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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Print > Fonts > Graphics > Helvetica (2007/Documentary/Graphics/Plexifilm Blu-ray)

Helvetica (2007/Documentary/Graphics/Plexifilm Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: B-     Film: B



One of the best documentaries I have seen in a while, Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica (2007) is one of those films that, once you start letting someone know about it, they become very interested in it, then want to see it.  We reviewed this terrific project on DVD when Plexifilm issued it in 2007 and this is what we had to say:





Now, Plexifilm has chosen to make it their first-ever Blu-ray release and though they have so many good titles in their catalog, this was as strong a place as any to begin. 


Originating on HD, I even had more fun the second time watching this here because the graphics are clearer and tell so much of the story, making you realize why the font and the graphics that accompanied it were such a revolution and are still with us today.  With the Blu-ray, you do not have to work as hard to see the influence and fascination.  It is easy to underestimate the things we take for granted, but Helvetica gets you to rethink the world we live in and how it affects us in the long run, right down to how we talk to and at each other.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 image may be a bit soft, but is much better than expected, as the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 DVD was softer than expected.  Looks like I was correct in expecting Director of Photography Luke Geissbuhler’s work to look better that the DVD was delivering.  The case says this is in Dolby Digital, but instead of the Dolby 2.0 Stereo we get on the DVD, we got PCM 5.1 which worked much better and though an early song sounds rough, Kristian Dunn’s score and the rest of the sound is improved overall.  The only extra from the DVD of a large set of extras interview segments is repeated here, are all worth your time and featuring the many subjects we meet throughout the program, are a plus.


Like the BBC’s Planet Earth, this is the kind of unique programming that is making Blu-ray so interesting and fun early on.  With Plexifilm’s catalog, I hope we see more of these kinds of special interest releases soon.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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