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Coming Home aka "Gui lai" [Blu-ray]
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Le Vision Pictures
Video: Sony Home Pictures
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,911,916,590 bytes
Feature Size: 26,966,661,120 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.87 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: March 8th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Mandarin 2149 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2149 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio Portuguese 2150 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2150
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Mandarin 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, English (SDH) French, Portuguese, Spanish, none
• Commentary by Zhang Yimou (in Mandarin with English subtitles)
• TIFF 2013 Q&A with Zhang Yimou (18:48)
• Trailer (2:20)
Description: Lu (Chen Daoming) and Feng (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. When Lu is released years later, he returns home to find his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize him, she still patiently awaits her husband's return. A stranger within his own family, Lu is determined to awaken his wife's memory through gentle displays of unconditional and eternal love.
A thoughtful exploration of the nature of love and identity, Coming Home has something in common with Still Alice in its portrait of a woman who has lost her memories but remains intellectually alert and retains the emotional core of her selfhood. Gong Li is magnificent as always, though her performance here is deftly understated, often letting her character fade into the background in scenes where she sits at the centre. The actress' lengthy career and the romantic bond this has formed for many viewers makes Lu's altered relationship to her all the more poignant. But perhaps there is more than one way to look at this. If there is no way back, might there yet be a way forward?Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE
Zhang Yimou and Gong Li constitute one of the great director-actress
pairings in movie history. In the 1980s and ’90s they worked together on
a remarkable run of movies — including “Red Sorghum,” “Raise the Red
Lantern,” “Shanghai Triad” and “To Live” — that were central to the
resurgence of Chinese cinema and made international stars of both of
them. Ms. Gong, noble, fragile and indomitable, was for Mr. Zhang a
muse, an alter ego and an emblem of China’s suffering and resilience at
important moments in the nation’s history.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Coming Home looks strong on Blu-ray from Sony. It is easy to see by some of the vibrant, rich colors in the opening scenes that this is a deft transfer in the 1080P resolution. It appears shot on 4K digital and printed in 35mm gaining the visual attributes of that process looking very crisp in close-ups, pristinely clean and relatively smooth in-motion. This dual-layered Blu-ray, is probably a strong replication of the theatrical film's image quality. No noise or other issues whatsoever.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Sony use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround in Mandarin at 2149 kbps (16-bit). There are sparse effects - rain and dancing etc. that gain some acknowledged separation. The music is by Qigang Chen (who scored the previous two Zhang Yimou films) and it supports the period and cultural specifics of the film. There are foreign-language DUBs, an audio descriptive track and there are optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Nice to see Sony supporting this release offering an audio commentary by Zhang Yimou (in Mandarin with English subtitles) where he is fairly surface about the production but divulged some details about the story and themes. We get a Toronto Film Festival 2013 Q&A with Zhang Yimou running almost 20-minutes (trans;ated). There is a trailer and some Sony previews
March 18th, 2016
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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