Only Lovers Left Alive (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-17-2014, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Only Lovers Left Alive (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Driven by sensual photography, trance-like music, and droll humor, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive is a meditation on art, science, and the mysteries of everlasting love.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classic - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Drama/Fantasy

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, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, John Hurt
Written & Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Music by: Jozef Van Wissem, & Squrl
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 19, 2014


"Love is eternal"


My Take:

The tale of two fragile and sensitive vampires, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), who have been lovers for centuries. Both are cultured intellectuals with an all-embracing passion for music, literature and science, who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness. Their love story has endured several centuries but their debauched idyll is threatened by the uninvited arrival of Eve’s carefree little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) who hasn’t yet learned to tame her wilder instincts.

Only lovers left alive is an intimate, artsy and wry take on the overcrowded vampire genre. It’s slow churned narrative makes for an interesting character study that eschews many of the conventional plot points that tend to find their way into films based upon immortal blood feeders. It moves very slowly, feeling more like a play than a two hour feature film so going in with that in mind is essential to deriving the most from its shallow but wonderfully shaped story.

Its offbeat fly on the wall perspective is enriched by the engaging performances of Hiddleston and Swinton as you are drawn into their world and slowly begin to revel in the unique and somber thematic tone that is thoughtfully designed. It would be safe to say that Only lover’s left alive isn’t conventional enough for wide spread appeal however if you open up to its differing genre spin and entertaining moodiness it’s well worth its two hour runtime.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and brief 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: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Only Lovers Left Alive comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 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 3.8 Mbps.

This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery but it seems to represent the film’s elements well. When present, primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a limited overall palette that works well against the drab settings featured in the story. Complexions coincide with the film’s chromatic aesthetic with pale but lifelike tonality that varies only slightly among the cast. Resolution is very good although some of the film’s innately softer elements leave some wide angle shots with smoother lines and average delineation. Close ups and mid-level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts and thought this appeared to be a high quality encoding.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well-articulated dialogue. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail from time to time. The mix does a decent job of creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field’s acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are used to add solidity to sound effects and the film’s music score. I thought the presentation served the source material well and sounded fine.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Traveling at night with Jim Jarmusch – A 49 minute behind the scenes look
  • (HD) 23 Deleted & extended scenes – 26 minutes
  • (HD) Yasmine Hamdan “Hal” music video – 4 minutes
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer





Final Thoughts:

Coming from the mind and heart of writer/director Jim Jarmusch, Only lovers left alive is a thoughtful, artsy and well enacted film that presents an unconventional and ultimately entertaining spin on the vampire genre. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits mated with an above average supplemental offering that takes a look behind the scenes. Only overs left alive isn’t for everyone but if you appreciate offbeat indie flicks this one is right up your alley.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 9 Old 08-18-2014, 06:24 AM
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The scenes when Vamps ingest blood suggested "dabs" or swooning definitely hit it on the head. The in and out of focus and rush was marvelous.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-19-2014, 12:22 AM
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Really loved this one, Jarmusch rarely does a bad film, and this one ranked close to the top for me, along with Dead Man and Ghost Dog. It's darkly funny, a slow burn, and really pulls you in.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-22-2014, 06:35 PM
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Awful

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-28-2014, 06:18 AM
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Great review Ralph and your warnings about its pacing were right on the money. When I began to lose interest its dry humour brought me back in. I loved the line: "She drank Ian." Again, the recurring hypothesis about Kit Marlowe and Shakespeare was amusing. I also found the reference to humans as being Zombies (pun intended) amusing. If you're into guitars then you'll find Adam's collection of particular interest along with his Marshall amp and assorted recording equipment. When push came to shove these vampires could still show their fangs -- this put a little bite back into the narrative.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-28-2014, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post
Great review Ralph and your warnings about its pacing were right on the money. When I began to lose interest its dry humour brought me back in. I loved the line: "She drank Ian." Again, the recurring hypothesis about Kit Marlowe and Shakespeare was amusing. I also found the reference to humans as being Zombies (pun intended) amusing. If you're into guitars then you'll find Adam's collection of particular interest along with his Marshall amp and assorted recording equipment. When push came to shove these vampires could still show their fangs -- this put a little bite back into the narrative.
Greetings,

Thanks for offering your thoughts on this one Deja Vu. I am glad that worked for you as well...


Regards,

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-29-2014, 07:00 AM
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Jarmusch is my favorite director, so I'm inherently biased...that being said, this film was brilliant. Loved every minute. Amazing cast, original storyline (goes with the territory with Jim), never know what will happen next.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-29-2014, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post
Jarmusch is my favorite director, so I'm inherently biased...that being said, this film was brilliant. Loved every minute. Amazing cast, original storyline (goes with the territory with Jim), never know what will happen next.
Greetings,



Thanks for offering your thoughts AJ...


Regards,

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-29-2014, 08:20 AM
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I do wish that the scene in which Ian and Adam are discussing his music and its "distribution" had not been edited out though. The film works wonderfully as a minimalist piece, but I do feel tehre were just a few brief moments where Jarmusch may have excised just a smidge more than was optimal. Still, it was quite beautiful.
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