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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Romance > Music > (500) Days Of Summer (2009/Fox Blu-ray)

(500) Days Of Summer (2009/Fox Blu-ray)


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



Sometimes I see a film that I really like, does not do well and I expect I will be the only one who likes it for years to come before it is discovered years later.  Add my interest in seeing if Music Video directors can make the transition to feature films and Marc Webb’s feature film debut (500) Days Of Summer (2009) was a film I would be interested in no matter what it was about.  Here, we get a uniquely distinctive romantic comedy with music and non-linear storyline as Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls for the title character (Zooey Deschanel) it an exceptionally charming, funny tale that also has a smarter-than-usual use of music.


Well, months later, it is being remembered during awards season and for very good reason.  Webb is one of the few newer directors of Music Video of any distinction, talent or note.  His clips for the last ten years for acts like Green Day, Good Charlotte, Maroon 5, The Wallflowers, Jimmy Eat World, My Chemical Romance, Daniel Powter, Snow Patrol, Weezer and The All-American Rejects show a consistent love of the image and desire to do interesting things visually in an era where newer would-be talent is lazy behind the camera and is clueless in what to do with a camera.


With that said, Webb is restrained enough to know shaky camerawork, color gutting and other “hip” (read tired) approaches do not work and he can handle a narrative.  In a screenplay the total opposite of their not-so-hot script for Pink Panther 2 (reviewed elsewhere on this site), Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber penned one of the more interesting romantic comedies in recent years, though I bet Webb added more than a few touches, but the extras here will tell you more.


The leads are in great form, have great chemistry and the rest of the cast is on the same wavelength.  As a result, we get a romance that is a character study of the characters and of romance itself.  This is a smart, fun, mature work with its sexy moments and the comedy works just about all the time throughout.  It does not hurt that Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt are tow of the best actors of their generation who already take risks and take on more independent projects than most actors.  These days, the less risks actors take, the less talent they tend to have anyhow.


I liked the film as soon as I saw it and hope this second wind gives it the big audience it deserves.  If you missed it, catch it now, especially on Blu-ray.



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 33 MPBS digital High Definition image is a little softer that the 35mm scope presentation I saw in theaters, but not by a wide margin.  There is a mix of Super 35mm film and 16mm film that is another pleasant surprise, delivered in part by Director of Photography Eric Steelberg in his best work to date.  Then there is the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 sound that is a little limited and underwhelming, even when new music and hit records are introduced.  Like Adventureland, we get another great film about a couple with strong music use and the sonics are not what they should be.  For Music Video director Webb, this might surprise people, but dialogue is still clear enough and the mix never hampers the overall film.  Too bad it is not more dynamic.


Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, Deleted & Extended Scenes, a “mashing” of this film with Sid & Nancy, Webb’s Video with Deschanel entitled Bank Dance, Temper Trap Music Video, feature length audio commentary by Webb and Gordon-Levitt, Conversations with Zooey & Joseph, Not A Love Story Making Of featurette, Filmmaking Special: Summer @ Sundance, Audition Tapes and a brief Storyboards section.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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