Away We Go (Blu-ray)
I have mixed feelings about Away We Go. I really like the chemistry between the two leads, and their relationship is very realistic and genuine. But the people they meet along the way are much less so, particularly Verona's former coworker Lily (Allison Janney) and ultra-hippie LV (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Some of their lines made me laugh, but others made me cringe, especially when Lily is speaking about her children.
While the couple's journey isn't particularly enjoyable, they do visit some beautiful places that look outstanding in this AVC encode. The Arizona sequence captures the dry desert climate with impeccable detail. You can almost feel the heat emanating from the dusty ground with the lush green cacti spread throughout the landscape. Flesh tones are accurate with ample detail in close-ups, and the longer shots remain reasonably sharp. Shadow detail is rich and well-delineated due to inky blacks and stable contrast.
The dialog-heavy DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack doesn't disappoint, even with its meager sound design. There is minor ambience in the rear speakers for the majority of the film, although they really shine when bar hopping in Montreal. The music soundtrack serves up some decent dynamics and interesting tunes, but don't expect to be blown away.
Supplements consist of a commentary from director Sam Mendas and writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, a making-of featurette, and a short feature on how ecologically sound the production was and how the cast and crew went out of their way to minimize their carbon footprint during the production.
I would have preferred spending more time with the two leads and less with the ensemble cast, but I guess that wasn't in the cards. Regardless, this is a solid presentation that's worth a rental, but be wary of some of the extraneous characters and their bizarre behavior.
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector
Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics