A Single Man (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-08-2010, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=179911&d=1278630204
The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Mathew Goode
Directed by: Tom Ford
Music by: Abel Korzeniowski
Written by: Tom Ford & David Scearce (screenplay), Christopher Isherwood (novel)
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 6, 2010







"We're invisible, don't you know that?"



Film Synopsis:

A Single Man is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. It is the story of a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life.




My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=179926&d=1278643356

In ‘A Single Man' Colin Firth plays George, a British College Professor living in 1962 Los Angeles. After a cold and heartless phone call from his lover Jim's (Mathew Goode- Watchmen) family notifying him of Jim's death, George is left searching for meaning in his new life alone. The repression of the times and his lovers family's reaction left him without an outlet to properly grieve. The film is one the day in George's life, where he must face his reality and find a reason to keep going. All he wants, no needs, is for someone to actual see and understand him. Maybe that small moment when he finds a new 'real' connection will let him understand himself...again.

This film is an acting tour de force and Colin Firth was more than worthy of his best actor Oscar nomination. His mono-tone style really complimented George's emotional journey, making us feel the numb disconnect that losing his lover of 18 years has caused. The chemistry he had with an equally sad and lonely Charley, played by Julianne Moore was marvelous. She is a woman he was with many years ago and she still wants him. Their friendship is bittersweet as she knows he will never be with her, yet she is always there for him. The supporting cast of Mathew Goode as Jim and Nicholas Hoult as Kenny, a flirtatious young student were perfect as well. First time director and screenwriter Tom Ford really new what he wanted and accomplished getting it. He is a superstar fashion designer with an impeccable eye for detail that really showed in his directing; it was like he had been doing this for years. The way he changed color palette's, composed his shots and paced scenes really worked and enhanced the film.

‘A Single Man' is not for everyone; but even those who do not like it will be hard pressed not to recognize that it is a great film. It is a story in the best sense; it's a tale of the human condition. Yes the lead character is gay, yes the main players are all depressed, lost, scared and searching for meaning. It is all of that without shoving anything down the viewers throat. If you are in the mood for something off the beaten path that has acting worthy of it's Oscar nomination then this engaging character study with style, talent and grace might be for you.



Parental Guide:

Rated R for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373697


Video: 94



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373696

‘A Single Man' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 mbps.

‘A Single Man's' DTS-HD Master Audio track was a very pleasing. Abel Korzeniowski's score was majestic and whimsical yet it had a a sense of frenzied urgency; it was one of the best I have heard in years. Surround activity was kept atmospherically minimalistic but added depth and dimension; especially to scenes like the late night swim where waves and water filled the room. That scene also showed the mixes capabilities with a nice deep low end. However, this is a dialogue based drama and thankfully every word was clear, upfront in the mix and predominantly in the front sound-stage.

The 1080p AVC encoded video is another top tier release by Sony. Director Tom Ford and cinematographer Eduard Grau served up a subtle visual treat utilizing covert mid-scene color shifts from a high to low color temperatures. When a character seemed upset, turned on or it was in real-time, the color palette was reddish. Flashbacks, depressed and disconnected cold emotions had a high color temperature with a blueish hue. There were also moments that faded black and white which were quite effective. Shot in 35 mm, there was a satisfying level of film grain which enhanced the sharpness of the image. The fine details on George's face, suite fabric and bedspread were all impressive. Coupling that with the shifts from over to under-saturated colors with all having a natural look to the flash-tones made watching ‘A Single Man' a pleasure.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary with Producer/Director Tom Ford

  • (HD) The Making of A Single Man

  • (HD) Previews: Breaking Bad, Damages, Chloe, Broken Embraces, The Runaways, Nine

  • movie IQ+sync

  • BD LIVE enabled



Final Thoughts:

‘A Single Man' is not an uplifting film. Its not a big budget faced paced blockbuster and its far from generic. It is artistic, poetic and beautiful to look at and it is for those open-minded and looking for something deeper than and whiz-bang action extravaganza. With an outstanding performance by Colin Firth, an impressive first outing for new director Tom Ford and a stunning score by Abel Korzeniowski, this comes as a highly recommend Blu-ray. This release isn't packed with extras, but Tom Ford's commentary was interesting, especially considering it was his first film. Where Sony doesn't skimp is in the A/V department, as ‘A Single Man' looks and sounds superb. Enjoy!







attachment.php?attachmentid=157497&d=1257542613







Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




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post #2 of 13 Old 07-08-2010, 09:48 PM
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Nice review Lee...not quite a "turd" ...then again not Avatar...this may
make my rental que sometime down the line... Im falling behind in my viewings because of summer activities and getting on my Wing ...I hope to catch up soon ...all these unopened flix get on my nerves.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-08-2010, 11:01 PM
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Lee, just happened to watch my rental tonight and as you said it is a tour de force performance by Colin Firth - and it was his nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars this year that drew my interest. A beautiful soundtrack with great acting all around. The material is not for everyone but I'm glad I saw it although I doubt I will ever purchase it or seek it out again.

