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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Anomalisa [Blu-ray]


(Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, 2015)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Starburns Industries

Video: Paramount / Artificial Eye Curzon



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

Runtime: 1:30:36.431 / 1:30:12.824

Disc Size: 38,773,196,445 bytes / 35,004,900,049 bytes

Feature Size: 26,887,483,392 bytes / 25,263,482,880 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.04 Mbps / 29.97 Mbps

Chapters: 14 / 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase / Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 7th, 2016 / July 11th, 2016


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3616 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3616 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 Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Descriptive Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB


LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3246 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3246 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)



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





None of Them Are You: Crafting Anomalisa (30:03)

• Intimacy of Miniature (9:22)

• The Sound of Unease (5:42)


Q+A with Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman and Rosa Tran (25:38)

• 13 Featurettes (9:18)

• Behind the Scenes gallery (1:21)

• Trailer (1:49)



1) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Description: A lonely man with seemingly no outside interests other than his rather ironic job as a motivational speaker, takes a business trip where he meets an extraordinary stranger who may possess the power to change his negative view of life. This stop-motion animation feature is from lauded screenwriter and director Charlie Kaufman, who co-directs alongside Duke Johnson. Tom Noonan and Jennifer Jason Leigh provide their voices.



The Film:

The sad and stingingly painful “Anomalisa,” a beautiful big-screen whatsit, features a throng of whiners, malcontents and depressives along with one bright soul who hasn’t let disappointment break her. They’re a funny, odd group. Some register as generically prickly, full of vinegar and spit (a few may just be tired after a day’s work); others sag, as if deflating one breath at a time under an unfathomable weight. And while some carry their burden quietly and alone, others insist on sharing it, like those people who take deep, accusatory sighs when you bump into them on the subway.

This is, in other words, the human comedy as brought to you by Charlie Kaufman. He’s best known for his dense, wily, rebuslike screenplays — including “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” — and least loved for “Synecdoche, New York” (2008), the only other feature he directed before “Anomalisa.” A delirious, brutally undersung masterwork about a tormented theater director who stars in his own self-devouring production, “Synecdoche” closes with a voice providing the ultimate stage direction: “Die.” It seemed like a portentous omen given that Mr. Kaufman subsequently seemed to disappear for the next seven years.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE


The hell of other people fuses with the hell of loneliness in this strange miniature masterpiece from Charlie Kaufman. It’s an eerily detailed puppet animation about a motivational speaker who spends one unhappy night in a Cincinnati hotel. It is really funny, and incidentally boasts one of the most extraordinarily real sex scenes in film history. It also scared me the way a top-notch horror or a sci-fi dystopia might. Being amused or scared at Anomalisa feels like choosing between the blue pill or the red pill in The Matrix.

Is it about a man having a midlife breakdown? Or is this the breakdown itself? Is this film just one long hallucinatory symptom of cognitive disorder? David Thewlis voices Michael Stone, an expatriate Brit in the US who has made a name and career for himself writing motivational books about customer service. He’s in Cincinnati to give a speech on this subject – a little like George Clooney’s sleek character in the Jason Reitman comedy Up in the Air. But so far from being a dynamic or charismatic individual, Michael is clinically depressed: small, cowed. He is numbed and alienated from the world.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

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

Anomalisa uses stop-motion animation, similar to Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it arrives on Blu-ray from Paramount.  It's dual-layered with a high bitrate and there is nothing to go wrong with the 1080P transfer. It was shot with a Canon EOS 7D and the image quality and style are impressive frequently exhibiting depth. This Blu-ray exports Anomalisa retaining the film's impact and power via the unique appearance. For all intents and purposes - it looks perfect on my system.




Subtitle Sample Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray














Audio :

Anomalisa's audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 3616 kbps (24-bit). It's fairly passive and basically dialogue-driven - you may catch a hint of the famous soprano duet "Flower Duet" from Léo Delibes' opera Lakmé. The film's score is from frequent Coen collaborator, Carter Burwell (A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski) and we can hear his song 'None Of Them Are You' augmenting the film's gently supportive chords played throughout. It is all crisp enough without dynamic range or depth. The robust lossless handles everything the film requires. Dialogue is always clear and there are optional subtitles. Outside of David Thewlis as Michael Stone and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lisa Hesselman - all other voice characterizations, male or female, are by Tom Noonan. My Oppo has identified this Paramount as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

There are some relevant supplements. None of Them Are You: Crafting Anomalisa runs a 1/2 hour and gives us an in-depth look at the film making process of Anomalisa with director, Charlie Kaufman, and stop-motion specialist, Duke Johnson. Intimacy of Miniature runs less than 10-minutes and details some of the more adult visuals of the stop-motion process. The Sound of Unease is only 5 minutes and references Tom Noonan as the many voice characterizations in the film.






I loved Charlie Kaufman films. Just when I am bored with the status quo - one of his inventive efforts surfaces to give me contemplative pause. I was particularly fond of “Being John Malkovich,” and “Synecdoche, New York” - both timeless masterpieces, IMO.  Anomalisa is something I will definitely be viewing again - probably multiple times.  I feel that this Blu-ray a/v is authentic and supports the film's frequently profound presentation precisely supporting its very human intent. I'm fumbling... as Michael in the film states: "Look for what is special about each individual, focus on that."  This film is special.

Gary Tooze

May 30th, 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.

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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