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Frida Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 123 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Miramax/Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • List Price: $19.99

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BestBuy.com:
Frida - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Purchase Frida on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Frida is director Julie Taymor’s (The Tempest; Across the Universe) 2002 biopic about the fascinating and often controversial life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) and her tumultuous relationship with her husband and mentor, fellow artist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina).

Using the colors and style of Kahlo’s own groundbreaking artwork, Taymor captures the story of Frida from her youth and a crippling injury that would cause her pain for the rest of her life though her years with Diego as an artistic and political revolutionary on through various illicit affairs with men and women, including one with Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush).

Inevitable historical inaccuracies aside, Frida is a visual feast for the eyes that also has the advantage of being grounded in a superbly played lead by Hayek. The interplay between Frida and Diego is believable if somewhat melodramatic, but nevertheless, the acting is stupendous as is the direction by Taymor, the cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto, and brilliant musical score by Elliot Goldenthal.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

While the colors in Frida’s 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 encodement pop nicely in this transfer from Miramax/Lionsgate and the image looks rather clean on average, there is something missing here. It is a bit smooth and indistinct concerning its grain structure and there was some spotty posterization in places. Darker shades are a little prone to crushing, but not to the point where it terribly hampers overall detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

I was surprised to find myself enjoying this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix as much as I did. I’d assumed it was going to be the usual front-heavy, dialogue-driven affair. Instead, it is rather atmospheric mix with an abundance of audible effects on the surround channels, good directional panning across the front and clean dialogue. I only heard some minor clipping in dialogue during one scene throughout the film.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

A series of ported-over standard definition featurettes offer up interviews with Hayek, Taymor, and others that delve into various aspects of the film’s production as well as the life of Frida Kahlo.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with Julie Taymor
  • A Conversation with Salma Hayek (1.33:1; SD; 00:38:20)
  • AFI Q&A with Julie Taymor (1.33:1; SD; 00:30:15)
  • Bill Moyers Interview with Julie Taymor (1.33:1; SD; 00:19:12)
  • Chavela Vargas Interview (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:44)
  • The Voice of Lila Downs (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:22)
  • The Vision of Frida: with Rodrigo Prieto and Julie Taymor (1.33:1; SD; 00:06:08)
  • The Design of Frida: with Felipe Fernandez (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:27)
  • The Music of Frida: with Elliot Goldenthal and Salma Hayek (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:57)
  • Salma’s Recording Session (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:38)
  • Bringing Frida Kahlo’s Life and Art to Film: A Walk Through the Real Locations (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:19)
  • Portrait of an Artist (1.33:1; SD; 00:14:10)
  • “Amoeba Proteus” Visual FX Piece (1.33:1; SD; 00:09:23)
  • “The Brothers Quay” Visual FX Piece (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:32)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

One of the more enjoyable biopics to come along in the 2000s, Frida never stagnates by worrying about worshipping its subject, but rather it celebrates the artist through the visual landscape in which the story unfolds. Probably the best role of Salma Hayek’s career, this film is an easy one to recommend.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0064MT1SA[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Frida - Widescreen Subtitle AC3 Dts

Purchase Frida 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:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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