(500) Days of Summer (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-22-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=161600&d=1261495828
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 )

81






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 95 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Romance

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


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Thai
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zoey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Matthew Gray Gubler, Chloe Moretz
Directed by: Marc Webb
Music by: Mychael Danna
Written by: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 22, 2009







"Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't"



Film Synopsis:

In this quirky romantic comedy about love and fate, a young greeting card writer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is hopelessly, helplessly searching for the girl of his dreams...and his new co-worker, Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), may just be "the one." But the 500 days of their offbeat relationship reveal (in no particular order) that the road to happiness can be unpredictable, uncontrollable - and unbelievably funny!



My Take:

I tend to like romantic comedies and after seeing the trailer for this film my interest peaked even higher when I saw Zoey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead roles. Many of today's rom/com style films predominantly follow a standard formula, but such isn't the case here. (500) days of Summer is quirky, imaginative, and romantic but certainly not in a conventional way. It is a modern love story, of sorts, about two young people seeking very different things in a relationship. Summer is spirited and enjoys the freedom of life without the entanglements and drama that accompany romantic commitment. Tom is needy, believes in romantic fate, and is actively seeking his one true soul mate. After meeting Summer at work, he is immediately smitten. The two share a few common interests and begin hanging out after work. Summer makes her feelings about relationships clear right from the start. Tom isn't crazy about it and decides that perhaps it is best to maintain his emotional distance although he goes along with Summer's desire to be friends. One thing leads to another and they end up becoming more than just friends. Their relationship is never truly defined (even though they are obviously a couple) and goes through the various stages that most go through however the emotional commitment isn't shared equally and Tom comes to understand that perhaps his views on fate and love may have little bearing on reality.

This film uses a fun and interesting narrative style that gives it a fresh and entertaining appeal. It begins at the end and is told in stages that move back and forth throughout the 500 days of Tom and Summer's relationship. Seeing it at one moment in the very beginning and then suddenly shifting to the last days makes for an intriguing contrast. Humor is mildly introduced but effectively interlaced and comes across as feeling naturally funny rather than overtly so, which keeps the story on more of a mature level than a silly one. On the surface it would seem that Summer is the more complex with Tom being the transparent one. In reality when all was said and done I felt that the reverse was probably true. This is something that slowly develops over the course of the film and becomes apparent in the final moments. I really liked these genuine characters and the outwardly honest conceptual approach of the story. In the opening segment the narrator says this isn't a love story and I would have to agree. It is a story about life and expectations versus reality. There is a wonderful segment where the same scene between Tom and Summer is portrayed via split screen as it happens in real time. On one side is Tom's expectation of what is to happen. Simultaneously the other side shows reality which turns out quite different. The pacing and interplay between the characters/cast is excellent. The script stays on point and doesn't stray off in directions that dilute focus. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel are terrific and have solid chemistry onscreen. He is the standout though and even gets a chance to show off his dancing chops in a great fantasy parade sequence. Honorary mention goes to Chloe Moretz who portrays Tom's very mature 12 year old (?) sister whom he turns to for moral support and relationship advice. The film's ending isn't typical of romantic comedies but for genre fans should prove every bit as satisfying. I know it was for me as I found this to be an enjoyable, appealing, and original movie that was well worth its 95 minute runtime.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual material and language.






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: 78



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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

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



Video: 84


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

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

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

(500) days of Summer comes to Blu-ray from Fox 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 3.6 mbps.

This a solid video presentation that offers strong resolution, lucid imagery, and appreciable delineation during close up and mid level camera pans. The video isn't razor sharp but has an enriching and filmic quality. The color range sets the film's mood with a purposely reserved palette that is devoid of primary colors. The exception to this is the bold use of the color blue. Director Marc Webb used blue to define the character of Summer by using it only when she was onscreen (he did use it as well during the fantasy parade sequence where Tom celebrates his new found relationship with Summer). 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 front heavy lossless 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 surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few occasions such as the karaoke bar and fantasy parade sequences that open up nicely and have tangible presence and a punchy low end.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by Director Marc Webb, writer Scott Neustadter, and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • (HD) Lost days of summer: 9 deleted/extended scenes with option commentary by Director Marc Webb, writer Scott Neustadter, and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • (HD) Not a love story: Making 500 days of summer - 29 minute featurette

  • (HD) Summer at Sundance - 13 minute documentary

  • Geoffrey Arend and Matthew Gray Gubler Audition tapes with optional director commentary

