Greenberg (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - United Kingdom - Universal Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (14th February 2014).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

He's got a lot on his mind.

Roger Greenberg (Stiller) is single, fortyish and deliberately doing nothing. In search of a place to restart his life, he agrees to housesit for his brother in LA and tries to reconnect with his former bandmate (Rhys Ifans) and ex-girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh). But his old friends aren't necessarily still best friends, and Greenberg soon finds himself forging a connection with his brother's personal assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig).

Despite his best attempts not to be drawn in, Greenberg comes to realise that he may at last have found a reason to be happy.

Video

Universal Pictures have released Noah Baumbach's 'dramedy' onto Blu-ray in the United Kingdom using the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The transfer is 1080p and uses a VC-1 encode. Although it has a few small flaws and isn't reference quality, it's of an overall strong condition - as should be expected for such a recent feature.

Director of photography Harris Savides has kept a very natural look throughout the film, with both interior and exterior scenes well lit, without looking artificial. This has resulted in perfect looking skin tones, and solid colours - especially the browns and beiges. Blacks are not always as deep as they could be, but are still above average. Saturation levels are spot on, and detail is strong for the duration. Every detail in the wool of Ben Stiller's cardigan, every out of place hair on Greta Gerwig's head, and every facial blemish is easily noticeable, but it should be noted that shadow detail sometimes doesn't always have the same level of sharpness or clarity. There are no compression problems, and no signs of scratches or dust - in fact, there is no obvious damage at all.

The disc is region free, and the film runs 107:17.

Audio

The following audio options have been included:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- French (Quebec) DTS 5.1
- Spanish (Latin) DTS 5.1

I opted for the original language English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for my viewing, and although I have no complaints, it doesn't really stand-out much from similar films. What does impress me with the track though, is the score by James Murphy. It makes full use of the surrounds, pumps the bass through the LFE with oomph, yet is subtle when it is required to be so. The feature is very much dialogue driven, but there are still enough environmental effects throughout, including doors closing, footsteps, and general chatter. Directionality during these moments is good, and channel separation for the audio strong. There are no drop outs, no scratches, and there's no sign of background hiss.

Subtitles are available in English, French (Quebec) and Spanish (Latin).

Extras

The extras start with a short featurette entitled "A Behind the Scenes Look at Greenberg" which runs 3:23. It's very much an EPK style fluff piece, made up mainly of film clips, with the occasional soundbite from the likes of Ben Stiller and Rhys Ifans. It feels like one of those random promotional pieces you find on a movie channel, that plays between features.

"Greenberg Loves Los Angeles" is the next featurette and lasts just over two minutes (2:07). Again, it's a rather uneventful fluff piece that doesn't really offer too much information. It essentially has film clips interspersed with comments about filming in Los Angeles from various crew members including director Noah Baumbach and location manager Stephenson Crossley.

The final featurette is called "Noah Baumbach Takes a Novel Approach", and it's the shortest extra of the lot, clocking in at a meagre 1:31. It's basically co-writer/director Noah Baumbach talking about the writing borrowing heavily from 1970s themes. Ben Stiller and Mark Duplass also comment briefly.

Overall

The Film: B- Video: B Audio: B Extras: D- Overall: B-

 


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