Monday, 8 October 2012

“Garden State”. A Review Of The 2004 Movie Now On A 2012 BLU RAY.


This is a link to Amazon UK to buy this Blu Ray:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006C12TJG

"There's Nothing Wrong With You Son! Just Kidding!"

2004’s "Garden State" is a great little Indie movie - with the impossibly lovely Natalie Portman literally levitating men's hearts for a ten-mile radius...

I wish I could say the same for the picture quality on this BLU RAY reissue, which unfortunately is terribly lacklustre - good only - and rarely ever better than the DVD.

It's defaulted to 2.35:1 aspect - which means bars at the top and bottom of the screen - but if you stretch to Zoom or Full Mode - the picture deteriorates considerably. So no luck there either...

There are at least some half-decent extras though - two excellent and funny commentaries both of which involve Zach Braff (Writer, Lead Actor and Director) and Natalie Portman. There's a making-of, a Zach Braff featurette, outtakes and deleted scenes - all of which are very entertaining and show the affection the cast and crew had for the material. Audio is 5.1 DTS-HD and the lone subtitle is English for the Hard-Of-Hearing.

Zach Braff plays Andrew Largeman - an out-of-sorts actor who returns home to his psychiatrist Dad in small town America (a wonderfully understated Ian Holms) because his wife and Andrew's paraplegic mum has slipped and drowned in a bathtub. Medicated for years (at his Dad's suggestion) - Andrew stares intently at the coffin - but feels little. Then he recognises two old friends sat nearby (one of whom is literally a grave digger - a slightly sinister Peter Sarsgaard) and starts to reconnect with his old college chums in the town he left 9 years back.

But they turn out to be a bunch of dudes locked into menial jobs by day and serious stoners by night. But then while in a hospital waiting area (he's having lightning headaches) - a dog tries to dry-hump his leg - and there he meets a giggling twenty-something called Sam (Portman). Sam is a vivacious, chatterbox of a girl who is anything but numb. Sam is life itself. They start to hang out - go back to her home - ride around the neighbourhood on an old Army motorbike with a sidecar - dip in pools - chat by fires - and slowly they move towards each other in the loveliest of emotional dances. And on their relationship goes on from there to an airport decision Andrew must make - be sedate or be alive...

I've always loved “Garden State" - quirky, touching, young and full of energy - it's a genuinely romantic film about life and second chances in the most unlikely of places. I just wish the BLU RAY matched that.

Still - if you can't resist - it is at least cheap...

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