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post #1 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
85





Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 126 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson
Written & Directed by: Spike Jonze
Music by: Arcade Fire
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 13, 2014







"Love is a many splendored thing…"


Film Synopsis:

Academy Award® winner for Best Original Screenplay! Directed by Spike Jonze and starring Joaquin Phoenix comes an original love story that explores the evolving nature and risks of intimacy in the modern world.


My Take:

Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, “Her” follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.
From the singular perspective of writer/director Spike Jonze comes this original love story that explores the evolving nature—and risks—of intimacy in the modern world.

My son went to see Her in the theater and came back having been completely moved by it. Having recently gone through a breakup I think the film struck a chord with him but his high praise warranted a trip to the Cineplex. Opting to see it again he accompanied my wife and I. Quite frankly I knew very little about the movie going in and with elevated expectations my reaction to it was mixed. Her is a very personal and intimate film that centers around a sensitive and lonely nebbish who having recently gone through a difficult separation finds himself a completely open book. Samantha comes along and is everything he longs for in a companion. Unfortunately she can’t take physical form which is something that proves to be more of an obstacle for her rather than him. What neither of them sees coming is the inevitable. As I watched in the theater I was intrigued by the film’s concept but simultaneously taken out of it by the nature of the relationship. I must admit that there is a solemn beauty and tender wit to the human connection depicted in the story. Watching it for the second time I gleaned a bit more from the film and enjoyed the earnestness/satirical edge of its message and engagingly warm melancholy that resides at its center.

There is no denying that writer/director Spike Jonze can spin an encapsulating yarn. Everything from the purposefully whimsical cinematography to the tone setting music and bizarrely befitting costumes, it all comes together. There is a fresh and pertinent wryness that is both insightful and thought provoking. Joaquin Phoenix was the perfect choice for Theodore and I thought he played to role to perfection. The same is true of Scarlett Johansson and their chemistry is what sells this film. I have to admit to being disappointed that Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara had only a small roles as I like them both. Amy Adams didn’t get much of a chance to flex her acting chops either but contributed nicely.

I think that Her isn’t a film for everyone. If you are open to the subtext in its story I have to believe that you’ll enjoy looking through the window into its world. Congrats to Spike Jonze on his Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, sexual content, and brief graphic nudity.



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.**


Audio: 80

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


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency effects: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): NA


Video: 90

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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


Her comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This is a solid video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during mid level camera pans. The color range perfectly sets the film’s somber tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yielded crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic and occasionally flat. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. This is a pristine encoding that showed no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there is effective use of atmospheric sounds that broaden the soundstage in support of the venues being depicted onscreen. The presentation has an open and balanced presence that helps drive the films thematic elements.


Bonus Features:

  • (HD) The un-titled Rick Howard project – 24 minutes

  • (HD) Her: Love in the modern age – 15 minute featurette

  • (HD) How do you share your life with somebody? – 4 minute feature

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Her comes from the mind and heart of writer/director Spike Jonze and is an interesting and oddly engrossing film that presents a fresh and discussion provoking take on romance. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring faithful high definition video, crisp lossless sound and fair supplemental offering that explores the film’s production. If you are already a fan this release is worth picking up. For those that may be curious I would recommend a rental prior to purchase.






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 11:38 AM
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Great review Mr. Potts. one of my favorite films of 2013.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 11:48 AM
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nice...a great movie

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 06:33 PM
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Great review, Ralph! I absolutely loved the concept of this film and found it engaging from start to finish. My only real issue was an awkward scene early in the film that sort of took me out of the moment, but nothing major. I thought it gave me a lot to think about and the acting was excellent all around. Very solid film and I agree 100% with your rating.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 07:22 PM
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Didn't really enjoy this one that much. It moves quite slow and I'm not a fan of Phoenix.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-05-2014, 07:50 PM
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Thanks for the review.  I didn't see this one in theatre and have been looking forward to the blu-ray release.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-06-2014, 08:20 AM
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I truly enjoyed this picture. Though provoking , engaging and solid acting . I'm not a fan of Phoenix either but it takes a strong performance to carry a film by yourself. Think I Am Legend (Will Smith) Cast Away (Tommy Hanks) . While this wasnt so isolated he was the only real actor with significant screen time. Great voice acting by Scarlet, That should not go without mention as she made you feel for her ... OS? smile.gif
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-06-2014, 06:01 PM
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I loved the movie and appreciate your thoughts, Mr. Potts.

Thank you for sharing!
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-17-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post
Didn't really enjoy this one that much. It moves quite slow and I'm not a fan of Phoenix.
I like Phoenix, but I didn't like this 1 at all either. Mt family gave up watching it after about 40 minutes or so.

Just painfully dull. The plot of this movie's more or less like every day life. You see more people interacting through their devices than you do face to face.

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-18-2014, 06:14 PM
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same to me,My only real issue was an awkward scene early in the film that sort of took me out of the moment, but nothing major. I thought it gave me a lot to think about and the acting was excellent all around. Very solid film and I agree 100% with your rating. thanks for your sharing [IMG]http://*******/BqayBL[/IMG]
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-18-2014, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinmairangs View Post
same to me,My only real issue was an awkward scene early in the film that sort of took me out of the moment, but nothing major. I thought it gave me a lot to think about and the acting was excellent all around. Very solid film and I agree 100% with your rating. thanks for your sharing [IMG]http://*******/BqayBL[/IMG]


Greetings,


Sure thing jinmairangs. Welcome to AVS...




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post #12 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 11:21 PM
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Excellent movie, IMO.

The focus was on technology, but in the end, the Phoenix character makes the same classic mistakes that men have made with women from time immemorial. Poor at reading signals (Wilde), too available (Scar Jo), bad selection (Mara).

The more things change.....
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