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WSR Detailed DVD Review
O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Genre: Comedy

Reviewed In Issue 50 (July 2001) Of Widescreen Review®

George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, Charles Durning, John Goodman, Michael Badalucco & Holly Hunter

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 4.5
DD Sound Rating: 3.5
DTS Sound Rating: 4
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 3
Internet Links

Special Features
Includes two storyboard-to-scene comparisons, a making-of featurette,

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Touchstone Home Video
(Catalog Number): 21654
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $29.99
(DVD Type): Single Side, Dual Layer (DVD9)
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 107
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 2000
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 06/12/01
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

 Credits Information

(Director): Joel Coen
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  DVD Picture Information

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  DVD Sound Information

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  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Three escapees (Clooney, Turturro, and Nelson) from a prison chain gang during The Great Depression set off to claim a long buried treasure. The three men chance upon a nameless man who tells them they will reap the rewards of a great treasure, but not the one that they are presently seeking. Infused with subtle humor and terrific 1930s-era country tunes, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is based on Homer

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD picture has a desaturated appearance, with a ldry and dusty look, perhaps to resemble old sepia toned photos of the dust bowl era. Filmed in Mississippi during summer months, the movie originally had, as captured on the negative, a richly saturated appearance; a look that was the complete antithesis of the desired look for the film. A featurette included as a DVD supplement reveals how the filmmakers achieved their look through the use of a digital intermediate before recording it back out to film. Images are sharp, with crisp detail and excellent definition. Colors are faint, but well balanced, and the darker scenes are more fully saturated with generally deep blacks. There is no obtrusive edge enhancement or pixelization for a clean picture that should surely delight with its

The 5.1-channel soundtracks project a subtle yet pleasing sense of holosonic envelopment at times, providing for a compelling sense of spaciousness with the outdoor settings. However, the soundstage also tends to vary in terms of surround envelopment and overall expansiveness. While there is the gentle, palpable perception of dimension all around the listener, there are also frequent instances where the soundfield collapses to the screen channels, and sometimes unexpectedly. An example of this is Chapter 7 with the exchanges of gunfire during the car chase. Nonetheless, fidelity is certainly notable, and the tonality seems to be reasonably neutral when listening at reference level. The recordings of gunshots have a distinctiveness and clarity to them, along with a particularly dynamic presence resulting from the dramatic contrast with the typically quiescent settings. The music is generally balanced toward the screen channels, though a few sequences fully envelop the listener for deliberate contrast with the otherwise conservative soundstage. Dialogue is presented with remarkable clarity, and tonality is impressively neutral with notable spatial integration. Though deep bass isn

This Disc Contains The Following WSR-Rated Superb Qualities:
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