Brokeback Mountain (2005) - Widescreen Edition

Genre(s): Drama / Romance / Western
Focus Features || R - 134 minutes - $29.98 || April 4th, 2006
Reviewer: Chris Gonzalez || Posted On: 2006-04-02


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Ang Lee
Writer(s): Annie Proulx (short stories), Larry McMurtry (screenplay) & Diana Ossana (screen
Cast: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Anna Faris, Linda Cardellini


Theatrical Release Date: December 9th, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Sharing the Story: The Making of Brokeback Mountain
  • Directing from the Heart: Ang Lee
  • On Being a Cowboy
  • From Script to Screen: Interviews with Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Note: Pics are not taken from DVD.

This past Oscar season Ang Lees sweeping love story with a twist was all but a shoe in to nab the Best Picture award. No matter how much you predicted an upset, it took everyone by surprise that Crash, the little engine that could, came right up from under Brokeback and took the prize. In my personal opinion, neither of these films deserved the award. Munich was last year's best film, but Brokeback is still a good film in its own right.

The film centers on two young cowboys who spend a long summer sheep herding and form a friendship that leads to sex, resent, regret, and desire once their fling must come to an end because society says it has to. Most of the running time is dedicated to going back and forth between both men dealing with their wives, and meeting up once a year for a "fishing trip". The strongest aspect of this courageous film is its acting. Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams all deliver stellar performances and raise the film to a different level. Lees directing is as assured, classy, and subtle as ever, and the score, cinematography, and editing are very well done.

All in all, it's just a very well made film with an important story. The only area in which it falters for me is that I don't think it's as moving or poignant as it's trying to be. It's a film that goes for minimalism and suppressed emotions more than outright displays of it, but I simply wasn't all that touched or changed after viewing the film. It's endlessly respectable and note worthy, just not as much of a heart tugger, tearjerker, or thought provoker as it could have been.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

On Being a Cowboy - This is a feature on how the actors got trained on riding horses and looking as convincing as possible. It contains interviews from the actors and those that trained them. It's not an incredibly revealing feature, but a nice behind the scenes tidbit that lasts a scant 5 minutes.

Directing from the Heart: Ang Lee - This is simply a fluff piece of supplemental material where every actor and other important people involved the film basically talk about what a great director he is, how perfect he was for the movie, and what a great time they had filming. Pretty much a waste of 7 minutes.

From Script to Screen: Interviews with Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana - This is a feature where the screenwriters of the film discuss adapting the short story and bringing it to the screen. It's nice for them to delve into how the screening process happened, but it's superficial and scant lasting 10 minutes.

Sharing the Story: The Making of Brokeback Mountain - This is one of those making of feature that aired on a cable network that features a bunch of interviews from the people involved in the film, with clips interwoven. So, it doesn't give much depth, just scratches the surface, which is what most of the extras on the disc do, running 20 minutes.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Picture: Filmed in 1:85 the film is breathtaking to look at. The mountain plains and cloud filled skies look pitch perfect on this excellent transfer. The only default is a slight level of compression when it comes to shots where there seems to be a lot of activity going on, like 500 sheep crammed on screen. Other than that, get ready for a beautiful looking disc.

Sound: This is a film dominated by dialogue and score, and both come across as well as they need to. There are some wasted opportunities for ambiance and whatnot, but in the end it's a fine sounding disc that won't blow your mind or distract you either way.



.::OVERALL::.

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