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Things We Lost In The Fire
(Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: R (For Drug Content and Language)

Running Time: 118 Minutes

Starring: Halle Berry, Benicio Del Toro, David Duchovny, Alison Lohman, Omar Benson Miller, John Carroll Lynch

Written by: Allan Loeb

Directed by: Susanne Bier

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: A Discussion About Things We Lost In The Fire, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Portuguese Subtitles, Scene Selection (17 Scenes)

Released: March 24th, 2009

 

 

"Things We Lost In The Fire" is presented in 1080p high definition, with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This is a pretty rapturing transfer, that like the DVD, highlights director Susanne Bier's penchant for filters and close-ups. At times though, it can be a bit much - some of those greens and blues can be a bit too stark and bold. However, this is a sharp transfer with a pretty great sense of depth. Detail is fantastic, and color saturation is definitely vibrant and full. Black levels and fleshtones are also consistently excellent.In all, the image - now paired with higher resolution - really pulls you in.

 

The Blu-ray release features an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track. It is pretty good, but important to keep in mind that this film is heavy with the talking. With that noted though, dialogue is crisp and quite clear. Subwoofer use is okay if minimal, while dynamic range is pretty good. Surround effects with power, - and the more subtle ones - don't exactly make an imprint, but most definitely have more of a zing and bottom to them. What does stand out though is the haunting score by Johan Soderqvist, with themes by Gustavo Santaolalla. They certainly pack a lot of power through the channels, and are well mixed, and definitely pushes the mix as a whole up the ladder a bit.

Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in French and Spanish are included, as are subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

 



The main supplement is A Discussion About Things We Lost In The Fire. This is a fine piece that delves into the film's heavy themes as well as the film's production history. Illustrated with clips from the film, the main cast and crew are interviewed here: director Susanne Bier, producer Sam Mendes, producer Sam Mercer, screenwriter Alan Loeb, Halle Berry, Omar Benson, Benecio Del Toro and David Duchovny. The producers and Loeb mainly focus on how the script made it to the screen, while the actors talk about how they approached their characters, praise the script and praise their co-stars. But the standout here really is Bier, and it makes me wish she recorded a full-length commentary for the film. Bier's vision for the film is clear here, and she gives a lot of insight into her prep in making the film, her thoughts on its themes and characters, and how she works as a filmmaker (everything from working with the actors to how she composed some shots). Bier is articulate and artful. While some of her collaborators here give the usual fluff sound bite, the exciting filmmaker really stands out in this piece. She's the reason to give this a view.

There are seven Deleted Scenes, and no reasons given why the scenes were cut. Most last a minute or two - but it's clear the film doesn't need them, as it makes its point concerning the characters and drug abuse elsewhere. Still, some of what's here is a little disturbing.

Also on board is the Theatrical Trailer, in high definition.
 

 

"Things We Lost In The Fire" died a painfully quick death at the box office, but perhaps this tale of addiction and redemption will find a more prosperous life on home video. The high definition transfer is pretty dazzling in its starkness, while the 5.1 TrueHD mix does the job. Supplements wise, a solid featurette that really shows off director Susanne Bier's passion for filmmaking really stands out. For those who are into heavy dramas, a rental should be just the ticket.