- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Run time: 122 Mins.
- Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: February 28, 2012
- List Price: $29.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Director Mark Pellington’s I Melt With You (Henry Poole is Here; U2 3D), from a Glenn Porter screenplay, is like a hypnotic, drug-infused trip through the pangs of middle-age. A visually experimental, emotionally raw and gutsy story about four forty-four-year-old college buddies reuniting for one’s birthday, it explores the depths of emotions that men feel when they reach a certain age, from fear, anxiety and guilt to anger and depression.
Richard (Thomas Jane; TV’s Hung), a failed writer turned English teacher, Ron (Jeremy Piven; TV’s Entourage), a successful Wall Street type with a wife and daughter facing criminal charges from the government and the SEC, Jonathan (Rob Lowe; TV’s Parks and Recreation) a divorced doctor who uses his practice to write prescriptions for money to wealthy clients, and Tim (Christian McKay) a gay man still dealing with the death of his partner have all gathered in a beach house to celebrate Tim’s birthday. It’s an annual event that the old college friends all look forward to. But the lost week very quickly begins to spiral out of control into a endless bacchanalia of drugs, booze, and women, as they all try to cope with how far their lives have drifted from what they dreamed of when they were were younger. Soon, tragic events make them have to face an oath they swore to each other when they were in their twenties, and face the cruel realities of their lives.
Pellington’s eye behind the lens is truly awe inspiring in this film and the driving force that is the the punk and new wave music of such bands as The Sex Pixtols, The Pixies, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Bauhaus, and Love and Rockets is a superb accompaniment to the often frenzied atmosphere. Offsetting that, however, is the real emotional depth of the conversation that is growing old, hitting middle age, and not being anywhere near where you thought you would be.
I Melt With You was captured with the Canon EOS 5D MKII, which is primarily a digital still camera that also has a 1080p video capture function. That such a camera is able to look as impressive as it does for a feature film is certainly telling of how far these all-in-one gadgets have come, but it still does not reach the level of 35mm, 65mm, or true cinematographic digital HD cameras. The contrast and detail are just not there and there are obvious issues with stairstepping, motion artifacts, and video noise pretty much straight through the film. Flesh tones and skin textures don’t look exactly natural either. So, I wouldn’t blame most of the flaws with this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer from Magnolia on the encodement, but rather on the original equipment used to capture it.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a different beast entirely. In a film driven by its dialogue and musical soundtrack dominated by the punk of the 70s and new wave and classic alternative of the 80s, the mix is big, spacious and dynamic. Songs fill the entire space with sounds moving out to the sides and lush amounts of ambience taking over. Dialogue is sometimes purposely pushed down in the mix for artistic effect, one scene on the beach even having subtitles to convey what is being spoken by each character. When the dialogue is brought forward, however, it sounds realistic and clean.
I Melt With You is supplied with a pretty good bundle of extras, most of them self explanatory, including two audio commentaries with actors and filmmakers respectively, deleted scenes, and numerous interviews and behind the scenes featurettes.
- Commentary with director Mark Pellington, Rob Lowe (Jonathan), and Jeremy Piven (Ron)
- Commentary with Mark Pellington (director), Glenn Porter (co-writer), and Eric Schmidt (director of photography)
- Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24):
- Full Introductions
- Jonathan Pulls Drugs
- Richard Reads by the Fire
- Boyde Calls About Tim
- The Women
- Lost in the Woods
- Boyde Gets the Call About Tim’s Note
- I Melt with You: Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:25:36)
- HDNet: A Look at I Melt With You (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:04:57)
- Interview with Mark Pellington (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:37:54)
- Interview with Jeremy Piven (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:09:51)
- Director’s Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (1080p/24)
- Alternate Theatrical Poster Gallery (1080p/24)
- Director’s Statement (Text/1080p/24)
- Theatrical Greenband Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- Theatrical Redband Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- Jeremy Piven Mood Piece (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
- Thomas Jane Teaser (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- International Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
I Melt With You is staggeringly daring, even if it does have some weaknesses in a few moments where it lulls or sometimes feels like it is being overindulgent, it ultimately satisfies and keeps you glued to each frame. Recommended.
Additional Screen Captures