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post #4 of 13 Old 07-09-2010, 03:03 AM
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Greetings,

Excellent review Lee. Thanks.


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post #5 of 13 Old 07-09-2010, 06:47 AM
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Lee: A great review. I will add this to my queue in Netflix. People obviously look for different things in movies and a lot depends on one's mood. There are releases like this, which, from your review is a well acted story and a very fine film. Then there are the 2 hour diversions from reality which are entertaining, but perhaps not so memorable for the quality of the screenplay and acting. A time and place for both types of movies.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-09-2010, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEC View Post

Lee: A great review. I will add this to my queue in Netflix. People obviously look for different things in movies and a lot depends on one's mood. There are releases like this, which, from your review is a well acted story and a very fine film. Then there are the 2 hour diversions from reality which are entertaining, but perhaps not so memorable for the quality of the screenplay and acting. A time and place for both types of movies.

Thanks guys!

AEC: I agree and keep that in mind when scoring a film. I try to rate it for what it is and what it was going for rather than its place in the annals of film/movies.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-09-2010, 11:59 PM
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A wonderful film, not to be missed.

R
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-11-2010, 02:35 PM
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Although the transfer was fine, the Director obviously had no idea that he had an Oscar nominated performance here.

With the strong performance by Colin Firth the Director certainly did not need the obvious color fluxuations to show the emotional state of the main character.

Good acting shows the emotion, and Colin Firth certainly did an outstanding job of this in this film. Using color tricks in the film seems to discredit the actors from being able to tell the emotional story without some paint by the number tricks by the Director.

Too bad, as I found the visual tricks to detract from the story.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-12-2010, 01:59 PM
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Well, this was quite an interesting film to say the least. After seeing the trailer i thought it looked pretty good so i decided to see it in the theater.

Was i in for a surprise when i saw it. Definitely not something i'd expected. There were some good and not so good part (at least for me) that wasn't for me. Great acting and decent story. I'd give this one a rental if i were to see it again but i won't.

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-23-2010, 05:40 AM
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Ralph: My wife and I watched this last night On Demand. Your review was dead on. It is a fantastic film, but you are certainly correct about it not being for everyone. Reasonably depressing, funny and cerebral. One of the other forum members did not care for the color fluctuations to telegraph emotions. I felt the use of color was useful and not overdone. Most films that my wife and watch (especially at the theater) are purely for a couple hours of unreality. So if we are entertained then we feel we got our money's worth out of it. This movie was very well directed, had a great script and acting was spot on. Thanks again for the great review!
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-23-2010, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEC View Post

Ralph: My wife and I watched this last night On Demand. Your review was dead on. It is a fantastic film, but you are certainly correct about it not being for everyone. Reasonably depressing, funny and cerebral. One of the other forum members did not care for the color fluctuations to telegraph emotions. I felt the use of color was useful and not overdone. Most films that my wife and watch (especially at the theater) are purely for a couple hours of unreality. So if we are entertained then we feel we got our money's worth out of it. This movie was very well directed, had a great script and acting was spot on. Thanks again for the great review!

Greetings,

Thanks for sharing your impressions. This is Lee's review and I am sure he will appreciate your comments.


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post #12 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 10:56 AM
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First, this is a first rate review Lee. A difficult review to work through, but you did a good job with it IMO. Thank you.

Subject material is not something I enjoy watching, but I will say that the acting and script is superb. Great directing from a first time director.

Colin Firth truly impresses, and I look forward to more dramas with him as the lead. Moore is excellent as well.

PQ was outstanding, and I will comment that I liked the scenes with the color saturation changes. It is something I pointed out to my wife while watching and she agreed. Flesh tones were spot on, and the sets were great.

SQ was good, but not very dynamic. About as good as you can expect from a drama like this though.

PQ: 4.5 out of 5, SQ 3.5 out of 5, Film:

Dan
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-28-2010, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

First, this is a first rate review Lee. A difficult review to work through, but you did a good job with it IMO. Thank you.

Subject material is not something I enjoy watching, but I will say that the acting and script is superb. Great directing from a first time director.

Colin Firth truly impresses, and I look forward to more dramas with him as the lead. Moore is excellent as well.

PQ was outstanding, and I will comment that I liked the scenes with the color saturation changes. It is something I pointed out to my wife while watching and she agreed. Flesh tones were spot on, and the sets were great.

SQ was good, but not very dynamic. About as good as you can expect from a drama like this though.

PQ: 4.5 out of 5, SQ 3.5 out of 5, Film:

Dan

Thanks for the kind words Dan,

I am glad you enjoyed the film!
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