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Away We Go – Blu-ray Disc Review

September 23, 2009 – 10:53 PM - Posted by: Brendan Surpless

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3.5 out of 5 starsThe Movie Itself has an average rating of 7.5 on IMDb
4.5 out of 5 starsVideo Quality 1080p in VC-1 on a 50gb disc
4 out of 5 starsAudio Quality DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
1.5 out of 5 starsBonus Materials only include making of & commentary
Rated:R
Year: – 2009
Length: – 98 minutes
Studio:Universal
Region 1 (A)


Overall VerdictAt Least Worth A Rental

Buy it for $14.99 at Amazon.com
Buy it for $14.99 @ Amazon.com


— Review written by: Brendan Surpless

Trailer:


The Movie Itself is directed by Sam Mendes (known for “American Beauty“). The film follows Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) as they journey across America after finding out their first child is on the way. The goal behind this trip is to find out what will make a perfect home for both themselves and their forthcoming addition to the family. Along the way they run into old friends and family who give them advice on the dos and don’ts of parenthood. The film is more a look at the simplicity of life and how we strive to have that perfect life. Due to having such a theme, I found myself connecting with the film’s characters on a certain level. Then I dawned on a trait of Mendes that I had never thought of before.

Something interesting that occurred while I watched “Away We Go” was that I found myself pausing the movie more than I normally would. This wasn’t because I found myself lost or confused, but rather because I couldn’t help but find myself thinking of other works by Mendes. It dawned on me that nearly every movie Mendes has directed (from the excellent “American Beauty” to the for some reason hated “Road to Perdition“) sees his characters attempting to find that sense of something that brings them to a feeling of completeness.

Look at his last effort in “Revolutionary Road“. We had Frank and April desperately trying to escape their lives of normalcy in hopes of something more excited and fresh. While Burt and Verona aren’t escaping anything, they are looking for that fresh, new life in a place that will seem perfect to not only them but their new child. Each of Mendes film has characters that try to flee from a former life in hopes of completing altering the status quo that consumed their lives. I’ve always found myself enjoying his movies if only because the characters he creates are characters that we can always connect with. Because after all, how many times can you say you’ve wanted to search and find that life of perfection?

In closing, “Away We Go” is an entertaining film that continues on in the lines of character pieces that Mendes loves to explore. This one is definitely worth a watch, especially for those who have seen his other works.


Video Quality on this release is 1080p in VC-1 on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) and is presented in the 2:35:1 aspect ratio. Quite possibly the single best aspect about this transfer is the varying locales that the film uses. Take in point the sequences in the Midwest. Some of these contain some of the best day-and-date detail that I’ve seen in quite some time. On the color palette side, the film tends to have a rather warm palette with mostly subdued colors that help bring out the different locales. Fleshtones are accurate while contrast levels are solid with no instance of being these levels being pumped up. This results in a rather realistic looking image. The film’s print is also in rather good condition, which makes sense as the film was just released a few months back. “Away We Go” clearly benefits from being a newer film, as the film’s print is in near immaculate condition. Universal continues their winning day-and-date ways with this one earning an excellent “4.5 Star Rating“.


Audio Quality on this release is in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Despite being a rather heavy dialogue film, the included DTS-HD track is actually quite good. The film’s dialogue is reproduced clearly with no instance of drop out. Even though we don’t get many instances where the rears do become fully active, I did notice (again thanks to the film’s varying locales) a few sequences where I found myself quite impressed. Take in point the scenes where there are a lot of people in the sequences (ie the restaurants, bars, etc). Here we can actually hear the different conversations people are having. While this might not be that an amazing use of the surrounds, I was still pleased as there aren’t many dialogue heavy films that open the sound stage like this. All in all, this is a fine presentation for the subject at hand. This earns a “4 Star Rating“.


Bonus Materials are presented in a mixture of High Definition and Standard Definition with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.

  • BD-Live on this releases includes Universal’s standard “My Scenes“, which allows viewers to bookmark their favorite scenes so they can share them with people around the world via BD-Live.
  • The Making of Away We Go: Here director Mendes takes us through what working with Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida was like.
  • Green Filmmaking: In this feature we get to hear from cast members on the concept of “Away We Go” being a “green” film.
  • Audio Commentary with Director Sam Mendes and Writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida


Blu-ray Disc packaging:


Screenshots:

NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.

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