Brokeback MountainUniversal (Blu-ray)
"Brokeback Mountain" is a sweeping epic that explores the lives of two young men, a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy, who meet in the summer of 1963 and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection. The complications, joys and heartbreak they experience provide a testament to the endurance and power of love.
I didn't see this one in theaters and really didn't know what to expect with all of the whoopla surrounding it. I guess even in this day and age people are jaded about seeing any kind of homosexual themes. But that isn't what this film is about. Instead you have a well made film about two people who fall in love but have to keep it sacred because of the time and place that they live. As their lives continue, they are constantly battling with their urge to be with each other yet balance their "normal" lives. It's a great film that is beautifully shot and uncompromised in its message.
The HD transfer is similar in many respects to the HD DVD transfer and has a few issues. Fine object detail is awash through most of this film. Detail overall is good, but not great and there is a softness to the image that can be a tad distracting. Depth and dimensionality are still strong and the cinematography and gorgeous setting of the film are definitely the highlight. Wyoming doesn't even look this good in real life (at least what I've seen!). Colors are slightly muted but have a natural tonal quality to them. This one just isn’t quite up to par with Universal’s best releases.
Audio wise this is a solid effort from Universal. The score is probably the highlight as it complements the mood perfectly. Dialogue sounds natural with no signs of strain. The front soundstage is very open and airy and really conveys the openness of the locales. Dynamic range isn't much of a deal here except for one sequence in a lightning storm that really kicks it up a few notches with tremendous presence and bass.
Extras include some interviews and production features along with a look at the success of the film in the industry. You also get interviews with the script writers and a look at director Ang Lee. This title is also BD-Live enabled.
Despite all the controversy surrounding the film this is a great piece of cinema from Ang Lee. Ledger and Gyllenhaal both turned in tremendous performances that most in young Hollywood would have avoided. While the picture quality wasn’t quite what I hoped for, this is still tremendous film that shouldn’t be missed.