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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius Script + Stunning Blu Ray, December 7, 2011
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This review is from: Brokeback Mountain (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)
I want to mention two things about this movie. First, how brilliant it is. And second, how beautiful the blu ray transfer looks.

1. It's been six years since Brokeback Mountain hit theaters, and although I've watched the film countless times since, if I had only seen it once, I can promise you I would never forget it. It is a storyline that you dream about, relate to, cry over, reflect upon, write about, and become haunted by. I watch a lot of movies and enjoy plenty of them, but never has a film inspired me to analyze its story so deeply and to read books on it by film critics and touched fans. The fourth time I watched it at the theater, I took a notebook and filled pages with notes on the beauty of the poetic transitions and the development of characters. But even during my 20th viewing (or however many times it has been now) I discovered new richness and depth in the story.

Without going on and on, I suppose I should just say that I love this movie. But before I talk about the blu ray, I just want to point out that this is not strictly a "gay" movie any more than Titanic or Romeo and Juliet are straight movies. Love is a force of nature, as the tag-line says, and it is not bound to one sexuality or another. The movie is, simply put, a human movie about human life, desire, hate, mistakes, and many other universal emotions that make up us all. I recommend you see it and after it's over, I recommend you see it again. Like Shakespeare, the story is endlessly multidimensional and deserves multiple viewings to truly grasp it all. Obviously Annie Proulx's original short story is also required reading (I would suggest reading it before watching, but either way is fine) as it contains endless brilliance as well. The overall talent involved with this project is stunning.

But let's move on and talk about the blu ray.

2. The first thing I should mention is that this "100th Anniversary" new packaging from Universal Studios doesn't mean that there are any new features or remastered transfers that are different from the already available Brokeback Mountain [Blu-ray]. It does come in combo-pack format, however, which includes a DVD and Digital Copy of the film if that interests you.

As far as the picture quality goes, I feel pretty confident when I say that I was blown away by it. I saw the movie in theaters, on DVD, on TV, and just about anywhere else I could find it. On Blu Ray, it was a whole new experience. You can read labels on soup cans, feel the richness of the grass, and see foam in the spring waters. Without question, this is a scenic movie. It DESERVES to be seen in 1080p. If you have the DVD, great, it's pretty good too, but this is so worth the upgrade. The picture is so beautiful, sometimes I just pop it in the player on mute and let it run as a "screensaver."

The audio is also a joy. Gustavo Santaolalla's score is a masterpiece in itself and all the more beautiful in lossless DTS 5.1. Not to mention Heath Ledger's character is a bit of the shy type who mumbles as much as he speaks. I never had a problem understanding him, but the speech is noticeably clearer now for anybody who found that to be an issue.

As far as the special features go, they are just repeats from the DVD release and admittedly not very exciting. Worth watching, sure, but not especially noteworthy. In some ways I think that's a good thing, though. As much as I would love Ang Lee to do a director's commentary, this type of movie will effect people in different ways and consequently I don't know that I would feel comfortable if the artists behind it revealed too much. That can easily frame the story in a certain way and ruin it for those who are touched by it in other ways. As I said, this is a universally human story, and it's a great movie for fans and scholars to discuss and compare experiences, but when the film-makers themselves start talking can potentially ruin things.

OVERALL: A+++ movie that will, without question, go into the Love Story Hall of Fame where it will stand next to other classics like Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and so many other touching classics, gay and striaght alike. As far as the Blu Ray, it also deserves an "A" rating for its beautiful HD transfer that is everything a fan could ask for and more. I highly recommend purchasing it.

And, if you are like the many who can't stop thinking about the movie and want to dive deeper into the literary genius of the story, here are some books that inspired me: Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay, Reading Brokeback Mountain: Essays on the Story and the Film, On Brokeback Mountain: Meditations about Masculinity, Fear, and Love in the Story and the Film, The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon, and Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 1, 2013 6:02:21 AM PDT
turtlex says:
Great review! And thanks for the links on other Brokeback items!

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 4:49:06 PM PST
What a wonderful comment! There are many people who have never seen this film and it's their loss. Sad to say that, even in 2014, the gay subject matter puts a lot of people off, so one of the greatest american films ever made has been unseen by a significant number of people, despite the film's critical standing, awards and box office success. However, as time goes on, Brokeback Mountain will continue to reap praise and its stature as a masterpiece will continue to grow. This is one of those rare films where the right people were there at the right time, a great director at the height of his powers, a brilliant cast giving the performances of their lives and a screenplay that is perfection, an incredible distillation (and also an incredible embellishment of Annie Proulx's novella). Larry McMurtry and Dianna Ossana were the worthy recipients of the Best Screenplay (Adaptation) Oscar, as were Director Ang Lee and composer Gustavo Santaolalla. Aside from the fact that the movie is masterful in every aspect of filmmaking, dramatically it is overwhelmingly powerful. Some people don't change but I find it hard to believe that people could not be moved to tears when the film finally comes to a close. Close minded homophobes would do themselves a favor by seeing this film, but nevertheless this movie stands tall next to other great achievements of the screen.
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