Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I Heard A Voice In My Sleep Last Night. What Did It Say? It Said 'Yes'...", 1 Mar 2011
This review is from: Meet Joe Black [Blu-ray] [1998] (Blu-ray)
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 'UK BLU RAY' VERSION ***

"Meet Joe Black" is the kind of film that elicits derision and affection in equal measure - well if it's one of your guilty pleasures - then you need to own it on BLU RAY.

I've had the now defunct HD-DVD format of Martin Brest's 1999 movie for a while now to have the film in High Definition - and this Blu Ray reissue uses the same menus. But it's the print-quality that will be the big draw here. With an aspect that fills the entire screen, the transfer is lush, detailed and a pleasure to look at practically all of the time. In short - "Meet Joe Black" is beautiful on Blu Ray...

Mixing the supernatural with romance could have been awkward and even 'silly' in places (it sometimes is - Pitt speaking jive in the hospital to a black woman who knows he's the Grim Reaper is cringing), yet Brest has achieved an assured beauty throughout. This is a nice film in so many ways. And possibly because of its themes of loss and how we live our lives, it manages real warmth and a rare intelligence. The growing attraction between Claire Forlani (as Susan Parrish) and Brad Pitt (as Joe Black) is nicely set up in a café at the beginning of the film and then played out against preparations for her father's 65th birthday in his mansion throughout the film (Death has taken over his body and is being shown around by a reluctant Hopkins). Thomas Newman's lovely score also adds a classy feel to the film too and is used when it's needed.

But it's the cast that make you watch - Claire Forlani is luminously beautiful as Daddy's 'too busy to be in love' daughter - she has eyes that could make most men literally lose their balance - while Anthony Hopkins as the corporate mogul William Parrish brings a sheer decency to the piece that gives it a beating heart (his dialogue above). The scene where he gets a heart attack in his office and the voice of death condescends and ridicules his advice to his daughter - is brilliant. You 'feel' his terror and disorientation. Throw in great supporting roles for Jake Weber as the dastardly boardroom schemer Drew, Marcia Gay Harden and Jeffrey Tambor as William's sister Allison and his bumbling but honest friend Quince - and it zips along very nicely indeed despite its 3-hour length. Pitt is hugely impressive too - handsome, sinister, controlled and funny too. He may be eye-candy to some, but there's real talent there - and often.

Niggles - the USA HD-DVD has a 'Photo Montage' (still photographs of the cast and crew on location and on sets) and a lone extra called "Spotlight On Location" that features interviews with all the key people. It's barely 10-minutes long (and very lo-fi in terms of picture quality) but it's hugely entertaining. You can literally feel the awe and affection with which Anthony Hopkins is held by the entire cast - and short as it is, the featurette provides genuine insights into why and how the movie got made. Why a niggle - because it's 'not' on this 'UK' Blu Ray (licensing rights - laziness - who knows)? This UK version is also 'not' Region coded, so those in the USA and other parts of the World wanting to import it may have difficulty playing it on their players defaulted to wherever they live...(check if your player will accept 'no' region discs).

Audio is English 5.1 with Subtitles in French and English For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing. And it's not Region locked so will play on US machines.

"Meet Joe Black" is never going to trouble an Oscar List or be a discussion point at the next MENSA Annual General Meeting, but for those touched by its gushing romance, themes of living life while you have it and love triumphant - this BLU RAY will do nicely.

"I want to see you get swept away..." William Parrish says to his daughter.

Well, now you can...
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Mar 2011 18:32:28 GMT
Carl Fink says:
Is this Blu-ray region locked? I live in the USA and would like to purchase it. I know that Universal's American Blu-ray discs are typically region free, but is the same true of their UK releases? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2011 12:26:12 GMT
Mark Barry says:
Hi Carl

In truth I don't know - if I try to play an American Blu Ray (like say "The Young Victoria") my player won't accept it - so I presume it works the other way around - I suspect this UK release will not play on your US machine. Can u not buy a US copy on Blu Ray?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2011 14:27:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Mar 2011 14:29:05 GMT
Carl Fink says:
Unfortunately, Meet Joe Black isn't available on Blu-ray in the US.

Unlike with DVD, there actually are a lot of region-free Blu-rays released by major studios. There are a lot of region-locked ones, too, but it's something like a 50-50 mix, as opposed to DVD, where just about every major release was region-locked.

Anyway, the regions for which a Blu-ray disc is encoded are usually listed on the back of the case. It should be some combination of the letters A, B, and C, probably in a hexagonal icon. Is there anything like that on the back of the Meet Joe Black case? The US is region "A," so that's what I'm hoping to see, specifically (the UK is region "B").

Thanks again for your help.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2011 00:57:12 GMT
Mark Barry says:
Hi Carl

Was at work.

Anyway, my box has 'no' Region coding on it at all - so I don't know if that means it's region 'free' or what? It doesn't mention any country actually...and has no lettering identifyer...

I'm going to amend my review to read that...

Sorrry I can't be more help

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2011 16:19:48 GMT
Carl Fink says:
Thanks for checking. I think I'll just take a chance and see how it turns out.

Posted on 22 Mar 2011 00:56:50 GMT
Carl Fink says:
I received the this Blu-ray over the weekend, and can now confirm that it DOES play in my US Region A Blu-ray player. No problems whatsoever. I'm very happy with the purchase.

Posted on 9 Mar 2012 13:44:43 GMT
Amadeus says:
Excellent! Just the info I needed. Thank you both!
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