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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Bulgarian
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Animated menus
All The Pretty Horses
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 112 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Cinematography is one of the most important aspects of a film. It is able to convey so much more than actions and dialogue and can really affect the audience. Most recently, Scott Hicks’ Hearts In Atlantis stands out of the crowd as another film with beautiful cinematography. Likewise in All The Pretty Horses the camera work was more attention grabbing, and more interesting at times than the plot.

Never the less, the story is centered on John Grady Cole (Matt Damon – Good Will Hunting, Ocean’s Eleven) who travels down south in the 1950s after the death of his father. Because of his mother wanting to sell the property, Cole had no purpose to being up there. Down south Cole and his friend Lacey Rawlins (Henry Thomas) go, hoping to find work breaking horses in Mexico. Finding work with Hector de la Rocha (Rubén Blades), Cole quickly becomes a favoured employee due to his speed and quality of his “broken horses.” Cole falls for Rocha’s beautiful daughter, Alejandra (Penélope Cruz) but this love between them leads to more trouble than they could have ever bargained for.

While not the most stunning, exhilarating or provocative story, it still can keep you enthralled for nearly two hours, but some of the plot may be too slow.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

The video transfer is beautiful, and is presented in the original theatrical aspect of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The disc is dual layered, with the layer change occurring at a fade out at 64:22 and is unnoticeable except for the timer on the player hanging a bit longer than a second. The colours are superbly rendered with solid blacks, stunning shadow detail, a vibrant palette and realistic tones. Sharpness is also very good, with a great level of detail in the image with no irritating film grain. There are no MPEG artifacts but there are some minor film artifacts, yet nothing that deters from the film.

Similar to The Gift, another Columbia release, the soundtrack is of a high quality with busy surrounds and giving an immersive effect. There is only the one audio track and that is Dolby Digital 5.1 English. The dialogue is entirely from the front center speaker, with effects being thrown out from the Front and Rear Left and Right speakers for the duration of the film. The subwoofer gets a heavy work out, as do the surrounds. There is always something happening somewhere with this soundtrack. Dialogue levels are just right, with no audio sync problems or distortion of any kind.

The Extras…wait, you can’t really call these Extras. Lets see we have an Animated Main Menu with Audio, Cast and Crew Filmographies, a Theatrical Trailer and bonus trailers for Finding Forrester and Almost Famous. These are not classified as Extra features any more, these should be standards by now! But anyway, the filmographies are basic and fairly uninformative, and the trailers are of a high quality as far as the trailers go.

Overall, not a must have, but a superb transfer with a slowly meandering story. If only the story had more depth and a better pace. But it is definitely worth a hire, just even for the transfer.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1116
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  •   And I quote...
    "All The Pretty Cinematography from this film couldn’t make up for the Pretty Poor Story."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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