The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightly, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, William Peterson, Connie Britton, Martin Sheen, Derek Luke, Rob Corddry, Patton Oswalt, Melanie Lynsky, Mark Moses, T.J. Miller
Written & Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
Music by: Rob Simonsen
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 23, 2012
In a too-near future, apartment-building neighbors Dodge and Penny (Steve Carell and Keira Knightley), react in their own unique ways to the announcement that a 70-mile-wide asteroid is en route to Earth. He wants to return to his first love. She wants to get back to her family. As the unlikely companions’ respective journeys converge they meet up with a cast of characters, and their outlooks – if not the world’s – brighten in surprising ways.
Seeking a friend for the end of the world comes from the mind of writer/director Lorene Scafaria and tells the story of Dodge and Penny, two very different people tossed together by happenstance and sharing the same fate, facing the end of the world. With only three weeks left before the arrival of “Matilda”, a 70 mile wide cataclysm causing asteroid, Dodge and Penny opt to spend that time together in an attempt to track down his high school sweetheart, and find a way for her to return home to England to be with her family. Along they way they encounter a variety of people, each spending their last days in different, and in some cases, interesting ways. What they also discover during their journey is something that neither expected, deep, binding and unfettered love.
Seeking a friend for the end of the world is interestingly unusual from a conceptual standpoint especially considering its place in the romantic comedy genre. The narrative is a bit uneven thematically speaking but as it presses on it becomes evident where things are headed. The humor is quirky with an ironic blend that includes poking fun at humankind as we get a glimpse of the choices people make when facing the end of days. The road trip aspect of the plot turns out to be the defining element that plays host to the film’s best moments. This includes some great interplay between Carell and Knightley a charming sequence involving the resolution of old familial demons and some off beat situations that both add and detract from the story’s momentum. The second half of the film holds up a bit better than the first with the outcome being an off kilter but watchable romantic comedy with a buttery yet bittersweet finish that may frustrate some but that I found worked.
Steve Carell’s comedic charisma allows him to play the affably charming nebbish role well and that combined with solid onscreen chemistry with Keira Knightly helped make Seeking a friend for the end of the world better than it might have otherwise been. There a bunch of supporting cameos from the likes of Connie Britton, Derek Luke, Martin Sheen, Adam Brody, Rob Coddry, Patton Oswalt, Melanie Lynsky, Mark Moses and T.J. Miller (he is hysterical), that prove worthwhile, although I found Patton Oswalt to be just plain annoying. I think that depending on your taste this is a film that you’ll either appreciate for what it tries to be or dislike it for the same reason. I am in the former camp although clearly there were times where I could have swung either way.
The rating is for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Seeking a friend for the end of the world comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.
This is a satisfying high definition video presentation that delivers quality which is on par with a newer release film coming to Blu-ray Disc. Colors appear natural with pleasing depth and an intentionally subdued palette. Complexions are realistically depicted with defining texture, and good tonal separation. Blacks are respectable but don’t offer the depth and delineation that make them stand out. Detail in low light and dark backgrounds is estimable. Images offer good dimensional depth, stable sharpness, and clarity but doesn’t have opulent high level detail and vibrant colors. This appears to look exactly as intended which when all is said and done is fine.
The lossless audio presentation is solid and renders the soundtrack with aplomb. Dialogue is clearly rendered through the center channel and the recordings various elements are reproduced with appreciable refinement and appropriate depth. Aural perspective is one dimensional with emphasis on the front channels however venue replicating effects and diffuse ambience is fed to the rear channels which provide a limited but effective sense of envelopment.
- Feature commentary by writer/director Lorene Scafaria, director’s mother Gail Scafaria, producer Joy Gorman, and actors Patton Oswalt and Adam Brody
- (HD) Outtakes – 8 minutes
- (HD) A look inside Seeking a friend for the end of the world – 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Music for the end of the world: What’s on your playlist? – 2 minute featurette
- My scenes bookmark feature
- BD-Live enabled
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Seeking a friend for the end of the world comes from the mind of writer/director Lorene Scafaria and is a conceptually interesting film with a thematically uneven text that occasionally derails its flow. Be that as it may there is enough substance to warrant attention from genre fans especially if you like its co-stars. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition audio/video and a bland supplemental package that offers only brief insights from the cast/crew. Seeking a friend for the end of the world isn’t must own material but if you’re in the mood for something a bit different is worth a rental.
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