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review by Zach B.



MPAA Rating: R (For Pervasive Language, Some Violent Content and Brief Nudity)

Running Time: 144 Minutes

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Saul Rubinek, Kate Del Castillo, Aidan Gould, Jude Ciccolella, Bruno Bichir, Horacio Garcia Rojas 

Written by: Aude Py & Erick Zonca
Adapated by: Roger Bohbot & Michael Collins

Directed by: Erick Zonca


Studio: Magnolia

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (20 Scenes)

Released: August 18th, 2009



"Julia" features a superb transfer that doesn't muddy-up its filtered look, but seems to enhance it. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image quality on this DVD — save for some darkly-lit scenes — is remarkably sharp and clean. The detail level is quite staggering: there's a lot you can see in many of the scenes, be it individual features on Julia's dresser or blades of grass outside. Color saturation is also excellent: everything on screen is seeing imbued with eye-popping hues that never bleed, and help give the film a real polished, life-like look. Fleshtones are also astounding, just in how well-honed and accurate they are. On the downside, the film is a little grainy at points, and there is a little shimmering and some edge halos to be had. Still, it's nothing ever too distracting. This is easily one of the best live action transfers I've seen on DVD in quite awhile.


The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is quite lively, and has plenty of "pop" to it.  Dialogue is always crisp and easy to hear, while the music is mixed strongly through all the channels. Scenes that feature crowds, be it the streets of Tijuana or clubs where Julia is down drinks, come to full life — it's hard not to feel that you're among the characters. There are some discrete surrounds, especially in the more violent moments of the movie, but even the more front-centric ones get the job done. Car doors slamming, trunks opening, items getting rustled, footsteps and other small noises tend to make a big impact as well. Fidelity is high, subwoofer use is rather solid and overall dynamic range is kicked up rather well. This is a pretty gripping and engaging mix that lives up to the story's hard edges.

A Dolby Surround track in English is also on the disc. Spanish subtitles are included, as well as English closed captions through your television.

As if the film was not long enough, the DVD features an additional 26 minutes of Deleted Scenes in low-grade non-anamorphic widescreen. There's no content given for these cuts, and truthfully, I just skimmed through them. But for those who want more details in the movie, you may want to sit through these.

There's also the Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen.

Though Tilda Swinton gives a gripping performance, "Julia" can be a tough watch. And at nearly two-and-a-half hours, it's a bit too long. For a DVD though, "Julia" is pretty good. Loads of deleted scenes are the only real extra, but the film's 5.1 mix is engrossing and the tranfer is pretty eye-popping. Maybe not a purchase, but for those looking for a harrowing and dark tale one night may want to give this a rental.