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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Road Movie > Sideways (Fox Blu-ray)

Sideways (Fox Blu-ray)


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



Having already covered the arrival of Sideways on the DVD format a few years ago (you can read about the film on that format here) our option of the film has not been reshaped very much since then, even with the arrival of the film on Blu-ray.  We have also covered Alexander Payne’s work on the Blu-ray for his film Election, which you can read about here as well.  Unfortunately to date we have not covered his best film About Schmidt, which hopefully will get Blu-ray treatment soon.


Fans of the film or the filmmaker though will want to know if the Blu-ray is the best version of the film to date, the short and simple answer is…Yes!  The previous DVD edition for Sideways was problematic in a variety of ways, which we explored in the review already; however the Blu-ray recovers the film and allows the viewer to appreciate the films landscape in a fresh new way.  The previous DVD was far too smeary, smudgy, grainy, compressed, and lackluster altogether, whereas the Blu-ray presents the film in a sharp, crisp, and finely detailed 1080p transfer framed at 1.85 X 1.  The films camerawork is designed to give the film that hot and hazy appearance as we travel with our characters through the vineyards of California.  The DVD was never capable of showcasing the films intent while at the same time offering resolution that allowed for a more pristine presence.  The Blu-ray can and does! 


The audio for the previous DVD was also a limited Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that never did the film any justice, along with a poor transfer and it’s no wonder why this film has been shelved for the past few years.  Fox is now making up for the lost time though and replacing that bizarre Dolby mix with a new DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix that now demonstrates the film in full glory.  The soundtrack is lively and detailed with a score that helps transform the story in exciting ways that the DVD could never come close to.  Dialogue is sharp and clear with a variety of music cues that director Payne has mastered over the years and his films are never short on a good accompanying score or soundtrack. 


This is clearly the best version of the film to own, with improved picture and sound; it certainly helps captivate the viewer in fresh ways and should help boost this film with some new fans.  The extras are the same as before with a commentary track by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, plus 7 deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette.  Nothing exceptional here, but still a nice addition. 


We are glad to see that Fox is bringing forth worthy titles from their recent archive of films from the early 2000’s and the results speak for themselves as Blu-ray is now bringing new life to already solid films.  Check out our review for Antwone Fisher and Drumline on Fox Blu-ray here.



-   Nate Goss


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