Away We Go Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
It’s not a new look, but it’s unique to this type of movie. There is a reason that the arts and crafts feel comes with these low key, quiet flicks, but I don’t know what it is. I like it. I might find that it’s boring after a while, but it is still better than just a couple of faces slathered on the cover. The menu has the same attitude, but pretty basic. Overall the packaging is fun, functional, not amazing, but perfectly pleasant.

Features: 6/10

  • The Making Of Away We Go – This is a talking heads type of deal with the cast and crew talking about making the movie. Yea, not much of a description, I agree, however, it is what it is. You do learn about how the movie was written, how the cast was chosen, etc. It’s well made, not too flashy, and no stupid crazy camera tricks that seem to plague these types of extras these days.
  • Green Filmmaking – Don’t get your hopes up you environmentalists, this is not a GREEN movie, but they tried. They talk about how they hired a company to come tell them how to reduce their (UGH) carbon footprint, and they made some adjustments. It’s a good thing to work on, but let’s not pretend any movie set is really green just yet.
  • Feature Commentary With Director Sam Mendes, David Eggers & Vendela Vida – I like Mendes, he’s interesting and seems to love the whole process of making films. The writers are a little more pretentious than I enjoy, but that’s how it goes in old TinsleTown.
  • BD-Live –hmm

The Movie: 9/10
I laughed a lot with this movie. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I am remembering it. The laughs are honest and clever and often a little painful when it comes to showing human weaknesses. But enough of the mushy stuff, this movie is about a couple finding a way to live their lives that makes sense for them and their new baby on the way.

They take a road trip, of sorts, to different cities to see if they should plant their roots among their various family and friends. What do they learn? Well, that every family is freakin’ nuts and no matter what you do you will be nuts too…yea, that’s about the whole of it. What they are looking for is THE way to be good parents, to be good grown ups, and not be “fuck ups”. What they find, it’s simple enough, is that no matter what other people choose to do with their lives, nothing compares to the kind of relationship they have created as a couple.

They come to find that the people they thought they knew are, um, dysfunctional in ways they never imagined. That’s a kind of story, finding yourself, coming of age (even though they are in their 30’s), looking at the world around you to find out where you fit in, all these themes apply. What makes Away We Go special for me is the cast 100%. There is not one single low point in any of the performances. I can’t even single any out as the best, they all fed something different into my satisfaction meter.

It’s quiet, yes. It’s calm, yes. It’s well crafted, well written, well edited, directed, designed, shot….and everything else that makes a movie. If I could name one thing that didn’t meet the high standards of the rest of the movie it would be that the sequence with Bert’s parents is too short. That’s the only thing I felt cheated out of, other than that I pretty much rolled around in every scene happy, thinking, smiling or laughing.

The characters we come across are somewhat exhateraged, but not so much that they are caricatures. Bad parents, bad bad parents are around every corner of their itinerary, so there is a range of interesting characters which is the heart of the film.

I will be so bold as to say it’s one of my favorite movies this year, and there’s not much year left…so it’s a pretty high contender for my top 10 movies for 2009…no kidding!

Audio & Video: 8/10
While there is nothing wrong with the video quality on Away We Go on Blu-Ray disc. It’s nothing that will set the world on fire either. These types of low budget movies are never showcase HD material anyway. The movie is presented in 2.39:1 wide screen which is perfect for Burt & Verona’s adventures across America (& Canada).

Audio is mostly anchored to the center speaker and appears to mixed a little louder than normal. The rear channels are only used a couple of times during the film. The 5.1 DTS-MA track does not disappoint though and the haunting music of Alexi Murdoch is mixed into the side speakers to avoid overpowering the dialog.

Overall I love this sweet little movie. It has some powerful observations about life and the “fucked Up” species we know and love as humans. Recommended!

Value: 7/10
Great movie, so-so extras, that about sums up this disc. I really really enjoyed the movie and recommend it highly. I just don’t need it on my shelf forever. I say rent this lovely story, laugh, eat some popcorn, and save the extra cash for a down payment on your limited edition Wizard of Oz on Blu-Ray. 🙂

Overall Score 9/10