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Mulholland Drive [StudioCanal Collection][UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec:
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz-16-bit), Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz-16-bit)
  • Subtitles: Dutch, French, Italian
  • Region: B
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Optimum Releasing
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 13, 2010
  • RRP: £24.99

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

Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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:5/5]

David Lynch’s works have always existed in a world of their own, from 1976’s Eraserhead and 1980’s The Elephant Man, right through Twin Peaks and 1996’s Inland Empire, the writer/director has always enjoyed toying with the surreal; twisting the bounds of fantasy and reality. Perhaps, arguably, none of his films did this more effectively or evocatively than 2001’s Mulholland Drive.

A neo-noir anachronistic pulp fiction trip through the dark underbelly of Hollywood, Mulholland Drive throws away any notion of traditional, linear storytelling in favor of blending of fantasy and reality where you’re never really sure what’s real, or which direction you’re heading.

It’s Hollywood, and the pie-eyed blonde Canadian actress Betty (Naomi Watts) has arrived at her aunt’s place to find a mysterious and beautiful brunette, Rita (Laura Elena Harring) who’s been in a car accident and lost her memory. Betty endeavors to aid Rita regain her memory, and it takes the two down a strange path where the dream world and the real world collide. Their story intersects with a film director (Justin Theroux) being strong-armed into hiring an actress in the lead role of his film by two gangsters, but his connection to the two ladies may run deeper than it seems.

Sexy, sleek, dark, and erotic, Mullholland Drive is filled with esoteric symbolism. It is wide open to interpretation, particularly given Lynch’s brilliant and completely unpredictable plot twist that turns Mulholland Drive into two different films, forcing viewers to reinterpret what they’d come to assume during the first part of the film. But, what is the reality? That, I am afraid, is for you or anyone to decide. Brilliant.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

This Blu-ray offers a nice, clean 1080p encoding of Mulholland Drive that is unhindered by any processing or compression artifacts. The artistic nature of the production is such that detail is purposely soft and lighting diffuse, but the film looks good in this edition. There’s a nice layer of grain that remains consistent, flesh tones look realistic, and shadow detail is nicely extended. The midrange tones are warm and contrast is strong without clipping.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The mostly ambient soundtrack, provided in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix (48kHz/16-bit), provides strong, clean dialogue, but it can get downright boomy at times when the score kicks in, sometimes become a little overwhelming. Still, it provides for good, engulfing entertainment.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The numerous new and recycled bonus materials offer good background and insight into David Lynch’s thought-provoking drama.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Introduction by Thierry Jousse (1.78:1; HD)
  • In the Blue Box (1.78:1; HD) – A retrospective documentary featuring directors and critics
  • On the Road to Mulholland Drive (1.33:1; PAL)
  • Interviews:
    • Marie Sweney
    • Angelo Badalamenti
    • Angelo Badalamenti: audio interview. 10 Years After
  • Back to Mulholland Drive (1.33:1; PAL)
  • Booklet: Essay by Adam Woodward, Journalist. Adam Wodward has worked as online editor for Little White Lies magazine since 2009 and currently writes for a number of film-related publications, including Playground magazine and Eye For Film.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Optimum and The StudioCanal Collection do a wonderful job bringing yet another one of David Lynch’s masterpieces to high definition with this solid Blu-ray effort of Mulholland Drive. This film is not to be missed under any circumstances.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B003PHJLR8[/amazon-product]

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