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High Fidelity Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French & Potuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 107 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 7, 2012
  • List Price: $20.00

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
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]

Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Nick Hornby, High Fidelity, directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen; Dirty Pretty Things) and co-written by/starring John Cusack (2012; Serendipity; Being John Malkovich), is a charming and witty relationship comedy about a thirty-something man who has awoken to the reality that he has been stuck in a suspended adolescence. Adeptly blending a plethora of references from the history of rock and roll (with a hot soundtrack to boot) into the story of independent record store owner and avid music collector Rob Gordon, the film’s focus is ultimately less on its exterior of pop culture references and relationship crises than it is on the inner struggle of Rob to grow as a person. The central conflict occurs when Rob’s longtime girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) leaves him for his former neighbor, the annoyingly gaudy Ian (Tim Robbins), forcing him to explore his past relationships, questioning what about him makes pushes women away and if he is destined to end up alone.

Jack Black and Todd Louiso appear as the perfect comic foils, Barry and Dick, employees in his Champion Records shop. Complimenting Rob’s more even keeled persona, they fit in perfectly in the out of the way indie record store and drop in the perfect amount of music geek knowledge for this nicely balanced comedy.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Compared to the companion Cusack release, Grosse Pointe Blank, hitting the shelves alongside this one, which I recently reviewed, High Fidelity has a much more solid looking transfer, which more consistent looking grain, better contrast and flesh tones and a little less source damage. There is also less of an issue with black crush, which seemed to be a bit of a problem with Cusack’s black suit in Grosse Pointe Blank.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

High Fidelity’s lossless 5.1 soundtrack, offered here in DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit) does the superb rock soundtrack a great service, providing great musicality and presence as the music is brought to the fore and a good amount of ambience. Otherwise, dialogue is clean and atmospherics in the surround channels are sufficient to create a believable sound design.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

There are no new HD supplements included on this release, but the interviews with Cusack and Frears do still offer up a lot of insightful information.

The supplements:

  • Conversations with Writer/Producer John Cusack (1.33:1; SD):
    • An Actor’s Director (00:01:52)
    • Music and Memories (00:01:44)
    • Barry and Dick (00:02:15)
    • 122 Pages (00:02:23)
    • An Imperfect Hero (00:02:45)
  • Conversations with Director Stephen Frears (1.33:1; SD):
    • A Sense of Direction (00:03:03)
    • From London to Chicago (00:01:41)
    • Script to Screen (00:02:32)
    • Casting is Everything (00:05:03)
    • Facing the Music (00:02:17)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; SD):
    • Foreplay
    • Thieves
    • Top Five Worst Things
    • Record Sales
    • All-Time Hot 100
    • Laura and Liz
    • Top Five Dream Jobs
    • Sonic Death Monkey
    • The Interview
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I often mentally pair High Fidelity with Grosse Pointe Blank in John Cusack’s body of works, so it is nice to see that Disney is releasing them simultaneously on Blu-ray. High Fidelity has long been been one of my favorite comedies, both for its clever writing and, admittedly, because I am myself an avid music collector, so I can relate to its protagonist in more ways than one. While this release isn’t exactly a boon when it concerns extras, it is still a quality transfer and well worth having added to the collection.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0080BFW9U[/amazon-product]

Purchase High Fidelity on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0080BFW9U[/amazon-product]

Purchase High Fidelity on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

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