  • Summer storyboards

  • Bank dance - short film by director Marc Webb - 4 minutes

  • (HD) Mean's Cinemash: Sid and Nancy/500 days of Summer featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel - 3 minute short

  • Music video Sweet disposition by Temper Trap

  • Conversations with Zoey and Joseph - Discussing acting, music, creative process, karaoke, Los Angeles and more

  • Behind 500 days with director Marc Webb:

    1. Casting
    2. The summer effect
    3. French film references
    4. Color palette

  • Fox Movie Channel presents: In character with Zoey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • (HD) Trailers - Amelia, Fame, Adam

  • Bookmark option

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc




Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed (500) days of Summer. I appreciated its spirited and funny story as well as its less than conventional and genuine take on modern romance. Its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Fox features excellent high definition video quality and good lossless sound. The bonus supplements are a bit of a mixed bag but provide entertaining behind the scenes footage/insights as told by the cast/crew, a digital copy of the film and for the first time on a Fox Blu-ray title allows users the option of bookmarking scenes. This is a worthy entry to the genre and I highly recommend you give it a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-22-2009, 06:22 PM
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Thanks to Ralph for his review of this fine film. I have seen it three times, the first two in the theater, and like it better every time. As Ralph put it, (500) Days of Summer is "quirky." But it is much more than that, I think. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were perfectly cast as the ill starred love interests. As we are told in the opening seconds of the film, though, "this is not a love story." Nevertheless, it is fun and sometimes sweet but occasionally a little sad, too. Overall, it's a richly rewarding film, one of the best -- and smartest -- romantic comedies of recent memory.

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post #3 of 24 Old 12-23-2009, 09:15 AM
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Great review! I enjoy this one at the theaters.. It has great music... The wife can´t wait to watch it again...

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post #4 of 24 Old 12-23-2009, 05:31 PM
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Just saw this one last night...really enjoyed it!
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-24-2009, 07:56 AM
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I watched this last night as well and also really liked it!

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post #6 of 24 Old 12-25-2009, 12:08 PM
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I watched this the other night and thought it was a really enjoyable movie..I'll have to give it a second spin as it keeps coming back to my thoughts. Interestingly enough, I had to give some blood the other day and the girl who took it was named Autumn!..I might have rated the video a little higher though, as shots of Zooey and others looked really good but that's just me, and this movie is definitely worth a watch.
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 06:49 AM
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Great movie!! Saw it twice when it first came out of the theatres.

It was funny, sad and hopeful. Ending was sad but i think after that scene with the other girl on the end there should be a part two maybe?

In any case...collect!
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 02:39 PM
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Just saw this yesterday (but not on blu) and thought it was very decent. Definitely worth a rental, but unsure if I'd buy it. For the life of me, I can't remember from where I've seen the lead guy; isn't he the kid from Angels in the Outfield, from about 10 years back?

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Just saw this yesterday (but not on blu) and thought it was very decent. Definitely worth a rental, but unsure if I'd buy it. For the life of me, I can't remember from where I've seen the lead guy; isn't he the kid from Angels in the Outfield, from about 10 years back?

Greetings,

Yes he is. He also played on a popular 90's sitcom called "Third rock from the sun"..

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post #10 of 24 Old 12-28-2009, 09:45 PM
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Was it just me, or did that guy look like a younger Heath Ledger?

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post #11 of 24 Old 12-29-2009, 03:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Was it just me, or did that guy look like a younger Heath Ledger?

Greetings,

It's not just you. I recently finished watching "10 things I hate about you" (review forthcoming) a late 90's teen flick starring both Ledger and Gordon-Levitt and the resemblance is even more obvious when you see them together.


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post #12 of 24 Old 12-29-2009, 09:38 AM
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Ralph,

I plan on watching that tonight...thanks for the heads-up.

David

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post #13 of 24 Old 12-29-2009, 02:38 PM
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I loved it, too. Very entertaining and touching. You know I've thought for quite some time that JGL could have done a great job with Brokeback or Dark Knight, if Heath wouldn't have gotten those parts. I think he's pretty talented and hopefully will get some more opportunities to impress us in the future.
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 09:56 AM
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I was impressed when I saw this film last April at a film festival in Madison, WI. The director and screenwriters were on hand to answer questions about the script and production process. I watched it again last night and it hasn't lost any of its emotional appeal. Recommended.

