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Daydream Nation Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • List Price: $34.98

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Daydream Nation -

Purchase Daydream Nation at CD Universe

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

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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:3.5/5]

Marketed as a cross between Juno and Donnie Darko, Daydream Nation is writer/director Michael Goldbach’s beautifully filmed comedy/drama about teen angst, misspent youth and ennui in small town America. It stars an angelic Kat Dennings as the seventeen-year-old Caroline Wexler (Thor; Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist), dragged to a rural town in the middle of nowhere to finish her last year of high school by her widower dad. Thrust into a situation where all the small town girls hate her and she has nothing in common with anyone, she decides to pursue the one person who piques her interest, her young thirty-something teacher Mr. Anderson (Josh Lucas; Sweet Home Alabama). Caroline seduces Mr. Anderson with the charm of a young minx, but also finds herself drawn to one of her school’s young druggie burnouts, Thurston (Reece Thompson; Dream Catcher). Soon, a bizarre love triangle ensues betwixt Caroline, Reece and Mr. Anderson, and the backdrop is this judgmental rural town where people are seeing ghosts, and a supposed serial killer in a white suit is on the loose. This all adds up to a surreal and biting coming-of-age story set to an alternative/indie music soundtrack featuring the likes of Sonic Youth (where the film takes its name?).

By far, Dennings is the star of the show here, her charm and sexuality pushing the drama, partly narrated by her character, forward, but Goldbach and his cinematographer Jon Joffin have to be congratulated here for creating a beautiful, dreamlike atmosphere true to the name of the film, that transplants you to another realm.

Now, I do not believe that Daydream Nation ever reaches the level of wit that Juno does, perhaps absent Diablo Cody, that could never be achieved, nor do I believe that the truly symbolic dreamworld of Donnie Darko‘s teen ennui is really achieved. Daydream Nation is on its own here. It’s not a masterpiece and will not likely become a cult classic or win many awards, but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Captured in high definition on a Sony CineAlta F35, Daydream Nation comes to Blu-ray in a beautiful 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 transfer from Anchor Bay that captures the splendid dreamlike cinematography of the film quite nicely. There is very little video noise, and what little there is, is more organic and natural looking, like grain rather than anything electronic. Flesh tones aren’t exactly natural, but that has more to do with the intentionally ethereal look of the film than the transfer. Shadow detail is strong, even if blacks aren’t quite as inky as they could be.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Audio is restricted to a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack that is rather front-heavy, using the surround channels for an extremely low level of ambient information. Otherwise, the sound is well suited to the task, provided spacious stereo panning across the front, clean dialogue, and somewhat deep lows and good dynamics when the film’s various alternative rock songs kick in at louder volumes.

Supplemental Materials

You get the simple and short Behind the Scenes of Daydream Nation (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:06.41) as the sole extra on here, that offers a brief look at cast and crew offering their take on the film and its characters.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A beautifully filmed and well acted coming-of-age story, Daydream Nation is a finely crafted slice of Americana. It is served up quite nicely in this Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay, even if the disc is rather barebones. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B004OUZLC4[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Daydream Nation -

Purchase Daydream Nation at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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