Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hereafter Blu Ray / DVD combo review

Hereafter is without doubt a solid piece of filmmaking. That said, I’d probably have to describe Eastwood’s latest release as an ‘unusual’ entry when compared to his recent directorial projects. Hereafter starts off with a devastatingly realistic (in light of the recent news footage from Japan) and superbly produced tsunami sequence. However, the film is a soft and very gently paced piece of work.
Matt Damon (Invictus) gives an excellent and perfectly measured performance as a recently retired psychic, forced to quit his practice due to the stress of living with his ‘curse.’ Damon plays this difficult ‘tortured soul’ character very well.
Cécile De France plays Marie, the French journalist, author and initial non believer. Marie survives a near death experience when caught in the middle of the tsunami. For Marie, it is an experience that propels her to investigate further in a hunt for the truth. De France gives a wonderful performance throughout.

In London, twin brothers (played by Frankie and George McLaren) are separated when one is suddenly killed in a road accident. Left alone with his mother, the twin wonders where his brother has really gone and makes various attempts to make contact with him.
Hereafter is a deliberately slow paced drama which focuses on the aftermath of death and its emotional effect on the three people who struggle to find some form of closure. Eastwood examines closely the inner pain of the three principal characters and like the narrative; the story’s conclusion has a reserved and tender quality.
Hereafter will probably never be described as Eastwood’s greatest work. It is a dramatic and highly original character piece, with an engrossing subject at the heart of its well presented story. It’s a film that should be thoroughly enjoyed, so long as you are prepared to look beyond its opening (and very impressive) tsunami sequence.

Hereafter’s Sound and picture are stunning, see full spec below.

As bonus material on the blu ray disc only, Step Into the Hereafter Focus Points (HD, 42 minutes): View Hereafter's nine engaging Focus Point featurettes individually from the special features menu or as part of an unobtrusive, fairly seamless In-Movie Experience (of the "press enter to view" variety). Segments include "Tsunami! Recreating a Disaster," "Is There Life After Death," "Clint on Casting," "Delving into the Hereafter," "Twin Bonding," "French Speaking French," "Why the White Light?" "Hereafter's Locations: Casting the Silent Characters" and "The Eastwood Experience." Thankfully, Eastwood appears in each short via interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, giving the filmmaker ample opportunity to discuss and dissect the film.
Also included on the blu ray disc only, The Eastwood Factor: Extended Version (First time available in Full HD): An exceedingly extensive look at the life and career of Clint Eastwood written and directed by film critic and biographer Richard Schickel, built around Eastwood's own words, and narrated by actor and Unforgiven co-star Morgan Freeman. Classy, candid and oh-so-captivating, be sure to set aside two hours for this comprehensive documentary.

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Video resolution: 1080p, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1 (less)
English SDH, French, Spanish, English SDH, French, Spanish (less)
50GB Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD), Digital copy (on disc), DVD copy
Playback Region free
I would again like to thank Warner Brothers in the United States for sending this latest Blu Ray combo release. Your recognition and continued support of The Clint Eastwood Archive is always very much appreciated.


GC in BC said...

Great blog for CE info.

Clint rocks!

I'm looking forward to reading his book.

Fred said...

>>Hereafter will probably never be described as Eastwood’s greatest work.

Speak for yourself. I found it a vastly more interesting and touching film than the overrated 'Unforgiven.' Eastwood's arthouse movies - Bird, White Hunter and Hereafter amongst others - have never gone down well with the mainstream US audience nor even critics but 'Hereafter' seems to me amongst the very best films he's directed. I don't care if it doesn't have any explosions, car chases or shootouts in it. This is a thoughtful, moving meditation about death that is really all about life. I pity those that can't see this. Maybe one day they will.

Clint's archive said...

GC in BC Many thanks for your comments, if you are getting the Eastwood on Eastwood book, it is an excellent publication. Come back and let us know what you thought.

Fred, Many thanks for leaving a comment. Maybe I should explain more. When I stated that:
'Hereafter will probably never be described as Eastwood’s greatest work.'
I actually meant 'by others' and was not my own thoughts. I have never judged any of Eastwood's movies by their 'car chases' or 'shootouts', in fact, I have always regarded The Outlaw Josey Wales as a far superior western to Unforgiven. In regards to his less commercial and more personal film projects, I have always looked upon them as stylish and brilliantly directed. I'm sorry if you may have misunderstood my original comments, but I was referring to other people's judgement and perspective.

I appreciate your comment,

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Clint!!! Beer's to you old amigo for all the good times! best, Mal Baker.