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Blue Valentine Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

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BestBuy.com:
Blue Valentine -

Purchase Blue Valentine. on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

There’s a point in Blue Valentine where Ryan Gosling’s character Dean says to a friend “…it seems like girls get to a place where they just kinda pick the best option… ‘Oh he’s got a good job.’ I mean they spend their whole life looking for Prince Charming and then they marry the guy who’s got a good job and is gonna stick around.” It’s during one of the flashbacks to an earlier time when Dean and his soon-to-be wife Cindy (Michelle Williams) were just experiencing the early spark of romance. But what it speaks to is the ultimate fatalism of that romance. We already know its doomed. Writer/director Derek Cianfrance has created a film where the early relationship and the end of it unfold before our eyes in parallel. So when Dean speaks about girls settling, we already know that the person Cindy is settling for is him.

Cindy, a promising medical student who takes care of her aging grandmother meets Dean, an artistically talented furniture mover with no real plans for the future when she breaks up with her college beau. With Cindy on the rebound, the two hit it off with their early-days, uneasy laughs, corny jokes, and dancing. But we know in the future, their eventual marriage, rushed into when Cindy finds she is pregnant with her previous boyfriend’s child, is collapsing around them. A last ditch effort by the two to save their marriage by taking a night off from their daughter in a cheesy motel room goes all wrong and it seems nothing can keep them together.

Blue Valentine is a downer from start to finish, true, but it is oh so heartbreaking and real. Gosling and Williams are triumphant in their roles. Letting us eavesdrop on a love found and a love lost; on what honestly feels like the private conversations of people on the brink. When we finally arrive at Dean imploring Cindy to “Tell me how I should be. Just tell me. I’ll do it.” we know, as we knew all along, it was sadly, a hopeless affair.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Blue Valentine uses a combination of HD captured on a Red One camera and 16mm to create the various textures and moods of the film. It appears on Blu-ray in a 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 transfer from Anchor Bay that looks quite film-like and detailed with natural flesh tones, even color reproduction and strong shadow delineation. Some of the 16mm footage is a bit grainier and noisier, as to be expected, but the overall presentation is still pleasant.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

As one would expect from a film such as this, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is dominated by the dialogue, which remains very much front and center. It’s clean and intelligible with the surrounds providing minimal atmospherics. There is very little in the way of low frequencies to account for that “.1”, which is also to be expected.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The feature commentary is where you will glean the most information here, but there is also a cute, if odd, “home movie” featuring “Frankie” and her mommy and daddy, from Blue Valentine.

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • Feature Commentary with director Derek Cianfrance and co-editor Jim Helton
  • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60) – 4 deleted scenes
  • The Making of Blue Valentine (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:13.50)
  • “Frankie and the Unicorn” (Home Movie) (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:03.04)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A tragically painful and moving story of the mishaps, missteps, and pain of love, Blue Valentine is artfully pieced together by director Derek Cianfrance and looks wonderful in this Blu-ray edition. Highly recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0036TGTDO[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Blue Valentine -

Purchase Blue Valentine. on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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