Her Blu-Ray Review

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The Movie: 7.5/10
Technology and love, what a good combination. Let me tell you a little story before the review. Back in the 1900’s meeting someone on the internet for romance was not the hip thing to do like it is now in the future. I met a dude online, we liked each other, we landed in some love, and have been married for 14 years. True story. So, when I see a fictional story that incorporates technology with the life of a love affair, it doesn’t phase me much. I get it. I understand how our leading man can fall in love with what is essentially a voice that projects a personality.

Theodore has issues, the longer we know him the more we identify what they are. He gets an upgrade for his operating system and it has its own personality issues to deal with, and he’s not up to the challenge. An operating system at this juncture of the future means it’s on all devices, it follows you wherever you go, and will build on its intelligence the more you use it. Theodore has only two questions to answer as the operating system installs, male or female voice, and what kind of relationship did he have with is mother. Now, we can all make a meal out of the whole “Freudian Mother Theory” and think it’s all a bunch of hooey, but watch closely as we all totally understand what Theo is going through to face his inability to cope with a relationship, and mostly due to the answer he gives about his mother. Fascinating fiction? Or just a reflection of real life?

Samantha is the operating system Theodore finds is fulfilling a spot in his life. The thing is, she’s like a person, created by people, written by people programmers, made with all the flaws of people, which makes her perfectly imperfect. Through their relationship they experience the elation of the newness, the honeymoon phase, the excitement, the monotony, the tension, and the honeymoon hangover phase. All that’s not present is her body, a body, and she knows it. It’s well told through her change from bare operating system to a computer program that’s had some real life experiences and she is made to learn, so she LEARNS and unlike humans, she wants to put it to good use.

I liked the movie, it just had a few pretentious moments, a little bit of self involvement, and that ever-present touchy feeliness that kind of makes it seem like a 2 hour therapy session. Overall I appreciate the idea, the style, the performances, and the lasting conversation.

Features: 7/10

  • A Short Film By Lance Bangs – This is pretty much the opposite of your standard talking head featurette found on most Blu-Ray’s. Lance Bangs takes you around the set during the making of the film in a style I can only describe as Artistic. I found it strangely hypnotic but others might say it’s boring.
  • Love In The Modern Age – Another project by Lance Bangs, this time he interviews various people about love and technology, Strangely not many of them have much to say which might actually be the point.
  • How Do You Share Your Life With Somebody – A weird montage of shots from the movie, I have no idea why this is included as its recycled from the other two featurettes.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
Somehow they made Joaquin Phoenix look not like Joaquin Phoenix, but without make up or any movie mask magic, so that kind of makes me like this cover. Not that I don’t like his face, it’s fine, but he’s got a certain kind of harshness about him that seems to have been erased in this picture. I think it’s the eyes. I might consider this as a poster in our house, might. The menu is just the menu.

Audio & Video: 9/10
Spike Jonze has presented a vision of the future here that is a lot more organic than we are used to seeing. Lit using natural light and using various camera techniques Her is a rather unremarkable film to look at. Warner’s 1080P AVC encoded transfer however really preserves the directors vision and is so sharp and detailed you will even see dust passing by the lens in some shots. Black levels are kinda grayish but as intended and color and saturation are second to none. You won’t be wowed by this transfer but that is the point, Jonze’s vision of the future is muted and natural and so is this presentation.

Don’t expect rumbling bass and explosions that is not the type of vibe Her is trying to project. Instead we are treated to a subtle DTS-HD Master Audio track that hits all the right notes. Dialog is impeccably prioritized and even Phoenix’s mumbled lines of dialog come across clear and centered. Arcade Fire provide the majority of the music for the film, and when this appears it gives those scenes meaning. Her is an interesting soundmix that is not the type you usually see on a romantic film.

Overall Score 7.5/10