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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

About Cherry [Blu-ray]

 

(Stephen Elliott, 2012)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Enderby Entertainment

Video: MPI

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:42:11.125

Disc Size: 21,260,558,721 bytes

Feature Size: 19,563,313,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.89 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 15th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2167 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2167 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Deleted Scenes (1:40)

• Trailer (2:14)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: 18-year-old Angelica (Ashley Hinshaw, Chronicle) shuffles between school, a dead-end job, her exploitative boyfriend (Johnny Weston) and home, where her life consists of cleaning up after her alcoholic mother (Lily Taylor) and protecting her younger sister from their menacing stepfather. After arranging an escape to San Francisco with her best friend Andrew (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), she soon finds herself dating a coke-addicted attorney (James Franco) and becoming immersed in the local adult film industry, mentored by director Margaret (Heather Graham), who has more than just a professional interest in Angelica's talents. Taking an insider's view of the adult film world, first-time director and novelist Stephen Elliott's ABOUT CHERRY is a gritty drama featuring an all-star cast in unprecedented roles.

 

 

The Film:

An insider’s view of the pornographic film industry filtered through the perspective of Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw) — a beautiful, fresh-faced 18-year-old who moves from Long Beach, Calif., to San Francisco — “About Cherry” is eerily devoid of judgment or any kind of analysis. As “Cherry” (her screen name) advances from erotic photographs to girl-on-girl action to boy-girl films to director, she remains preternaturally blasé. “It’s my job,” she responds to all naysayers.

This depiction of a pornographic studio portrays the actors and producers as a supportive pseudofamily in a world that seems more stable and nourishing than Angelina’s dead-end existence working in a Laundromat and living with an alcoholic mother (Lili Taylor)..

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

A pretty California teen clings to her innocence while living in San Francisco, and embracing a career as an adult film starlet in this gritty drama featuring James Franco, Lili Taylor, and Heather Graham. Enticed into posing nude by her depraved boyfriend (Jonny Weston), shy high school student Angelica (Ashley Hinshaw) falls into the world of fetish photography, and begins to see a means of escaping her dead-end life. Meanwhile, as Angelica weighs her options while struggling to be a good role model for her impressionable younger sister, their shrewd mother (Taylor) and shady step-father offer little solace. Under the guidance of a sensitive female porn director (Graham) Angelica stands a good chance of becoming a big star, but as the conflicted teen bares her soul to her understanding best friend (Dev Patel, she finds herself falling under the spell of a drug-addicted lawyer (Franco) who may be her undoing.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

About Cherry was shot on HD and the Blu-ray from MPI carries some of the deficiencies of that format - contrast flares and occasionally waxy appearances. However, it also can look pristinely sharp. The 1.78:1 can look very flat but un-manipulated. It probably looked quite similar to this.  This is only single-layered with a middling bitrate. Colors seem true - accurate skin tones - but the visuals are HD through-and-through. There are things I prefer about 'film' and this showcases some of the noisy weaknesses of this versatile format. It appears to be accurate from a production standpoint. Not remarkable in any sense but consistent in-motion.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Jeff Russo did the original music and it is rendered in a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2167 kbps. There aren't many separations - it is not that type of movie. It sounds clean and clear - any minutely scattered dialogue adds a vérité aura to the specific scene. The film does not have an abundance of effects and the lossless track handles everything dished-out with relative ease. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

Not much. a short 'Deleted Scenes' and a trailer. For his first feature the writer/director might have considered a commentary. It would have added value to give credence to his less-understood film.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I suspect that I was aware of the intent of the film - which I appreciated - but I don't know if it was pulled off to impact most viewers. Despite the matter-of-fact approach, the sadness created is of the unpleasant, distasteful, kind - that was probably the intent. I don't know - I think few will get the message adequately. It will leave you pretty glum. The Blu-ray is no superstar either but gives a decent a/v presentation - although an, essentially, bare-bones package. Keep your expectations in-check if you venture here. 

Gary Tooze

January 9th, 2013

 

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 5000 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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