Across The Universe

Featured In Issue 129, March 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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(Rating Reason):
Some drug content, nudity, violence and languate
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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A, B & C
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Julie Taymor
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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(French Language):
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Jude (Sturgess) is a young dock worker in mid-1960's Liverpool who sets off to America to meet a father he has never known. When he arrives in the U.S., Jude meets a new friend's little sister, Lucy (Wood), and the two fall in love. Caught up in the anti-war psychedelia of the era, the two are torn apart and go their separate ways. Will the star-crossed lovers be able to find their way Across The Universe and find one another, again? (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include commentary from Director Julie Taymor and Composer Elliott Goldenthal, one deleted scene, two versions of the same alternate scene (Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite in six minutes), a three-chapter photo gallery, and previews. There are also the following featurettes: Creating The Universe (30 minutes), Stars Of Tomorrow (28 minutes), All About The Music (15 minutes), Moving Across The Universe (nine minutes), and FX On The Universe (seven minutes); eight Extended Musical Performances; and a Don Nance Art Gallery slideshow.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD generally exhibits somewhat undersaturated colors and the color scheme is rather hot, dominated by hues of red, orange, and brown. Black levels are fairly deep, but there are many scenes that look somewhat milky, and shadow delineation is acceptably well rendered. The imagery can look sharp and detailed, but there are times when the picture can look somewhat soft. Pixel breakup is not overly problematic, but edge enhancement can be somewhat of a distraction on high-contrast transitions. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc features bold, vibrant colors and nicely rendered detail. Black levels are solid, but shadow delineation can be lacking in the near-blacks. The color scheme is still hot, and contrast is somewhat constrained, but the picture does look fairly good. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is fantastic, with a great mix, especially with regard to the instruments during the many singing portions of the film. It can be quite obvious when singing was recorded on a looping stage and when it was recorded on-set, but it is not much of a distraction. The LFE channel is incorporated nicely when needed, both for effects and music. The surround channels help to create a good sense of envelopment. The Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack features good dynamic range, but fidelity is somewhat lacking, with dialogue that isn't as crisp and articulate as the best uncompressed soundtracks. The mix is exciting though, but you may want to crank the volume a little higher, as it is encoded at relatively low levels. (Danny Richelieu)