emotion.

Excerpt from Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald located HERE

I am aware of spelling out themes that Ms. Coppola leaves unstated. But the waters of this film are not only still and deep but also bracingly clear, and the most remarkable thing about it may be how much it implies while saying so little. There is barely any quotable or memorable dialogue, and yet its images are so eloquent that they demand to be seen over and over again.

Repeated viewing reveals how thoroughly Ms. Coppola has absorbed her influences and how much she has pushed herself to grow from film to film. Like “Lost in Translation” and “Marie Antoinette,” “Somewhere” is a study in gilded loneliness. And much in the way that “Lost,” set in Japan, showed a debt to recent Asian cinema, so “Somewhere,” which takes a voyage to Italy, betrays an engagement with the films of Michelangelo Antonioni.

This is not a matter of imitation, but rather of mastery, of finding — by borrowing if necessary — a visual vocabulary suited to the story and its environment. If you pay close attention, “Somewhere” will show you everything.

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

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

Video quality via the VC-1 encode seems at the modest, but accurate, end of the scale via the Blu-ray medium for Somewhere. The purposeful grittiness gives the film its verité reality and the 1080P transfer exports this reasonably well.  This dual-layered with a strong bitrate for the 1.5 hour film. There is a bit of digital noise in the darker sequences but other than that we have no complaints. Somewhere's colors seem true and the image has no strong depth that many seek from Blu-ray but this is no fault of the HD rendering.  By modern standards this is fairly tame visually-speaking but as a representation of the original - it is probably quite accurate. It provides a consistent, authentic and clean presentation - which is all we can ask.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3596 kbps track doesn't get much exercise with Somewhere's cerebral introspective moments. I noted a few instances of separation but nothing in the film requires abundant surround or aggressive depth. The original music by Phoenix has its moments and quality is strong.

 

Extras :

The supplements consist of a lone Making Somewhere piece that is a little different from what we are usually used to - almost like a short film within the film. It runs 17-minutes and peaked my curiosity enough to indulge till the end. The Blu-ray offers the 'My Scenes' ability.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I feel greatness seething beneath the surface but Somewhere didn't reach me in the way it might for most. I had a similar reaction to Sofia Coppola Lost in Translation but I am always anxious to see more as her limitless directorial potential always capable of exploring areas where mainstream dare not approach. Admittedly there are some great Antonioni-esque moments in Somewhere but also some cine-psycho masturbation with the recurring 'celebrity loneliness' theme as well. The Blu-ray image may not be the height of the format but does a good job of presenting the film. I suspect those who enjoy the director's expanding-ly curious work should consider indulging in the Blu-ray

Gary Tooze

April 11th, 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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