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Hereafter Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD/Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Warner
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 15, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

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BestBuy.com:
Hereafter - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Hereafter on Blu-ray+DVD +Digital Copy Combo Pack at CD Universe

Hereafter

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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]

Clint Eastwood directs this quiet, meditative exploration of what happens to us or our souls when we die. Matt Damon headlines, but he is really the headliner only in name, not really the focus of the film. Hereafter follows the lives of three people from different parts of the world all affected by death in different ways and all seeking answers who are slowly and unknowingly heading towards crossing paths.

Damon is George Lonegan, a working class man in San Francisco with a unique ability to speak to the dead, but he is trying desperately to turn off this ability and forget his past career as a celebrity psychic. Cécile de France plays Marie Lelay, a french television journalist who suffered through a tsunami on her vacation, temporarily died, and had a vision of the other side. Now she is searching to find answers about why information concerning near death experiences is being suppressed. Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) is a young boy living in England with his drug-addicted mom and twin brother. When Marcus’ twin dies in an accident, he starts a search for a psychic who can help him speak to his dead brother.

I have no problem with contemplative films; the constant barrage of mindless action flicks can become banal, but in Hereafter, Eastwood seems so intent on quiet, contemplative stillness in lieu of any sort of resolution, that the film seems nearly endless and pointless in its exploration. It neither asks any solid questions about death and afterlife nor offers any theories beyond typical paranormal hocus-pocus.

Hereafter would have been better if Eastwood had cut out the unnecessary and underdeveloped themes about speaking to the dead and played up the more compelling stories about these people coping with great losses in their lives and the intricate ways in which their lives are all pushing them towards crossing paths with one another.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Hereafter has a very film-like quality, with a medium to fine grain structure. Colors don’t necessarily “pop” in this suppressed color palette, an artistic choice, but the image looks pretty good nonetheless. Blacks are inky, but they do suffer from some minor crush in some darker scenes. Otherwise, it’s a fine, clean, 1080p AVC encodement from Warner.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is a straightforward one, really only coming alive when George makes his connections with the afterlife or other side. The opening tsunami sequences really offer chances to show off any sound system as well. Then, you get resounding low frequencies and heavy atmospherics in the surrounds. Otherwise, the mix is relatively front-heavy with minimal atmospheric sound effects and ambience in the surround channels. The dialogue is clean and dynamics are rather wide. High frequencies are smooth as evidenced by the natural sounding strings in the recurrence of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

The superb interactive in-movie focus points, which can also be accessed individually, anchor the supplements on this release of Hereafter, with Eastwood, Damon, and company delving into the themes explored in the film.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Focus Points
  • The Eastwood Factor: Extended Version – Feature-length profile of the actor/director’s career – in his own words – covering his 35 + year association with Warner Bros.
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

There is half a movie here that would have made for a great one that is kicking and screaming to get out, sadly it is pushed down by an ill-advised exploration of the paranormal. I say skip it.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product align=”right”]B0034G4OY0[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Hereafter - Widescreen AC3 Dolby Dts

Purchase Hereafter on Blu-ray+DVD +Digital Copy Combo Pack at CD Universe

Hereafter

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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