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post #15 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 03:18 PM
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If you guys want to see some of Gordon-Levitt's range, check out his performance in Killshot. The movie overall was just ok, but he and Mickey Rourke have some fantastic scenes together, and JGL more than holds his own in them.
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-31-2009, 04:06 PM
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I'd argue that the visual style used for the film made for a bit of an overkill when combined with the out of order style of the movie.

I thought the comments in the review about the elevated black levels giving the film somewhat of a flat look were right on. I found the flesh tones a bit on the orange side through most of the film, slightly desaturated during pieces, and spot on occasionally.

I find these visual presentation techniques distracting - pulls you out of the story. Almost like the director is saying that his work isn't enough based on the actors and story and that you have to be reminded of him constantly through the film.

I also thought they could have done much more with the sound in the film. There were plenty of opportunities for ambient sounds in the office; IKEA; and the sounds of the city as viewed from the park setting. What they had was ok, but it does seem they put in the minimal effort in sound design.

Overall, a great concept with fine acting. Untraditional, but likable.

From a Blu Ray point of view, I'd rent as the production factors seem to be bargain basement.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-01-2010, 08:18 AM
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My wife and I watched this over Amazon VOD and really enjoyed the story. Worth buying on Blu-ray? Maybe at the $9.99 price point, but not retail. It's a blu-ray i'd definately loan out to friends, but not one i'd watch over and over.
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-02-2010, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

If you guys want to see some of Gordon-Levitt's range, check out his performance in Killshot. The movie overall was just ok, but he and Mickey Rourke have some fantastic scenes together, and JGL more than holds his own in them.

I'd recommend seeing him in "Mysterious Skin", "The Lookout", and "Brick".
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post #19 of 24 Old 01-02-2010, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

If you guys want to see some of Gordon-Levitt's range, check out his performance in Killshot. The movie overall was just ok, but he and Mickey Rourke have some fantastic scenes together, and JGL more than holds his own in them.

Stangely, I thought he was a little "OVER THE TOP" in "KILLSHOT". His character is supposed to that way I know. He was SCARY and UNPREDICTABLE which is something I suppose. I liked "KILLSHOT" because DIANE LANE is in it!

Joe was fab in "THE LOOKOUT", "MYSTERIOUS SKIN" and, of course, "500 DAYS OF SUMMER".
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-02-2010, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Was it just me, or did that guy look like a younger Heath Ledger?

Dave, I was thinking the same thing about "Tom Hanson" looking like Heath Ledger. I liked him in The Lookout but I did not enjoy his performance in GI Joe. Let's see how he would do playing The Joker.

I really enjoyed the movie and I was wishing for more after the movie ended. Overall it was a very satisfying movie. I have to admit though that it took me about 20 minutes to get into the movie.
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post #21 of 24 Old 01-03-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starman7 View Post

Stangely, I thought he was a little "OVER THE TOP" in "KILLSHOT". His character is supposed to that way I know. He was SCARY and UNPREDICTABLE which is something I suppose. I liked "KILLSHOT" because DIANE LANE is in it!

Yep, his character in Killshot was a complete nutjob...I think that's what surprised me about it, cause he convinced me that he was exactly that - a psychopathic nutjob with an itchy trigger finger. That's why I really liked scenes with him and Rourke together, cause Rourke was playing the calculating, calm, patient killer...the diametric opposite of JGL.

I couldn't agree more about Diane Lane
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post #22 of 24 Old 01-04-2010, 09:15 AM
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I watched it last night and agreed mostly with the review.. However, besides looking flat sometimes it look kind of soft...But I think it has to do more with the director's intention rather than with the transfer itself..

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post #23 of 24 Old 01-04-2010, 12:10 PM
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I understand that this forum is primarily for audio/video reviews, but I'll throw my 2 cents in for the quality of the movie. Saw it over the weekend, and thought it was awesome. Got it for the wife because she really only likes romantic comedies, but I think I ended up enjoying more than her. I actually want to watch it again!
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post #24 of 24 Old 01-04-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddavis View Post

I understand that this forum is primarily for audio/video reviews, but I'll throw my 2 cents in for the quality of the movie. Saw it over the weekend, and thought it was awesome. Got it for the wife because she really only likes romantic comedies, but I think I ended up enjoying more than her. I actually want to watch it again!

Quality of the film is very much a part of this particular forum...if not for that, I wouldn't spend as much time here as I do, so post away!

BTW, I totally agree with what you said
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